Marketing - where do I start?

1. Be an ambassador for your organisation and the goals of your local community. Always be positive and listen to feedback. Be open to ideas and suggestions.

2. Make sure your organisation’s services are based on need and want, not assumptions. Have you asked people what they wanted, where it should be, how much they would pay, what they want to get out of it? When did you do the research?  Did anyone get missed out?

3. Have a clear mission and tell people about it in simple terms. Make it memorable and measurable. Tell people about how you achieved it and what you’re going to do next.

4. Include everyone. Make your publicity accessible. Use plain English, large print, add it to the web/ have an electronic copy. Remember to include all staff, volunteers and potential partner organisations.

5. Know why you’re special. Most organisations have competitors that do what they’re doing locally, regionally or nationally. Find out who they are and what they’re good at. Take a look at your services, ask the local community, why are they using you? 

6. Know what you need to improve. Welcome feedback. There will always be someone who has a bad experience of your services, make sure its easy for them to say so and suggest improvements. Follow up and apologise, let them know what action you’ve taken.

7. Target your marketing. Think about how to reach the different groups you work with, or would like to work with. Use a range of methods of communicating with them. Not everyone has email or Internet access.

8. Get a plan! You probably already do a lot of marketing. Any meetings you give presentations at, any leaflets, any letters to your local community or local newspaper and so on. Make sure you’re using your limited time effectively. Look at who you already reach and how your reach them. If the leaflet works (see point 9), keep going. If you want to reach out to young people, maybe a website and/or social media is a good idea but how will you tell them it's there? Word of mouth, for many organisations is the best publicity. (see point 1 and 6).

9. Review. Keep a record of where you started, what marketing you did and what the results were. Did you ask how people found out about the play scheme, for example? If not, how will you know if it was your leaflet or talking to a local school that worked? One cost £250. The other an hour of staff time.

10. Be inspired. Look at what other organisations do. Don’t be put off if they’re bigger than your group; keep a file of examples of good marketing. Use it when you’re stuck for ideas to start a discussion, for example in a project-planning meeting.

10 minute marketing

You might also like our 10 minute marketing guide - small, quick and easy tasks that can really help promote your group and make it look;

  • more professional,
  • more capable and 
  • more reliable.

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