“An opportunity that doesn’t align with your goals is a distraction, no matter how lucrative it is.”
I wrote down that piece of advice for my future self a few years back after I took advantage of a few “opportunities” only to find I was even further from my goals after pursuing them.
I love a good opportunity, but sometimes, in the moment, it’s hard to evaluate how valuable it will be. I’ve found I can’t trust myself to distinguish between an opportunity that will truly move move me closer to my goals and the blind justification that comes with being ecstatic about a new idea.
So how can you keep a level head when you’re about to say YES to a marketing opportunity that could be a game-changer for your nonprofit — but could potentially derail it as well?
Of course, surrounding yourself with wise people helps immensely, but I’ve found that these few questions are great to ask yourself and your team when faced with a new opportunity. Whether you’re starting a new social media strategy, an Adwords campaign, or a strategic partnership, these questions will help you evaluate any marketing opportunity that comes your way.
Who is my target audience for this opportunity?
Before pursuing a marketing opportunity, you should know two things: Who is your exact target audience? And are you using the best channels to reach that particular audience?
Resist the temptation of saying “everybody” is your target audience. Create a customer persona for the audience you’re going after. Look at your past marketing campaigns for any data that might help with the target audience. If you haven’t targeted this audience before, there is absolutely nothing wrong with experimenting. Just be sure to measure and evaluate whether they’re worth pursuing.
Will this opportunity move me closer to my goals?
What are your goals for this marketing project? Make sure you clearly outline what a win looks like for the project and what you’re willing to do to reach those goals. In the days of Don Draper, all clients had to do was approve sketches and new ads. Today, effective marketing takes more involvement and resources from the client.
What resources will it take to execute this opportunity and is this the best place to focus those resources?
If your team is executing this campaign internally, make sure you know what resources will be required. If an outside marketing company is working on the project your team won’t be tied up, so it just depends on what’s best for your situation. Look at the timeline of the project and everything else you have going on and decide whether to keep the project in-house or hire an outside company.
Are there other ways to get more out of your goal?
Now that you have your end goal in mind, how can you get even more out of it? If you look at the pieces of the marketing campaign, you may find you can get even more out of your individual marketing assets.
For example, if your goal is to write 3 e-books to use for educating prospects and building your email list, you have two choices. You could simply write those e-books, or you could use your blog to share excerpts of them and get people interested in the subjects, while also stretching your content much further.
How can we predict the outcome of this opportunity?
Find companies who have done similar marketing campaigns and do your homework. Research what their audience’s reaction was to the campaign, how much of an impact it had, and any mistakes they made that you can avoid. If they aren’t a competitor, it’s even worth giving them a call to ask them directly.
How does this opportunity fit into the rest of my marketing strategy?
Does it compliment or compete with it? Your new marketing opportunity should complement, and even enhance, your current marketing. It should also fit in with the other stages in your marketing. For example, if you see that most of your marketing falls in the early stage and this is an early-stage opportunity, you may want to hold off until you balance it out with middle and late stage marketing.
Use these questions as a guide to quickly evaluate each new marketing opportunity. Your answers will tell you whether each opportunity that comes along is worth your time and investment.