An Executive Director's point of view


October 05, 2015: Clip art deception

Category: Marketing
Posted by: David M Patt
Do the people in clip art photos look like your members?

Probably not. Clip art models usually look attractive, fit, and well-groomed.

Many, if not most, of your members don't.

So, if you want your web, magazine, or brochure photos to look real, display pictures of real members. You can find them at meetings, educational conferences, exhibit booths, or doing whatever they do in real life.

Don't use models.

(And remember, it is usually not legal to use photos posted on the internet. Most are copyrighted and you may be required to pay a fee to use them).

June 16, 2015: Do people read ads?

Category: Marketing
Posted by: David M Patt
You'd think so, since companies spend billions of dollars a year on advertising.

But do your target audiences view ads?

Do they utilize ad blockers on the internet?
Do they click "skip ad" when viewing YouTube videos?
Do they disable banner ads and pop-ups on web sites?
Do they silence audio ads?
Do they walk away from the television during commercial time?
Do they watch ad-free movies and TV shows on their laptops?
Do they ignore ads in printed publications?

Ads usually tell what the advertiser wants you to know rather than what you might want to know. So lots of people ignore them, delete them, or tune them out.

When considering advertising your association, or selling ad space to sponsors, ask yourself: Do my prospects pay attention to ads? Do they want to be forced to view ads when they're doing something else? What will they think of the organization and its sponsors if ads appear where they didn't expect them and might not want them?

Don't just do what seems popular or profitable. Know your audiences, approach them in the way they want to be approached, and provide them with a message they'll want to hear.
Category: Marketing
Posted by: David M Patt
There's been a lot of criticism of Whole Foods Markets' new strategy targeting millennium shoppers.

Find out why.

April 29, 2015: Very expensive promotions

Category: Marketing
Posted by: David M Patt
Some associations print very expensive promotional materials. Those are often clever, attractive, and eye-catching.

But do association members want their organizations spending so much money on that kind of stuff?

March 24, 2015: Multiple designs

Category: Marketing
Posted by: David M Patt
When developing promotional materials for association activities, design something different for each venue. Don't try to save money or time by using the same layout for everything. It won't look good and people will be less likely to respond to it.

Web pages, mobile device displays, email, printed flyers, postcards, magazine ads, posters, and lawn signs (if you host a public event), should all utilize separate designs that are constructed for maximum effectiveness in each of those settings.

Written copy, amount of copy, choice of colors, fonts and font sizes, images, design embellishments, etc. should differ depending where they are used.

The money spent for multiple designs will be far less than the money lost if members and customers have difficulty viewing and acting on promotional prompts that are not suitable for the settings in which they appear.

March 11, 2015: Don't stalk prospects

Category: Marketing
Posted by: David M Patt
I viewed some kitchen chairs on a retailer's web site and for weeks afterward received pop-up ads for them.

That was creepy. It was as if a salesperson had watched me while I looked at the chairs in a store, followed me home, and repeatedly slid promotional flyers under my door to induce me to buy those chairs.

You are not helping customers or members by seeding their internet views with products or information you think they will like. You are just letting them know that you are spying on them.

February 24, 2015: Direct mail benefits

Category: Marketing
Posted by: David M Patt
These are some of the things that make direct mail an effective marketing tool for your association.

Plus, direct mail often drives people to your web site. Watch for spikes in unique visitors after you've mailed.

January 15, 2015: Keep on printing

Category: Marketing
Posted by: David M Patt
Category: Marketing
Posted by: David M Patt
Do many not-for-profits realize they often convey a negative image of themselves? Does that reinforce the stereotype of not-for-profits being unprofessional?

August 13, 2014: A good spin

Category: Marketing
Posted by: David M Patt
Sears, where I rarely shop, sent me a birthday greeting by mistake.

Here's the follow-up message I received not long after the errant note:

"It's not your birthday."

"Birthdays can be fun, and we can't wait to celebrate yours. In our excitement, we accidentally sent out your birthday greeting too soon. Please disregard our little slip up, and don't forget to act surprised when your real birthday is here!"

If you ever need to correct an association communication error (which, I imagine, won't happen often), something like this might do the trick.

Suspicious afterthought: Was the message really sent in error?
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