Posts in Strategies
Podcast: Connection and Messaging with Ian Rountree

Ian Rountree is the project manager in charge of Buy Social Praries. Buy Social Praries is a project of LITE, and is a part of the wider network in Buy Social Canada.

Ian and I talk about the importance of explaining what your social enterprise is about, and how to tailor that message to specific audiences. We also talk about the importance of networking as an industry to attempt to hit the scale needed to provide products and services for the large purchasing needs of businesses and governments.

If you are a social enterprise that needs certification, or are interested in purchasing products from social enterprises, please contact Ian to learn more.

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Defining Results and How to Measure Them

Social Enterprise Marketing Campaigns Part 2

Now that we’ve determined what our goals are and how our branding directs our goals, how will we know when we’ve achieved our goals? If you don’t have an immediate way of answering it, then you need to define what measurements you are going to use, and what results will indicate a completed goal.

So, how do you determine what counts as positive results? This will depend on what kind of goals you set for yourself. If you selected an unlimited goal, then you’ll want to set up measurements that test your efficiency, or your recurring impact. If you have a bounded goal, then you will want to set up measurements that allow you to measure progress towards the desired endpoint the goal describes.

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Podcast: Amanda Bernardo with Little Voice Books

Amanda Bernardo is half of Little Voice Books, an independent children's book publishing company. She is the author behind Little Voice and The Lighthouse. Along with her illustrator Samantha, they have built up the company around these two books.

We talk about the challenges of marketing books and growing a business with small roots. We also talk about how to organize a company to be able to have the capacity to grow into new areas.

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Podcast: The Networks of Anne Kresta

Anne Kresta is the President and CEO of Level IT Up, a social enterprise that helps people with autism with job training, while providing quality IT workers for Winnipeg tech companies.

Throughout our conversation, Anne would always mention how what they're doing would not be possible without the support of various groups of people. From her board, to the network of similar organizations, to the autism community. Networks are powerful for social enterprise, and it's important to be connected to both other social impact organizations, as well as the customers you hope to serve.

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Podcast: Diversified Impact with Kalen Taylor

Kalen Taylor stepped into the role of Executive Director at Purpose Construction and Purpose Pest Management in 2018. Since they started, they have been working at re-branding and separating out the two areas of their expertise, residential retrofits and pest management.

As a part of this process, Kalen has been leading Purpose to expand their offerings to better serve their community, and their staff.

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Podcast: The Relationships of Social Enterprise with Kristy Muckosky

Kristy Muckosky uses the relationships with volunteers at the Thrive Thrift Shop to help them build their confidence and grow to see new possibilities. She does this by providing them with a space where they can take chances, learn how to keep trying after failures, and do so in a non-judgemental environment.

The Thrive Thrift Shop is a community based thrift shop offering household goods from diapers to bedsheets to the north end community of Winnipeg. They also provide training to volunteers to help them learn how to handle customers and retail customer service.

Disclosure: At the time of recording I am serving a term on the board of Thrive Community Support Circle.

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Building a Brand, and Goal Setting

Social Enterprise Marketing Campaigns Part 1

As you start out with your marketing, you need to have a good grasp of what your brand is. You probably have an idea of what your brand is, whether it is written down or not. Having an explicitly written brand is essential. By having written brand values and characteristics all of your marketing and communications efforts will be connected.

If you don’t know what your brand is, think about your brand as a person. One individual. What is their personality? How do they present themselves? Who would they spend time with? Do they speak like a California surfer dude, or like a kindergarten teacher? What does this person value?

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Ride your bike

Or: Values, Alignment, and Customer Questions

Marketing is about aligning your product or service with the values of your customers, then helping them overcome the objections they might have about purchasing the product or service.

I’ve been thinking about this concept for a while now. As of right now, I’m convinced it’s one of the most important intersections between marketing and sales. I’m going to break it down in a couple different ways. First off, aligning the product or service with values. Second, aligning those values with the right customers. Third, overcoming the objections between first contact with your brand, and the point of purchase.

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Podcast: Social Procurement and Work Integration with Art Ladd

Art Ladd is the Executive Director of BUILD - Building Urban Industries for Local Development. The majority of his work is centered around helping people who have barriers to employment. BUILD helps them by providing paid training and work placements so they can apply to other companies with experience and a reference.

Art also explains how aspiring social entrepreneurs can look for social problems that can be solved while also solving an economic problem.

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Overcoming Objections

Or: Values, Alignment, and Customer Questions

Marketing is about aligning your product or service with the values of your customers, then helping them overcome the objections they might have about purchasing the product or service.

I’ve been thinking about this concept for a while now. As of right now, I’m convinced it’s one of the most important intersections between marketing and sales. I’m going to break it down in a couple different ways. First off, aligning the product or service with values. Second, aligning those values with the right customers. Third, overcoming the objections between first contact with your brand, and the point of purchase.

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Podcast: Marty Donkervoort with Business Skills and Social Values

Marty Donkervoort is a Manitoba based social entrepreneur and educator. He's founded multiple worker co-ops and social enterprises, done consulting and teaches courses on social enterprise and sustainability.

Marty suggests that social enterprises cannot thrive without the business skills to compete in the marketplace. He also explains his story of transitioning from being an executive in a multinational corporation to working in the social sector.

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Compete With Products And With Branding.

Or: Direct, Indirect, And Replacement Competition

Who is your competition?

In some areas of life, there is an easy answer. If you play on a football team, clearly the other teams are your competition. If you are a football league commissioner, then it’s a little more complicated. You could see other team sports as your competition, from rugby to soccer to baseball. Beyond even that, if you’re a coach of a community team for 15-year olds, you’re trying to compete for the attention and focus of your players. You’re competing with school, music teachers, video games, and raging teenage hormones.

Competition is not as clear cut as we might like it to be. The same applies to marketing.

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Marketing 101: Products

Or: Sell it Again, Sell to Someone New, Sell Something New, or All of the Above.

To grow a business, it needs to raise revenue. There are two ways to raise revenues. You have to either sell more things or sell to someone new. I know there are other ways to raise revenues, such as raising prices, but we’ll be focusing on products for this post. You can read more about pricing here.

As a social enterprise, you will have to sell something. Whether you choose to sell physical products, digital products, services or advertising space, you are selling something to someone. You will also either be developing a new product or service, or you will be trying to sell an existing product to more people, or to the same people multiple times.

Let’s consider starting a coffee shop: Hypothetical SocEnt Café.

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Podcast: Shaun Loney and the Solutions Economy

Shaun Loney is a Manitoba based social enterprise developer. He has started several social enterprises, and has been an advisor for many more. He has also written three books on the subject.

Shaun urges us to examine the systems within which we live and work. He has encouraged me and many others to try to work towards finding solutions for the problems that are caused by our systems.

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Marketing 101: The 4 Ps of Marketing

Over the next couple blog posts, I will be going over the basics of marketing, and how it can be applied by social enterprises and social entrepreneurs. For this series I will be focusing on what you need to get from thinking about starting a social enterprise, to getting your first customers.

When you’re starting out as a new business, many of the decisions you make will affect how you can do marketing in the future. Your choices as you’re starting up will form the associations that people will have with your brand based on what you make, how it’s priced, where they can buy it and how you will let people know about your product or service. (from here on, I’ll be using ‘product’ to refer to both products and services)

These components make up what is traditionally called the 4Ps of marketing.

Product

Price

Place

Promotion

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Keep Focused on What Matters - Strategy Made Simple Strategic Review

Starting a new year is a great natural break point. Most people at this time are naturally reflecting on what happened in the past year and are at the same time looking to what the new year will hold. I took some time over the holidays to take a break from client work and focused in on what Strategy Made Simple is about and where I’m heading with it.

I’m sharing my process here so that you can use this check in format for your social enterprise. It also has the added benefit of giving you a sneak preview of the things I’m hoping to work on in the upcoming year.

I recommend doing a check in like this at least once per year if you’re a small business, but as you grow it might help to do this check in more frequently. At the end of this post I’ve included a couple different sections you might want to add depending on what kind of business you’re running.

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Podcast: Our Stories and Our Values with Cate Friesen

What do our stories say about us? How do we show our values through our stories? How can we change the way we feel about ourselves by changing how we talk about ourselves?

These are all things that Cate and I talk about in this episode of the Strategy Made Simple podcast. Find out how you can tell better stories about your social enterprise.

Cate Friesen is the person behind The Story Source. She does coaching and facilitates workshops to help you or your organization find your story and teach you how to tell your story.

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Podcast: Animal Assisted Social Enterprise with Kathryn Kimbley

Kathryn Kimbley is pursuing a PhD studying nascent social entrepreneurs, in addition to running her own animal assisted therapy social enterprise called HumAnimaCIC. She is based in the Midlands in the United Kingdom.

She spoke about her personal story of getting into social enterprise, what it looks like for people to participate in animal assisted therapy, and how social enterprises might be able to incorporate animals into their operations. We also talked about the gaps between academics and practitioners, and the lack of a solid definition of social enterprise.

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Podcast: A National Network of Collaboration with Mike Toye

Mike Toye is the Executive Director of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCED-Net). Through his work, he attempts to bring together diverse perspectives on Community Economic Development and share successful innovations across the national community.

I got a chance to speak with him while attending the CCED-Net Manitoba Gathering, a national conference where CED academics and practitioners get together and share ideas and perspectives.

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Podcast: Teresa Prokopanko - Community Based Social Marketing

Community Based Social Marketing (CBMS) is a system for promoting ideas and advocating within groups of people. It has been used by advocacy agencies to understand where their efforts are most likely to produce the results they are looking for, and whether people are likely to respond positively towards their initiatives.

Teresa Prokopanko is the Composting Coordinator for Green Action Centre in Winnipeg. In this episode she explains how small organizations can use CBSM practices as a framework for their impact campaigns.

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