What is your charity’s product? Which market are you ‘selling’ it to? How can you develop it?
Even in these times, when charities are looking increasingly closely at developing earned income, it is odd that such questions can still make a Trustee shudder. And why do I feel compelled to put inverted commas around the word ‘selling’?
Perhaps charities don’t want to believe their expertise can be ‘commoditised’. Or maybe they see selling as (literally) too transactional?
No, don’t go away. Keep reading. This is important.
Working with a client recently, I’ve found the Ansoff Matrix, shown here, to be extremely helpful, especially when thinking about what they can offer to potential clients. Or should I call them customers?
If your charity wants to focus on its core expertise and continue to reach its current audience, then you’ll be thinking about market penetration. Who are your competitors?
Got a good customer base but want them to try new products? I’ve talked about charities upselling before. You’ll need to think about product development.
Got a tried and tested product but want to sell it to others, perhaps in another location? This is market development.
But the real risk is diversification – when a charity develops new products and tries to attract new audiences at the same time. With too many variables, it’s difficult to know what’s being tested, and Trustees may well be right to shudder at the prospect.
So it’s hats off to Ansoff. Igor, you may not have developed it for us, but your model is particularly applicable to the charity sector.
Get ready to enter the Matrix.