Table of Contents
Target Market and Consumer Profile
Differentiation and Positioning
Foodbank in Australia is a non-profit organization which helps in providing food and supplementary services to people in times of national emergencies or natural disasters (Food Bank n.d.). It is also offering help to the foreign students and immigrants in Australia, who were infected with COVID 19 and faced social and economic challenges, and not knowing where their next meal is coming from. They have ensured that the food supply continues without disruption. However, recently, the organisation is facing a challenge of “massive reduction” in its available volunteer workforce (The Guardian n.d.). Generally, around 1,000 individuals used to volunteer each week for carrying out tasks such as packing hampers in Foodbank’s warehouses, but since the pandemic crisis, many businesses have shifted to the working-from-home scenario, leading to shutting of the doors and drying up of the pool of volunteers provided by corporate supporters (The Guardian n.d.). This report focuses on various aspects of market segmentation of volunteers for the food bank to reduce the gap and meet the enormous need of people in fighting hunger, through the implementation of different marketing strategies (Weerawardena 2018).
· No. of people employed
· Cultural and religious beliefs
· Age, gender, other.
· Marital status
· Person Values
· Sense of responsibility/concern
· Types of volunteers
The total population of the New South Wales area is more than 8.092 million people, among which constitute 13000 international and over 50,000 total student population. Owing to the pandemic situation, which led to the closure of borders, the country has faced a significant reduction of international students which has impacted the financial situation in Australia’s academic sector. While each university has a different exposure to the downturn, it is estimated that Australia-wide, revenue will drop by $3 billion this year. This is the reason for the unemployment of nearly 21,000 individuals in 2020. This is a target audience for volunteering, as they are unemployed and may be willing to put themselves to the task (The Guardian 2020).
Demographic variables such as genders, lifestyle, marital status and other led the foundation for the segmentation and are often linked with volunteering behaviour such as education (Brzustewicz Escher Hermes and Ulkuniemi 2019). The employment status and income are also associated with proactiveness in voluntary services.
For instance, older individuals who earlier volunteered either once or twice a weak have been advised to stay at home being the most vulnerable group so that their safety is ensured. This has led to a decrease in the number of volunteers greatly impacting the operations of the organization (Inman2020).
One of the most typical profiles of individuals interested in offering volunteering services would be those who have been proactive before the pandemic crisis, and is least vulnerable to it (Cho Bonn Han 2018). The individuals who are motivated to help or have been one of those families who have received help in the past.
Identification of behaviour is crucial in individuals for volunteering. The four major social behaviours that were evident in the research are ‘leisure volunteer’, ‘political volunteers’, ‘altruistic volunteers’ and ‘Church volunteers.’ All of these individuals possess different definitions of volunteering and exhibit differences in the attitude towards active participation in social activities ( Lee and Won 2018).
The target market includes unmarried individuals, students, that is the youth and much likely who have altruistic approach and are self-motivated to offer volunteering services. Mostly in the unemployed and have a religious point of view (Donclair and Randall 2007). There are different types of volunteers and it is necessary to segment between them to understand the target audience. The first type is the ‘leisure’ volunteer, these are individuals who are old and do recreational work, such as indulging in sports, and volunteer for charity wishfully but do not exhibit a commitment, second is the ‘altruistic’ volunteering who are motivated with self-less acts of kindness and exhibit greater affinity towards social volunteering purposes (Smith et al. 2016). Third segment of volunteers are the political type and are chiefly involved in socially active groups such as Protection of human and child rights, supporting clubs for sustainable development, engaging in campaigns related to animal rights, world peace, promotion of health and other community development activities. Church volunteers only preserve their duties for the benefit and operating of the Church. Other volunteers include part-timers, students who are looking to spend their free time in learning new things, this is a segment which finds volunteering more exciting. It is essential to understand the segments of the target market to attract the right volunteers and to implement the strategies required for the same (Topaloglu McDonald and Hunt 2019).
Brand positioning is fundamental for managers in achieving success in engaging more volunteers, therefore the managers operating in the foodbank’s volunteer section should focus on the importance of branding and image, which motivates volunteers from all genders and age groups and create a sense of value creation of their services (Muckaden and Pandya 20160. This is necessary to create a strong brand. Using this information from the market segmentation, managers who possess the great responsibility of marketing volunteering must look into re-designing the image of the organization to a more specific and targeted-oriented campaigns (Mook Murdock and Gundersen 2020). For instance, they can advertise on social media, by using various attractive videos and highlighting their chance in doing good, will provide food bank an opportunity to access many young individuals.
Another way is to focus on the right type of people by propagating marketing messages based on the various type of social attitudes honed by different individuals. For instance, for the ‘altruists’ type of segment, the marketing strategy should focus on the propagating message of “potential to offer help and making a difference in peoples’ lives” and “make the world a better place". On the other hand, the marketing message for 'leisure volunteers’ must be more light-hearted and fun, highlighting the potential for adventure. These strategies shall provide managers with the insight to effectively deliver their messages to the right audiences and help in reaching particular segments. Utilizing the insights from the demographic segmentation of the market, the managers can suggest and implement various strategies for running a successful campaign of recruiting volunteers. For instance, knowing that ‘leisure volunteers’ are more likely to be male and in their 30’s suggests that targeting sporting clubs with organised competitions for men of this age group may be effective (Topaloglu McDonald and Hunt 2018). Whereas, for the ‘church volunteers’ generally have a high percentage of retired elderly population, housewives or unemployed individuals, therefore, choosing television as a channel for advertising will more appropriate in their case.
It is also important to give significance to the product (Lough and Oppenheim 2017). This can be done by re-designing the style and using a more attractive tone of the material used for the promotional purpose such as use of imagery and display of the product, the colours used in the promotional material, a quote or a saying which motivates different groups to volunteer (Donclair and Randall 2007).
Given the competitive nature of the market, choosing the right channel, for the propagation of the message is vital for attracting the right volunteers. Use of social media can be quite impactful in generating a quick response from the people due to increased access. It also increases the cost-effectiveness of the marketing plan and saves time.
Through the research and market analysis of the food bank, it can be said that there is challenging situation persistent in the current time about lack of volunteers for packaging and delivering of food to devastated communities who require help. For this purpose, the managers must try to comprehend the basic structure of the environment and the market scenario which is leading to increased competition of the volunteers at present. The target segment remains the unemployed and young individuals who are looking to take up volunteering tasks in their spare time. The research utilizes various marketing techniques, such as segmentation, competition and positioning for attracting and retaining the right volunteers.
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Cho, M. Bonn, M. A. and Han, S. J. 2018. Generation Z’s sustainable volunteering: Motivations, attitudes and job performance. Sustainability, 10(5), 1400.
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Food Bank n.d. Center for Volunteering. Retrieved from https://www.volunteering.com.au/foodbank-hunger-report-2019/
NEWS. Inman, M. 2020. Coronavirus impact on international student numbers will be felt longer than the GFC, experts say. Retrieved from https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-20/coronavirus-impact-on-universities-research-worse-than-gfc/12264606
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Smith, D. H., Stebbins, R. A., Grotz, J., Kumar, P., Nga, J. L., & Van Puyvelde, S. (2016). Typologies of associations and volunteering. In The Palgrave handbook of volunteering, civic participation, and nonprofit associations (pp. 90-125). Palgrave Macmillan, London.
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Topaloglu, O., McDonald, R. E., & Hunt, S. D. 2018. The theoretical foundations of nonprofit competition: A resource-advantage theory approach. Journal of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing, 30(3), 229-250.
The Guardian 2020. Australian charity heads call for coronavirus volunteers as numbers slump. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/01/australian-charity-heads-call-for-coronavirus-volunteers-as-numbers-slump
Weerawardena, J. 2018. Non-profit marketing strategy. Transformational Leadership and Not for Profits and Social Enterprises, 142-163.
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