Every year, the marketing automation company, HubSpot, surveys thousands of marketers and salespeople — HubSpot customers and non-customers alike. They are polled on their biggest challenges, tactics they’ve used and the latest trends they are noticing over the past year. Among those surveyed, 5% were nonprofit marketers. Below is a summary of the nonprofit results found in the State of Inbound 2015 report.
Where’s the webmaster
Managing the website came out as the biggest challenge nonprofit marketers face. We all know that keeping the site up to date is a perennial challenge for nonprofits, but I was pretty shocked to see that nonprofits came in 10-15% higher than B2B and B2C. Websites are incredibly valuable for nonprofits, even more so than many other industries, but it seems that the tight budgets and staff constraints are weighing on the minds of nonprofit marketers.
Proving marketing ROI and securing enough budget came in close at #2 and 3. Each of these three challenges are closely intertwined. Proving ROI can often make securing budgets easier. With more budget, keeping the website up to date or hiring someone to do so is more feasible.
So I guess the big question this coming year is how can nonprofit marketers successfully prove ROI? You may argue that it’s hard to make progress without a decent website to begin with, but with the many low cost tools out there, don’t use that as an excuse. Educate yourself on the latest in digital marketing and get to work.
Never enough leads
According to the report, increasing the # of contacts/leads generated is the #1 marketing priority for nonprofits. This is not much of a surprise considering that generating leads continues to be the toughest task for marketers across all industries. Nonprofits in particular typically take advantage of fundraising events and donations to capture contact information. However, I feel where many nonprofit marketers are missing the boat is increasing opportunities for newsletter subscribes and creating better overall blog content. Every nonprofit has a newsletter or blog, but frankly, they aren’t doing much to increase opt-ins and the quality of the content and experience is very low. You can differentiate yourself from other nonprofits by stepping your game up.
Subsequently, the second most important marketing activity for nonprofit marketers was converting contacts to customers. This is top of mind for me after writing a post last week on the importance of fully utilizing the database of contacts your nonprofit already has this upcoming giving season. If you can effectively segment your lists and create relevant, unique campaigns for each, you can increase donations without needing to find new donors.
With content marketing and automation starting to catch fire in the nonprofit space, the State of Inbound Report is very relevant. It’s not every day that a report compares B2B, B2C and nonprofit organizations, so I found the report to be quite interesting.