Why Your Marketing Team Has to Demonstrate Impact
In the past, marketing teams had it a bit tougher than they do today. For instance, back in the day, managers could cut marketing budgets and teams a little easier than they could today. The primary reason for it was that before the technology, website and social metrics we rely on today, it was challenging to make an ROI connection between nonprofit marketing campaigns and fundraising revenue.
Nonprofit marketing executives and fundraisers did what they could to demonstrate that marketing directly impacted fundraising revenue. For instance, they would place codes on printed mail pledge cards or coupons. So if you saw an ad for a nonprofit in a magazine or newspaper and cut out the coupon to mail in with your check, the coupon itself had a code number so that marketers could assess an ad's performance relative to the spend.
Fortunately, we don’t have to use those dated methods any longer. Aren't we lucky that things are now much more straightforward, such as when we do social media ads, and we get all of the result data with a few clicks? Digital technology does a lot of work for us. Moreover, nonprofit teams are able to present to the executive director and boards easy-to-read graphics and analytics through visual reporting tools built into many platforms. As a result, marketers at nonprofits could demonstrate a connection between marketing and fundraising.
Why You Should Demonstrate Results
Still, marketing teams and fundraisers need to always demonstrate that marketing investment is increasing fundraising revenue. As you know, even if board members and executive directors don't necessarily understand how to pull the reporting easily, everyone knows that everything is measurable in the digital world. One of the best things you could do for yourself is to show that the financial investment in marketing is making an impact.
The reality is that managers understand that performance matters, and there is no hiding poor performance. Sure, it could be intimidating to share statistics, but two things happen when you make that information accessible to your board and executive director:
- As you perform better, your budget increases, usually.
- As you improve results, you demonstrate that you are good at what you do, which is good for you and the nonprofit. Your team knows they have a top marketing and fundraising professional on their team. And everyone loves to be on a winning team.
What Information Should You Share?
As you know, technology and visual reporting are advancing quickly. By next year, what we had this year gets outdated and improved by tech companies. Nevertheless, you want your executive director and board to have trust and confidence in your work. So let's take a look at some of the information you should consider sharing.
Your website is the hub of information concerning your nonprofit. Therefore, make sure you have it linked to Google Analytics. Google Analytics is one of the most robust (and free) tools, in which you can see statistics about site visitors. You can understand how much time, for instance, people spend on your site and your audience demographic. Understanding that information allows you to target your website content better, which, in turn, drives better results.
We know that social media is essential for promoting and sharing information. In our shoe drive fundraising social enterprise experience, we see many people use Facebook and create a nonprofit Facebook page. Facebook has excellent tools and analysis tools for nonprofits. Still, don't forget that other ideal social media platforms may also work well for your nonprofit, including Pinterest or LinkedIn. In short, whatever platform you use, make it a point to share the analytics it offers with your leadership.
Finally, some traditional marketing still works, and, fortunately, there are digital tools to help you quickly provide performance analytics. For instance, email is something our social enterprise uses because it still works. Remember, your email list is one of the best resources you have available to you. Again, Google Analytics could be a tool you use to help you and your leadership team understand your email's performance. To better understand what you want to see from your email marketing results, check out this article from HubSpot.
In sum, if you want to motivate your nonprofit leadership and demonstrate that your efforts are an opportunity to expand your work, start sharing your metrics and performance. The more you learn and share, the better it is for you and your organization. Your nonprofit leadership will recognize that you're great at what you do, and they will want to do more and achieve greater heights. And, of course, you will have the pride that comes from a job well done.
Kristy Morris is a creative professional in corporate and nonprofit social media advertising and brand strategy. As the chief marketing officer at Funds2Orgs and Elsey Enterprises, she works with a suite of global fundraising brands and manages national campaigns for her clients. She hosts a monthly webinar with Funds2Orgs, teaching nonprofits how to make an impact with their social media strategy. Kristy is a passionate individual that loves nothing more than to help others make an impact in their market and the world.
Kristy also contributes monthly to her NonProfit PRO blog, “Marketing IRL.”