Digital marketing for NFPs is increasingly important as individuals reach out to services online and expect them to respond accordingly. This case study highlights how digital marketing can make a powerful difference to those in need. Consider this case study where one person has two very different experiences as they consider whether to make contact with a domestic violence service. This example is based on a not for profit but could equally be applied to a small business or individual. It highlights the need to ensure an individual in need can easily find the information they need, when they need it and where they need it – that is where digital marketing comes into play.  Are you sensitive to the needs of the individuals seeking your assistance? And don’t forget that it’s vitally important to remember that you are speaking to one person at a time. You’re not shouting into a room full of people not listening. You’re speaking openly and honestly to that one person who is reaching out to you…. that is where the power of digital marketing comes into play.

Case Study: Digital Marketing and Domestic Violence Service


It’s two o’clock in the morning and Jess finally feels at ease now that her husband is sleeping off the fight and the alcohol. It’s the second time he’s hit her and both times have been in the last month. Jess is feeling numb and confused about what to do. John was a bit out of it when he lost his cool and seemed to be genuinely sorry.Jess just wants to escape the thoughts for a while so decides to check out what her friends have been doing and logs onto her favourite social media site, good ol’ Facebook.

Jess is only five minutes in, when in her feed, as if speaking directly to her, is a post about how to recognise if you are in an abusive relationship. Jess stops in her tracks. She knows in the pit of her stomach that things are bad but she’s not ready to face that right now.

Two days later, after Jess has had a chance to digest what happened and how she feels, she decides to search out that advice after all. She feels safer doing it from work but can’t quite remember what to search. She logs into Facebook but the sponsored link is long gone.

An online search should do the trick and yes Jess is able to find a domestic violence service but it’s not actually the one she was looking for. The service assists women who want to leave their partners but Jess was simply looking for some advice or someone to talk to. Jess had been feeling alone and was hoping to reach out for reassurance but feels a bit despaired that her search has not resulted in the outcome she so desired.


Now imagine when it is two days later and Jess logs into Facebook. This time instead of the sponsored link, there is an ad with the same message. Jess clicks through the ad and is taken to a Facebook page owned by the local domestic violence service, which offers advice and support for women confused by an abusive relationship. Jess reads the information which provides her some useful things to think about and she remembers the name of the service in case she might want to look them up again. In fact, she notices they have a facebook post about feeling positive so she is brave enough to like it; after all it’s simply a beautiful quote and gives her something to trace if she wants to find them again.A week later, Jess is feeling frightened by her partner who has come home drunk again. Thanks to the advice she’d read, she decides to go for a drive to get out of the house for a while. In fact, she decides to do an online search for that same domestic violence service and they appear at the top of the search. She clicks through to the site. The site is optimised for mobile so she easily finds a call to action that suggests she give them a call. With a touch of her screen or in old school terms, the click of a button, she’s making what could be a life saving phonecall.

The domestic violence service even has a quick escape link, so users can navigate away without a trace of their actions, if feeling threatened.

What this story highlights is that it is about the individual experience and making sure you navigate humans in a way that is responsive and meets their needs. This is true of all brands and organisations but it is of particular importance to not for profits.

Not for profits are often providing advice and services to people who have complex needs. Not for profits often deal with people in distress; dealing with news of a diagnosis, bequeathing money on behalf of a passed on relative, or simply wanting to access government payments. The online world is a labyrinth of information and images and the role of online marketing is to cut through the sensory overload and help determine the information your audience needs and then seamlessly navigate them to it.