The registration process is one aspect that providers must prepare for the NDIS. Both new and existing providers will also have to determine how they will market and engage with participants. To get you started, we have outlined some marketing tips that will help ensure your sustainability in the NDIS environment.
1. Determine your desired outcomes
Any marketing will help increase your web traffic, your followers, and newsletter sign ups, but to what end? What is the value of more social followers and website traffic?
From a business perspective, you could be spending a fair amount of money without seeing a true return of investment in your marketing activities. Defining your SMART goals will ensure your marketing activities have a clear and attainable direction.
2. Do your research the market, competitors and stakeholders
The wealth of information you will receive by engaging with the NDIA, NDS, participants and other providers and stakeholders in the NDIS market will be invaluable in re-aligning your products and services to the NDIS outcomes and participants’ expectations.
A great starting point is to talk to your current clients, staff, volunteers and partner organisations. Ask them for their perceptions of and feelings about your services, what value it has given them and the achievement of their goals and, most importantly, how you can improve. In our experience, organisations are often surprised by the disconnect that exists between their understanding of customer expectations and their actual expectations. Implementing a feedback and evaluation cycle will help minimise closed internal thinking which may be dominating your marketing and service delivery. Joining the NDIS related events will also allow you to interact new participants to gain a better understanding on what their expectations are.
3. Keep the needs of your customers as the core of your marketing practices
Focus less on marketing and more on the support you can provide to Australians with disability to achieve their goals. The NDIS is about shifting focus from organisations back to the end users. Even within other industries, marketing is less about self-promotion but creating meaningful interactions.
So how can you start putting your customers front and centre in your marketing efforts? Practices such as collecting testimonials from current customers, sharing stories and creating information will help sway potential customers’ decisions. Defining your customer’s journey will also help to determine your relevant communication points.
4. Use data to make informed decisions
Many organisations are already collecting a substantial amount of information by tapping into the data available from their CRM, website, social channels, surveys and other platforms. The key challenge lies with breaking data silos so better data driven actions can be made.
A central technology platform that manages your data and delivers insights can provide a full view of your customers and how they interact with you. The goal is to be view each of your client’s story with you. For example, the beginning of service A and C, the duration and the outcomes from those services. This will help you determine your effectiveness and provide insight on where improvement is needed.
5. Create a customer centric workforce
Customer centricity needs to become the mindset across your organisation. If not, there is a very likely chance of returning to a culture of organisational silos in the end may hinder your ability to effectively delivery services. For example, marketing and communication may be focused on engaging with customers, but projects and finance may be focusing on the fastest and quantity of services deliver which may cause a disconnect with your clients. By making sure that all departments and staff from the outset of your digital marketing transformation all departments and staff are aware of the changes and marketing goals in terms of client service delivery will help make sure everyone work towards the same outcomes.
There many resources for organisations to check whether they are prepared to reach out and engage participants is crucial to sustainability. As the NDIS can be quite complex seeking, expert advice to help to understand your current position and relevant improvements can be beneficial.
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