Scott Allen CreatiVLOG Ep 13 | Two Ways for External Research

Look before jumping into the creative.

We get it, the creative is the fun aspect of marketing. It is what’s inspiring. It’s the thing that gets noticed the most. This is what makes people react to.

The power of creativity is moving. It gets the most attention.

Attention = $ (donations)

But, what needs to happen before the creative process?
Research! At least that is what the research says…🥁

We have discussed how to conduct research internally, but now it is time to look outward.

Two places to look for research:

#1 Your Competition

When we hear the word competition, what thoughts or emotions come to mind: Superiority or inferiority? Victory or defeat? Pride or fear? The word competition is not an enduring word, especially in the nonprofit sector. We are all trying to do good, not compete right? But, they are better at doing good than us! 

When it comes to doing your research, you must look at other nonprofit organizations that are going after the same donor dollars as you and ask the questions:

  • What are they saying in their messaging?
  • What are they doing to look the way they do?

Your brand must be different from their brand. Their colors must be different from your colors. Your message should stand apart from what they are saying. 

By looking at your competition, you will know what’s already been done and what is currently out there. Steer away from aspects that make them, them.

This will eliminate confusion, thus your donor dollars potentially going toward someone else that looks and sounds like you.

Bottom Line: Know what your competition is doing so you don’t look and sound like them.

#2 Best-In-Class

When we are in the process of learning something, we tend to look toward the experts to see how they do it. We see success and naturally want to emulate it.

In our research, we should look at other nonprofits on a larger scale, who are doing amazing things. This is about gleaning any insights on how they operate, or figuring out the strategies they implement to gain the success they have. Also ask these questions:

  • Are there standards in the industry that you should be aware of?
  • Are there things they are intentionally avoiding due to culture?
  • What led them to make the decisions they have made?

If a nonprofit raises $10 million a year, would you like to know strategies and the decisions they make to get those results? We also tend to focus on other people’s successes without knowing all the mistakes they’ve made along the way. Researching the best allows us to learn the not only what they’re doing right but also from their mistakes.

Bottom Line: Gain insights from the best without directly stealing their ideas.

Do your research by looking around at others to help provide the guidelines of what to do and what not to do in your creative. 

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