Driving Impact: How Marketers Can Use Their Skills To Drive Wider Impact
The pandemic has forced many businesses to tap into all of their skill sets just to keep afloat, and we discuss the importance of marketing and how it can help various organizations in today's landscape.
2020 was a year like no other, and in 2021, we were all forced to adapt to the new normal – businesses included. The pandemic has forced many businesses to change the way they work, and tap into all of their skill sets just to keep afloat. Furthermore, businesses in this day and age are tasked with the challenge of connecting with customers in an unpredictable landscape. Consumer behaviours are changing, and people are often more particular about engaging with businesses that fit their values.
Most people can’t tell marketing from sales – that they are either the same or perform a similar function, while others perceive marketing as a support function to facilitate sales. The importance of marketing was highlighted by Drucker, who mentioned that “because business is to create customers, business enterprise only has two basic functions: marketing and innovation.”
In Drucker’s words, marketing connects customers to organizations and their products. A marketer develops a sales strategy to target a group of customers, discovers a price point for products, carves a communication strategy to feature the uniqueness of products, develops a brand following and the list goes on. But, have these methods changed since Covid? What is marketing today?
Technology is influencing marketing today - the speed of technological innovation, the increased rate of technological adoption of customers, and the huge growth of online intermediaries are some of the factors. In this digital age, product cycles are shorter, the attention span on advertisement flickers, and content is more creative and memorable.
The world is now heavily connected through the internet and many people across the globe now live and breathe through social media and spend a significant portion of their time online. It is no surprise that the reach is immense online and this enables businesses to connect with their target audience better.
Covid19 had certainly accelerated the process of digital marketing adoption. Popularisation of online activities left behind lots of electronic footprints for data analytics. A large quantity of data improves data integrity and accuracy of predictability. Data now allows you to reach specific customer segments not just by race or gender but spending pattern and browsing history. Customers are now attracted to the optics of online advertisements, and this is where you put your best performance forward.
Today’s marketing tools provide cost-effectiveness options to traditional media. Online activities are tracked and processed which allows for more targeted customer reach. Likewise, these data can be collected and analyzed for better lead generation. Such is true for the nonprofit sector, as it is true for the commercial sector.
With the onslaught of the pandemic, charities were forced to go digital when physical meetings were impossible to conduct. In order for them to be visible, charities would need to adapt and embrace technology to better communicate their story and impact to the community. Most of them need help to carve that message and build a brand around their works. Hence, it is crucial for charity leaders to learn and adopt different social media platforms to reach different audiences.
Marketing executive mentors are vital as they help nonprofits and charities to better understand who they are trying to reach (which stakeholders group to prioritize), the message they want to bring across (information activities, awareness, insight on impact creation featuring their best stories out there that appeal to their stakeholders), and the means and channels to communicate to their stakeholders. For example, Marketing executives mentors can help carve the brand behind, and help with a social media strategy to promote brand awareness – such as adopting the right social media channel with the stakeholders and the desired outcomes in mind.
We previously worked with Blessings in a Bag (BIAB), a charity that supports children and young people from low-income, rental communities in Singapore. Together with our marketing mentor team, we developed a new vision and mission wording which is now central to BIAB’s brand and communication strategy. The revamped message gives BIAB a clearer identity and way of communication with various audiences. By leveraging social media, they transformed the brand image and drove engagement with the public, potential donors, and volunteers.
Furthermore, marketing executive mentors have to be creative in their conceptualization and execution of marketing activities, due to the budget constraints charities often have. As such, mentors benefit from learning how best to make use of limited resources. Furthermore, through interaction and discussions with marketing executive mentors, charities have the potential to professionalise the way they communicate with stakeholders. They also bring a wealth of knowledge from their professional work with a strategic marketing approach that begins with resource allocation and complements the usual campaigns, activities, and events.
Marketing executive mentors can be impactful in community work. Their experience, skillset, and inputs are key in contributing to the overall awareness and visibility of the charities. Whether the end goal is fundraising or volunteer engagement, they play a pivotal role in communicating the impact of their charity on society. Whatever you are selling, whether commercially or for a social cause, always stand behind your values. And, that value is delivered with the right marketing strategy.
This article is written by Richard Yap, CEO of talenTtrust – a Singapore-based registered charity that promotes business executives' mentorship with matched charities in skill-based volunteering.