When Programming Can’t Cover a Check Marketing Writes

When Programming Can’t Cover the Check Marketing Writes

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Marketing works very hard to set a project in motion with a new partner outside of the organization. If it pans out, everyone wins. The organization gains additional visibility in the community. The creative folks get a chance to flex their muscles. And your new found partner is pleased that they’ve developed a relationship with an innovative group of thinkers who serve an audience that is currently underdeveloped. Win-Win-Win.

But somewhere on the way to the altar, reality gets in the way.

Perhaps it’s the funding model? Perhaps it’s the human resources necessary to make this project take flight? Perhaps the idea was half baked from the very beginning?

In any event, what started out to be a successful project for everyone on board, suddenly hits the proverbial brick wall. Supporters start jumping off the band wagon. And you’re left asking “what happened?”

It’s at times like these that great marketists find a way to a new solution. One needs to figure out a way to rebuild from the very foundation of what made the project so great from the very beginning. It’s also at times like these that one needs to put on their big girl boots and figure out a way to negotiate a mutually agreeable deal.

Will both sides be happy? Probably not. But if you can stick to the goal of launching the project, you know that it is quite possible the results will exceed everyone’s expectations, and then both parties can begin reaping the rewards.

The new paradigm is now for marketers to be involved from the very beginning with the creatives to work jointly on programs, with marketers playing an important supporting role. But as the title suggests, sales and marketing sometimes get ahead of the curve and need to drag the programming side kicking and screaming to the table.

Sales is notorious for overpromising and under-delivering, but the really successful marketists do a good job at balancing the two. All bets seems to be off though when the artists and creative are brought into the conversation.

If you’re lucky, you will work with a team that understands the power of promotion. The team gets the fact that in the end there are business objectives that need to be met – either through publicity, awareness, fundraising, development, ticket sales or some other outcome, that affords the organization the money to pay the rent, paint the props, commission the new work and compensate the staff.

Even with all of that said, you may be stuck in the middle of a battle between the immovable object (your programming team) and an irresistible force (the promise sold to your partner). Many times these issues arise from the notion that the product your team puts forth may be substandard, and while we’re certainly not advocating promotion of anything less than your very best, most of the time we have far higher standards than anyone would ever notice.

In the end, we encourage you to always continue to push the envelope to open new avenues for promotion and strategic partnership building to further your cause. There’s no better promoter for your organization than you and your artists and performers. Work to find every way possible to leverage these unique assets you possess, and don’t worry about covering the check, if your organization is working as a true team, they’ll pull out all the stops to make your project, and you, a success.

 

About

Sean King has been consulting with small businesses and non-profit organizations for 25 years. Currently, Sean is a principal in the Aspire Consulting Group providing solutions and training for arts, events and non-profit marketing professionals and their organizations. Clients include Youth Education in the Arts (YEA!) and a growing list of satisfied organizations. Sean speaks regularly throughout the U.S. including at the IFEA Annual Conference, Arts Reach Conference, AFP, 92Y, CiviCRM User Summit, PA Council on the Arts, Michigan Festivals & Event Annual Conference. Sean serves as the Marketing Chairperson for the Hamilton District Main Street, a program of the Allentown Chamber of Commerce in Allentown and is a Co-Chair of the Arts & Culture Committee for the Upside Allentown initiative. You can follow Sean on Twitter @skingaspire or email him anytime at sking.aspire@gmail.com

Posted in Creativity, Marketing, Marketist, Partnerships

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About Sean King
Sean King has been consulting with small businesses and non-profit organizations for 25 years.  Currently, Sean is a principle in the Aspire Consulting Group providing solutions and training for arts, events and non-profit marketing professionals and their organizations. Clients include Youth Education in the Arts (YEA!) and a growing list of satisfied organizations. Sean speaks regularly throughout the United States including at the IFEA Annual Conference, Arts Reach Conference, AFP, 92Y, CiviCRM User Summit, PA Council on the Arts, Michigan Festivals & Event Annual Conference.  Sean serves as the Marketing Chairperson for the Hamilton District Main Street program in Allentown and is a Co-Chair of the Arts & Culture Committee for the Upside Allentown initiative. He also blogs a artsmarketingblog.org.  You can follow Sean on Twitter @skingaspire. Sean resides with his wife Natalie and son Haydn in the global crossroads of Fogelsville, Pa.