Videos: from ho-hum to mee-wow!

There’s no doubt that cat videos are all the rage online. There’s even an Internet Cat Video Film Festival. This feline obsession is for reals.

There’s something about cats that effectively mirrors the human experience. Obsession, surprise, melancholy.  The cats, they know how you feel.

In this clip from the Social Good Summit, Jessica Mason from YouTube for Good explains 3 lessons non-profits can learn from cat videos:

  • Tell universal stories
  • Engage regularly
  • Be surprising (yes, folks, this might require taking some risks and getting a little outside your comfort zone)

Taking a few lessons from cat vids might be the purrfect way to add a little mee-wow to your message.

Two quick apologies:
1. To the dog people: dogs are cool too. Totally cool.
2. Those of you who, like me, are totally allergic to cats and, therefore, get itchy just watching these vids. All in the name of making the world a better place, right?

(Photo credit: mashable)

Paralanguage: The power of non-verbal communication

How you say something is as important as what you say. Paralanguage is the non-verbal communications we send out as we use verbal communication. Is it affecting what you’re saying?

Paralanguage: The power of non-verbal communication from Claxon Marketing on Vimeo.

Back to School with the 1,2,3 Marketing Tree

It’s the first day of school in our neck of the woods. Time to get back to the basics. Claxon’s 1,2,3, Marketing Tree gives you the basic steps for your organization to inspire action and engagement (i.e. market itself) in a way that’s simple, effective and fun. Yep, yep! Find out how in this quick video.


1, 2, 3 Marketing Tree from Claxon Marketing on Vimeo.

Fundraiser or Happymaker?

It turns out that money CAN buy you happiness. Michael Norton figured out how. He tells us all about it in the 10 minute TED talk below. (It’s totally worth watching for the dodge ball reference alone.)

Here’s one really interesting finding from his research: the frequency with which people spend money on things that benefit others–things like giving to a non profit, for instance–matters more than the amount.

If you’ve ever needed to make the case for the value of monthly donations to an annual fund, there you have it! Giving on a regular basis makes people happier.

In terms of titles, I’ve long wondered why we refer to the feature (raising funds) over the benefit of raising the funds (increasing happiness and making the world a better place).

It may be awhile before we see ‘Chief Happiness Officer’ on business cards, but wouldn’t it be great for fundraisers to have a title that spoke to their impact rather than their actions?

Elevator pitch – Door opener or Deal closer?

Earlier this week, I made the case for having a good Elevator Pitch. But let’s be honest: creating an elevator pitches can be stress-inducing. It doesn’t need to be! Watch this short video for tips on how your nonprofit can open more doors with a simple elevator pitch.

Elevator pitch – Door opener or Deal closer? from Claxon Marketing on Vimeo.

3 Simple Steps. 1 Great Plan.


Why plan?

Why create a marketing plan? It takes time, energy and usually isn’t all that fun. Plus, you have your plan in your head so you should be all set, right?


According to Kivi’s 2012 Trends Report, only 24% of organizations have a written plan that has been approved by leadership. And yet, writing down your goals has been proven to up your odds of achieving them.

With no written plan, you are at risk of falling prey to shiny object syndrome. You will hear about a new social media tool that sounds fab and decide everyone else is using it and you must use it, too. Or a board member will suggest you do a big PR push and off you’ll go, in full pursuit of the latest shiny object.

This is the tail wagging the dog. Maybe these are great ideas, maybe they’re not. It depends on your goals. Twitter, Facebook, PR, websites, blogs, newsletters, annual reports—these are all simply a means to an end. Planning makes sure you achieve your goals in the most effective and efficient way possible.

How to plan?

Now that you’re convinced you should have a written marketing plan, the question is how do you develop one given limited time, money and, let’s be honest, enthusiasm for the task at hand?

Enter the 1, 2, 3 Marketing Tree, a tool I developed to  make it simple for you—the mission-motivate of the world—to get laser-focused on your marketing goals and how you’ll achieve them.

The 1, 2, 3 Marketing Tree demystifies marketing and reveals the three questions you really have to ask and answer in order to reach your goals.

  1. WHAT does marketing success look like for your organization?
  2. WHO do you need to reach in order to be successful?
  3. HOW will you reach them?

Ready to get started? Download a free version of the Tree or buy the poster-size version (featured in the video above so you can see it ‘live’) and get planning!

Do you communicate as effectively as you think?


Do you communicate as effectively as you think?