Marketing is not a Department

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ReWork is the perhaps the best business book I have read.  Ever.  
It is incredibly thought provoking and we have given dozens of copies to our customers over the years and every NimblePalooza 2013 attendee will get a copy to take back as well.

There are about 90 quick to read (many are just one page) chapters on a variety of topics.  It is hard to choose a favorite takeaway but here is mine:

Everything (Yes, it’s True) is Marketing

Marketing is not a department.  According to the authors (Jason Fried and David Hansson) marketing is the sum of virtually everything you do.  For example:

  • Every time you answer the phone, it’s marketing.
  • Every time someone uses your product, it’s marketing.
  • If you build software, every error message is marketing.

​Since first reading the original 37 Signals Manifesto in 1999 and attending our first 37 Signals conference to reading their books, we at NimbleUser have really embraced their simple software philosophy.  Nimble AMS is a reflection of how even enterprise Association Management Software can be made simple and easy to use.

Can your Association be ‘ReWorked’?

The advice in the ground breaking book is not just for software firms – the lessons can be applied to Associations as well.  Think of the marketing opportunities at your organization:

  • Your dues or conference invoice is marketing.
  • Your self service portal for members is marketing.
  • Every word and the look and feel of your website is marketing.

Can you make these ‘marketing items’ more appealing or easier to use?  Do they adequately reflect your image and mission?  My guess is that there are likely opportunities to ‘ReWork’ these.

Additional Chapters Relevant to Professional and Trade Associations:

  • Make a dent in the Universe (Page 31).  See Matt’s recent post on this.
  • Don’t Copy (page 135)
  • Emulate Drug Dealers (Page 191) – Give customers a small free taste that will make them come back for more.  See Jeff’s recent post on this.
  • Quick wins (Page 115).  You build momentum by actually getting something done and moving on.  The longer something takes, the less likely it is to get finished.