Posts tagged strategy
What's Different About Awareness Marketing?

Or: Why Should I Care About Marketing Funnels?

If you’ve been paying any attention to social media in the past few years, you will have seen the huge growth of viral awareness campaigns. These were typically started by non-profits and other organizations that require donations to continue functioning. One of the most popular and effective campaigns was the ice bucket challenge that was created by the ALS association.

Awareness campaigns like this are based on a few key assumptions. The first is that people will share information about an issue once they find out about it. The second is that if people know about an important cause or issue, they are more likely to do something about it. The third is that once they want to do something, there is a good chance that they will donate or make some other kind of contribution towards the goals outlined in the campaign.

One of the challenges with these campaigns is that the assumptions aren’t necessarily accurate. Reports on the ice bucket challenge found that (in the UK) only 10% of people who actively participated donated towards the cause. So why did so few who were actively involved not follow through and donate?

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Defining Success

Or: What makes a social enterprise?

How you define success should influence your pricing, distribution, packaging, employment practices, and more. Every aspect of your operations should point back to your definition.

We each have different priorities for our lives. We want different things and we value some things over others. For myself, being able to live close to my family and get intentional time with them each week is something that I value over having a larger home or the chance to live somewhere exotic.

When we choose our priorities individually, we are making decisions about how we use our time and our energy, what kinds of things we spend our money on and the kinds of people we build relationships with. When we find and define what our personal success looks like, it is easier to find the path that leads towards fulfillment.

As a business, making an explicit definition of success is the key to making an impact. By expressing and committing to a definition of success that goes beyond profit you can become a social enterprise.

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Use What You Already Have

How skilled do you think you are at your job? How skilled are you at your hobbies? Is your skill level between your work activities and your hobbies connected?

I believe if you find ways to connect the different skills you have, you will be more effective in all areas. In looking at different aspects of your skills, you can find useful perspectives that you already use, but in different areas of your life.

Typically, only soft skills are described as transferable skills. Abilities like public speaking, leadership, time management, and interpersonal skills. I allow the definition to be quite a bit wider than that. I include understanding different organizational systems, competence with specific technical software, and understanding design principles as transferable skills, as well as most other technical skills.

With each new skill that is added to your toolkit, you get a new mindset that can be drawn on. Whenever you are actively using a skill, you may notice that you start to see what you do in a different way. You shift into a different mindset to better use your skill.

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Transferable Skills

How skilled do you think you are at your job? How skilled are you at your hobbies? Is your skill level between your work activities and your hobbies connected?

I believe if you find ways to connect the different skills you have, you will be more effective in all areas. In looking at different aspects of your skills, you can find useful perspectives that you already use, but in different areas of your life.

Typically, only soft skills are described as transferable skills. Abilities like public speaking, leadership, time management, and interpersonal skills. I allow the definition to be quite a bit wider than that. I include understanding different organizational systems, competence with specific technical software, and understanding design principles as transferable skills, as well as most other technical skills.

With each new skill that is added to your toolkit, you get a new mindset that can be drawn on. Whenever you are actively using a skill, you may notice that you start to see what you do in a different way. You shift into a different mindset to better use your skill.

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Urgency and Importance

There are a lot of tasks that get done in a typical day. If you’re anything like me, you’ve got a never-ending list of tasks and chores that should get done.  How do you decide what has to happen first and what has to wait?

I can’t remember where I first heard about the distinction between urgent and important. It seems like it is possibly one of the most significant tools for social entrepreneurs or nonprofit organizers. It is also known as the Eisenhower principle.

The Eisenhower principle is used to decide whether a given task is important, urgent, both or neither, and then to prioritize your time toward the important tasks.

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How to Set Goals

How do you set goals?

Many people set goals that are meaningless and have no grounding in reality. You can do better than that.

I see goals as being separated into two categories. First there are high level goals. Things like “engage the community” or “increase sales.”  Next there are specific goals, which I call objectives. Objectives are things like “increase average webpage visit by 10 seconds in 3 months.”

Goals are only useful if they lead to good objectives. If you stop at goals, they are meaningless.

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