Essay: Marketing for Humanitarian Organizations

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[. . .] Tangible products have to have an independent physical existence and often have a life cycle that includes a growth phase where the product is developed, maturity phase where the sales of the item are at peak and a sales fall period when the sales decline. It is, therefore, important for marketers to understand each product's lifecycle. They should understand how long the product's life cycle lasts to focus their attention on building a new product in the growth phase once it is in the decline phase. Urbany and Montgomery (1998): 288 go on to state that the marketers must consider the product mix whereby they consider the position of the product, how they can exploit the brand, and how to consider product development strategies.

Rotemberg and Woodford (1991) in their discussion of markup state that price is the amount that the client pays for the product. It is very important because the price determines what the company makes in terms of profit. Any adjustments made to the price affect the marketing strategy of the product. This is because of the product's price elasticity. Ingenbleek et al. (2003): 301 posit that changes in the price of a good or service has an effect on the demand for the product or service. When setting the price of a product or service, the marketer has to be aware of the perceived value of the product by the customer. Therefore, they should pick the appropriate marketing strategy as skimming, penetration, or neutral pricing.

Keating et al. (2008) define about price skimming as a strategy where the company or organization deliberately sets a high price for their product or service at the first instance then lowers the price of the product of service over time. Parker (1992) defines penetration pricing and states that it is used by a company or organization when it sets a lower price than its competitors and the product's final price in order to attract customers. Neutral pricing is defined by Gerstner and Holthausen (1986) as where the company sets the price of the product at the actual eventual price. An example is when an organization sets its price

Boulding et al. (1994): 418 discuss the third P. Of the marketing mix, promotion. They state that it refers to all marketing activities undertaken by the company or organization to increase consumer knowledge about their products or services. Ferrell and Hartline (2010) continue to say that it includes advertising, sales, and public relations. Advertising activities often cover all communication which the company or organization pays for to get information to their consumers. This includes commercials, radio, TV, and Internet commercials, billboards and print media.

Piercy and Evans (1983): 99 define the last P, place. The authors state that it refers to the distribution strategies the company uses to get clients to access their goods and services. Dent (2011) argues that these distribution strategies include selective, intensive, exclusive, and franchising distribution. An example of selective distribution is a company that stocks a product in one location only in order to draw customers to that location.

Neslin et al. (1985) in their discussion point at the communication mix and argue that companies or organizations use seven major ways to communicate their message to their clients. These are advertising, promotion, direct marketing, publicity, sponsorship, exhibitions, and personal selling. Advertising refers to any form of non-personal messages that the company or organization pays for to present or promote their products and services. Barksdale et al. (1995): 73 refer to promotion as short-term incentives that the company or organization uses to encourage purchase of their products or services. Direct marketing refers to email, telephone, fax, or email communication, which the company or organization uses to solicit responses from their clients. Publicity refers to a variety of programs, which the company undertakes to promote their image or the brand of their individual products. Sponsorship and exhibition refers to all activities and programs sponsored by the company to create brand-related interactions between the company products and services and their clients. Evans and McKee (2010): 52 add that personal selling is also an effective strategy where a company relies on word of mouth advertising or other strategies that use face-to-face interaction to promote their products or services.

The donor pyramid is the humanitarian organization's most important tool in marketing. It has the first time donors at the lower level. As suggested by Yi (2010): 471, this is usually the largest pool of donors and presents the greatest prospects for the organization. When the donors give their finances to the organization for the first time, often this spontaneous gift is given once the donors interact with the organization and enjoy their interaction with the organization. Normally they are one-off donations provided after an appeal that for a humanitarian organization is their marketing activity. An appeal can take different forms such as a direct mail appeal, special event where donors are invited to learn about the organization, or online appeal.

Rose-Ackerman (1982): 197 defines the second level of annual or regular giving as the donors who give funds to the organization on annual or other regular basis such as monthly, biannually, etc. This is the second largest pool of donors in the organization. They usually give after giving their first-time donation and becoming satisfied in the organization's activities. For a humanitarian organization to turn their first-time donors into regular donors, it is essential for them to use customer relationship skills to maintain relations between the company and their donors. This is often maintained though providing donors with regular communication to provide the donors with project updates and when the donors are satisfied with the impact of their donation, they are more likely to contribute more to the organization. Often, these donors increase the value of their donations over time since as they continue to become satisfied with the organization's prospects, they are drawn into giving larger donations.

The final level of the donor pyramid, the major gift donors, is discussed by Gompers et al. (1998): 153-155. These are donors who give substantial amounts of money to the humanitarian organization. These are often geared towards capital-intensive projects such as acquiring land, building, or setting up endowment funds. These large donations often require several donors to pool together to reach the required amount for the project. Raising funds for these projects is often done in phases whereby the organization aims to raise a particular amount in the first phase then uses that to start the project after which the next phase is initiated and so on. For these organizations to build major gift donors, they need to establish a strong track record of impact in the communities or areas they work. They build this through building a strong brand that donors can strongly identify with as well as prioritizing their projects for donors to see the value of the project (Barber, 2012).

Sieg and Zhang (2012): 353 discuss the last level in the donor pyramid, the planned gifts donors. These are the smallest in numbers but give the largest amounts to the organization. Donors for these organizations have often great resonance with their organization and believe greatly in the organization's vision and mission. These can be likened to loyal customers, which take long for businesses to build. These donors who give planned gifts can include special requests such as for the projects to be named in their favor or other intents. Because of the relatively large size of their donations, organizations usually feel inclined to honor these requests.

While marketing humanitarian organizations is important to ensure the success of the organization and its projects, the organization must ensure it does not portray a false image of the organization (Keating et al., 2008). They need to project the right image of the organization to the donors. Moreover, since marketing for these organizations is also substantially different from marketing for businesses, they need to ensure they highlight their successes and failures for the donors to be able to make informed decisions to support the organization (Steinberg, 1986). The organizations should also present ethical considerations that they have in their area or community such as having to ask for permission from local area chiefs or other leaders (Kahn, 1978). These need to be portrayed to the donors to enable them see the complete picture of the organization's proposed projects.

For humanitarian organizations, fundraising is an essential part in raising funds they require to run their projects. These organizations receive donations from well-wishers to enable them complete their projects (Leonard, 1977). They often leverage their resources to create appeals for donors to provide small donations (Rose-Ackerman, 1982). These appeals request passionate donors to support the cause of the organization by giving simple donations starting at small values of five to a hundred dollars.

Humanitarian organizations may also ask donors to become members of the organization by paying a monthly fee, which is channeled towards the project of the organization. These memberships are… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Marketing for Humanitarian Organizations.  (2014, March 17).  Retrieved April 23, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/marketing-humanitarian-organizations/5733986

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