We offered complimentary marketing consultations during the conference and it was great to see the overwhelming response, with our sessions being oversubscribed. While each organisation has its own unique challenges, common areas of focus included:
- The need to segment stakeholders and to understand their outcomes. Many not-for-profit organisations view their end-clients as a target market, but omit the need to reach prospective volunteers, board members, government, funding organisations and others.
- Consideration of intermediaries and partner organisations. Many not-for-profit organisations have limited budgets, meaning broadcast communications are often beyond their reach. Instead, there is a need to form partnerships and explore intermediary organisations to reach relevant stakeholders.
- Marketing metrics are not defined, leading to lack of measurability and confusion over inputs, outputs and outcomes. Website visitations, or attendance at information sessions are inputs, donation enquiries are an output and the actual donation is the outcome. Organisations need to understand the decision making journey (customer journey) and the sequence that is required to generate action.
- Lack of marketing governance. Roles between board, management, staff and external parties are ill-defined, hampering the ability to measure performance and establish strategic direction.
These challenges are shared by both businesses and not-for-profit organisations, demonstrating the ongoing need to re-define marketing so it returns to its core of being led by strategic insights and not by execution.
Thank you to the participants of these sessions and for the fantastic feedback we received. We hope that the attendees at the National Volunteering Conference are able to build their marketing capacity and demonstrate the value they provide.