Research Paper: Obesity Prevention Marketing Plan

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[. . .] Business Climate

Now seems to be one of the best times for companies such as this to be engaged in social marketing. The reason is that the government is divesting much of its formal involvement in programs which could be better managed and funded by the private sector (Smith & Mentzer, 2010). The government is making the environment for social businesses better so that they can thrive, and take over some of the financial burden that has long been accepted by the government. However, even with that government support there are a large number of companies which are either starting out with a social model (Spaulding, Gottlieb & Jensen, 2008), or they are expanding there present business to include social causes.

The public is much more receptive to private sector involvement also. Since most realize the trouble that the government is having with maintaining the financing of social programs, they have looked to private companies to fill the void. Also, people realize that obesity is an epidemic problem, and they want to see real solutions to it. people are more willing to seek assistance for weight issues.

Since the company also expects to divest into Eastern Europe and the nations that are in developing stages there (such as the Balkan states), it is necessary to look at the business climate there also. The European Union has made it possible for many nations to build there economies because they have a greater number of trade partners. However, the financial downturn that has occurred over the past three or four years has affected a lot of nations. Therefore, there will be some challenges that the company will have to make sure that they have examined (Horwitz, 2007). The term that has previously been coined is third world nation, which, from a financial point-of-view, meant that the country had only one true export (Barreto & Hughes, 2004). However, most nations in the EU can be considered past that designation. A nation may be considered developing though if they meet certain financial criteria. These are "few exports, a decreasing or stagnant ratio of total trade, lack of civil liberties, high ratio of government consumption to the GDP, and a large population over the age of 65" (Barreto & Hughes, 2004). Thus, the entire financial impetus for this move will have to come from the UK at first before the company is able to generate operating funds from the foreign venture. The reason that this program is going to be tried in a developing nation is to determine if it would be socially profitable to the people of these types of nations. Since the people are poor now, and they may gain poor eating habits because the wrong kinds of food become more readily available with the increasing financial well-being of their country, it seems best to start a program such as this before individuals become used to bad habits.

SWOT

Strengths

The corporation was founded by two individuals. One has a great deal of international business experience, and the other is a nurse who has worked with many patients regarding their obesity issues. The company also has enough revenue to operate at current cost for three years, and it has enough dedicated revenue to run indefinitely. The primary program for obesity cessation has been proven effective in clinical trials, and it has been marketed to the public via focus group testing. The business is located near a major hospital which aides in sending clients who need that additional help.

Weaknesses

This is a new concept which has only been investigated in clinical trials. There has been, so far, no real world testing of the process. There a lot of companies which offer similar products and services now that the government has divested itself of many social programs. There is a very small initial budget for advertising whih could be a crucial component of the startup.

Opportunities

Since the government is divesting its role in social services there is a lot of opportunity for private enterprise in this sector. Also, there are many companies which are seeing this type of social marketing company as a great way to spend advertising dollars. There is also an opportunity because there are a lot of people in both the UK and world markets who need better training in obesity prevention.

Threats

The competition will be fierce and there are many new social marketing companies from the UK and overseas the continent which could take away business. This is also the first time this company has tried to build its business on the continent. This means that it could be problematic dealing with language difficulties, hiring people who can bridge the cultural gap and finding enough funding in other countries (Russell, Mort & Hume, 2009). There is also the issue of not being able to establish a brand that is recognizable to the public, especially in foreign markets (Arozian, 2003).

One additional threat which has become more prevalent in recent years is the fear of mismanagement from nonprofit officers (Mitzen, 1998). In many companies "As a result of financial corruption within nonprofit organizations, calls for greater accountability and ethics among boards of directors, members of management, and employees have increased" (Smith & Richmond, 2007). Some of the problems that have been noted have been "fiscal mismanagement, and faulty corporate governance," but solutions have already been attempted to end the occurrence through "Audit committees, whistleblower protection, certification of financial statements, a delineated code of ethics" (Smith & Richmond, 2007). This is listed as a threat because there is the possibility of mistrust on the part of sponsors and donors due to previous mismanagement from other similar firms.

Selected Marketing Strategies

Product

Any company needs to make sure that it has built its brand to the largest extent possible. This goes for nonprofits that need to have a base of customers and donors know who they are.

"Branding is a way to establish a strategic perception of a nonprofit's value among a range of constituencies, including citizens, clients, volunteers, businesses, government organizations, donors, and other groups. It's also a way to organize communications support for initiatives such as outreach programs, fundraising, new programs, member or client communications, and advocacy efforts" (Arozian, 2003) .

Thus, the company must do everything that it can to build the product it is selling as well as the company which is selling the product.

Price

The price of the product is one of the primary methods for introducing the service when there is significant competition. Since this is a nonprofit, the price for the service can be kept low to make sure that as many people as need the service can get it. Advertising will help with making it known to the public the advantages of the product according to pricing and effectiveness over the competition's products.

Distribution (Place)

The company first has a presence in the UK which will be well established before there is any movement into foreign markets. However, the plan is to move into eastern Europe as soon as possible. Also, the service will be distributed throughout the UK via the network of hospitals which come into constant contact with patients who need advice regarding obesity.

Short and Long-Term Projections

The short-term goal is to engage more corporate sponsors who will be able to enroll employees into the program and also provide funds for further expanding the product. Since operating capital already exists for the first three years, it is not critical to have positive cash flow initially, but with partnerships from healthcare organizations and corporations, the company should have no issues meeting costs.

Long-term, this process for reducing obesity should be in schools throughout the UK and Europe. The need for an effective anti-obesity campaign in schools has been noted in much of the research (Story, Kapinghst, & French, 2006). Also, there is a need for these types of programs among the poor of the continent and in the UK (Hood, 2005). The company hopes to help individuals worldwide who are having issues with obesity, and build the product base through further research.

References

Arozian, M. (2003). Branding for nonprofits: How a community nonprofit can establish a presence among those it serves and those it depends on for support by linking its name to a very recognizable symbol. The Public Manager, 32(2), 9-11.

Barreto, R.A., & Hughes, A.W. (2004). Under performers and over achievers: A quantile regression analysis of growth. Economic Record, 80(248), 17-33.

Colls, R., & Evans, B. (2010). Challenging assumptions: Re-thinking the "obesity problem." Geography, 95, 99-104.

Frumkin, P., & Kim, M.T. (2001). Strategic positioning and the financing of nonprofit organizations: Is efficiency rewarded in the contributions marketplace? Public Administration Review, 61(3), 266-277.

Hill, J.O., Wyatt, H.R., & Peters, J.C. (2005). Modifying the environment to reverse obesity. Environmental Health Perspectives, 113(8), 108-116.

Hood, E. (2005).… [END OF PREVIEW]

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