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A Marketing Plan is a scheme for informing specific audiences about a project or initiative. Its nature and scope vary with the selection criteria applied during proposal review. It may serve one or more of several distinct – but related –  purposes:

  1. Contribute to positive public perceptions about the applicant organization.
  2. Build general audience awareness during a funding period.
  3. Create local support for future continued funding after an initial grant ends.
  4. Let audiences know how they may participate in or benefit from the funded activities.
  5. Share information about locally successful strategies.
  6. Encourage other organizations to adopt or adapt some or all of those strategies.

Marketing combines communications, publicity, dissemination, and public relations. It uses networks, associations, clearinghouses, and well-selected social and communications media to inform, publicize, and build community awareness of and support for a project or initiative.

Any one or more means of communication or information sharing can be used for marketing. Choices of specific marketing media should fit and reach your specific target audiences.

In ordinary practice, an applicant’s resource limits will constrain its selection and use of social and communications media to market its project or initiative.


Building Marketing Plans:

In planning to describe a Marketing Plan in a proposal, several questions prove useful:

Objectives: What specific, measurable marketing results do you want to achieve? What will be your criteria for success in the marketing plan?

Media: Who are your target audiences? Which media will you use to reach them? How will you use these media? How often will you use them?

Activities: What types of marketing will you use? What strategies will you use? How will you publicize the project or initiative? How will you help others to benefit from it?

Time: What will be your timeline for key marketing activities? Which activities will be ongoing processes (e.g., a website)? Which activities will be discrete events (e.g., a conference)?

Personnel: Who will do the marketing? Who will supervise it? Will marketing activities require any new personnel or consultants? What qualifications will they need?

Resources: Do you have adequate existing facilities, equipment, and supplies to support your marketing activities? How can you obtain needed any facilities, equipment, and supplies?

Evaluation: How will you measure and report success in marketing? How will you use results to make midcourse adjustments to marketing strategies?

Budget: What will marketing activities cost? How will they be financed? How will you absorb and continue key marketing activities when a grant ends?

This post is one in a series about questions useful in planning competitive grant proposals.


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