Sometimes it doesn't make sense to market…

Although I’m a marketer at heart, I  know that sometimes it doesn’t make sense to do certain types of marketing. For example, sometimes you may dominate a market so thoroughly that additional marketing has diminishing returns, and your efforts should be directed elsewhere.

When I was membership director at NACUBO (College and University Business Officers), we had 99.9% of the US four-year college market as members. Of the more than 3,000 schools eligible for membership at the time, only three were not members. (Apparently there were some personal reasons for this…)

So rather than continue to market to these three schools, we redirected our efforts to other markets (e.g., two-year schools).


We did not ignore our current members or take them for granted. We continued to grow and nurture those relationships. But we were no longer marketing to them in the traditional sense.

So take a look at your marketing efforts. Are you putting resources into areas where the returns are really diminishing? Maybe it’s time to redirect those resources elsewhere.

About Wes Trochlil

For over 30 years, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

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