The Biggest Marketing Mistake

Today’s “M” is about marketing, and, no matter what role you play in an organization, you should hear this point loud and clear. It’s the biggest mistake people make when it comes to marketing their organizations.

Ready?

When it comes to marketing, the biggest mistake people make is failing to think like the consumer.

You know your organization is important. You believe in it down to the very core of who you are. As a provider, you just know that if you explain everything, tell a dozen stories, and just give all of the details about why you matter, that people will get it.  

They will give to it. They will embrace it. They will fight for it the way you fight for it.

But they won’t. In fact, if you go on and on about your organization, they won’t even read it.

Yes, your organization is important. To you, it’s REALLY important. After all, you’re giving a huge chunk of your life to it. But do not expect others to have that same level of passion.

They will care, but they will need to experience some well-crafted messages to care enough to act on your behalf. To give of themselves and their dollars. To get others to do the same.

Getting there is not about explaining every single little detail as to why your organization matters. Craft your message, then have the stomach to cut it in half, then in half again. Each word counts.

Boil your message into creative, succinct, inspirational language. Talk in quick quips. Give the equivalent of written sound bites. Add thesaurus.com to your quicklinks and visit it regularly to keep your language fresh.  Don’t have a mission paragraph, have a mission statement. Don’t explain each program, explain your impact.

Give up the biggest goods first on what you do and why you matter, then hone in on a few, focused comments. Include lots of graphics.  Leave them wanting more. And please…let there be white space!

I have worked with organizations big and small who love themselves so much they never step outside to think about their audiences and what will resonate with them.

Avoid paragraphs and stick to clauses. Margins are a good thing. Big margins are even better.

If you write too much, explain too much, talk too much, people will stop reading or listening.

And know this: the best mission in the world doesn’t matter if nobody is paying attention.

Now, go do good..and do it well.

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