A couple months ago, my parents were in town visiting and I had a few work commitments on the calendar. One was a low-key presentation I was giving at my favorite Friday morning networking group on branding for non-profits. Despite my graying hair, my parents still see me as 10 years old, and they jumped at the chance to come see my presentation.
I'll admit - I was a little nervous. Mom is always supportive and even if she doesn't understand what I'm talking about, she'll still say, "You sounded so smart! I'm so proud." Dad on the other hand was going to have a lot of opinions. Especially since he recently retired from business development and marketing, he'll jump at any opportunity to talk about branding and what works and what doesn't.
After the presentation and discussion with non-profit marketing and communications directors in the room - many of them with churches - my dad had a revelation. He saw that marketing and branding is no different no matter what industry you are in. "It's funny," he said to me, "I never thought about the marketing person at a Catholic Church having the same problems I've had." Dad managed business and marketing across most of North America for a Canadian-based trucking company. I was glad he had the opportunity to see that marketing is marketing is marketing whether your budget is $1,500/month or $15,000/month.
This presentation gave me the idea to write our first e-book on how to do big things with a small budget. Although it was written with this non-profit audience in mind, I realized afterwards that these are strategies for any business that wants to have effective marketing from the ground up. For some big businesses, these "obvious" strategies have been implemented and part of the company's culture for years - but someone had to start it. For many non-profits and smaller businesses, why can't that be now?
It can be a lonely and frustrating road sometimes (trust me, I've been there), but it doesn't mean it's not the right path for your organization. Marketing is not born naturally out of good intentions - it's made by thoughtful people who don't give up on consistency - like you.