I was a marketer for years before getting my MBA. After that, I worked as a brand manager for many more years before eventually beginning my journey of participation in the non-profit sector. Initially I volunteered; then I served as a committee chair; then as a founder and member of a board of directors; and finally, as a consultant.
Decades of working with companies like BMW of North America, United BMW, Kellogg's USA, and Coca-Cola taught me that as a company, the best way to connect with your consumer or client is to tap into the emotive motivators--in other words, have your ducks in a row but reach consumers and customers on an emotional level. Yet, companies have to be bottom-line driven in order to deliver on their obligations to their shareholders. Which means it is difficult to connect authentically and sustainably.
As a non-profit, the reverse is true. The emotional components certainly have to be in place, but to maximize the impact, you need to have solid, data-driven decision making-and the big hearted individuals drawn to working in this sector don't always have the time or inclination to deal with this element.
There is a natural symbiosis that connects these sectors, but neither tend to be very affective and maximizing their efforts. The businesses that lead with logic often have difficulty maintaining an authentic multi-layer connection with their clients without lots of marketing dollars. The non-profits who lead with their hearts have worn out volunteers, struggle to fight for attention and dollars among all the other worthy causes and, consequently, have some difficulty in bringing in funds efficiently.
What if there was an organization that could bridge the two worlds? That is led by head and heart? That could help build lasting connections effectively for profit driven companies and bring the discipline of brand management to non-profits?
Pillar Marketing was born.