One of our agency’s brand values is to share insightful commentary on current trends and research. It’s part of our commitment to provide real value to busy cause marketing professionals.
Since ‘timely’ is an important nuance of our Cause Marketing FOCUS brand promise, I feel the need to open this blog post with a ‘true confession’ apology.
I’ve been meaning to write about the 2011 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report for months now. This report is based on results from a survey of over 750 small to medium size nonprofits conducted in December, 2010 by Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com.
One of the most surprising characteristics of nonprofit industry professionals overall is their willingness to share best practices, case studies and ideas with their peers and competitors. Coming from the highly competitive world of corporate marketing, that was a big shocker to me! However, with limited resources, nonprofits rely on each other to share candid information that will help them do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.
One way to do this is to compare their situations and benchmark with other organizations, let’s revisit the 2011 Trend Report data as a mid-year check in.
Summary of Key Findings
- What excites nonprofit communicators most is new ways to connect with their supporters, their increasing use of social media and better communications planning and integration.
- The things that scare nonprofit communicators most are economic uncertainty, the difficulty in implementing marketing strategies and the lack of staff time for communications.
- Only 51% of nonprofits have written communications plans for 2011.
- Email marketing and websites will be the most important communications tools for NPO’s in 2011, (followed by direct mail, in-person events, and Facebook and media relations/PR).
- Texting and paid advertising will be the least important communication tools for 2011, followed by audio/podcasts and phone calls/phone banks.
In addition to presenting the survey results, company president, author, coach and consultant Kivi Leroux Miller, (who blogs daily and offers an affordable weekly webinar series for do it yourselfers) provided a number of suggestions on how to approach the marketing challenges identified by the report:
- Be your own media mogul – take control of your content. Create and curate messages that matter on the channels you choose; your website, email, social media, mobile apps, direct mail and with media relations.
- Connect the dots for your supporters – we’re all impacted by information and many of us are tinkering on the edge of information overload. Be sure to create messages that have clarity and can be integrated.
- Wear your personality – competition is tough. Set yourself apart by wearing your personality and brand values proudly so the rest of the world can see who you are and what you stand for. Be passionate.
Good advice indeed.
I’d love to hear how your 2011 nonprofit marketing and communications challenges measure up this mid-year.