The Analogy of the Parade

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2010

Looking at the marketing of most organizations is like standing on the sidewalk watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Marketing promotions, events, and activities pass by like parade floats; some are more impressive in design than others, but the parade continues.

The individual items in the parade may not be related to one another, but they are all entertaining in their own way. The parade goes by, float by float…or, rather event by event, promotion by promotion. It’s quite a spectacle to watch.

Then, as the Santa Claus float appears (the end of the year), the marketer knows the parade is almost over until next year. No one seems to stop to ask what all the marketing activity parading by in the nonprofit’s schedule has to do with the results on the bottom line. As long as the promotional items look good (or, at least, look better than last year’s stuff) everyone is satisfied.

What nonprofit marketers need is a parade master who develops a theme for all the marketing they do and leverages the momentum from one marketing activity to the next with the benefit of the organization’s objectives always in mind.

The parade master for your marketing plan is a Guerrilla Marketing calendar. Create a document with 52 lines, one for every week in the year. In five columns across the list each 1) number of the week 2) thrust or emphasis for that week 3) marketing weapons used 4) budget for the week 5) record your results at the end of the week (i.e.; responses, dollars, rating scale, etc). Now all your marketing activity can be seen at a glance, and as a Guerrilla, you can organize your parade of marketing actions into a Guerrilla Marketing victory march for your organization.

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