Within the Development Office, terms such as advertising, development, marketing, merchandising, promotion, and sales are often freely interchanged. This can be dangerous as these words have unique meanings, and a poor understanding can harm the organization’s mission.
Wrestling with these definitions is not new. Over one hundred years ago, people sought to understand similar concepts. A humorous yet relevant answer came from PT Barnum in describing the circus coming to town-
“If the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying, ‘Circus Coming to the Fairground Saturday,’ that’s advertising.
If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk it into town, that’s promotion.
If the elephant walks through the mayor’s flower bed, that’s publicity. And if you get the mayor to laugh about it, that’s public relations.
If the town’s citizens go to the circus, you show them the many entertainment booths, explain how much fun they’ll have spending money at the booths: answer their questions, and ultimately, they spend a lot at the circus, that’s sales.” – PT Barnum
Here are commonly used terms within organizations:
The communication of a product or service’s value through a paid medium –such as the internet, radio, magazine TV, or signage– where the messaging is controlled and polished by the sponsor for public consumption. Advertising is not marketing.
A brand is a logo, name, or design associated with a product or service. A brand is a symbolic link to all the information connected to a product, service, or idea. A brand often includes a specific logo, fonts, and colors.
Development is about developing and enhancing relationships with donors for the long-term success of your organization’s mission. The timeframe for development is to ensure current and future funding.
Direct marketing includes catalogs, postcards, direct mail, and email. The strength of direct marketing is that items can be tracked and results measured by the sender. A weakness if this is rarely successful for the time and energy involved unless you can specifically target your audience. If you have ever received a donation request in the mail from a local nonprofit, this is a form of direct marketing.
Cause selling is the process of seeking out potential donors who have a need, interest, and passion for your cause, assisting them to recognize and define that need, showing or demonstrating to them how your cause fulfills that need, and inspiring them to donate to your cause. Those who champion “selling” for their cause often have a poor grasp of what marketing is, or the value of their organization’s mission needs to be more targeted.
Graphic design is about visually communicating information. It includes both the design and production sides of a product.
Fundraising is not the same as development; fundraising is a component of development. Fundraising is about income generation and involves an exchange in the now: an ask for money and a return on that ask. The timeframe is short-term and addresses or solves an immediate need. There is little to no potential for the donor to grow with your organization’s mission into the future. If all your organization does is fundraising, your organization will be short-lived.
A logo is a symbol representing the identity of a company or institution.
A basic definition is that marketing is the art of communicating your products, services, or ideas to a market; a market is a group of people who have a want or need for your product. Another definition of marketing is about influencing people and their decision-making abilities. The most practical definition of marketing is to answer this question, “How do I help my customers to succeed, and how do I nurture others so that when they are ready, they think of my service/product?”
Merchandising is about finding the right products, price, promotion, and location on the store shelf. Merchandising can also refer to a brand or image from one product used to sell another.
Packaging and Labeling:
Packaging is the science, art, and technology of enclosing or protecting products for distribution, storage, sale, and use. Labeling is any written, electronic, or graphic communication on packaging or a separate but associated label.
A product is anything offered to a market that might satisfy a want or need.
Promotion involves disseminating information about a product, product line, brand, or company. Promotion can include direct promotion, where an advertiser pays an advertising agency to place an advert, or indirect promotion, where the consumer is unaware that promotion is taking place, as are sponsorships or endorsements.
Promotional items are general merchandise given away free of charge to increase interest in or sales of a product or service. Promotional items can be referred to as “novelty items,” “swag,” or “tchotchkes.”
P.R. is the deliberate attempt to manage the public’s perception of a subject. Publicity is when information about a company, product, or service is communicated to the public via the mass media.
Sales are the act of providing buyers with a product or service in exchange for money or other compensation. Sales are not marketing, it is the practical implementation of marketing. Still confused? Think of it this way, marketing gets them through the door, sales get them to sign on the dotted line.
These efforts are designed to have an immediate impact on sales. These can include coupons, discounts, contests, rebates, and free samples.
POP (Point of Purchase):
POP displays help to display a product. Such displays are generally located on an aisle at the point where the decision to buy is made by a consumer.
POS (Point of Sale):
The POS is where you pay at the cash register. Many are already familiar with the POS areas at the grocery store where candy and magazines are made available to captive shoppers while standing in line.