A charity organization is an essential element of a community since it allows supporting disadvantaged and vulnerable members of the population, at the same time increasing the extent of collaboration, social activity, and engagement among community members. Therefore, this charity, which was created to support children from different socioeconomic backgrounds and provide them with the resources necessary for education and well-being, is worth considering as an important part of the local community. Furthermore, given the significance of economic and social support for children that come from poor socioeconomic backgrounds, the organization under analysis should expand to embrace a wider range of children (Pratono & Tjahjono 2017). By promoting Children at Risk (CAR) as an institution that offers extensive support in different forms, ranging from educational resources to financial assistance, one will be able to manage some of the current concerns in London communities and increase the extent of social activism among citizens.
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To ensure the expansion of the organization, a marketing campaign that raises awareness is due. In the process, the areas such as the development of brand identity, the analysis of potential population segments and their needs, and the promotion of effective communication will be considered. Moreover, one will have to design an appropriate strategy for the allocation of CAR’s resources to address possible financial risks that the organization is likely to sustain. Attracting potential investors and raising awareness regarding the needs of children from challenging socioeconomic backgrounds are the essential objectives that the plan described below will pursue.
Marketing: Definition and Key Steps
As both a field of research and a set of strategies for attracting target audiences to a particular product or service, marketing is a truly fascinating notion. The concept of marketing has several definitions, each allowing audiences to view the notion from a unique perspective and contextualize it. According to Gottfried and Pennavaria (2017, p. 111), marketing is an “ongoing communications exchange with customers in a way that educates, informs and builds relationships over time.” The focus on education is a critical aspect of marketing since it allows an organization to forecast and even control the levels of demand for a particular service to a certain extent. Therefore, introducing marketing principles into the framework of CAR will help one to encourage target audiences to recognize the problem of resources in disadvantaged communities. In the context of the target project, one will need to consider several goals, the key one being raising awareness among potential investors.
Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning
Identifying and Attracting the Selected Segments
The process of market segmentation is rather complicated for charities due to the restrictions associated with the use and allocation of financial resources. Presently, the CAR targets the firms that donate to not-for-profit organizations and people that have a consistent source of income and, therefore, are capable to supply it with regular donations (monthly payments are currently the preferred option). For this reason, the strategy that will allow attracting the attention of potential financial supporters of the firm should target the described segments of the local market.
The described segments can be seen as rather broad categories since the identified age group and economic characteristics apply to a vast variety of people and organizations. However, appealing to the described segments will become [possible as soon as CAR selects the approach that will make the organization easily distinguishable from the rest of the charity companies that operate in the designated area. For this purpose, CAR may need to focus on developing the competitive advantage that will make it memorable and distinctively different from similar organizations (Jin 2017). For example, CAR may need to consider focusing on the application of innovative approaches in its social work and the use of counseling techniques as the methods of assisting target populations.
In addition, the selected segments can be attracted by appealing to their sense of social responsibility by emphasizing the importance of assisting children from disadvantaged communities. However, it should be noted that the described approach toward attracting target segments of the London population may be regarded as manipulative, which is likely to divert a certain percentage of target audiences from CAR. Thus, the use of the imagery that will invoke sentimental feelings and the sense of guilt should not be overused; instead, GAR should incorporate only small elements thereof carefully into its promotion campaign to establish the legitimacy of its cause.,
Targeting, Positioning and Their Importance
The targeting approach, in turn, may involve sending the mail that will attract the attention of the selected people and entities, as well as creating advertisements that will convince people and organizations interested in the well-being of local children to support the cause. The active use of social networking should also be interpreted as an important strategy that CAR will deploy to build awareness within the community and introduce the principles of cooperation as the means of assisting the selected vulnerable groups (Younis & Qureshi 2017). The application of innovative ICT tools will allow CAR to keep the target demographic informed about its changes and needs, thus maintaining the dialogue regular and processing feedback from its partners immediately.
Moreover, it is crucial to position CAR as the company that strives to meet the needs of disadvantaged communities, at the same time stressing the company’s willingness to seek additional resources for assisting the target demographic, including technological, personal, and sociocultural support. The organization should be seen as a charity that is willing to make an extra step to establishing a cross-cultural dialogue with the disadvantaged communities that it strives to support. The significance of targeting and positioning cannot possibly be underestimated for CAR. By following the described strategies, the firm will construct the market image that will allow it to shape its target audiences and attract new ones, thus making the firm financially lucrative and creating the setting in which CAR will be seen as a compelling and effective entity (Lei & Moon 2015). By utilizing the proposed strategies, CAR will be capable of creating a convincing and memorable brand image that will drive the attention of potential partners and investors.
Stages of Buyer Behaviour
Understanding the specifics of buyers’ behaviours is crucial for the successful performance of any organisation. For a charity, the analysis of buyer behaviour is particularly important due to the restricted amount of financial assets that a company can use. Therefore, considering the frameworks that provide detailed explanations of the intrinsic factors defining buyers’ decision-making outcomes is critical. Traditionally, the existing theoretical perspectives identify five stages of buyer behavior, which include the location of a problem, the identification of the solution, assessment of alternative options, purchase of the selected product or service, and the post-purchase behavior (see Fig. 1) (Lantos 2015).
About a charity, the specified behaviors will involve learning about the lack of support for children from disadvantaged families and the challenges that the specified concern poses for vulnerable groups (stage 1). At the second stage, potential buyers are expected to consider donating to CAR so that the company could provide the target population with the required resources and funds. The third step, in turn, will involve bargaining and seeking other solutions, including other charities or the means of affecting the situation of disadvantaged families through legislation or social services. At the fourth stage, target buyers are expected to invest in CAR to support its cause and address the needs of children from disadvantaged backgrounds (Saeidi et al. 2015). The fifth and final stage of the proposed framework will involve contemplations about the decision to donate and the outcomes of the donation. It is expected that, with a proper marketing campaign, the fifth stage will lead to the decision to support CAR’s cause regularly and donate to the organization on a monthly or annual basis.
Product Cycle and Extended Marketing Mix
Stages of Product Cycle and Changes in Marketing Strategies
In the context of CAR, the introduction stage will involve setting the platform for establishing the organization’s influence in the London setting. The designated stage will require using social advertising and digital marketing to build awareness about the needs of disadvantaged children. The described stage will also incorporate the processes of shaping CAR’s marketing framework and the approach toward allocating its resources (Restuccia et al. 2015). Moreover, it is required to support the introduction stage with an event that will attract the attention of the selected parties, including both individual contributors to CAR’s development and corporate entities. Thus, the organization will receive the funding and social support required for the active promotion of its cause (Ayantunji 2016). At the specified stage, it will be critical for CAR to arrange the company’s resources and shaping its strategy so that it could expand and address the needs of disadvantaged children on state-wide and even global levels.
The maturity stage, in turn, will involve ensuring that the company’s performance rates are kept at the same level and that its market share remains consistent. The described goal will be comparatively easy to attain as long as CAR remains relevant and uses the available information management tools to reach out to every possible stakeholder (Wang, Wang & Zhao 2015). The conflict between the latter, in turn, can be regarded as one of the major impediments that may hamper the company’s development at the specified stage, leading to its further decline (Hedberg et al. 2016). To avoid stakeholder conflict, CAR will have to introduce the corporate values and philosophies that will imply valuing the contribution of everyone involved in the enhancement of the organization’s performance.
Finally, CAR will have to face its decline stage, which will imply the loss of interest toward the organization’s performance. It should be noted that, as CAR enters the stage of its decline, the support of children from disadvantaged backgrounds will not cease to exist. Instead, other charities that purport the idea of supporting children from economically struggling families more effectively may emerge, taking over the target market and attracting the attention of potential investors. To handle the process of decline successfully, the firm should allocate its resources carefully and create an environment in which it would not suffer significant losses when exiting the target market.
It is expected that the company will alter its marketing approach as it passes from one stage to another. At the beginning of its functioning, CAR will need to establish a presence in the London setting. During its growth, CAR will focus on attracting new audiences and expanding into the new economic environments. During its maturity, the firm will strive to keep its stakeholders engaged in the organization’s performance and cause. Reaching its decline, CAR will use an exit strategy that will help it to meet the stakeholders’ needs.
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Extended Marketing Mix for the Charity Organisation
To succeed in the selected area, CAR will have to develop a proper marketing strategy. For this purpose, the use of the Extended Marketing Mix, also known as the 7Ps of marketing, will be required. Involving the management of seven aspects of marketing (Product, Price, Promotion, Price, People, Process, physical), the proposed framework will provide opportunities for the organization to evaluate its chances for success and develop a sustainable approach toward appealing to the target demographic (Boonpradub & Thechatakerng 2015).
Since CAR is a non-profit company, the product in the 7Ps framework will be equivalent to the services offered to the intended population, which in the case under analysis is represented by children from poor socioeconomic backgrounds. The price component, in turn, will imply the funds required for addressing the needs of children. Currently, the goals of the company include reaching $50,000 for providing children from the local poor community with the required resources and providing consultations and assistance to their parents or legal guardians. Furthermore, the social support will require costs associated with transportation.
The place aspect of the 7Ps structure, in turn, suggests that the target audiences should be provided with a venue where they can receive the necessary services and products. While delivering these services to children directly is currently the goal of CAR, it may also be needed to create a center where children can receive the needed assistance, support, counseling, and guidance. The described goals will require extensive communication, which will be covered with the help of the promotion section. The identified stage of the 7Ps implementation will be twofold for CAR since it will imply communicating with its investors and recipients of its charity services. Thus, the integration of social networks and traditional tools for disseminating information will be needed (Jackson & Ahuja 2016). The application of digital marketing strategies will be essential for spreading awareness among potential investors and business partners, whereas traditional media tools will be useful for communicating with the populations whose needs CAR will strive to meet.
The promotion will be performed by setting a major event and focusing on the active use of social media as the means of shedding light on the desperate situation of children that come from poor socioeconomic backgrounds. The integration of different promotional tools is critical since it will allow CAR to appeal to all types of potential stakeholders. Furthermore, the use of both digital and traditional media will help to attract the attention of the organization’s key audience, which is children from disadvantaged communities. Thus, the target demographic will receive the necessary support, counseling, and information required for the further management of their needs.
CAR will also need physical evidence of its performance, which will include interviews with children and their family members. Reports concerning the well-being of children from disadvantaged communities will also be used to prove CAR’s efficacy. The process will involve locating the resources that are in deficit in the target community and delivering them to the specified demographic using the most effective infrastructure available. Finally, the people that will be involved in the performance of the organization constitute its employees, business partners, community members, and local authorities (Fadahunsi & Kargwell 2015).
Decisions Involved in Developing an Advertising Program
For CAR to succeed in the realm of the London charity setting, it will be critical to developing a program that will allow attracting investors and potential partners, at the same time keeping the focus on the key audiences of the organization. Making the advertisement that appeals to both children from economically disadvantaged families and potential investors is a rather challenging task, yet it can be managed by using a set of images and symbols that represent the problem and focus on the emotional needs of the specified demographic. Thus, the advertisement will be understandable to both children from poor backgrounds and CAR’s future partners. The task of appealing to children from economically complicated backgrounds is simplified by the necessity to target primarily their caretakers, parents, or guardians (Spear 2017). However, it is also critical that CAR should encourage building awareness among children as well, educating them about their needs and rights, as well as the resources that they can use to receive the required assistance.
Thus, the key decision on which the advertisement program will be based involves making the key message of the organization palatable to every single stakeholder involved. Another crucial decision that CAR will have to make concerns the range of media that it will utilize to spread the required information across the community. It is crucial to reach out to every single member thereof, driving the attention of authorities and general audiences to the identified concern. With the increase in the awareness rates, local authorities, organizations, and individuals can join efforts to maximize the outcomes and enhance the efficacy of the program (Sanzo et al. 2014). As a result, CAR will receive an opportunity to cater to the needs of vulnerable groups uninhibitedly and control the management of the target audience’s concerns.
Business Areas That Require Close Attention
At present, CAR will need to allocate its resources very carefully. Since the company will have to rely on findings extensively in the future, it is imperative to design the approach that will allow the firm to address the problem of costs, at the same time funding its target demographic and providing them with the necessary resources.
In addition, the public image and the brand identity that CAR will develop in the target environment should be the subject of close attention. While it is not typical for charity organizations to focus on marketing and especially branding, the creation of the image that will appeal to the target population, including investors and business partners, is critical for success. Therefore, the business areas associated with the organization’s public profile and especially the set of values that it merits as its foundational principles should be scrutinized closely. CAR must be viewed as trustworthy and reliable to both parents of disadvantaged children and potential business partners. Thus, CAR will attract the attention of investors and receives the acclaim that will help it to keep its growth stage at a comparatively long period. In addition, the issue of trustworthiness and reliability should be addressed. Thus, the business areas that should represent a particular concern for CAR are currently its marketing and public relations. As long as the organization maintains the communication with its key stakeholders open and honest, CAR will be able to keep growing in the UK and even global economic setting.
Recommendations for Further Actions
To create a compelling brand image and a memorable identity that will attract the attention of its target demographic, CAR will have to utilize the latest stools, thus involving its audiences in dialogue and creating a sense of urgency. In addition, the increased levels of engagement will convince the participants that they have a huge agency in the process of assisting vulnerable groups, particularly, children from disadvantaged backgrounds. With the consistent feedback and the communication that will be supported through social networks, the contributors to the cause will remain informed about the changes that will have been made to the lives of children. Thus, it is strongly recommended to integrate the latest technological tools into the design of a digital marketing strategy that will allow CAR to keep its buyers informed and maintain the conversation with them.
In addition, the suggested tool will allow processing feedback from the target audiences. As a result, the organization will shape the role of its investors and the rest of the community in the promotion of well-being among the identified vulnerable groups. By showing the results of the campaigns that will be held to support children from disadvantaged backgrounds, CAR will create a system of transparency and clarity that will encourage participants to support the organization and its cause. Thus, based on the sense of trust and the idea of clarity, CAR will be capable of helping children from financially unhealthy backgrounds.
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