Why did I start this blog series?
Many social entrepreneurs are driving social change with their innovative business ideas. But not many of them are using marketing effectively.
Following are the few of the reasons for this.
- Social entrepreneurs often lack enough resources to do effective marketing
- There are a very few options available for them to learn marketing which is customized to social enterprises
- Many think marketing is a mere promotion or advertising and is important only for commercial organizations.
I started this blog series to emphasize the importance of marketing for social enterprises and to help you understand marketing easily with the help of the key building blocks of marketing.
I will discuss each of these blocks in separate blog posts in detail with real stories of social enterprises. I will also provide you with downloadable worksheets which will help you apply these concepts to your business.
So, how marketing benefits social enterprises?
There are many benefits of effective social enterprise marketing including the following important benefits.
- Efficient use of funds and resources
- Accelerating business growth and thus
- Amplifying social impact
What is marketing?
The simplest definition I can suggest is:
“Marketing is Identifying and meeting customer needs profitably”
Philip Kotler, The Father of Modern Marketing, says
“Marketing is about identifying and meeting human and social needs.”
The practical way to understand marketing is to know its different components as used by businesses in practice. These components include marketing research, product strategy, pricing strategy, distribution strategy, and promotion strategies like sales promotion, advertising, direct marketing, public relations, and personal selling, and word-of-mouth marketing.
The Building Blocks of Marketing:
Marketing Information System (MIS)
The purpose of MIS is to gather, analyze, evaluate marketing data and distribute insights to marketing decision makers. Marketers use these insights to make business decisions.
Segmenting, Targeting and Positioning
Divide markets into groups of consumers or segments with distinct needs (Segmentation).
Identify market segments which you can serve effectively (Targeting).
Develop products and marketing messages to occupy a distinctive place in the minds of target customers (Positioning).
Marketing-mix tools or the 4Ps of marketing: product, price, place, and promotion. You can make marketing-mix decisions to influence your trade channels or final consumers.
Make or customize products that meet customers’ needs. The product includes goods, services, events, experiences, persons, places, information, ideas, and causes.
Define prices, buyers are willing to pay and you and/or your trade channels are willing to sell.
Choose places where products will be accessible.
Choose communication channels and communicate persuasively with consumers to prompt the desired response.
Strategies and Tactics in Marketing
Both strategies and tactics are very important to implement effective marketing activities and to reach set business goals.
Strategies involve plans for reaching specific goals and tactics involve practical ways to implement the strategies. You need to come up with strategies and tactics for each of the 4Ps to reach the set goals.
What is your approach to social enterprise marketing? I would love to hear your views.