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What are not-for-profits experiencing right now? We asked, and you told us…

What are not-for-profits experiencing right now? We asked, and you told us…

We wanted to know what our clients were experiencing in pandemic lockdown, so we asked. Where are your challenges, and where do you see opportunities? While some organisations told us they were experiencing marketing budget cuts, it surprised us that most weren’t, and some were spending more to bolster their brands while they still could.

For most, the challenges were around short-term needs:

  • Getting information and campaigns out quickly and effectively
  • Meeting the challenges of working from home, and in some cases with smaller teams
  • Clearly demonstrating the role of the organisation in the midst of a very specific medical crisis.

But many were also questioning longer term strategic needs:

  • Maximising long term income generation
  • How to maintain a cohesive marketing message built over the past year, while now flipping to new crisis driven marketing.

In our experience, brands that have been quick to respond to the lockdown, have experienced success in the digital space – higher open rates, more click throughs and good acquisition results. People are at home. They’re looking for answers.

Two of the sectors we focus on are membership and charities. The benefit for membership organisations is that people do seem to be searching for connection and community, and recruitment campaigns have performed well.

Charities seem to be experiencing similar success with immediate asks, but have a slightly different challenge in that, while single donations appear forthcoming, the bigger task is to convert one-off givers to regular givers, and build a deeper relationship.

To help navigate these complexities we’re asking our clients to consider a set of questions and observations to help them see from a different angle:

  • Can you bring to life the external context through the eyes of your audience. What are they experiencing right now? What do they need?
  • Examine and be clear about your organisation’s role and benefit in this short-term crisis. Consider how your story can evolve from crisis to back to normal mode.
  • Writing a longer term marketing strategy is challenging when we don’t how this crisis will evolve, but map out what you know over the next 12 months, and allow it to evolve as the future becomes clearer.
  • Be responsive. But be appropriate. It’s absolutely acceptable for an organisation to be marketing itself right now, in a way that demonstrates its use to people, but unless you are campaigning about something extremely urgent, only COVID-19 relevant crisis responses can probably handle more hard-hitting tonality right now.

But let’s keep the conversations going. Clients shouldn’t feel alone in navigating these choppy waters. We’re always on hand for a conversation, and a deeper dive into your specific challenges. Get in touch!