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Role of strategic market planning

In an environment where there are rising unconventional behaviors between multiple organizations in pursuit of the same “dollars”, business sponsors and very recently volunteers, the capability of standing out is crucial to success. The most perennial problem for any charity organizations is the ability to maintaining sustainable finance. With the struggle against a tide of decreasing operating budget and limited resources, often caused by relegating strategic marketing to a mere afterthought. However, there are solutions to differentiating offerings in an effective and efficient way across to the target audience.

This strategic marketing plan takes into account internal and external environment of the organization while helping define its purpose and intended position in years to come. Ideally, having a strategic marketing plan will orchestrate a number of policies, decisions, values and expectations into particular system and with the appropriate navigation, success lies a meter across.

What you can expect from this strategic marketing plan:

A hierarchical guide of processes which should be followed in order to achieve certain desires aided with elements of marketing.

A walkthrough of the marketing plan using important marketing tools and with the specific use of these components where applicable

The uses of interactive marketing tactics which will enable this organization utilize and maximize the internet across to its target audience with little or no cost.

Situation Analysis

The philanthropic perception of donating to charity organizations has dwindled, albeit rather swift recently. Economics statistics will identify the problem to be the slow recovery from the financial crisis however that is not predominantly the cause. The usual message that resonates within individuals about charity organizations and their values is gradually collapsing. With the increased services and support offered to young people and low financial capabilities of Carolina House Trust, there is need to adopt a tactical approach in order to collect donations and increase awareness beyond operating regions. Perhaps the most utmost challenge would be the inability to get across to people with little or no budget at all. Our lack of exposure has minimized our ability to diversify, significantly reducing the opportunities that are readily available to us.

Market summary

The OSCR (Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator) report of the charity marketplace in Scotland indicates that the number of charity organizations operating under the Scottish Charity register from 2008-2009 compared with 2009-2010 has risen to around 4%. With new applications being pushed forward to the OSCR for review and with the intensity in regions close to Dundee, Carolina House trust will have to devise strategically in order to communicate directly with their target audience and engage them effectively.

The report also indicates that donations to charity has dropped significantly with an average of 3% on income below 25,000 pounds and 5% on income above 25,000 pounds. However, most charity donations are triggered by sympathy and the recent survey by UK Charity commission indicates that 25% of overall charities are made to young people.

According to our reports, our customers both individual and corporate donors are gradually shifting away from our organization since the introduction of better communication tactics by other charity organizations within Scotland.

Faceting our business will ensure structural positioning and systemically suggest ways we could segment our customers (potential and existing).

Market Demographics and Behavior

Profiling the customers for Carolina House trust will consist of the following elements:

Geographic:

The immediate geographical target is Dundee being the 4th largest city in Scotland with an estimated population of 142, 470 according to GRO Scotland Mid Year Estimate 2008.

A target of roughly 40% of 67,000 households will be needed for our focus.

The total targeted population for our marketing is 70,000 people including international students, European students and foreigners.

Demographics:

Dundee is occupied with both male and female, with the females estimated to be around 64.6% of the total population and 68.2% are aged between 15-65 years overall.

The annual income per household has been estimated to be 28,325 pounds.

It has been reported that residents have comfortable lifestyles with lesser debts compared to neighboring cities.

Most jobs are on hourly wages and a favorable percentage of upper class workers.

On average qualification, citizens may have High School education.

From recent reports, 66,200 residents are reported to be employed and 3,481 claimed unemployment benefits.

Psychographics:

Dundee is seen to be one of the most empathic communities in Scotland with loving and caring indigenes. It is a community bound by the principles of helping one another. Their values resonates deeply within themselves and signal towards the less privileged. This is surely an attractive environment for an establishment. Characteristically, the females are more likely to donate to charity than to the men and the figures are to our advantage.

Behaviors:

The continuous positive perception of donating to charity is still enjoyed in the city of Dundee. Reports show the support of the concept and purpose of charity organizations and the widespread awareness of the problems inherent in a program that involves helping young people require communal contributions. Most individuals consider the program to be positive influence for young people as it helps develop the community and also a potential deterrent to homelessness. This being one of the reasons why people would support Carolina House trust.

Market Needs

The fundamental purpose of Carolina House trust remains constant. Accommodation-sponsored programs are severely limited among charity organization in Scotland. This is essentially important for young people who do not have foster care programs, health care services or educational assistance. Carolina House trust seeks to provide these resources to young people with a passion and orchestrate these programs so that it is easily accessible when needed.

Market trends:

The significant trends of donating to charity within Scotland are as follows:

There is a wide range of methods of donating to charity in Scotland; one of the most popular is the cash gifts, with approximately a quarter of the population in Scotland using this method in a typical month. This method creates only 13% of the total annual returns, albeit while being popular, people donate relatively little amounts.

Likewise with Raffle tickets, despite not generating substantial returns, it provides the opportunity to those who don’t have enough to give. Unlike debit gifts or covenants, it is donation that is made spontaneously without prior planning.

At the other end of the scale, cheques, credit cards, debit cards are well above 10% of donations in a typical month because people are more likely to donate huge sums through this method.

Tax-efficient giving grew public awareness after the changes in tax-efficient schemes in April 2000 by the government. This process promotes culture giving and tax relief.

According to the CAF charity trends 2005, corporate donations have substantially boosted financial support in the charity sector, with increasing donations from the banking sector. But big giving is relatively low among huge companies with 52 companies only giving 1% of the pre-tax profits. Following recent reports, GlaxoSmithKline remains the dominating company will consistent support.

Legacy trends have become a dependable means of support for charity organizations in the UK. It is seen to be reassuring in weather of forthcoming public spending cuts. In an event where there is a recessionary climate in the economy, charities seek the income from legacies.

Market Growth

Following the latest published Charity Market Monitor report for the overall fundraising for charities in the UK, there was a drastic declination of income for 2010 compared with the previous year. It revealed that overall income rose by 0.7%, a figure similar to the GDP of a wider economy within the same period. Assuming this correlation continues, analyst predicts that the income for charity is likely to decline swiftly in years ahead. However, legacy incomes rose significantly, pushing as a vehicle of support though it is not dependable in a long term.

The report also revealed that there were sharp falls from charitable grants, corporate trust and individual donations due to the recovery from the financial recession. Ultimately, fundraising for charity is closely related to the temperature of the economy and the necessity to follow these trends closely will help determine future prospects.

SWOT ANALYSIS

The following delineates the important strengths and weaknesses internal to Carolina House trust, and the threats and opportunities existing within our environment. We intend to leverage our strengths and utilize the opportunities our market presents, restructure those areas that appear to be weakness and formulate contingency arrangements to tackle threats if they materialize.

Strengths:

Program Reputation: Carolina House trust is considered as one of the premier choice for support and care for young people in Dundee, with three residential units in Scotland, the acknowledgement of their services is unquestionable.

Donor Base: We have established a relatively stable donor base from both individual and corporate sources which has consequently driven our activities over the years. The transparency of their efforts is also made aware.

Facilities & Staff: We are proud to advertise our state of the art facilities and the commitments of our staffs. We operate with a passion and ensure the needs of individual employees are met, while receiving continual support from volunteers.

Internet: Our website, www.carolina.org.uk tends to demonstrate our values and services we provide to young people. With easy accessibility and frequent updates, it provides an incentive for attracting and engaging customers worldwide.

Weaknesses:

Capital Constraints: Though Carolina House trust continues to maintain an impressive management of financial resources, there is need for additional funds following the residential project initiative in Dundee. The prospect of this project is dependent on the immediate financial resources.

Widespread Awareness: Resides being popular in Dundee, Carolina House trust struggles to penetrate other markets. There have been limitations in providing services and raising funds in regions where we don’t operate and this has hampered growth. Various tactics have been applied but all have been repulsed. Carolina House trust has not accurately captured how donors came aware of their existence.

Opportunities:

Community: Carolina House trust continues to be one of the precedent-setting organizations that catch the attention from the surrounding community and metropolitan cities alike. The impact on our revenue opportunities will be hung on the decisions we make in our serving areas. The need to orchestrate and manage this growth strategy will determine if it will add value to our strength.

Enlightenment: Carolina House trust will consistently have to tell its story to the communities it serves. The significance of this message will reinforce the philosophy and rationale of its existence; in return the supply of resources will be available for Carolina House trust.

Population: With the increasing number of students studying in Dundee, the opportunities remain limitless. Carolina House trust would have to communicate directly with these students as they are more likely to channel our purpose more effectively.

Threats:

Some of the major threats Carolina House trust faces are outline in the following:

Alternative Providers: Carolina House trust competes with a huge number of charity organizations per capita. With numerous charity organizations in Dundee targeting the same individual and corporate revenue of sources and implication it will have the growing population, the ability to communicate with our target audience might be severed.

Economic Distress: In an event where there is economic downturn or public spending cuts, the effect dwindle the financial resources and potential revenues from our existing and potential customers.

Competition and Alternative Providers:

A number of other charity organization offering similar services unfold widely within this geographical region. Although, our services are somewhat unique, the market is still perceived in the same pattern. However, our proposed new project in Dundee will dramatically differentiate us away from the others and will clearly-define our purpose in the community. Some of the major alternative providers offering similar services and the donors are as follows:

Broughty Ferry Y.M.C.A: is located at brought ferry, Dundee provides support and care for young people and is official sponsored by Royal Bank of Scotland. Their donor base is quite extensive and has reached out through raffle tickets all the way up to cash gifts.

Youth link trust: provides similar programs through schools and has strategically influenced the community to support them through individual donations. Annually, they conduct fundraising events which attracts many parents and corporations.

Other charity organizations with their respective duties pose financial threats to our organization and with the hospital programs that collect donations for support for young people can easily reduce our revenue. Other competition may include stores like superstores, kiosks, and individuals collecting donations for charity.

Service Offering

Carolina House trust is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing support and care for young people and that is an integral part of community development. It is an establishment that believes that every child deserves an opportunity to succeed in a difficult economy. It is fostered in an environment where opportunities are provided regardless of status or race and it is bent on providing a positive life experience that will guide in achieving individual desires.

The Carolina house trust experience is designed to offer the following to young people:

Advancement of Education

Advancement of Health

Advancement of Citizenship or Community Development

Provision of recreational facilities

Promotion of Equality and Diversity

Relief of those in need through Age, Ill Health, Disability

Analogous Purpose

The community realizes the benefits of these programs and will continually show their support as long as its purpose remains influential.

Keys to success:

Broaden our awareness to other geographical regions that desire access to Carolina House trust.

Leverage the concept and purpose of our services by increasing interest within the communities we serve.

Identify other facilities that would support future growth and present flexibility in scheduling.

Strategically develop our donor base and contributions that stabilizes our financial capabilities.

Critical Issues

The strengths of Carolina House trust remains impressive, we have identified our weaknesses and potential solutions are drawn to address them. Carolina House trust can be characterized as a speculative condition. We have been presented with numerous opportunities and also threats that can be leveled at a minimal effect if it occurs. However, we can utilize our services to substantiate large returns on our efforts whilst capturing the market share without adversely impacting the alternative programs in the market. Surely, Carolina House trust has the ability to provide the best value and continuously take advantage of our economies of scale.

Some of the critical issues of Carolina House trust include:

Offering a program that is perceived as a positive, influential and highly crucial compared to alternative programs within the area

Perceived by both public and private as a valuable resource that complements the community.

Marketing Strategy

Carolina House trust strives to be the unique provider of support and care services for young people in the areas served. We have established programs that will simultaneously serve out-of-district customers in a manner that will enhance revenue streams and also be a positive experience for them.

Our marketing strategy will attempt to communicate and engage the values of our services to our customers. This strategy will stringently focus on cost effective measures of attracting donations and support from communities. To improve our awareness will involve the use of social media to promote our organization and channel the experience of our program to our target audience. In this manner both our customers and communities will stay informed of your programs.

This strategy will continue to identify the needs of the markets and follows the new trends of the market as they continue to grow and communicate with this audience in a most effective and efficient manner. The marketing strategy will create a process of maintaining client’s loyalty, facilitate donation ease and provide service accessibility to our customers. Carolina House trust will constantly improve the programs and make necessary changes in its structure and implementation.

The attention to the quality of the experience as well as spotting opportunities both financial and potential will measure our growth. Our growth strategy will be based on this principle. This marketing strategy is able us to improvise in an event where challenges are increasing but identifying our competitors programs and utilizing their weakness to our advantage.

Marketing Objectives

Our objective is to build a sustainable financial source that will enable to fund our operations for our new project and create awareness worldwide. In order to accomplish that we have create a meaningful experience for our target audience that will resonate within them. This experience will enable our target audience understand the problems and by doing so, our hope will be for them to empower our goals.

Our baseline data is 6,000 pounds in individual donations, 160,000 pounds in corporate donations, 52 positive reviews, 5 general interest stories and also 80,000 web traffic per month.

Increase our customer’s donations to reach the benchmark of our major competitors.

Increase the number of views of our Youtube channel by 100,000 views per video.

Increase donations from our frequent donors.

Employ experienced marketing personnel to monitor the changes that occur in the market.

Receive high ratings from rating agencies and individuals alike.

Maintain donations despite economic downturn.

Finally, raise a total sum of 500,000 pounds within 3 years.

Target Market

The target market of Carolina House trust is people of ages 20 to 65. We intend to focus mainly on the females. For our focus, we will need 35,000 households with incomes below and above 25,000 pounds. As regards to corporate entities, we are reassured that superstores like Tesco and banks like Lloyds TSB will show their support. We will also try to reach out to other corporate organizations in other geographical areas for their support.

We seek both educated and non-educated that values honestly, integrity and a stable relationship. These potential customers will be able to stay in touch with our social network program with computer capabilities.

Our target market will include regions far wide to other continental states.

Positioning

Carolina House trust, a century long organization has been providing an attractive, and stimulating experience to the communities it serves. Positioning ourselves as a market challenger can be rigorously difficult given the present circumstances, but the concept challenges our target audience to see our programmes differently and stay with us for long periods of time. Carolina House trust intends to be perceived as the unique organization that provides care and support to young people in Scotland and around the world, possibly and the only way this can be achieved is if we advertise our uniqueness across through appropriate mediums.

Strategy Pyramid

Recalling the series of competitive tactics applied by our competitors, such as regional advertisements of all kinds, collective donations from streets and stores, direct mails, strategic partnership with other organization, outreach teams, games and contest, marketing through search engines. From the list in the preceding sentence, none of our competitors has really utilized the power of the internet to engage and fund-raise. The concept is deemed to be time consuming and not resourceful but in reality, the internet is the gateway to many channels.

Evaluate the present ongoing marketing strategy and apply the list below as a support.

There are no legal restrictions against advertising and fund raising through the internet and we are going to utilize its ability to the fullest.

Tactics No.1 – A

For awareness:

Social Media:

Open a Facebook, myspace discussion group and outreach teams to advertising your services. Ensure that every member is encouraged to invite as many people as possible. Include pictures of the young people that need care and support and have them write post on the pages. This will create empathy among member and the awareness will fly over our expectations.

Open a twitter page and include it on the website. Write on the blogs as frequent as possible and share the problems we encounter and seek solutions, it will productive as many might share your message across to others.

Open a YouTube channel and post videos weekly, probably create a game show or any event that will engage your audience. Also endeavor to post them on both the Facebook page and twitter page.

Explore the opportunity to request for organizational support from Facebook and YouTube, where advertisements of our organization can be published through “causes” or highlighted ads on YouTube videos. Usually, they are at minimal cost depending on the targeted audience.

The specifics of this approach are in Appendix 1.

For Fund-raising:

Through any of these mediums of awareness tactics mentioned above, fundraising can be established through the most intensive.

Carolina House trust should include specific donations on their website and fundraising activities. Many donors are very confused about how much they should contribute. This figure must be in line with the financial objectives and the expected time horizon in which it should be achieved.

Establish a movement likes “taking good care of donors”. Provide them with grants or awards, and collect donations.

Seek meetings with different organizations and encourage them to make contributions to our organization. Could be as a medium of advertisement that will bring donations or just donations from the organization itself. Propose that the contributions whatsoever will be advertised across the market and it will be productive for the organization itself.

Marketing Mix

Carolina House trust’s marketing mix comprises of following approaches to price, promotion, people, place, process and physical evidence.

Price: Carolina House trust has a sliding scale of pricing for donations, specific to individuals or corporate entities depending on their income level.

Promotion: Carolina House trust will manage its most successful promotion and advertising mainly through networking activities.

People: In the charity organizations business, most people believe that we do not have customers; however Carolina House trust has identified its theory customers and will treat them as they are very important for the success of our business.

Place: Carolina House trust are licensed to operate anywhere with the jurisdiction of the Scottish territory.

Process: Carolina House trust is aware of the expected process of delivering services across to our audience and will ensure that the internal organizational functions are understandable and the experienced intended to be delivered to the customer is excellent.

Physical Evidence: Carolina House trust will ensure that its facilities will be kept properly even above standards.

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