Marketing for Non Profit OrganizationsHere at BMGcreative and the Good News, we get to work with many non profit organizations. When it comes to branding and marketing for non profit organizations, what we have found is that the majority of the successful non profits follow these basic five branding principles:

1. One Word – Own a particular word in the minds of your target audience which makes your organization stand apart from all others. This word needs to be simple, clear and memorable. A good example of this is the RED campaign that fights against AIDS.

2. Focus, Focus, Focus – The influence of a strong brand is directly related to its breadth of opportunity. As an organization, identify the one thing you excel in – more so than any other organization, and focus your brand and efforts on that particular value proposition. A leader in this area is Habitat for Humanity; known for excelling in community development and providing home ownership opportunities.

3. Leadership – Successful non profit organizations are truly thought to be leaders in their particular sect of business. Think of ways that your organization can develop a unique approach or provide a type of service that no other organization provides. Create a category in your industry, a niche, which your organization can uniquely claim leadership in.

4. Authenticity – Step back and evaluate your brand. Does it sincerely reflect what you stand for as an organization? Is your brand and marketing efforts relevant to the community you serve? For any non profit organization, authenticity is the proof in the pudding.

5. Consistency – As time goes by, trends will always come and go. But strong brands should remain the same. A brand cannot resonate and be memorable in the mind of your audience if it keeps changing. Your brand and marketing needs to be communicated consistently and clearly over time. Think of the American Red Cross – the brand is recognized around the world because it has always remained the same.

If you are working on marketing for non profit organizations, what techniques and methods are you using to instill trust, confidence and to make your brand memorable to your target audience?

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Measuring Success in BusinessAfter much stress along with your blood, sweat & tears, your business is finally off the ground. Now you have to face the big question, “Will my organization be a success?” While only time will truly tell, here are five methods to help you evaluate when measuring success in business for your organization.

Profitability year over year is likely the first thing business owners think about when measuring success in their business. Is the organization making money as opposed to losing money? This is not a wrong way to look at your business – if there is a profit left after you have covered your business expenses, then things are going in a positive direction for the company. Measuring success by profitability is a key factor in whether or not your company is going to make it over the long haul. If you find you are constantly in the red, your chances of success begin to decline each month. It is nearly impossible to stay in business if there is no money to continue operating.

An Increasing Client Base
In addition to success, an increase in the number of customers or clients you have is a sure sign that you are successfully meeting your goals. Giving your the right audience your focus and meeting their needs better than your competitors is what your business is all about. Without a growing base of clients, your success will be very limited. The long-term growth of your organization is linked with your ability to not only reach your current clients at the right time with the right message, but to grow and align with your long-term objectives. All of those extended hours invested on the analysis, market research and development of a product or service confirm themselves here. Did your analysis pay off? If not, it may be time to go back to the drawing board to see where you can make some changes in this area.

Customer Satisfaction
Satisfaction of the people who do business with you is a strong indicator that your organization is aware of the needs of your clients. If you truly understand your clients and are able to fulfill their needs, then you are dialed in to a great place. This factor is crucial to the strength of your organization. Keep in mind that one disappointed client can destroy the reputation of your company to several pleased clients – it happens all of the time. Having strong customer satisfaction will always add to the success of your organization and it is imperative to monitor this element of your company on a regular basis. This is easily done with customer surveys and simply by talking to your clients and asking them if they are happy with your services.

Employee Satisfaction
Employee fulfillment is another key signal you can use when measuring success in business. Creating a workplace that rewards and encourages employees in their efforts to do a job well is crucial in gaining and maintaining quality employees. If employees know they are valued, they are much more likely to go that step further when needed. Personnel are an essential part of your organization. They are often the face of your company and the ones who will touch your clients the most. Do everything within your power to ensure your employees remain satisfied in their jobs and you can rest assured that measure of success in your business is worth its weight in gold for your efforts.

Owner Satisfaction
Perhaps the most important measure of success in business for 2013 is whether you — the business owner — is happy with the results of the organization. If you yourself are not happy with your business, it certainly won’t be much longer until everyone else feels the same way. Find the source of your unhappiness if you are not satisfied with your organization as a whole and make serious efforts to change it. Success in your business means that you are content, happy, and excited and still believe in what your company stands for. That kind of attitude is contagious and will overflow to your employees and will show in all of your dealings with customers.

What other ways does your company measure success?

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New Business Goals for 2013If you haven’t already done so, January is a great time to decide on a list of business goals for the new year. Whether you have decided to take the leap with a new business start-up or you want to expand your existing business, planning and setting goals for exactly what you want to accomplish will help you stay accountable and on task throughout the year.

Here are 4 ideas for new business goals to help get you going:

Lower Expenses: Take a reflective and realistic look at 2012’s expenses for your business and analyse which ones were higher than they should have been. Whether it was on office supplies or business lunches or even printing costs, you should brainstorm some ideas on how to decrease the numbers. You can consider buying office supplies in bulk or even re-evaluating the partnerships you have with vendors to see if there are opportunities there to lower expenses.

Reach New Markets: You can help to make 2013 a successful year by reviewing last year’s marketing plan and results from specific campaigns to evaluate what worked, and of course, what didn’t. Social media and online marketing avenues are more cost effective than ever, so if you haven’t tried promoting your business online, it’s time to start. You can also make a list of your specific target audience and brainstorm new ways to reach them.

Keep Learning: Expanding your business means you have to constantly keep up with your competitors and new market trends in your industry. You can do this by reading industry related books or publications, taking a course or seminar, or by joining a networking group. With each new skill and connection you may, you’ll find that you are adding valuable knowledge to your business that you did not have before.

Work Life Balance: As an entrepreneur or business owner, it’s easy to let your business take over your entire life. Make time for yourself, for your family and friends, and set work hours that will create an optimal work life balance. You have to prevent yourself from getting burned out if you want to continue to run a successful business that you love. Evaluate which elements of your business create the most stress, and evaluate ways to automate tasks or outsource to create more time for you.

Whatever your business goals are for 2013, it is vital to ensure they are achievable and measurable and that you have also set a reasonable time frame. Working towards goals which are actually achievable will help keep you motivated each time you meet one to keep going and growing your business. Quantifying your business goals with specific numbers also means that you can measure your progress and give you something to strive for. You will also be able to know for sure whether or not you have met your goal. Lastly, setting a time frame on your new business goals will help you stay on task, and assist you with updating your approach and marketing tactics throughout the year.

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