Table of Contents
- Situational Analysis
- PEST Analysis
- Buy Marketing Plan: The SUE Foundation essay paper online
- Market Summary
- Target Market
- Market Demographics and Needs
- Market Trends
- SWOT Analysis
- Marketing Strategy
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Strategy
- Online Advertising Techniques
- Marketing Objectives
- Related Free Business Essays
The political environment in which the SUE Foundation operates influences its performance and productivity. Being a democratic society, the United States supports operations of non-profit organizations that champion for protection of human rights. This trend can be observed at both federal and state levels. Policymakers and politicians consider NGOs as important tools for promoting quality of life and socio-economic and political developments within American society. Therefore, politicians of both Democratic and Republican Party acknowledge the role played by the SUE Foundation in reducing income inequalities and addressing social problems such as poor health and violence among the youth. While there is positive political goodwill in America, the company’s finances are strained because the company’s dependence on well-wishers’ contributions. Therefore, tax policies and regulations that increase minimum wage pose major threats to its operations.
The state of the nation’s economy influences fundraising of the SUE Foundation and other charitable companies. For instance, the impact of the 2008/2009 economic recession continued to be felt for more than three years in terms of reduced contributions from socially responsible business companies and well-wishers. While many people are willing to open their wallets after the recession, there is a significant fraction of the donor population that is still hesitant to increase their funding. Out of approximately 19 percent of people who report reduction in their contributions to charitable companies, personal economic situations are mentioned as the main factor for failure to maintain the same levels of contributions as compared to previous years.
There are various socio-cultural factors that influence the operation and existence of the SUE Foundation and other non-profit institutions in Chicago. Different generations have different levels of income and interest in charitable organizations. For instance, older groups possess more wealth than youth and middle-age adults. Therefore, they are more likely to contribute to charitable organizations than their more young counterparts. In addition, older and middle-age people take an active part in politics and policy-making thus resulting in social and economic change in people’s livelihood. Young people, on the other hand, seem to be disinterested in political and economic affairs that affect their communities. Many young people are more interested in education, job-seeking and entertaining. Cultural factors also influence the fact that America is more individualistic as opposed to Asian countries, which are more collectivistic. The latter are more likely to be concerned about the affairs of people who live within their communities, while individualistic nations support self-centeredness of people. In the United States, most collectivistic communities are the Natives, who do not occupy most parts of Chicago. Chicago is mainly occupied by white and black communities, which are often inclined to the culture of individualization.
Technology presents major opportunities for non-profit institutions to improve their advocacy and outreach programs. The SUE Foundation can use the opportunities presented by state-of-the-art ICT solutions. Advancements in transport and information technology improve both the organization’s operations and how it delivers aid to needy individuals. Technologies such as mobile communication, tracking, mapping, Big Data analytics, and cloud computing improve the organization’s operational efficiency. These technologies can help the company improve teamwork and coordination by collaborating with other firms to further the efforts geared towards socio-economic development of urban populations. For instance, the SUE Foundation can utilize Big Data to gather intelligence information that can be used to work with government agencies and other firms to direct programmatic changes after gaining insights from crowd sourced, transactional, and other unstructured data from different sources. Big Data can also enable the company to change its business infrastructure.
The primary target market of the SUE Foundation can be broadly categorized into two main categories: organizations and individuals who provide support and individuals and groups that need socio-economic and educational empowerment. Individuals and organizations that provide support for the organization’s activities include: government agencies, donors and financial institutions. The need to raise money to support several missions is a procedure that never ends. Financial support is required from donors. The company has a constant need to acquire new donors while maintaining strong relations with the already existing ones. Donors and financial institutions need to be persuaded to provide financial support to the company’s charitable activities. Government agencies such as the Department of Finance and the Department of Education are important stakeholders who should take an active part in the company’s initiatives. Every year the US government allocates money to support public policy and nonprofit sector. The government is targeted because it can provide policy funding and support.
The second category of target market is the groups that are in need of humanitarian or charitable support within Chicago. They include minority groups that are underserved and those who are socially and economically disempowered. Examples of these groups include women, youth, persons with disabilities and homeless people. Others include individuals with creative and innovative ideas that can transform the society but do not have sufficient financial support to turn their ideas into reality.
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Market Demographics and Needs
The concept of market segmentation holds that every market is comprised of groups of people or organizations with different needs and wants (Kotler, 2012). In the same way, the residents of Chicago differ in terms of needs and support that they require from the organization. For instance, such groups as young girls need to be enlightened on ways to avoid teen pregnancy. Boys, on the other hand, require behavioral change to avoid alcohol and substance abuse. Homeless communities need descent housing, clothing and food. Further, unemployed young people require financial and training empowerment in order to develop entrepreneurial skills.
Demographic segmentation refers to grouping people who share a common demographic makeup (Kotler, 2012). The main demographic variables that the organization takes into account include race, gender, socio-economic status and age. For instance, the company targets young representatives of low-income minority populations when it comes to provision of health and educational empowerment. The company also targets homeless people of all ages, races and gender. Empowerment and capacity building initiatives through the provision of basic or vocational education are programs that target young people. Those who are less educated are supported through sociopolitical empowerment initiatives that are critical to the immediate development of the residents of Chicago.
Women are among the most disadvantaged groups in the United States due to gender-based inequalities in access to education and employment opportunities. Therefore, activities that seek to empower women will be multidimensional and incorporate an extension of the freedom of choice and action in social, economic, and political spheres to improve their lives. This also includes ensuring that they gain control over resources and decisions. Due to gender inequality in the household and the society, this freedom is usually severely curtailed. Therefore, women will be among the most important beneficiaries of this company. The prerequisites for women empowerment are assets and capabilities at the personal level in terms of health, intellectual resources and employment. At the collective level, the organization seeks to improve the ability of women, men, youth, and minorities to organize, mobilize and take action in order to address the challenges that they face. Protection, reintegration and empowerment are some of the most critical needs that should be met to improve the lives of people in need.
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The market trends and practices of non-profit organizations are constantly changing. For instance, the future of NGO fundraising is shifting towards making donors partners and not mere financiers (Kanter & Fine, 2010). Nowadays more people come to non-profit institutions in anticipation of being full partners in their work, and not merely dollar wells to be tapped when money is needed. Thus, donations are projected to be a sequence of meaningful engagements and not measurements.
Non-profit institutions also use story-telling as a marketing tactic to make fundraising personal. Storytelling brings the initiatives of an organization alive and makes their issues real and urgent for the existing and prospective supporters (Kanter & Fine, 2010). Stories are utilized as strategies to put a human face on abstract ideas, offer moral clarity in fights against inequalities, and provide success factors. The use of stories as marketing strategies is a dramatic and empowering strategy as it strengthens connections and strong relations between an organization and members of the public.
Nowadays, most non-profit organizations operate in a competitive environment. Philanthropic companies no longer regard other humanitarian organizations as partners but as competitors. When a company’s managers undertake the activities that are related to external analysis, they often confront other non-profit institutions that also form part of their environment and have the same causal offerings channeled to the same audience (McLeish, 2010). Therefore, they do not function as partners but as competitors. Most rivals in the non-profit industry are firms that provide program substitutes or the same value fulfillments to stakeholders in question. Non-profit institutions and their rivals are sometimes described as comprising of a causal industry. Although it appears strange to describe non-profit companies as constituting an industry, this allows analysts to identify and study the organizations that compete in the same and adjacent fields (McLeish, 2010). Non-profit companies, such as the SUE Foundation, which compete with other non-profit firms within the same city (Chicago), undertake like-minded actions. This means that companies that are located in one city usually have more volatile competitive situations than those whose nearest competitor is hundreds of miles away.
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The SUE Foundation is tax exempt since it is a non-commercial organization. Therefore, the company can provide services to all its target market without facing high tax cuts. Donors and other stakeholders also make contributions that are not subjected to tax cuts. The organization has also established its presence across all the geographical markets of Chicago. This is partly attributed to the fact that it has a strong brand name. The SUE Foundation has a team of volunteers, who perform various roles, making the organization highly dynamic and innovative. Volunteers include policymakers, lawyers, artists, healthcare professionals and communication experts. Being a small organization, these active groups of participants and volunteers are especially important in that they help to make enormous savings.
The SUE Foundation sometimes faces the challenge of covering all its expenses with the revenue it gets. This problem stems from the fact that it is not involved in commercial activities. For instance, the company barely matches the salaries to be paid to the employees with the contributions made by well-wishers. The company’s professionals are also mainly focused on job satisfaction as a form of compensation. Sometimes volunteers lack motivation due to lack of salary increment, thus affecting their performance. Budget challenges sometimes arise when it comes to purchase of suppliers, since it is susceptible to budgetary deficits.
The biggest opportunity of the SUE stems from the fact that it is eligible for grants. Its strong connection to opinion leaders and policymakers at the federal and state levels gives it an opportunity to get more funds to support its initiatives. The company also enjoys strong cooperation and good relations with other financial and business firms that support its activities through their respective corporate social responsibility campaigns. Furthermore, the emergence of new marketing platforms such as social media provides it with an opportunity to expand its outreach to all parts of the state.
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The biggest threat to the SUE Foundation’s operations is its vulnerability to economic recessions. Since the organization mainly relies on fundraising, its revenues often decline during tough economic times. In addition, the company’s existence is strongly dependent on its reputation and views and perception of the general public towards other charitable firms. In such situations, financial improprieties and corruption cases in other organizations may create negative perception towards all charitable companies. Smaller scams can threaten general reputation and operation of the company.
A marketing strategy that the SUE Foundation will embrace depends on the portfolio framework that promotes decision-making related to cash, services, opportunities and growth strategies for different services and divisions through an overt evaluation as opposed to default decision-making (McLeish, 2010). This strategy works by assessing the financial potential of each division and results in marketing and management suggestions regarding the future of each division. In a multi-division non-profit agency, such as the SUE, managers examine their diversified nonprofit services with various causes, services, and causal products and view them as portfolios of businesses, with each area having varying levels of customer potentialities and cash flow. A manager may have many options to select from (McLeish, 2010). There are also different strategies for each division, and different amounts of expenditures and possible audience groups overlapping with varying expectations in terms of services.
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The company will develop a website to market its services directly to its target audiences and online users. The proposed web address for the SUE Foundation will be easy to remember (www.suefoundation.org). In order to ensure that the website attracts users, it will be developed in a way that is user-friendly. For instance, texts, graphics, images and video content will be arranged in a manner that is appealing to the target audience. The website will be also compatible with mobile phones to enable smartphone users to access the company’s marketing content (Management Association, 2015). User-friendliness of the website will be guaranteed by introducing proper navigational features, well-arranged contents that are simple to scan and fast page loading.
Email marketing will be used to reach out to online market. All users and prospective customers will be encouraged to add the organization’s email address to their personal approved list or address book. By becoming an approved sender, the company is most likely to have higher response rates and generate reduced complaints and blocking problems (The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, 2010). The presentation and contents of the marketing messages will be carefully considered and analyzed since recipients normally label any email communication that is not relevant or appears suspicious as spam. Emails will be made effective by ensuring that the company’s email is not at risk of being marked as spam. This can be done by clicking the spam check button. The SUE Foundation will register for all mailbox provider feedback loops. This will help to reduce the number of complaints below 0.1 percent in order to avert temporary or long-term blocks. Email marketing will be important to reach out to members of the online community (The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, 2010). Emails will contain important communication materials such as newsletters, brochures and memos.
Social Media Strategy
The main social media strategies that will be utilized include user engagement and viral communication. In this respect, the company will seek to gain endorsement through the engagement process (Powell, Groves & Dimos, 2011). The organization will develop contents for each audience group and reach out to them by first identifying their key influencers, commenting on their blogs, and then engaging with them directly by utilizing the social media. Social media users will be engaged by reaching out to them and frequently posting marketing contents that will be persuasive in regard to the company’s brand and services (Powell, Groves & Dimos, 2011). One of the most essential strategies aimed at building a strong relationship with social media users is good listening. Instead of merely posting and talking to them online, the organization will first listen to what they are talking about, what interests or concerns them, and how they regard the organization (Kanter & Fine, 2010). Listening is an important step for the company to orient itself online.
Online Advertising Techniques
Online advertising will be mainly done through search engine advertising. The most effective way to find the company’s services through the internet will be through searches made by a user (Hanafizadeh, 2012). Search engine advertising is an online advertising technique which a company can use to promote its services. Thus, when users search for a product similar to those of the company, the search engine will display all the links related to the key term including the company’s website. The search fee is often based on Pay-Per-Click basis. This method is effective since it is a goal-oriented model of advertising and provides high returns on investment. Online advertising will also use intelligent technologies and applications that support behavioral targeting (Hanafizadeh, 2012). These technologies help to identify new target audiences and markets at the earliest opportunity mainly through data analytics. A strong relationship with affiliated advertising network will be established. This will be done to receive leads from the organizations that monitor online communities and record consumer preferences.
The organization needs various metrics to evaluate its performance and productivity. The balanced scorecard approach will be utilized as the main performance measurement system. This strategy helps to translate the company’s strategy into action at all organizational levels (Quagini & Tonchia, 2010). The strategy supports strategic management by emphasizing all aspects of the company in relation to understanding of goals and objectives by enhancing the process of evaluation and upgrading the company’s strategies (Quagini & Tonchia, 2010). The scorecard model drives more effective performance from the top to other levels of the organization, thus aligning employees’ activities with the firm’s overall strategic vision.
The main objectives of engaging in marketing activities include identifying the organization’s target market, establishing alliances and strong relations with stakeholders, fundraising, and letting stakeholders understand that their support helps. As soon as the target market is defined and identified, the company’s marketing division will examine its characteristics and demographics. The marketing initiative also seeks to develop strong alliances between the SUE Foundation and its stakeholders. This can be done through collaborations with other companies, government agencies and individuals. The organization’s marketing activities are not only meant to encourage donations but are also aimed at letting each stakeholder or individual understand that their contributions help. People like to know their financial contributions helped people residing in Chicago.