- Promotional objectives for the blood-collection agency
- Some specific promotional strategies to achieve these objectives
- The relevance to other non-profit organizations
- Possible problems facing the blood-collection agency
- The blood donation as an ongoing service
- The necessary information required as a consumer
- Reference List
Blood donation has been a common practice in different countries across the globes. Different agencies have been established in different countries to deal with the collection and distribution of blood to the health institutions to save lives of other people. In Canada, the Canadian Blood Services (CBS) is an agency that manages the country’s blood system.
The agency is concerned with the collection and distribution of blood and blood products to manage different health problems relation to blood (Smith et al, 2011, p.46). The agency has several collection sites and donor clinics. It carries out the recruitment of blood donors and ensures a continued supply of healthy blood for the needy patients (Smith et al, 2011, p.46).
The agency embarks on extensive promotions to encourage blood donation in the country. However, despite these efforts, the rate of blood donation is still very low in the country with only about 3-4% of the total population donating blood towards the program (Smith et al, 2011, p.46).
The low rates are likely to pose challenges to the health centers that rely on such blood to manage cases like anemia and excessive blood loss following an accident. It is then necessary that other promotional strategies be applied by the CBS and other similar agencies.
Promotional objectives for the blood-collection agency
Promotion as a marketing strategy has been a common practice by many business organizations. The organizations understand the need to attract and retain more customers to have a competitive advantage over their competitors.
The promotions are aimed at increasing the inflow rate of the customers to a given organization and ensuring the customers are satisfied and willing to buy the products again (Taffer Dynamics, 2006, p.7). Such promotional strategies are aimed at increasing sales by expanding the customers’ expenditure on the products and services.
However, the need for marketing has received less consideration in among the non-profit organizations (Lake, 2011). The organizations seem to have the traditional perception that marketing is merely aimed at increasing sales.
The promotional strategies of a non-profit organization should aim at obtaining donors and volunteers. It should also be aimed at satisfying the needs of both the donors and the consumers of the organization (Lake, 2011). Thus, one of the promotional objectives of the blood-collection agency is to attract donors and volunteers who would donate blood or provide financial support to the agency.
The blood-collection agency would wish to have its operations be sustained for a long period. The continuous supply of blood is affected by volunteerism of the individuals in a given country (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2011). This can be achieved if there is a strong relationship that is developed between the donors and the organization.
The donors need to have trust in the agency in order to provide continued support. Therefore, the promotion is also aimed at developing and maintaining trust and loyalty between the blood-collection agency and the donors and volunteers. The level of transparency and integrity that the donors will identify in the agency will determine the amount of trust that they will develop in the agency.
The promotion should also be aimed at improving the public awareness on the importance of blood donation. Some individuals would be willing to give a donation to save the lives of the others yet they lack the information as to where to start. An effective promotional strategy will ensure that this section of the population is reached through an effective means of communication.
Other than the individual volunteers and donors, the promotion should also be aimed at developing a strong relationship between the agency and other organizations. The agency should aim at developing alliances with other non-profit organizations, government agencies, and business organizations.
In the promotion, the agency will require the services of other organizations like the media houses and businesses dealing in consumer goods. A promotion will strengthen the relationships between the agency and such organizations.
Some specific promotional strategies to achieve these objectives
The identity of a given organization is fundamental in ensuring the success of the organization. Just like the business organizations, non-profit organization like a blood-collection agency to have a mechanism through which it could be distinguished from the others. Thus, one of the fundamental promotional strategies is branding
. This will help achieve the objectives of promotion in different ways. Branding enables the donors and volunteers to remember the agency. There is high level of competition for donors among the charity organizations. Branding is the mode of identification that the volunteers will use to distinguish the agency from others (Glick, n.d, p.8).
In this regard, a brand should be developed for the agency that is unique to the agency and can be remembered easily by the donors. A nationally coordinated and recognized blood transfusion service is necessary in ensuring blood safety (WHO, 1999. p.6). Branding is also essential in the advertisement of the organization to these donors.
By providing a proper mechanism for identification, the brand name of the blood-collection agency will improve the level of trust and value that the donors and sponsors will give to the agency (Glick, n.d, p.8). It proves to the donors that the agency is out to serve the interest of the needy members of the public with high degree of integrity.
The next promotional strategy is to apply the services of different advertising media in promoting public awareness. It has been stated that the means of communication between the agency and the willing blood donors may be a hindrance to effective blood donation.
However, unlike other advertisements, the initial encounter with the clients in this case should be more appealing. One of mechanisms of increasing awareness is through direct personal contact with the donors. Researches have shown that ‘most donors take the decisive steps to become a donor and go to the blood center, when another person (a relative, friend, colleague) recommends this’ (Mikkelsen, n.d, p.2).
The agency needs to train its present donors and volunteers to lure the others into the same practice as an attempt to save lives. After being informed by a friend or colleague of the importance of blood donation, individuals often take long periods before they decide to donate towards the program (Mikkelsen, n.d, p.2). During this time, the other modes of advertisements should be used to motivate these donors.
The agency should involve other bodies close to the central govern in order provide a legal image to the promotion and the overall operations of the organization. Advertisement media that are common like radio and television can be used to reach several donors. The use of internet is also increasing rapidly and can be effective in reaching the potential donors.
The relevance to other non-profit organizations
In deed, the results are applicable to the other non-profit organizations as well. All the non-profit organizations are out serve the interest of the public in some way. Unlike the profit organizations that have a working capital upon which the subsequent operations can be based, the non-profit organizations rely on donors or sponsors for continued support of their operations.
They have to adopt these marketing strategies to persuade these sponsors. The donors have to develop trust in these organizations in order to provide this support. The organizations have to give their proper identity as to the services that they provide and promise their accountability in managing the organization’s resources.
Possible problems facing the blood-collection agency
One of the challenges faced by this and other agencies across the globe is the difficulty in the recruitment of blood donors to ensure sufficient blood supply (Smith et al, 2011, p.46). Blood donation is a voluntary exercise and relies on the donors’ innate feeling to donate freely towards supporting other people.
Besides, the difficulty in recruiting blood donors could result from incompatibility of some blood groups. The individuals that are willing to donate blood may not have the blood groups that are required at a particular time.
It has also been observed that the ability and willingness of individuals to donate blood to these agencies are affected by the values observed in a given social network. However, in the event that the social networks do not support blood donation as a value, the networks can provide a strong opposition to blood donation initiative (Smith et al, 2011, p.50). This can be one of the problems in this agency.
Some individuals also fear that donating blood or receiving blood from a donor might pose health problems to them (Medline Plus, 2011). However, such problems are managed by ensuring the safety of the donated blood. The appropriate tests are carried on the donors to confirm that they are fit to donate blood.
The blood donation as an ongoing service
The blood donation is in deed an ongoing service that experience different challenges. The problems that are faced in the service marketing stem from the changing trends in the consumers of such services.
Service marketing thus requires the professionals to be consistent and be committed to their roles (Horton, n.d, p.1). This also applies to the blood collection service. It has unpredictable challenges that can be managed through commitment and dedication.
Besides, it has also been observed that mere partnership is not a key to effective service marketing. Partners with different professional skills often find difficulties in understanding proper marketing and public relations. Thus, in as much the blood collection agency needs to collaborate with other agencies and organizations, there is need to consider if the objectives of the organizations are consistent with the goals of this agency.
The necessary information required as a consumer
An ethical consideration implies that blood donation needs to be provided free of charge. It would be unethical to give away part of your bodily system for remuneration. In the same line, the collection agency should not trade on the freely donated blood and blood products.
Before becoming a donor, the agency has to provide evidence and identification that shows it is a legal body. There has to be a proof the agency is a division is in some department in the government or that it is recognized and supported by the government.
Glick, S. Marketing strategies for non-profit organizations. Web.
Horton, J. The Secret of Service Marketing. Web.
Lake, L., 2011. Eight Basic Steps to Marketing Your Nonprofit Organization. Web.
Medline Plus. 2011. Blood transfusion and donation. Web.
Mikkelsen, N. Promoting Voluntary Blood Donation. International Federation of Blood Donor Organizations. Web.
Smith, A. et al. 2011. Blood Donation and Community: Exploring the Influence of Social Capital. International Journal of Social Inquiry, 4(1); 45-63. (online). Web.
Taffer Dynamics. 2006. Promotional Objectives. Web.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. 2011. Strategies for Increasing the U. S. Blood Supply. Web.
WHO. 1999. Report of the meeting of Experts in Blood Transfusion Services. Web.