With the upcoming changes to NDIS there is a lot of uncertainty about how this will impact Not For Profits. The consumer will hold the power and will have greater choice and control over when, where and how they receive the support they need.
NDIS requires providers to turn their business models 180 degrees from a funding model to a marketing model. If you haven’t done this already you are already seriously behind and you should be concerned. You must adapt your business approach and change your existing business model to stay in the game which will now become hugely competitive. Standing out will require a more creative, innovative approach – of which effective marketing will be a crucial aspect.
The need for differentiation and targeted marketing activity, particularly on digital channels will be essential. You no longer have the luxury of time on your hands.
Have a plan.
Building a solid foundation is the first step and creating a tradigital strategy is the place to start. A tradigital strategy covers both traditional and digital marketing and will help you leverage your limited marketing budget. Without a strategy you will waste marketing dollars by taking a shot gun approach they rarely works. If you and your team know the objectives, your audience and relevant channels, the next steps allow you to focus on this to have absolute clarity. A clear strategy that includes digital tactics to maximise already tight budgets is no longer a choice but a need to have.
Increase your visibility
Visibility is key, particularly in digital channels. Understand who your key audience us, what channels they are using and start conversations with them as part of your engagement strategy. Social media will usually play a big role in this as it is a good place to start social conversations. Take note of the words: social conversations (not selling). You just have to look at the numbers as proof that digital will be the core element that everything else centres on. Why is this? Because your customers are already there and they have decided that is how they want to interact with your brand. This is about THEM NOT YOU!
This is where the power of digital can really kick in. Whether you want to admit it or you want to continue to bury your head in the sand, digital is where people research. That is a fact! As they are researching on digital you need to have a presence that is focused on community engagement. This will involve getting involved in the real issues, having two way conversations and getting involved in your digital communities. It does not mean posting ‘push’ messages constantly in the hope they will want to do business with you. It is much more involved than that and you know it.
Don’t think that digital just takes a customer focus. Digital tools and platforms can assist your teams to manage data and communicate with your audience. You need to ensure they are trained in the latest techniques, understand why various channels are being used and how to manage them. You need to shift your internal culture and beliefs and this starts on the top. Your C level execs need to be on board and understand the importance of this for it to be really effective and impact change.
I have seen many examples of social media used incorrectly and bad responses to customers, mostly due to lack of training or understanding how to manage negative comments. Your team must understand the rules of engagement. That means every single staff member not just staff managing your social platforms. Another must have that you might not have considered (to the detriment of your organisation)
Consider these tips carefully in your approach to managing NDIS. If you are in the thought phase right now, get moving. You do not have time on your side if you expect to still be around by the end of 2016.