Competitor and Market Research for Nonprofits: An Introduction

Competitor and market research are tasks which are often overlooked when charities are being set up, but it is an essential process for anyone who wants to build a successful brand and marketing strategy.

What is it?

It involves looking at the overall trends and general state of the market you are a part of, as well as other organisations that may be your competitors. You then use the information you have gathered as insight into what your customers want and need the most, and how to market these things to them.

The idea of conducting competitor market research and analysis may seem at times a little complicated and outfacing, especially if you are a small organisation or charity with limited time and resources. However, in reality, there are just a few simple steps you can take to better understand your market, which will allow you to formulate a marketing plan that will ultimately be more effective and benefit your business in the long run.

Why do it?

The information you gather can be used to make a clear and precise marketing plan which will save a lot of time and resources in the long run. Marketing that takes your research into consideration will be much more effective than blindly putting out messages to everyone through all marketing channels, with no clear strategy. 

Firstly, market research will give you a better idea of gaps in the market you can fill to set yourself apart from competitors and what marketing methods generally work the best. It will also allow you to consider your own strengths and weaknesses and other possible factors that may affect your success. 

Many nonprofit organisations are comprised of a social impact side and a more commercial side which is needed to provide their services. Having good marketing will be useful for both aspects of the business and will allow you to continue making enough money to then help others as much as possible.

See the rest of our posts on Competitor Research, SWOT analysis and PEST analysis for the stages of competitor and market research you can follow.

The end result 

After you have completed all of this research you will have a much clearer idea of the market in general, including what services and marketing techniques are most successful and the positions and workings of your competitor. You will also better understand the strengths and weaknesses of your own organisation and outside forces which could potentially affect the way you work. 

All of this information can be used to build a strategy which allows you to market your organisation and communicate your cause in the more effective way possible. You will be able to show that your brand has a clear stance in the market with a unique selling position and demonstrate how valuable you will be to your customers and beneficiaries.

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