Marketing & Communications for Nonprofits & Social Enterprises

May 6, 2024

Marketing describes the act of promoting and selling products or services to a target audience. Marketing is used as part of a company’s overall business plan, to reach new and retain existing customers. A successful marketing plan requires thoughtful strategy, competitive analysis, market research, and extensive knowledge of industry trends. Marketers use communications to share messages with their audience. 

The term communication refers to the process of exchanging or imparting information. Communication focuses on conveying a specific message, but unlike marketing, the message does not necessarily have the goal of selling a product or service. Communicators are storytellers who write compelling copies within a marketing plan to strategically develop a particular message that will resonate with a target audience. 

Marketing and communications should complement each other. They work together to enhance a company’s objectives and bring awareness to its brand. Some of the shared similarities between marketing and communications include: 

  • The tools they use. Marketing and communications share tools like social media, television, and print to convey their messages. 
  • Their focus is on brand awareness. Communication works to tell the story of a brand while marketing does the work of advertising it. They share the responsibility of protecting and bringing awareness to a brand. 
  • Optimizing performance. When a marketing strategy is not working, marketers rework their campaigns to optimize performance. When a copy in an ad or a blog post is not engaging readers, communicators rewrite the content to optimize performance. Both sides of MarCom, as marketing and communications, are often referred to, analyze their work, and make changes as needed to ensure their respective efforts generate leads, create conversions, and engage customers.  
  • Their shared goal of engaging customers. Marketers and communicators both aim to engage with a target audience. Whether they are working to connect with new customers or retain existing ones, marketers and communicators center their efforts around the customer. 

Effective MARCOMS 

  1. Be a business-first entity; focus on providing the highest quality of your product or service. Social impact is important, but it should not overshadow the quality and relevance of your core offering.  
  1. Do not just tell your social impact story, highlight it! Use visual elements, such as photos, videos, infographics, or testimonials, to illustrate the tangible impact of your work in the communities you serve.  
  1. Build a consistent organization or social enterprise brand. This is often overlooked but your brand is more than just your logo or slogan. It is the identity and personality of your organization, and how you want to be perceived by your audience. 
  1. Do not be afraid to spend money on marketing. Marketing is an investment, not an expense. It can help you attract more funding and customers, reach more people you want to impact, increase your revenue, raise awareness, and increase your impact. 

Leveraging The Right Digital Tools 

Website – Create a website that displays your products or services, your vision and mission, your social impact story, your team, and your contact information 

Social media – Use social media to share your updates, stories, testimonials, and achievements with your audience. Social media can help you build a community, raise awareness, and generate leads that help you achieve your mission. 

E-mail Marketing – Use email marketing to communicate with your existing and potential community, customers, partners, and supporters. Email marketing can help you nurture relationships, increase conversions, and retain loyalty. Building a good contact base and consistently serving it with a regular newsletter is an easy way to both market your work and communicate important information with those who need it.  

Online Advertising – Use online advertising to reach new audiences and generate more sales or donations. Online advertising can help you target specific demographics, locations, interests, and behaviors of your ideal customers or donors. 


Using analytics to optimize your strategy. 

Define your goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). Before you start collecting and analyzing data, you need to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve and how you will measure it.  

Choose the right tools and platforms. Depending on your goals and KPIs, you may need different tools and platforms to collect and analyze data. 

Track and measure your impact. Analytics can help you track and measure the social impact of your marketing efforts and campaigns. You can use analytics to see how your marketing activities influence your social mission and goals, such as awareness, advocacy, education, behavior change, etc. 

Test and optimize your content. Analytics can help you discover which types of content perform best with your audience and which ones need improvement. 

For details and a customized solution for your organization, contact us at for a consultation with one of our experts.