Where are your clients? Where do they spend their time? What keeps them up at night? These questions are vital to your ability to effectively reach your target market. The basic premise of sales has not changed but how you implement it has.
What is niche marketing? Businessdictionary.com defines niche marketing as
"a method of concentrating all marketing efforts on a small but specific and well defined segment of the population. Niches do not 'exist' but are 'created' by identifying needs, wants, and requirements that are being addressed poorly or not at all by other firms, and developing and delivering goods or services to satisfy them. As a strategy, niche marketing is aimed at being a big fish in a small pond instead of being a small fish in a big pond."
As a nonprofit organization (NPO), you cannot realize your vision without the support and participation of donors. This makes your donor engagement strategy just as important as your mission. With the combination of an aging American population, a recovering economy, and the rapid evolution of technology, capturing the attention of would-be donors is a significant challenge.
Build your Brand through Storytelling.
You need to cut through the 'noise.' The nonstop stream of information barrelling towards you at ever increasing speed and frequency. How do you distinguish yourself in the crowd? You tell a story. The key to success is creating an emotional connection. Whether you run a fortune 500 company or are the sole operator of a nonprofit organization, the key lies in the level of engagement of your donors or customers.
Tell your story:
Emotion and decision making go hand in hand. If you look at the recent trend in commercials you'll find that many Brands are forgoing the traditional product pitches and tugging more at your heartstrings. Take for example Budweiser. For the past few years, Budweiser has consistently ranked at the top for their Superbowl ads. They feature the Clydesdale horses and any other number of now famous animal actors. The ads themselves do nothing to explicitly sell beer. They speak much more to the emotional connection that the commercials foster and build around it a spirit of goodwill towards the brand by default. So much of our decision making process is unconscious. Often, you are not aware of the reasons you choose one brand over another.
There are a few rules of engagement to successfully tapping into that well of human emotion.
Authenticity. This is rule number one. People can spot a fake a mile a way. Strive to create a genuine human connection and authentic relationship.
Sell a feeling not a product or service. Apple is of course especially good at this. To connect on an emotional level you can't talk about the megapixels of the camera or how long the battery will last, you need to show people how it will enhance their lives for example how you can create a home movie as a gift for your grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary.
Understanding the needs of your base. What moves your customers? What makes them tick? What are their needs? If you don't know the answer to these questions how can you speak to what matters most in their lives.
Niche, Niche, Niche. You can not appeal to everyone. Focus on a small market and make them feel loved. They will pay you back in kind. You can not be everything to everyone. By doing so you are bound to fail. Find your niche and work towards solving their problems.
Nonprofits this especially applies to you!
Creating a strategy? Training your board on fundraising tactics? Planning your annual special event? Seeking investors for your new cause campaign?.....
Each campaign is different and unique in its own way. Don’t be afraid to show it. Every nonprofit has a story behind why it exists. Use it. Show what makes your organization different and appeal to potential donors by creating an emotional connection to your cause. When executed correctly, your will attract Brand Ambassadors who will help spread your story and build your brand.
You are a superhero. You don the tights with the best of 'em. Being a superhero comes with a lot of responsibilities. When someone asks you for a referral, you should be as protective of that referral as Batman is of Gotham. Because in essence, if all goes well you are swooping in and saving the day. But sometimes things don't go well. Sometimes a customer referral goes horribly, horribly wrong. What do you do?