In the age of information, consumers are bombarded with advertisements and marketing content from all directions. The latest research suggests that humans passively consume anywhere from 6000-10,000 ads per day in 2020, but it’s just not possible for us to take in so much information. This might lead some causes to feel it’s not worth investing in marketing as it could be difficult to stand out in a space where so much content already exists. On the other hand, however, it could highlight the importance of strategic marketing campaigns and targeted content that resonates directly with specific target audience(s) over a scattergun approach to marketing.
In an uncertain world, with a second lockdown looming, there are less and less ways for causes to connect with their supporters and beneficiaries. Public spending is on the decrease and funding remains difficult to access. As we return to our home offices and bedrooms, organisations have had to adapt the way they use marketing to reach people. Digital marketing provides an alternative solution for organisations looking to pivot and find ways to stay relevant and keep growing. However, according to the Charity Digital Skills report 2019, more than half of charities still don’t have a digital strategy.
This suggests that there is some untapped potential for causes to use digital solutions to develop their marketing strategy. A good marketing strategy is defined by an organisation’s ability to understand their audience. A strong grasp of your target market “helps you meet the real needs of all your 'customers' i.e. people you are trying to serve or influence or ask for money.” Understanding your audience enables you to develop narratives that speak to your target market and send a clear message, or call to action.
Whether you are trying to grow your audience and reach, raise funds or develop your organisation, one thing is clear: Good marketing is essential. Take a look at the A.L.S Ice bucket challenge, which was designed to raise awareness and funds for A.L.S. Association. A strong strategy helped turn a fun challenge into an campaign which raised over $115 million. Whilst this is a case where a marketing campaign went viral following celebrity support, it is perhaps not indicative of what most causes can generally expect when marketing. It is still important to note however, that effective, strategic marketing can deliver impressive results in a number of areas. A look at the breakdown of where the money raised for ALS shows that 67% of the funds went to research, 20% to beneficiary services, 9% into public awareness and education and 2% went back into fundraising. This simply goes to show how impactful marketing can be in a number of areas from:
- Service delivery
- Research and development
- Organisational growth
It’s clear to see that investing time into marketing has the potential to generate a variety of positive outcomes for causes. The current climate, where remote working is commonplace has affected the way we experience the world and consume content. It has provided a unique opportunity for causes to find new ways to engage with people and make the most of digital solutions. Tools such as Hootsuite, Canva, Mailchimp and more, offer cost effective or even free ways for causes to develop their marketing content. However, further development is necessary in the sector to develop the digital strategy and skills required to make the most of these tools.
At Ethical Angel, we understand it’s a tough time for causes. There is little money and time to invest as organisations are focused on adapting to deliver services as circumstances change throughout the pandemic. That’s why we developed our virtual marketplace for causes to discover and order the support they need. We curate projects to help causes in all areas from marketing and all its relevant subcategories (i.e. PR, social media, advertising, SEO and more) to Website/IT support and HR to help you upskill and outsource support for free. Our technology then matches your needs with business employees who have the skills and passion to help, ultimately saving you time, money and energy.
One organisation was estimated to have saved £500 by using Ethical Angel to get help with setting up and managing their Google Adwords campaign. They stated that Ethical Angel was: “Easy to deal with and have had a successful experience using one of their angels. A great way for a small charity to access volunteer expertise.”
To get you started and help you develop the skills and strategy necessary to level up your marketing campaigns, check out our top 5 most popular marketing projects below. You can sign up for free, order these projects and get support from business professionals in…:
1. Marketing audience analysis
2. Marketing competitor analysis
3. Digital marketing target setting
4. Digital marketing expert advice
5. Social media content strategy
Natu is the Cause Experience Lead at Ethical Angel. A virtual marketplace that enables causes to discover and order the support they need from business professionals for free. Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.