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Discuss about marketing and communications in OXFAM?

The purpose of this report is to discuss the essential components of marketing plan for OXFAM, which is a non-government organization. Non-government organizations (NGO’s) are considered one of the most significant institutions in the world. NGO’s works for diverse issues related to social, environmental or political areas. Due to the emergence of many such institutions, it has become important to understand the dynamics of the environment where one wishes to operate and stay relevant. To achieve this NGO’s needs to employ proper marketing plan and adopt a marketing strategy which provides a competitive edge in the market (Hollensen2015).

The report also discusses the strategies of marketing planning; which involves analysis of internal and external environment, identification of target customers and positioning, clarification of objectives, choosing appropriate strategy in market planning, implementation of the chosen strategy and measure of performance against set standards (Westwood 2013). The report also discusses the use appropriate promotional method and implementation of promotional mix in designing the poster advert for OXFAM. In addition, a sample pamphlet which can be used for the advertisement needs of OXFAM is provided along with the explanation of choosing pamphlet over the many available option is discussed.

OXFAM is an international confederation of 18 organizations that works in more than 100 countries around the world. The motto of OXFAM is to provide lasting solutions for poverty, hunger and injustice. Oxfam International was formed in the year 1995 by a group of independent non-governmental organizations. The name OXFAM is derive from Oxford Committee for Famine Relief, founded in Britain in 1942 ( 2016).

Marketing plan is a part of business plan blueprint, which forms the basis of marketing strategy for the organization. A marketing plan includes activities as identification of specific customer needs through market research, target market identification, product or service description, and identification of competitors, developing marketing strategies, setting quantifying goals and establishing ways to measure performances (Wood 2013). Marketing plan enables the organization to take a calculated approach while starting up the business that is affected by numerous uncertain conditions and ability to adapt with the environment in which it operates. 

The mission statement of OXFAM that is an international confederation of organizations working worldwide is to find lasting solutions for poverty and social injustice. The purpose of this report is to educate and spread awareness; and to identify sources to raise additional funds for OXFAM (Lune 2014). For this purpose the effective marketing plan for OXFAM may include;

Situation Analysis

Situation Analysis

Situational analysis is the foundation of any marketing plan; it includes the study of internal and external environmental factors that affects the business of an organization. Situational analysis is done utilizing market research to get a realistic assessment of the business (Freitasand Spezia2013). There are various methods for conducting situation analysis; the most common method of situational analysis is using strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis.

Strengths: It is the internal environmental factor, which is in control of the organization. OXFAM is a nonprofit organization that has branches all over the world and has a very strong brand value. The technical expertise in providing solutions to poverty and social justice; and a culturally diverse work force that has good knowledge of local culture is an added advantage. Also, it has huge volunteer base with expertise in diverse fields which is a huge saving for the business.

Weaknesses: It is also the component of internal environment present within the organization. OXFAM is facing the budgetary problems and the organizational capacity in limited particularly in administration department. The organization has limited capacity in adapting to the demands of the situation and has become slow and bureaucratic. In addition, it cannot afford the competent employees, as it cannot match the salary structure of business industry.

Opportunities: It is the factors that are not in the control of the business and is present in the external environment. Any donations or grants, which OXFAM receives, are an opportunity. NGO’s have the benefit of getting regular grants from government as well as private institutions, even if there is recession in the market the flow of money to NGO’s are not restricted. It also has the opportunity to attract private institutions for their findings which is beneficial for private institutions also because they get tax deductions on charities made towards the NGO’s.

Threats: It is also part external environment factors which cannot be controlled by the organization. A major chuck of capital which NGO’s like OXFAM receives is from individuals who support the cause of the organization. Therefore, at the time economic recession consumers cut back on money, which makes them vulnerable to recession (Anheier2014).In addition, they need to maintain a clean image and transparency in their transactions because the customers are associated with the cause of the organization and any scandal can be damaging.

Segmentation is the process of identifying what kinds of customers with different needs exists. The main activities that are carried out in segmentation process are determined to identify who the potential customers are, analyzing the level of competition in the market and selecting the attractive customers segments (Hollensen and Opresnik2015).Various factorsform the basis of segmentation as demographics, behavioral patterns, geographical variables, lifestyles etc.

Segmentation Targeting and Planning (STP)

Targeting is selection of most attractive segments arrived at from segmentation. It is done on the analysis of the market opportunities as well as internal capabilities of the organization. Targeting helps the organization in focusing its resources at those points which offer maximum return on investment.

Positioning involves implementation of marketing activities on the customer segment identified in targeting. Positioning is based on the requirements of the different customer segments and perceived advantages among the targeting segments (Hollensenand Opresnik2015).

In case of OXFAM segmentation is based on the behavioral patterns, lifestyle choices and cultural or ethical values. As an NGO, it needs to spread its objectives to be relevant therefore it focuses on the educational and awareness activities. Its major markets are the customers who support its cause and different institutions who are interested in providing help and assistance to the needy; with which it can enter into a partnership.Therefore, it has to position itself among these customer segments and divert all their marketing mix strategies in this segment (Kotler2012).

Marketing objectives identifies what a business wants to achieve from its marketing activities. The objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed (SMART objective). Every marketing plan has to clarify the objectives of the organization; objectives contains details of how the organization will sustain in the market, what are the factors which provides the business with competitive advantage and its unique selling preposition. Clarification of objectives in a marketing plan enables the organization attract investors without which the venture may be nearly impossible. The objectives that OXFAM wants to achieve can be defined as:

Specific: the objective of OXFAM is to achieve the target of educating customers about the organization’s goals (society) and to receive a donation of 50 million Euros from the public.

Measurable: it is important to measure the effectiveness of various activities undertaken by OXFAM. The various techniques that will be employed are customer surveys to measure the effectiveness of awareness programs and comparing the total donations received from the previous years at the end of the 12 months.

Achievable: The objectives set by OXFAM are achievable as it has been clearly defined and strategically designed.

Realistic: Realistic implies the possibility of achieving the objectives. OXFAM has clearly defined the objectives and various activities that it will undertake to reach its objectives. Therefore, the objectives are realistic and can be met. 

Timed: It is important to define the period within which the specified objectives are to be achieved. For achieving its specified objective, the time set is 12 months.

Clarification of Objectives

Strategy include formulation of vision and mission statements of the organization, setting organizational objectives, marketing objectives, description of target markets and customers, unique positioning statements and value proposition. OXFAM can set its strategy on the basis of the basis of broad vision of the organization i.e. to eradicate poverty and providing social justice, planning its positioning strategy and marketing mix tools to generate awareness among the customers to get s=donations for the cause of the organization(Jungbok 2015).

 Marketing mix is a tool used by organizations and companies to get the desired response from the target market. It is a controllable marketing tool to influence demand in the market and help in market planning and execution. 

Product (Services): It is the physical good offered by the organization that satisfies the existing demand of the customer. For nonprofit organizations, there is weaker unique selling preposition; i.e. weaker benefits associated with products. OXFAM deals in selling of used donated merchandises through its outlets. It also sells decorative merchandises and gift items created by the volunteers and skilled employees of the OXFAM. Another service offered by OXFAM is eradicating poverty in the world.  To make it more appealing for the customers OXFAM need to invoke a sense of doing good among the customers (Miller 2013).

Price: Pricing is an important concept of marketing mix but is has a different connotation for non-government organizations; the amount of donation received by such organizations is dependent on the discretion the donor and is not determined by organization as in case of business organizations (Omar et al.2014). Pricing of the products is based on condition of the merchandise. As OXFAM also sells merchandises donated bythe, it is generally inexpensive and customers get a good bargain on the purchase and pricing is not based on the motive of gaining profits alone.

Place: It is also called as distribution system; for NGO’s such as OXFAM place means movement of resources such as donations and volunteers into the organization as well as outward flow of these recourses at receiving end of the society (Judd 2013).

Promotion: Promotion refers to the activities carried by the organizations to educate people and spread awareness. Promotional activities includes various aspects of promotion mix such as advertising, public relations, direct marketing, personal selling, sales promotion

In the case of nonprofit organization such as OXFAM, the appropriate promotional strategies include direct marketing which allows the organizations to communicate directly to the prospective customers by telephone, email, catalogue distribution, promotional letters, outdoor advertising, etc.; public relation which includes getting support from third party agents to get the promotion such as press releases, magazine coverage, television and radio presentations, seminars, etc.; and advertising which is paid form of promotion of one’s ideas in mass media which includes television advertisement, billboard, banners, etc.

Promotional Mix Strategy

People: People are the employees who work for the organization. People are brand ambassadors of the organization and helps in effectively running of the organization. For OXFAM employees are important as they can motivate other individuals of the society to share their cause and give their contributions as donations or volunteers to achieve the noble cause for which the OXFAM is working (Handrianaet al.2015).

Process: Process refers to the method of delivering services to the customers. In the case of OXFAM, they are operating for the cause. The process involves the method of delivering their services to the society by providing assistance to the poor and attaining social justice.

Physicalevidence: Place in case of non-profit organization is dependent on the point of engagement of the customers and the organization. Customers either make visits to the office of the organization to understand their philosophy or works as volunteers at places where the NGO’s are providing their services. In the case of the OXFAM, it has more than 700 OXFAM stores across the UK, which serves as place where people purchase different merchandises. Also offices and activity centers provides another points where people can exchange ideas and learn about the activities of OXFAM (Najev 2013).

It is the last part of marketing plan that include methods to identify whether the marketing plan is effective or not. Performance is measured by the comparing the results of expected or standard results against the actual results achieved. In the case of OXFAM, the standard output can be based on the expected donations against the actual donations received (Garcíaet al.2013). Various tools of measuring performance are Key Performance Indicators (KPI), Return on Investment (ROI).

 KPI can be used in OXFAM marketing plan as one of the objectives of designing marketing plan is to create awareness of the objectives of OXFAM that is a qualitative aspect. ROI can also be used as the objective of marketing plan includes, getting donations. Therefore by comparing the investment made against the actual donations received the effectiveness of the marketing plan can be measured.


From the above discussion, it can be concluded that by following a systematic approach to marketing plan an organization can understand the threats and opportunities in external environment and gain insights of the strengths and weakness of its internal controllable factors; It also helps to identify , target and position itself in the market. Also by setting clear objectives and using appropriate marketing mix techniques and periodic monitoring of these techniques, overall success of the organization can be ensured. Since OXFAM is a non-government organization it is important to understand the unique aspects of marketing mix because it is not a business oriented organization which is selling a product or services with apparent customer need satisfaction value. The marketing mix therefore, focuses on the awareness of the idea for which it is working.The idea of marketing plan for OXFAM is based on the premise of spreading awareness and to raise additional funds, for this purpose it has to focus more on the marketing research activities and identify those segments of the market whose ethical cultures and values are in line with the philosophy of the organization.  Another important aspect is to position itself by using appropriate promotional mix, In the case of OXFAM the promotional tools may include those techniques, which are not much expensive, and has the potential to reach the target customers such as press releases, posters, pamphlets, etc.


Anheier, H.K., 2014. Nonprofit organizations: Theory, management, policy. Routledge.

Hollensen, S. and Opresnik, M.O., 2015. 3.2 Market Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning. In Marketing (pp. 183-208).Verlag Franz Vahlen GmbH.

Judd, V.C., 2013. in a Nonprofit Organization: Using the 5th P—People.Marketing Communications for Local Nonprofit Organizations: Targets and Tools, p.5.

Jungbok, H., 2015. Marketing Strategies for Nonprofit Organizations.Advances in Management, 8(10), p.1.

Kotler, P., 2012. Kotler on marketing.Simon and Schuster.

Lune, H., 2014. Book Review: Charity Case: How the Nonprofit Community Can Stand Up for Itself and Really Change the World, by D. Pallotta.Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 43(2), pp.416-419.

Miller, K.L., 2013. Content marketing for nonprofits: A communications map for engaging your community, becoming a favorite cause, and raising more money (Vol. 14). John Wiley & Sons.

NajevÄŒačija, L., 2013. Fundraising in the context of nonprofit strategic marketing: Toward a conceptual model. Management: Journal of Contemporary Management Issues, 18(1), pp.59-78.

Omar, A.T., Leach, D. and March, J., 2014. Collaboration between nonprofit and business sectors: a framework to guide strategy development for nonprofit organizations. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 25(3), pp.657-678. 2016. History of Oxfam International | Oxfam International. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Apr. 2016].

Westwood, J., 2013. How to write a marketing plan.Kogan Page Publishers.

Wood, M.B., 2013. Marketing Plan Handbook.Pearson Higher Ed.

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