A New System needs a New Marketing Approach

In the first of our NDIS insights (Marketing & the NDIS) we touched on the impact that the introduction of the NDIS will have on the changing demands for branding and marketing for Not For Profit (NFP) service providers within the disability sector.

The shift towards a participant driven income generation model has opened the doors to a complex new order of marketing challenges for service providers that are unprecedented within the sector and will require a major shift in strategic planning to maintain and achieve operational growth.

Sustaining the transition of this new operating model and effectively positioning an organisation for future growth, NDIS service providers are needing specialised strategic marketing skills, resources and budget support to drive the service marketing plan needed to not only support and engage with existing participants but to communicate with and attract potential new ones.

To fully appreciate the impact that this change is having on the marketing demands for NDIS service provider, let’s take a brief look at how NDIS service marketing differs from traditional NFP marketing.

Not for Profit (NFP) Marketing

Up until the launch of the NDIS, the marketing department of a Not for Profit organisation operating within the disability sector greatly reflected that of a traditional NFP. It’s core focus was centered around the generation of the fundraising revenue streams.

Appealing to both internal and external stakeholders (donors, volunteers, fundraising/event supporters and corporate partners) this role involves the creation of promotional and communication marketing strategies to develop, implement and then increase the brands awareness and stakeholder engagement so as to generate the supplementary funds required to balance the organisations operating income.

While often the fundraising contribution is usually only a small contributor to the overall income, the impact of changing complex environmental issues such as; increasing competition for the fundraising dollar and changing donor behaviour among younger generations, along with the constantly evolving media landscape has created a maze of associated marketing challenges for NFP marketers who are generally having to operate on a shoe string budget:

Couple this already complex marketing scenario with the added financial pressure imposed by the implementation of the NDIS and a participant driven service income model and it’s not difficult to appreciate the full extent of the changing marketing demands and expectation for NDIS service providers

NDIS Marketing for Service Providers

Marketing, sounds like a simple and well recognised business term but in reality, it represents a much more complex framework that can become the difference between success or failure.

A somewhat ambiguous term that is too often confused with sales, marketing at its core, is a disciplined and strategic process that aligns and connects a consumer (a person with a particular need or want) to a brand (a product or service that can meet that persons need or want).

For Australians living with a disability, the types of needs and desires that they have and will continue to have throughout their life has not changed with the introduction of the NDIS but rather their accessibility to the funds, information and support that is available to help them successfully journey their life’s goals and ambitions has.

The ultimate goal of the NDIS is to empower people living with a permanent and significant disability to take center stage of their life by allowing them to direct and shape the decisions that will help them to live an ordinary life.

The NDIS Marketplace – The Participant is King

As an active and eligible NDIS participant, each person receiving funded supports has now been given the power of market choice. A voice to determine the type of services that they need to achieve their goals and desires and a choice to select the provider of these services.

For NDIS service providers this shift in choice represents a massive shift in the way in which they will now need to attract, communicate and engage with their existing and potential participants (consumers). Marketing success lies in the creation of effective communication pathways that are aligned with the participants needs and expectations.

As their traditional fundraising marketing and communications plans now takes on a whole new service marketing level, NDIS providers must learn how to incorporate all of the intricate marketing elements relevant to their participants within their marketing plans while in most cases still operating under the same limited marketing resources as prior to the NDIS transition.

At Creative Excellence we believe that these changing marketing demands following the implementation of the NDIS will require some major structural changes to the marketing teams operating within NDIS service provider organisations to compile the right mix of skills to drive the transition with the level of strategic insight and experience needed.

If you’d like more information about what this looks like or any other marketing/business development needs that you have then please take this opportunity to contact creative excellence today.








Author’s insights:

As an Integrated Marketing Strategist with over 20 years’ experience including NPF marketing, roslyn whately knows what it takes to achieve a successful transition to the NDIS whilst building the foundations for sustainable growth.