An Executive Director's point of view
November 04, 2013: Shorter is better
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August 21, 2013: Value, not just tactics
You can text until your thumbs turn blue, but if your message is not perceived as valuable by those to whom it has been sent, they just won't respond.
Why should a person join your organization, make a donation, or register for a conference? Why should a media venue publish your article or blog post? Why should a legislator vote for your bill?
Why should anybody even answer your telephone call, email, or text message?
The vehicles you use to communicate - social media, direct mail, video streaming, billboards, whatever -- are tactics. They are not the message.
If the message does not have value, the tactics you use really don't matter.
August 14, 2013: Underdog marketing
July 25, 2013: Losing the sale
He was wrong.
Selling on his web site would allow him to capture customers who didn't buy at the fair.
Your association's products - membership, educational conferences, publications, doodads, etc. -- should be promoted everywhere possible.
Customers often (very often) need more than one encounter before making purchasing decisions, so ensure they'll encounter your organization in many places.
Just being visible in one place - whether at a conference, exhibit booth, magazine, web site, or in a direct mail piece or e-blast - is not sufficient.
July 21, 2013: Spying on your members
It was obvious - I was being watched.
Many businesses and associations will say they are helping me - by providing me with information and links that I want. And they think they know what I want because they pay companies to follow me online and track my viewing habits.
Well, if I want the information and links they're hawking, I'll get them myself. I don't want to be spied on while watching YouTube or doing anything else on my computer.
Some businesses are responding to these privacy concerns by deleting third-party "cookies," the data stored in a web browser that collect information about your internet use.
Of course, many advertisers think spying on customers and potential customers is a good thing. And some associations claim that spying on their members enables them to provide services that better meet individuals' needs.
But if you really want more information about members and customers, ask them for it. Don't spy on them.
May 17, 2013: Colors
April 18, 2013: Social media marketing
April 14, 2013: What's the point of the picture?
April 03, 2013: Dressing up or dressing down?
Some don business casual at events. Others wear casual casual.
At one association's annual banquet, the presenter of a prestigious award, for whom the award was named, appeared in knee-high riding boots. The equally renown recipient of the award was dressed in corduroy pants and a baggy sweater.
The attire fit the culture of the group. Most attendees were dressed casually - quite a few wore blue jeans.
There is no one way to dress for meetings, receptions, or other association events.
So, know the culture of your group and decorate yourself in the attire that markets you the way you want to be marketed.
March 29, 2013: Wrong photo
That may be fine to identify Chicago as the event's location, but it may mislead potential attendees who expect to walk out of the hotel at the end of the day to enjoy the city.
Downtown Chicago - restaurants, shops, museums, lakefront amenities - is a 35 minute cab ride from the meeting site (longer during rush hour). It's a 45 minute ride on public transportation - plus at least a 10 minute walk to the Magnificent Mile, immediately north of downtown.
But maybe attendees won't care. And maybe I only noticed because I'm from Chicago.