I’m speaking this afternoon to a group of executive transition leadership folks who wanted help thinking about how to market their services.I was asked to share some general thoughts on marketing. I’m going to share here what I’ll say, because like these folks, you probably struggle from time to time on how to take a complex idea and make it instantly compelling to your audience. These classics are probably useful to you as a nonprofit marketer.Here’s what I’m going to say:1. First, tackle positioning – ie the marketing sweet spot.That’s the intersection between:-What your organization focuses upon (which is hopefully what you’re good at)-What you do better than anyone else (what is completely unique about you)-What your audience cares aboutIf you know me, you know this Venn diagram, which has appeared here before. It is SO IMPORTANT, because we tend to spend too much time ensconced in the righthand circle. We trumpet our merits and call it marketing. It’s not. Our audience members may not care about those merits, or they may feel they are getting what they want from their status quo approaches (or inaction).Marketing takes into account competition (the lower circle) and the audience’s interests (the lefthand circle). It defines a good position in the marketplace as the INTERSECTION of all three areas.This diagram is based on the work of some branding folks and Jim Collins’ hedgehog concept.2. Second, turn that positioning into messages.The best messages directly address the following:Why people should careWhat specific action you’re asking people to takeWhat personally relevant reward they’ll get in exchange for taking that actionWhy taking that action is better than what they are doing now (the competition)Why they should take action now (as opposed to later or never – there needs to be a sense of urgency)Who claims all this is true (you need a trusted messenger)You want your audience to engage with you and think:I want to do this right now! If I (take the action you’re asking), I will get (this great benefit you’re offering) which will be far preferable to (whatever I’m doing now) because (a trusted person told me so).If you’re not getting that outcome, you’ve got a positioning problem and a messaging problem.