With all the information and advice I throw at you on this blog, I sometimes wonder how you process all of it.

I encourage you to work on all the stages of the marketing funnel, from generating new leads to maintaining an ongoing relationship with your donors.

I even get into specifics like honoree films and alumni films, or suggest you check out crowdfunding or bolster your social media presence.

And I’m sure I’m not your only source of information. With all the different marketing techniques and approaches out there, you’ve probably encountered at least a few that speak to you and seem like they would be a good fit for your personality and organization.

How do you handle this kind of sheer volume? It’s overwhelming. Where do you start? How much of what you’ve read and heard even applies to your situation? What do you do when your various gurus contradict each other?

Taking a deep breath

Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy answer. As nice as it would be, I can’t offer you a perfect, pre-fabricated solution that we can declare The Right Choice for all circumstances. I’d love one of those for myself, but life is messier than that.

We all have our own particular responsibilities to handle, unique variables that we need to account for. Ultimately, we have to make some judgment calls.

What I can tell you is how I go about deciding on my priorities, choosing between various systems and strategies.

Making a map

What I find is that the more methodical I can be in laying out the question, the easier it is to come up with the answer.

If I want to know where to direct my energies, I need to understand what the needs of my company are. I need to look at my relationships and see how they’re doing at every stage.

Where am I strong? Where do I find that I’m missing some key element and losing out on opportunities as a result?

Then I make a list of the tools at my disposal. What stage of a sale is any given tool best suited for? How effective are they? What kind of trade-offs do they involve in terms of cost and ROI?

Be as specific as you can be. What would you get out of investing in SEO? Creating more content for your blog? Sending out an email ad campaign?

Then start planning—not just what you want to do first, but for the long term.

Updating your website might not be the first step, but is it the second or third? How can you allocate your budget to accommodate both your immediate and big picture needs?

When there’s so much to consider, sometimes you won’t be able to get a handle on it until you actually sit down and start plotting it out. But once you do, once you really dig into the details, you can feel secure in having a plan that covers all the angles.

Do you have a good system for making your marketing decisions? Email us and let us know.

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