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Proposed campaign title

Describe about the Integrated Marketing Communications Campaing,  a Case of Surfers Against Sewage?

The major income of the SAS charity results from the monetary contribution of the existing members of the foundation. However, the decrease in the number of members has required the foundation to undertake the promotional activities concerning recruitment and retention of members (Hackley, 2010). In this regard, the following will be an appropriate tagline to define the situation to the target market - “No water, No life – Be a priceless volunteer and save the oceans”.

a. The market

The charity or voluntary sector in UK is referred to as the third sector or the nonprofit sector. As per the reports of Forbes around one, 80,000 charities are registered in UK and all the charity operates based on the membership fees and individual donations. Some of the major operating charity foundations in UK are namely Alzheimer’s society, British Red Cross, Macmillan Cancer Support, National Trust and Age UK (Ivanov, 2012) . The Bloomberg financial reports shows that the consumer spending on the charitable institutions have reduced by one fifth since 2012 however the demand for charitable services have increased which has made the foundations in acute need for funds. The Charities Aid Foundation reports if the current market situation prevails then around 60% of the charities will close within 2020. The levels of UK consumers spending on the charitable services have reduced from 32.5% in 1978 to 27.4% in 2008. Engel et al. (2000) suggested that this variation in the charity expense depends upon the household income.

A recent study by Mintel shows that around 80% of the UK population are environment concerned and are ready to make donations. On analysis of the composition of the total population contributing for the charitable purpose, highest donations were recorded among the customers within the age group of 18 to 35 years (Gurău, 2008). The SAS survey reports shows that around 78%of the consumers within this age group are highly conscious about the negative effects of environmental degradation. Moreover, around 60% of the women contributed to the charity compared to men. However, on analyzing the sector receiving the highest proportion of donations it was recorded that the medical research institutes record the highest amount of donations.

Figure 1: Donations to different sectors in UK

(Source: Sas.org.uk, 2015)

Apart from the environment and charity concerns around 55% of the UK population makes donations for getting tax benefits (Hayes, 2012). The following graph shows the percentage of adult population of UK giving charity in different years.

Figure 2: Percentage of adult population of UK giving charity in different years

(Source:  Mintel, 2015)

Cash donations are the most popular method s of donations among the UK customers because the direct cash payment can help the individual to get a tax benefit. However other forms of donations include payment through debit card, buying of charity services, event donations, cheque, membership fees and payroll (Jiang and Chia, 2010).

Communications context

Figure 3: Methods of receiving donations

(Source:  Mintel, 2015)

In order to increase the amount of donations in the environmental sector and specially for the Surfers against Sewage fund the trusts should target the motivation of the customers. If correct charitable motivation can be given to the target customers then the retention and recruitment of new remembers will be possible (Houser et al. 2011).

The major income of SAS is generated from the membership subscriptions. In order to increase the number of members especially within the age range of 18 to 34 years the foundation has initiated different promotional projects. The present membership packages of SAS are as follows:

  • Family membership @ £ 30 annually
  • Single membership @ £ 24 annually
  • Group membership @ £ 10 per group members annually
  • Lifetime membership @ £ 240 onetime payment (Sas.org.uk, 2015)

SAS has taken an innovative approach of producing and educational film about a well known professional surfer to educate and inspire charitable activities on the beach. This promotional strategy was directed towards the young age group since they could connect to the life of the surfer and would join in the charitable activities (Finne and Grönroos, 2009). Apart from this the organization provides regular campaign updates in the members magazine Pipeline, provides discounts for items in SAS surf shop, accessories like key ring and car sticker and invitations to community services like cleaning of local beaches. In 2013 the foundation collected over 55,000 signatures from citizens regarding a camping supporting better protection in surf spots.

The Unidentified Floating Objects (UFO) campaigns initiated by SAS involves in identifying items of marine litter on the UK beaches and remove them to make the sea cleaner. In 2012 the foundation had organized a spring clean activity on the local beaches (Sas.org.uk, 2015).

a. Proposed objectives

The major objectives of the proposal are as follows:

  • To devise promotional strategies in order to attract and recruit new members within the age group of 18- 35 years
  • To generate strategies for the Charity to help them in long term retention of the recruited members and existing members
  • To plan a financially reliable promotional strategy (Keerthi R, 2013)

SAS will focus on a niche target market for generation of membership subscriptions. The major target market for SAS membership promotion will be the UK citizens within the age group of 18 to 35 years.  SAS has selected this particular age group because according to Mintel’s report on Charitable Giving highest proportions of donations are available from citizens within the age group of 16 to 24 years. The UK government provides no age bar on the surfers hence the target population within this age group engages more in recreational activities like surfing and hence they are more aware about the needs of protecting the sea and the coastlines. Moreover, Kolsarici Nalca (2009) suggests that the younger population gets motivated in a positive manner regarding the donations.

For further stress on the selected target market SAS will point its promotions towards the female citizens within this age group.  According to Blythe (2009) it is easier to generate emotional influence on the female citizens more compared to the male citizens. The survey report of the charity market of UK also shows that around 60% of the donors are female.

The target audience will also comprise of majorly professional and recreational swimmers and surfers of UK.

Ranganathan et al. (2011) opined that a charity donation promotion would be successful if the authorities are able to make the customer think from heart and not from mind. The presence of numerous donation appeals in UK makes it difficult for the UK citizens to decide on the appropriate charitable fund. SAS should generate its new membership promotional strategies targeting the following factors:

Objectives and audiences

Audience thoughts: The promotional strategies will aim to generate rational thoughts within the target customers in order to trigger the need for charity memberships. SAS by promoting about the importance of environmental sustainability along with recreational activities will be able to generate a connection in the mind of the customers.

Audience emotions: To generate memberships within the target audience, SAS needs to trigger the emotional cord of the target audience. However Conaway and Laasch (2012) suggested that charitable activities with a difference are able to generate more responses compared to normal charities. For instance, British Airways trust funds were able to collect high donations in respect to the Ebola promotions made by the employees. The British Universities were also able to generate high donations from alumni students on the grounds of development and alumni meets. Since the younger population donates for the positive feeling that they get from the donations hence the SAS should frame strategies that will make the target audience feel positive about their contributions (Robertson and Davidson, 2013).

Audience behavior: The desired behavior after targeting the promotional strategy is that the target audience will at least enroll for a single membership on an annual basis in SAS. If the promotion is able to attract the commitment and attention of the target audience then SAS will hope that they will at least want to experience the charity and recreation activity.

a. Marketing and communication tools

Keeping in mind the budget constraint, SAS should develop promotional techniques using individual creativity rather than usage of promotional media. The organization can organize a “Keep the seas clean” camping with the existing members in order to generate awareness among the citizens. The use of pamphlet distribution and handmade hoardings in different clubs, swimming associations and schools will also attract the awareness of the citizens to the SAS activities and generate membership response (Belch and Belch, 2012).

SAS can make innovative promotion strategies like introduce a “Do Good” card system that will provide discounted surfing opportunities to individuals who will opt for membership subscriptions (Brown and Mason, 2010).

To attract the young target audience SAS should focus on creation of strategies that conveys that volunteering is fun. In this regard SAS can opt for innovative video campaign which will include filming of a story of a volunteer having fun while surfing and also contributing to the cleanliness program of the beaches.

The promotion aims to generate the importance of charitable contribution for maintenance of sea conservation and cleanliness (Shimp, 2010). The promotion though the various social media hash tags and video filming and radio advertising is aimed to generate a sense of responsibility within the community about the importance of serving the community for cleansing the seas. The membership recruitment promotions also shows that service contribution by the community citizens in the charitable activities concerning the sea and the beaches will be able to successfully make the seas safer and make surfing a memorable experience for the surfers (Mayor, 2009).

The extensive use of the social media like twitter and Face Book will help the organization in attracting new members. The campaign can involve has tag promotions in twitter with the tagline “#waterislife”.  The target audiences within the age group of 16 to 34 are majorly addicted to the social media platforms. Hence, the request for membership requirements on the twitter will generate huge responses and comments from the users and they will show interest in the subscriptions. However use of traditional advertising strategies will not be, suffice for the organization. Barker (2013) suggested that Radio advertising is a cheap source of traditional adverting media. Since SAS is restraining on the budget, hence the organization can effectively take the help of radio advertising to promote the recruitment campaign. Radio promotion will involve low cost and will help SAS to promote its message to all local citizens.

Current promotions of SAS in the social media platforms show that the company makes 60% of its promotions in Twitter and 40% in Face Book (Waller, 2012). Hence, the organization can promote the SAS recruitment campaign through the social media sties because around 18% of the fundraising money is incurred from the peer-to-peer campaign of social media. With the help of the hash tag promotion in twitter, SAS will be able to connect and build relationships over the discussion topic with the targeted audience. The creation of a sense of engagement will help the organization to fetch members for the charity services (Caywood, 2012).

In order to measure the effectiveness level of the advertising campaigns, SAS can evaluate on the following factors

Donation figures: To evaluate the effectiveness of the promotional campaigns SAS should evaluate the amount of donations received in form of membership subscriptions or amount of donations received from sponsorships (Ofek, 2010).

Changes in behavior of the members: If the retention rates of the existing members of SAS increases then the organization will understand that the promotional technique has been a success.

Website hits and social media response: The positive or negative comments and the numbers of website hits and social media likes will also confirm the success of the promotional techniques. The Hash tag responses will be able to give SAS a practical view of the reactions of the citizens and the organization will be able to understand whether the promotions are able to generate sense of responsibility within the target audience.

Membership recruitment conversion:  The final evaluation will be made with the conversion rate of the members (Grimmer and Woolley, 2014). The major purpose of the promotion is to attract target members who would serve the community needs along with SAS. Hence, the number of individuals registering for the membership will confirm the success rate of the promotions.

6. Reference list

Barker, R. (2013). Strategic integrated communication: An alternative perspective of integrated marketing communication?. Communicatio, 39(1), pp.102-121.

Belch, G. and Belch, G. (2012). Advertising. North Ryde, N.S.W.: McGraw-Hill Australia.

Blythe, J. (2009). Key concepts in marketing. Los Angeles, Calif.: SAGE.

Brown, A. and Mason, K. (2010). The Child's Play Charity. St. Bonaventure, N.Y.: Jandoli School of Journalism and Mass Communication, St. Bonaventure University.

Caywood, C. (2012). The handbook of strategic public relations and integrated marketing communications. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Conaway, R. and Laasch, O. (2012). Communication in Responsible Business. New York: Business Expert Press.

Engel, J., Warshaw, M. and Kinnear, T. (2000). Promotional strategy. Cincinnati, Ohio: Pinnafelx Educational Resources.

Finne, Å. and Grönroos, C. (2009). Rethinking marketing communication: From integrated marketing communication to relationship communication. Journal of Marketing Communications, 15(2-3), pp.179-195.

Grimmer, M. and Woolley, M. (2014) “Green marketing messages and consumers' purchase intentions: Promoting personal versus environmental benefits,” Journal of Marketing Communications, 20(4), pp- 231-250 (online via UWE library) 

Gurău, C. (2008). Integrated online marketing communication: implementation and management.Journal of Communication Management, 12(2), pp.169-184.

Hackley, C. (2010). Advertising and promotion. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Hayes, D. (2012). The Persuasive Power of Campaign Advertising , by Travis N. Ridout and Michael M. Franz. Political Communication, 29(1), pp.109-112.

Houser, D., Morton, R. and Stratmann, T. (2011). Turned on or turned out? Campaign advertising, information and voting. European Journal of Political Economy, 27(4), pp.708-727.

Ivanov, A. (2012). The Internet‘s Impact on Integrated Marketing Communication. Procedia Economics and Finance, 3, pp.536-542.

Jiang, P. and Chia, S. (2010). Developing Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) in online communities: a conceptual perspective from search, experience and credence segmentation.International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, 6(1), p.22.

Keerthi R, A. (2013). Emotional Advertisement the Altering Realm of Integrated Marketing Communication. IOSR Journal of Business and Management, 15(3), pp.06-08.

Kolsarici Nalca, C. (2009). Flexible models of integrated marketing communication effects.

Mayor, S. (2009). Charity campaigns for drug companies to pool patents for newer HIV drugs. BMJ, 339(oct02 2), pp.b4056-b4056.

Ofek, E. (2010). Marketing and Innovation Management: An Integrated Perspective. Foundations and Trends® in Marketing, 4(2), pp.77-128.

Ranganathan, S., Loebl, J. and Radosevich, D. (2011). Understanding students' responses to university-led charity campaigns: a study of a Haitian earthquake relief campaign. Int. J. Nonprofit Volunt. Sect. Mark., 17(1), pp.65-74.

Robertson, K. and Davidson, J. (2013). Gender-role stereotypes in integrated social marketing communication: Influence on attitudes towards the ad. Australasian Marketing Journal (AMJ), 21(3), pp.168-175.

Sas.org.uk, (2015). Campaigns | Surfers Against Sewage. [online] Available at: https://www.sas.org.uk/news/campaigns/ [Accessed 26 Feb. 2015].

Shimp, T. (2010). Integrated marketing communications in advertising and promotion. United States: South-Western/Cengage Learning.

Waller, D. (2012). Developing your integrated marketing communication plan. North Ryde, N.S.W.: McGraw-Hill.

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