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How to Develop a Marketing Plan for a Product

Marketing helps you get your product to the people who want it. This guide will help you develop a marketing plan for your product. You need to decide who you are marketing to, who will pay for your product, how you will make the product (including the cost of materials), whether you need any special equipment, and what price range people will pay.

You need to develop a marketing plan if you’re planning on selling your product. To increase your chances of success, begin by drawing out the product’s features and then work on creating a unique selling point (USP). This will allow you to clearly define the qualities that make your product different from the rest. Then, move onto deciding on an appropriate price, promotion strategy, and distribution channels for your product.

Audit your online marketing and set goals

First, you’ll need to audit your marketing to define campaign goals. Specifically, ask these questions: How many donors do we have in our database? Who are most of our donations coming from? What are our online goals — to reengage existing donors, or attract new ones?

Tip: To ensure a successful campaign, tie your marketing goals directly to nonprofit growth objectives. For example, “Grow more Twitter followers” isn’t a great goal for organization growth.

Start simple with your campaign and pick 1-2 main objectives. Then, set goals around them.

For example, “Reconvert 50 low-level, one-time donors into monthly donors” or “Convert 25 new one-time donors per month.” Then, you can begin your first nonprofit content marketing campaigns with the right objectives in mind. Remember, the best goals are specific and measurable.

 Understand your key audience segments

Next, take that information you gained and identify “buckets” of donors. These will be used to segment an audience for your nonprofit marketing plan content. For example:

  • First-time donors
  • People likely to donate
  • Corporate donors
  • Previous high-level donors
  • Influencers (like celebrities)

These donor segments should receive different messaging — after all, you’re encouraging them to do different things. Therefore, it makes sense to segment your base into buckets.

According to MailChimp, segmented email campaigns receive 100.95% more clicks than non-segmented campaigns.

You can further segment by factors like: Reasons for giving, size of gift, campaign donated to, etc.

Tip: If you use a full-bodied CMS like HubSpot, create “smart” lists of these donors. Then, you can easily access them later, and they will automatically stay up-to-date.

With your goals above, you have probably identified some key segments to target. Next, we’ll use these targeted lists to create content for a segment’s donation journey.

Create content for the donor lifecycle

So you’ve identified your target audience segments. Now, you need to ask: Which segment ties into my goals?

Then, you’ll need to identify which questions, hesitations, and motivations trigger that target segment — and turn them into content.

Even if you think you understand your buyers, there is always more to learn. Conduct surveys, call stakeholders, and look at historic involvement.

You want to understand: What will mobilize this audience? Do they prefer to read heartwarming stories, or hard facts? Specifically, you’ll need to come up with content ideas to move them along the donor lifecycle. Generally, content should cover these three stages:

  • Awareness – Content that educates an audience on the nonprofit’s overall mission. Generally tells the audience about the cause and why it’s important. Used mostly when attracting new donors. For example, if you are an animal nonprofit, this may be an infographic on the number of animals who are homeless in your city.
  • Consideration – Content that introduces the nonprofit and its mission, members, and impact. For example, case studies demonstrating how the nonprofit has impacted individuals.
  • Decision — Content that helps an individual decide where, when, and how much to donate. For example, a chart that shows the impact of various donation amounts.

Generally, these above content items perform best, according to a study by the Content Marketing Institute/Blackbaud. But your audience may have different preferences, especially if they skew into a certain age range. So begin with data and research to make informed content decisions.

Put time and quality into this content: It will be one of your biggest converters.

 Craft Your Key Messages

Key messages encompass the information you want your audiences to hear, remember, and share about your nonprofit organization. Crafting these before you employ your marketing is important for a few reasons:

  • Key messages keep your organization aligned. No matter who’s doing the marketing, you can be confident the same thing is being said and promoted.
  • Key messages simplify your marketing. With these created ahead of time, you already know what you’re going to say in your marketing messaging.
  • Key messages help organize your different audiences (as we talked about above). As a nonprofit organization, you’re likely talking to donors, volunteers, constituents, and your community … more personas than a typical for-profit business. Developing key messages for each of your audiences informs your team and your marketing to make sure you’re targeting the right groups.

Continuing with our animal shelter example, here’s a look at how you can craft a key message for different audiences.

Key message: We protect the welfare of animals in our community through education, adoption and fostering, and animal advocacy.

  • For adoption customers/constituents: By adopting or fostering, or by alerting us of animals in need, you can help us protect the welfare of animals in our community.
  • For volunteers: We protect the welfare of animals through round-the-clock animal care and advocacy.
  • For donors: You can help us protect the welfare of animals by donating to support animal care, advocacy, and adoption promotion.

All of these key messages have the same purpose and undertone, but they vary slightly depending on your audience. Together with your nonprofit organization’s mission, vision, and goals, these messages will help effectively communicate and market your organization’s needs and purpose.

 Choose, Plan, and Create Your Marketing Strategies

Many marketers jump right to this step — creating and publishing various marketing tactics. Marketing encompasses much more than an advertisement, blog post, or event. In order to execute successfully, you must complete all the steps prior to this.

Now that you’ve established your goals (what you want), your key messages (what you’re going to say), and your audience (who you’re going to say it to), you can determine your marketing tactics (how you’re going to say it).

Marketing tactics refer to channels like email marketing, social media, events, and more. We’ve dedicated an entire section to these marketing strategies — read about them in detail below.

Regardless of which tactic you choose, be sure to conduct thorough planning before and as you execute on it. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you prepare:

  • What will you do with this marketing tactic?
  • When will these marketing activities take place?
  • Why is this tactic important?
  • Who will be responsible for these activities?
  • How much do we plan to spend?
  • How does this tie to our organization’s marketing goals?

Tactical planning is an integral part of your overall nonprofit marketing plan. How you approach your marketing strategies and how they impact your organization is just as important as how you execute on them.

Before you hit the ground running on any of these strategies, be sure your team has a solid game plan and a full understanding of it.

Conclusion

The marketing plan is one of the most important documents in any company. It is used to determine where the product or service will be distributed, how much it will cost, what it should look like, and how it should be marketed.

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