Do you delight? If not, you are not in marketing.

What is marketing? Text books define it in several ways, but according to Bill Pearce, faculty at the Hass School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, marketing is the product, your store or site, the experience you give to your customers, and ultimately it is YOU and your company.

While it’s tough for us to pick the best marketer, we can find companies that create “unimaginable differentiation”  in a particular market. Pearce cited Cirque de Soleil, that has made all it’s competitors irrelevant in a short time span. The tactic? They delivered product differentiation while lowering costs by a third.

Basically, they reinvented a dead industry- circus. They went from a $100 million company to a $700 million company while their major competitor Ringling Bros “did the same thing they always did.”

Pearce  was speaking at a Phoenix marketing summit organized by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce earlier today. He said marketers shouldn’t assume nor should they care about the whiners inside your business. Instead, “use your constraints as a catalyst for change.”

Good marketers ” look at what everyone else looks at but sees what no one else saw.” They convey rational thoughts and emotions through their brands.

Ultimately, every company should ask: Do we delight? This mindset is what marketing is all about.

A smart donor is a focused donor

Who is a smart donor?

The rich one, the venture capitalist with an aching altruistic feeling or the one who wants to leave a legacy? There is no specific answer to what motivates one to give. However, money alone will not bring  real impact.

In a recent discussion,  three foundation leaders, Sheila Leddy of the NewYork- based Fledgling Fund, Dick Donaldson, of the Ohio-based Donaldson Charitable Gift Fund and  Janis Reischmann, of the Hawaii-based  Hau’oli Mau Loa Foundation, came to a very clear conclusion: A smart donor is a focused donor. According to Sara Beggs at the Association of Small Foundations, organizers of a Webinar on this topic, “focusing your giving leads to greater fulfillment.”

 Donors start focusing their giving when:

  1.  They ask if their funds have had an impact
  2.  They want to know how they could involve their children
  3. And, when they decide to say NO to the large number of requests they get

Focused donors look at common passion, shared values or immediate linkages to a personal issue. For instance, a donor who saw  a family member die of cancer might look at giving to health-related causes. Others would like to invest in real people and see transformative changes on a first-hand basis.  Smart donors want to be catalysts for real, measurable change.

Smart donors conduct a through scan of their environment. They talk to people running non-profit entities, try to get involved and understand what they are doing before deciding to invest. Some others opt for extensive  data mining before they decide to invest. They like to personalize where their funding goes, they want to be realistic about impact, would love to listen and are willing to make mid-course changes if things don’t work out.

In conclusion, a focused donor is a smart donor. The donor builds expertise in an area of philanthropic investment, becomes an effective partner and nurtures long-term relationships.