When Marketing is Last on the To-Do List ...

DMA CEO Larry Kimmel spoke to the KCDMA this past week. Great presentation full of stats on DM and the high tech future.

"The future is here—it's just not evenly distributed," he hailed.

His point: incredible levels of sophistication are currently in play ... just not by most people. Certainly true among many nonprofits, who in addition to marketing, are faced with wearing dozens of other hats.

"We can't keep our head above water, much less keep up with the marketing," I hear a lot. Marketing is one more unchecked box on the to-do list.

But it doesn't have to be. Some simple advice if the thought of implementing the latest and greatest marketing is giving you night sweats:

1. Start small - Resist the "all or nothing" urge. If you're sending a single generic version of a fundraising letter, start with the goal of segmenting your audience into 2 or 3 groups. You may not need a complicated matrix of messaging.

2. Newer isn't always better - I like new technology, but that comes at a price, literally and figuratively. I waited in line for the iPhone 4, only to find out it was poorly designed and I couldn't hold it by the antenna band (oh yeah, by the way, that's right side!). Sit back a little bit and see what's going to stick and what works well before investing your time and energy, especially if both are in short supply.

3. Get help - (not a shameless plug, really!) - If there's a major learning curve to some part of your marketing efforts, find someone who has already done the heavy lifting. I always wanted to have programming skills. Problem is, I don't. And I don't have the time to learn those skills. The best move I ever made was just to pick up the phone ...