in

Why marketing is important for an NGO?

The Importance of Marketing for NGOs.

Marketing is important for just any brand. All of them have to serve their target markets. However, marketing serves several more purposes apart from helping you promote your business before your target audience. It helps you build recognition and credibility for your business. When it comes to the NGOs, you know how important it is for them to build trust. So, marketing for them can be a life saver.  NGOs are also brands and like the business brands, they too need a definite marketing strategy. Marketing helps you increase your market share and your user base. In case of NGOs., it can help them increase their number of supporters. Another area where marketing works in the favour of NGOs is competition. Competition for every dollar being donated is intense. Being a well known brand helps an NGO find sources of donation easily. Some of the world’s biggest NGO’s are as influential because they have marketed themselves well, created recognition, credibility and reached a larger audience through careful marketing. Even the NGOs need to expand their influence.  Many of them serve in  cross border territories. However, the kind of services they provide also requires investment. The well known NGOs are well known for they have marketed their brand well. Imagine an NGO in a dark corner where few people know of its existence and purpose. Such a brand cannot exist for long unless it is fully self dependent in terms of resources. Even then, there are regulatory and legal requirements which require the brand to market itself properly. An NGO can become influential by marketing its brand rightly. Being influential means not just being well known but also inspiring people to support. Support can come in several forms apart from financial.

There are several things about the NGOs that are similar to the other brands. When the regular brands market, their purpose is to advertise their products, attract customers and to drive sales. For the NGOs it is important to be recognized and to be known to their potential donors.  Marketing has the potential to fulfill all these needs. The NGOs need to manage their workforce too. For this purpose too they need donations. Marketing does not just help them find better sources of donation but also create the right image. Image inspires trust and trust is very important for any NGO to gain supporters and attract philanthropists who can support their cause. If you are asking others for financial support, they would like to know if the money is going to be invested in socially beneficial work. Marketing of services is just as important for them as the other service providers. Several times you will come across the ads of NGOs on the web. Several of them ask for donations, several are just marketing their brand or trying to inform the audience of the cause they are fighting for.

You find it easier to connect with the brands you know. NGOs that  have established a better connection with the public have made their task easier. They find it easier to attract volunteers if they need. Any NGO that wants to be  successful has to focus on marketing and utilise its power. It is the twenty first century and having the right marketing strategy is an absolute essential for all brands. Smart marketing solves several problems. It is why all kinds of Non-Governmental Organizations are now making use of digital technology to make their presence felt. Still competition has grown and having a smarter strategy than your competitors means less trouble and less competitive pressure. If you are trying to make an impact, you need to make an impression first. For NGOs bigger impression means smarter business. If you are an NGO, you have operational costs to bear. There are staff to be paid. NGOs are not doing it for profits but success is still important. Marketing helps them grow their influence in absence of which NGOs will not find enough resources for operation.

Now, no NGO can survive unless it secures its sources of finance. Marketing’s power is enormous. Your sources of revenue and your brand’s clout can grow with it. Now think PETA that uses celebrities for its marketing.  If PETA has grown to be the most famous organization fighting for animal rights then it is because it used a great marketing strategy. It is why the NGOs must not remain hidden from the public’s eyes. An NGO is not a regular business. It is fighting for a cause. It is also why NGOs need to be known. Another important factor is competition. Since there are so many competitors in the market, the NGOs have to fight to earn their space.  Establishing a better brand image is possible through marketing. It also helps tackle the competitive pressure. Thus, there are so many benefits of marketing for the NGOs. They must have a clearly defined marketing strategy to overcome the several hurdles they face. No NGO can expect to see great success without it. It is not just about donations and service, they also need to be known for their purpose and the level of success they have achieved. It is where marketing benefits NGOs and regular businesses alike. It helps them achieve their purpose.

Today, marketing may have become easier with the rise of Information technology but still a clear cut and well planned marketing strategy is essential for an NGO trying to grow its presence. There are several tools that  can help NGOs advertise and market themselves without major financial investment. Social media is the best tool for low cost advertising. NGOs can gain access to a very large pool of fans and followers and that too without any financial investment. Social media engagement is a very good method for NGOs to create brand awareness and grow market presence. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube can help them grow the awareness about their brands among the common public and also find prospective donors easily. Apart from it a website and email marketing also provides a cost free method of advertising and promotion. However, nothing big can be achieved without creating trust.   Therefore, NGOs must focus upon the quality of their marketing messages. However, NGOs must avoid unethical tactics at every cost because in their case image and reputation matter more than the common business brands. Once spoilt it will be difficult to rebuild their reputation.

Written by Abhijeet Pratap

Abhijeet has been blogging on educational topics and business research since 2016. He graduated with a Hons. in English literature from BRABU and an MBA from the Asia-Pacific Institute of Management, New Delhi. He likes to blog and share his knowledge and research in business management, marketing, literature and other areas with his readers.

Major Worldviews: How we see our world

B2B Versus B2C in terms of security, SCM monitoring, and performance enhancement.