Marketers working in the non-profit sector face a number of unique challenges, but they have more in common with their private sector counterparts than one might think — including wresting with digital routes to market.
Here Chris Simpson, marketing director at professional education company Floream, discusses how marketers in the third sector can master the digital marketing environment and keep their ROI high.
What are the greatest challenges facing digital marketers today?
First and foremost, disruptive marketing no longer works — it isn’t enough to push a generic message to a broad audience and see who raises their hand. You need to look for the right way to join the conversation at the right time.
At the same time, the huge number of digital channels is getting more expensive to manage and integrate.
How can marketers tackle these challenges?
Charites were all about stories and emotional connections long before the Internet. Experts in inbound marketing are sidestepping expensive channels in favour of seeding content via social media and SEO; a modest amount of paid marketing can kick off a campaign, but the Internet is really about your advocates retelling your story.
From a channel perspective, the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing’s (IDM) approach continues to be relevant: media-neutral planning. Understand where your best volumes, ROI and customers come from and prioritise resources accordingly. You don’t need to be everywhere.
Where can budget-conscious marketers in the third sector find the greatest return on investment?
We find good value and quality via well-targeted social media ads, particularly those based on lookalikes of our own email database. And, if you’re not already using remarketing, it’s worth the time.
Also spend time on the deliverability of your emails. Give your provider a hard time over their setup and think about having your own sender IP and subscribing to ReturnPath — we’ve seen dramatic improvements in open and click rates.
What are the biggest opportunities in marketing?
It has never been easier to harness and amplify the voices of your biggest advocates — foster positive conversations and crowdsource your content.
Sophisticated tools are no longer too expensive for small organisations, so there’s no reason not to leverage the best technology you can.
Last but not least, the growing popularity of structured apprenticeships means you can bring the next generation of digital-first marketers into your organisation at low cost.
How can the IDM Professional Diploma give marketers the skills to deliver more for their organisations?
The IDM Professional Diploma empowers in-house marketers to take control of their own destiny. You develop the skills and understanding in every discipline to either run it in-house or give your agency a good run for their money.
When students, including me, reflect back on what they’ve gained, perhaps the biggest boost is to their confidence – the ability to articulate their marketing strategy and play a more significant role within their organisations. Speaking personally, I came away with a rock solid foundation on which to build businesses and my own career in the process.
Floream accelerates their students’ careers by helping them get qualified in their profession through their expert tutors and award-winning virtual campus. Their message and belief is that professional qualifications transform careers, and their energetic culture fosters continuous learning and personal growth. They have over 30,000 active students across Marketing, HR, Leadership and Financial disciplines. Click here to learn more.
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