“If you’re the kind of person who tends to succeed in what you start, changing what you start could be the most extraordinary thing you do.”
I previously featured this quote in a post about why society needs great marketers. If you’re a marketer interested in or working in the public and social sectors, maybe you’ve wanted to start a nonprofit of your own. As someone who has started his own business and worked at startups and nonprofits, I advise you to think long and hard before you start a nonprofit. It might not be the best way to have the impact you desire.
Continue reading Don’t Start Yet Another Nonprofit
According to Credit Suisse, up to one-quarter of U.S. malls will close by 2022. During the past 60 years, malls served as a major public commons in the U.S. The design and stewardship of commons is a crucial component of public-sector marketing. Redesigning failed shopping malls could be an huge public-sector opportunity.
Continue reading City Design: Redesigning Failed Shopping Malls
Governing common shared resources such as water supplies relies on layers of resource management. Each level of management has different roles and responsibilities, from neighborhoods and cities through to regional, state, national and international governance. Currently, the way many cities approach water quality is inefficient because resource management is not regional. Water agencies ignore problems upstream, where water quality problems start. Applying funds to upstream problems is a marketing decision related to how we price our social goods. Fixing those upstream problems reduces costs downstream for water treatment.
Continue reading How to Fund Holistic Water Quality Management
If you design goods and services for your clients, instead of with them, you are forced to make assumptions. Inevitably, your assumptions will be wrong. With bad assumptions you risk your goods and services not meeting your clients needs. That means you are wasting your time and money, and your clients’ time and money. With basic needs like health and sanitation, you are also be risking your clients’ lives. At the intersection of nonprofits and client-centered design lies fulfilling your mission for your clients.
Continue reading With, Not For: Nonprofits and Client-Centered Design
Are you designing and distributing low quality charitable products? How do you know? Just because your clients may benefit from, and even rely on, products that are free to them doesn’t mean you can give them crap. It also doesn’t mean they stop becoming savvy consumers just because something is free to them. Your products and services may be free to your clients, but in areas like healthcare and water they can also a matter of life and death.
Continue reading Three Ways To Eliminate Low-Quality Charitable Products
In reading this New York Times article about engaging Millennials in your cause, one paragraph caught my marketing eye:
Millennials expect transparency, sophisticated storytelling and technical savvy from their charitable organizations. And many donors will not only give money, but will also volunteer and lend the force of their own social networks to a cause they believe in.
Continue reading Engaging Millennials In Your Cause: Three Times the Work, Three Times the Reward
The terms we use matter when designing and promoting public and social goods. I don’t like the term “subsidy” when applied to government programs. It lacks the related themes and ideas that I think we want associated with public spending. The term has also taken on negative connotations that further hinder strengthening our communities through the marketing of social goods. I prefer to think about government investments.
I’ll illustrate my point with a personal story from my early career at Microsoft.
Continue reading Government Investments, Not Government Subsidies
Look for bright spots of success and hope among your market audience, and you may find your next big idea. Here are lessons from a story about how one underfunded aid worker used turning bright spots into products and services to change a nation.
Continue reading Turning Bright Spots Into Products and Services
Reach and frequency are marketing metrics for planning and evaluating promotional activities. Is your message reaching who you want to reach, as often as you want to reach them? Here are ways to plan for and increase reach and frequency.
Continue reading Reach and Frequency Are Fundamental Marketing Metrics
Governments and most NGOs and nonprofits are in it for the long, long haul. Yet most organizations today are not engineered to survive that long, long haul. What are the secrets of agencies and nonprofits built to last?
Continue reading Six Principles of Agencies and Nonprofits Built to Last