For Associations: Business Case for a Marketing & Development Director

Social media in particular has opened up the need for new skills in social interaction, communications, and marketing. Associations are one non-profit in particular that needs to tap into this skill base. But, as with many emerging fields, executive directors don’t know what to expect from these professionals. They are not always familiar with how the skills can revolutionize their culture and their bottom lines in the age of mobile technology. Allow me to educate.

Re-imagine your Development operation as combined with your Communications. Makes sense. Now, expand your vision of a social media manager to a Content Developer and Storyteller. Give the position a cool title like Marketing & Development Director. Following is the job description. Executive Directors and CEOs need to know what to expect, and be ready for the $63,000 and up price tag. And…you’re welcome.

  1. collegeusadultliteracyCollege Credits 
Partner with universities to create a pipeline for students seeking advanced degrees. Develop alternative content delivery building upon the degree-granting ability of the university with the network of the association. Provide intensives, practice-based experiences, workshops, peer education, and conference-centered education. The Marketing & Development Director is the liaison and convener for the university-community partnership. S/he initiates the relationship, shepherds the experience of win-win, and maintains the lines of communication.

  1.   Credentialing Programs
Develop certification programs building upon the reputation of the association within the specific, mission-based core of the association. Provide original training, credentialing, and periodic renewal. The Marketing & Development Director parses the mission for actionable elements, ensures the quality of the content development, and monitors analytics.

  1. Continuing Education (License)
Develop a cadre of subject matter experts through a speaker’s bureau of members in the association. Leverage content development and instructional design experts to take basic information and produce it for the creation of continuing education courses. The Marketing & Development Director can act as content developer and instructional designer in smaller firms. Either way s/he facilitates the development of multiple options within the mission domain and member needs of the association.

  1. webinar-imageConferences (Virtual/On-going)
Keep the conference going through the use of digital technologies. In addition to webinars and simulcasts of live events, schedule the re-broadcast of recorded events from conferences. Provide handouts, quizzes, and other engagement materials as well as networking resources and follow-up links. The Marketing & Development Director coordinates the funding cycle, recording, content development, and marketing for the project.

  1. Storytelling
Understand the age of social media and reality television. Review with a marketing and publicity firm the branding opportunities that are possible through documentary of your normal operations. Build a web-series based on the stories you would like to tell. Begin with mission elements. Expand to events, staff, and development seasons. The Marketing & Development Director is the executive producer for each series managing production schedules, casting, location scouting, and quality control.

  1. Publishing
Edited works are an easy project for the association. Many already have conferences. Select a track from the conference and request that all interested write a 3000-5000 word essay in that topic area. Produce the best 12 essays into a text book. Have an editor develop learning objectives and discussion questions, quizzes, and case studies for the text. Select an honored association member to write the Foreword. Publicize the text through university partners and faculty members who are also association members.The Marketing & Development Director is the publisher, visionary, content editor, and publicist in a position of quality assurance.

  1. filmfestival2Festivals
Film, music, pop culture, research news, personalities, and more can be leveraged to create content for your digital media distribution. Sharing of the content means more exposure for the association and more positive transactions. The Director of Marketing and Development can take the content, add study guides, classroom exercises, or discussion notes and create a resource for your members within the spaces where they live and work. You could sell the product or provide it free as a membership benefit.

  1. Collective Impact
Impact on the community is more than just numbers served and event attendance. The value of the association is more than just percentages. It is financial as well, in the community and in its larger area of influence. Collective impact processes can bring together association partners to calculate and publicize the impact in financial terms, and present the association’s value as a function of its multiplication of resources toward meeting its mission. The Marketing & Development Director integrates the system of the association for evaluation, sets both reasonable and transformative expectations, and manages the social contracts with partners.