Distribution Strategies for Donate Life Program targeting the Generation Y
The purpose of distribution is to ensure that relevant and adequate information is delivered effectively and efficiently to the target segment via appropriate channels and formats.
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Distribution of information is one of the most important aspects of the Donate Life’s marketing strategy as it strongly determines whether the goals of the organization to recruit more organ donors will be achieved. The objectives of communication in the Generation Y marketing strategy of Donate Life are several and include; creating awareness amongst the generation of the existence of the organ donation program, to educate them how the program works, to inform them where the organization is and its current needs.
In addition, communication will serve to influence and persuade Generation Y to sign up to the organ donation program, to advice them in matters relating to proper organ donation and dispel any myths and rumors that Generation Y could have. Other functions that it will serve are to establish and maintain relationship between the Generation Y and the organization, to convey feelings, emotions, opinions and ideas regarding organ donations in Australia.
Finally, it will keep Generation Y involved in the organizations activities and utilize their abilities and resources in expanding the opportunities for further recruitment through their referral and advocacy work.
In order to be effective I suggest that the Donate Life information distribution strategy to be consumer driven (Kotler, Adam, Denize and Armstrong, 2009). The organization should place its communication messages in media that the Generation Y frequently use or interacts with and communication messages will have contents that attract or draw their attention towards the organization’s messages (Neuborne and Kerwin, 1999).
Characteristics of messages that is effective with Generation Y
Messages that are targeted to the Generation Y must be cool and hip. Donate Life messages should portray organ donation as being fashionable and cool amongst young educated, successful individuals in order to attract their attention and to be persuasive (Junco, Upcraft and Mastrodicasa, 2007).
We know that Generation Y is attracted and persuaded by messages that encourage or reflect social responsibility (Junco et al, 2007). Thus, they are likely to accept and get involved in the Donate Life program when they are informed of the positive role that the organization plays in saving human life and alleviating suffering (McCrindle, 2005).
Messages that target Generation Y should be real because they don’t like pretentious information or half truths. This is because Generation Y is able to access more information than past consumers due to the information age they live in and are therefore positioned to confirm the authenticity of any claims. As such, they are less likely to believe in myths and cultural beliefs as they have grown up in a liberal environment where anything and everything is questioned (Armour, 2005).
This means that Donate Life should ensure they understand Generation Y properly, the messages that they prefer and which reflects their viewpoint (Junco et al, 2007; Shoebrigde, 2006). Thus Donate Life should ensure communication is both respectful and relevant.
To be effective I suggest that viral marketing techniques be used Viral marketing is the use of creative ads and messages in posters, notes, cards, bumper stickers, T-shirts, caps among others and new media such as internet, mobile phones and radio (Neuborne and Kerwin, 1999). Viral marketing techniques are very effective because messages are transmitted quickly from one person to another creating rapid awareness and visibility.
During the period 2011-2012, Donate Life should creatively use both traditional media and conventional media to access the Generation Y segment. This strategy acknowledges the power of media, its influence on how people especially the generation see themselves and the world, their socialization and development (Cyh.com, 2011).
The relevance of media is because it is able to influence opinions, values and provides knowledge and information to the youth; the media affects the youth consciously and unconsciously and it’s a powerful determinant of behavior (Cyh.com, 2011). The following media should constitute the main channels through which the organization will reach the Generation Y.
The internet is the foremost tool that should be used to reach the Generation Y; according to the figures available to the Australian government for instance, 72% of Australian homes are connected to the internet (Ministerdbcde.gov, 2011). Furthermore, the internet is a valuable tool because it allows for direct, interactive and individualized communication.
Donate Life will be able to personalize its communication to individuals in the target segment and it is expected that this will lead to more responses. Additionally, the internet allows for vast amount of information to be made available to the target person which aids in decision making. This is both effective in helping people make decisions and is cheaper than other forms of marketing communication. The internet also presents a wide variety of options to select from.
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These options include: emailing, networking through social media, online boards and bulleting, online advertising, advertising on online TV and video sites, Twitter, Facebook, Flicker, numerous online discussion sites, Online magazines and newspapers amongst others (Cyh.com, 2011). The internet presents a huge opportunity for communicating to the Generation Y.
Donate Life should also use traditional media such as Newspaper, Radio and Television to communicate with the Generation Y. Research has shown that though these are considered old modes of communication, Generation Y members actually access information from them more than previous generations (Nielsen.com, 2011). Donate Life will ensure that the messages are creatively designed to capture the attention of the Generation Y.
Donate Life should also utilize mass media tools such as outdoor advertising to reach the Generation Y. The organization will use billboards and posters and other forms of outdoor advertising. These will be used in metropolitan centers for increased visibility. The organization should also consider printing books, brochures, pamphlets, bumper stickers and distribute branded T-shirts and caps amongst others.
Donate Life will undertake a vigorous promotional event for a period of two weeks during the 2011-2012 year. During this period the organization will carry out a sensitization campaign on radio, TV and newspaper to inform people of its activities. Meetings, seminars, open days and seminars will be held in various cities to inform people about the organization and its work. The promotional event will culminate in a sporting event which the organization will sponsor such as a cycling tour which should involve several major cities.
It is hoped that the media and public attention generated by these events will result in increased awareness of the organization and its activities and lead to more people signing up as organ donors.
Donate Life will use new unconventional media to access the Generation Y; these include computer and video games. The organization will partner with distributors of such games to include Donate Life’s messages in games. The organization will also invest in mobile text advertising strategies whereby text messages will be sent to users randomly. Additionally the organization will use other unconventional media such as CD’s, tapes, online infomercials, cinema advertising among others.
Macro environmental forces that will affect organ donation programs in Australia
Kotler, Adam, Denise and Armstrong (2009) define marketing environment as those forces within and outside marketing management that affect its ability to achieve its goals of meeting consumer needs profitably. The macro environmental forces are those wider forces that an organization has little or no control over.
The forces that constitute the macro environment include demographic, political, socio-cultural, economic, technological, ecological and legal. Donate Life activities will be affected by the macro environment in the following ways:
Demographic factors relate to the size, density, distribution, location, age and gender distribution, occupation, income distribution characteristics of a population (Kotler et al, 2009). The characteristic of the population is important because for Donate Life program the population is both the source and the market of its products.
The age composition of the population will determine what percentage constitutes the baby boomers, the Generation X and the Generation Y. This is an important factor for Donate Life to know because it is interested in the Generation Y. Other characteristics of the population such as density, distribution and location will determine how the marketing campaign will be carried out, which media will be used amongst others.
These relate to the purchasing power and spending ability of consumers. The effectiveness of the Donate Life program is not dependent on the financial position of the donor; thus, this factor is of little direct consequence. The process of recovering organs from donors is carried out by doctors in hospitals after the donor passes away and the costs are covered by the government (Donatelife.gov, 2011).
These factors are concerned with the level of knowledge that is required to carry out the procedure. It is also concerned with developments that could affect the program either positively or negatively as the technology used in organ donation in Australia is advanced.
According to the Donate Life website over 30,000 people are alive today as a result of receiving life saving organs (Donatelife.gov, 2011). According to the program figures the percentage of people who were alive in 2009, five years after receiving an organ in Australia were, kidney patients, 69.3%, heart patients, 74.9%, liver 73.8% (Donatelife.gov.au, 2011). These statistics show that the technology used in Australia is effective.
Political and legal environment is concerned about the existing political ideology, stability and the laws and regulation that govern activities of organizations in a country. The political environment in Australia is very stable; the political ideology supports self determination and personal freedom, therefore the desires of an individual regarding whether or not to participate in organ donation is respected.
Australia laws forbid harvesting of organs from someone who has not consented; this is called an ‘opt in’ policy which states that anyone who has not given consent is not a donor (Donatelife.gov.au, 2011).
The law also requires the consent of family members before organs can be harvested from a dead person but consent for organ to be harvested can be overridden by family members.
Thus, it is important that all donors discuss at length with their family so that in the event organs have to be harvested from them (Donatelife.gov.au, 2011). The law also specifies when organs can be harvested that is only when a person is brain dead. The law also prohibits trafficking of organs and any unauthorized organization engaging in organs harvesting activities.
Socio-cultural factors are concerned with the beliefs, attitudes and opinions of people which are strongly influenced by religion, family and the society. There are strong beliefs and myth about organ donation which contribute to the existing low level of organ donation in Australia. These include myths such as, it is the rich and famous who often require organs and this is because of their carefree wild lifestyles, that if you are a donor, doctors will not do much to save your life if there is someone’s life your organs can save.
Another myth is that the numbers of people who require organs are few and that you cannot donate your organs if you are a young person such as Generation Y and others. These myths are counterproductive to the good work organ donation has done in saving lives in Australia. Donate Life should seeks to reverse these myths and beliefs through its educative and informative media campaign.
Ecological factors are concerned with protection and the sustainability of the environment; it seeks to understand if there are any negative impacts on the environment as a result of an activity. Consideration of the Donate Life program does not appear to indicate any negative effects on the environment; on the contrary Donate Life contributes positively to the environment through protection and enhancement of human life.
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