E-marketing is a technique that involves creation of networking channels with clients and customers so as to communicate and deliver the valuable messages about the entity and building long term relationship with them. This helps in maintaining as well as increasing the profitability of business by ensuring that the marketing targets and deliverables are achieved. The present report is based on Oxfam which is a confederation comprising of 20 independent charitable organisations headquartered in England, United Kingdom. This report includes the major factors and challenges that influence the selection of e-Marketing media and tools. Also, it gains an insight into the issues faced by practitioners that affect the implementation of e-Marketing strategies. Along with that, various approaches to analyse the target audience and online customer journey is discussed.
a) Major Factors and Challenges that Influence the Selection of e-Marketing Media & Tools
Oxfam is a global movement started by millions of people who possess a common thought that in a world which is rich in resources, poverty is not inescapable. The behaviour of all the employees that are working as a part of this organisation is aligned towards a single objective that is aimed at global eradication of poverty. Oxfam equips e-marketing in its operations to raise funds for humanitarian work carried out by the team. The selection of appropriate media and tools for the execution of marketing plan is necessary so as to encourage people who volunteer to contribute towards the organisation. Various e-marketing tools are Interactive digital television (IDTV), Internet Protocol television (IPTV), digital radio, mobile devices, Wireless application protocol (WAP), Word Press Blog, Tweeterfeed, Pixetell, Youtube, Metricaly, Google+, RSS feed, Instagram, Facebook etc. The factors that influence the selection of e-marketing media are ascertained and explained below:-
Objectives of Campaign: Over time, Oxfam have been introducing many humanitarian, development and work campaigns and programmes like ACTÚA, WE-Care, Stand As One campaign, Click for Karma etc. (Past campaigns and successes,2018). It has been analysed that the objectives of all these campaigns differed from each other on the basis of target audience and the motive behind launching the campaigns. Furthermore, it has been assessed that the various campaigns utilised by company have yielded varied outcomes depending upon the nature of target audience and the objective associated with launching it. Thus, it can be said that the e-marketing tool used by Oxfam to promote the campaign will be after the evaluation of objective of campaign such that it can gain maximum attention of people.
Budget Available: After the Haiti Scandal that Oxfam is accused to be involved in, it was evaluated that more than 1,000 direct debits to the charity were cancelled within a week and also, several high-profile ambassadors and celebrity patrons for Oxfam, including Minnie Driver, withdrew their support for the entity (Timeline: Oxfam sexual exploitation scandal in Haiti,2018).Along with that, it was assessed that government funding of the charity was also cut off due to the damage caused to the reputation and position of organisation in marketplace. Since that time, it is observed that company has constantly been facing funding issues. Thus, it has been analysed that the organisation uses only such e-marketing tools that are economical and do not involve huge funds to be used. This will assist the entity in effectively communicating their messages along with maintaining the overall cost of marketing.
Target Audience: While selecting the e-marketing media for communicating the belief of Oxfam, company keeps in consideration the audience that they want to target.;It has been analysed that organisation targets those individuals or groups from where think that they can possibly receive the support. This support received from people can be in terms of funds or volunteering for assistance in eradication of global poverty. It has been evaluated that the target audience for Oxfam are individuals, businesses, trade dealers, trade associations, industrialists, public and financial institutions, professionals etc. which can give their contribution towards eradication of poverty across the globe.
The message Conveyed or Appeal: Oxfam makes use of e-marketing media and tools to effectively communicate the values and beliefs of the company in relation to humanitarian work and upliftment of people. Also, it has been analysed that social media tools and the company's websites are used by enterprise. It is assessed that this is being done by Oxfam to make a large scale appeal to government and audience for contributing funds towards the social cause that company is working for. Besides this, it has been evaluated that company makes use of effective social media tools and website to raise awareness for needs of volunteer in organisation.
Timing: The selection of suitable e-marketing tools also depends upon the duration of time within which the results are desired by Oxfam. For instance, Oxfam works to eradicate poverty across the globe and thus, it needs funds and volunteers at all the times It has been analysed that company employs social media tools such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, website marketing etc. to raise demand for funds and volunteers at regular intervals. Also, it has been assessed that company can gain success in getting support from target audience provided that demand is raised at right time, thus, timing acts as a crucial factor for selection of e-marketing tools.
b) Issues Faced by Practitioners which are Central to the Implementation of e-Marketing Strategies and Tools
Oxfam is an organisation with 5000 paid staff, over 22,000 volunteers operating with more than 1000 partner organisations in 94 countries around the world (Oxfam: Challenges for a complex charity, 2018). While equipping various types of tools to increase the operational efficiency of Oxfam, practitioners face a numbers of issues. Some of these are explained below:-
Inadequate Funds: For eradication of poverty and ensuring quality living standards for people, Oxfam need huge funds. For this, they need assistance from government, financial institutions, celebrity patrons and volunteers. Over years, Oxfam has been raising funds through commercial activities such as charity shops and Oxjam Music Festival (How Oxfam is Using Engaging Marketing to Change the World, 2018). But these have not really been successful for generating funds for operations. Oxfam is continuously trying to combat problems of society like social injustice, poverty, gender inequality. For this, it need funds to make use of e-marketing tools so that they can appeal to people and business organisation to contribute a large amount for the efficient functioning and operations of enterprise. But, after the Haiti Scandal gained attention of people, fund raising has really become difficult for company as many people who had been funding to Oxfam since years, have opt out from contributing to company after the company being allegedly accused (Timeline: Oxfam sexual exploitation scandal in Haiti, 2018). Thus, it has been analysed that company needs to take into consideration the issues associated with outcomes of Haiti scandal and make use of such e-marketing tools that can help the enterprise in raising funds and getting volunteers for doing the humanitarian work.
Selection of Audience: This is a major concern for Oxfam as in a world where everyone is constantly active on social media and other e-marketing platforms, it is essential that company selects and implements any e-marketing tool effectively. It is to be done keeping in consideration the cost and target audience. Often, practitioners face issues relating to implementing the e-marketing tool. This happens because Oxfam has to analyse the target audience which would be most effective and easy to reach for raising funds as it has to be done in a way that it serves the purpose along with being cost effective. Even if the practitioner finds a larger and profitable segment that is readily contributing funds, it is often fragmented as very expensive to reach.Thus, it has been analysed from the above discussion that Oxfamselects target audience that can give their support and contribution towards the eradication of poverty across the world. Also, it is assessed that organisation has to do this keeping in mind the issue of lack of funds post Haiti Scandal.
Connectivity concerns:Cloud has now become central to most of the operations being conducted by volunteers of Oxfam. As the volunteers of Oxfam mainly works in disaster prone areas, it is likely that there would be connectivity issues or no connections at all there which would hamper the implementation of e-marketing tools at the specified location. Thus, it is analysed that Oxfam must take into account the connectivity concerns while making use of any e-marketing tool to raise awareness about the humanitarian work being carried out by organisation for eradication of global poverty.
Security Issues: Oxfam has to spend money in this area but clearly perceives it to be worthwhile to ensure that systems are as secure as possible. Oxfam has a security manager that ensures security of data shared over cloud at all the times.Company carries out numerous security checks including penetration testing and audits on staff and systems and uses security software and tools like McAfee and Websense.
c) Approaches and Techniques to Analyse and Evaluate Target Audiences and the Online Customer Journey
It is essential for Oxfam to ascertain and analyse the target audience in order to gain maximum funds and provide services that aim at upliftment of poor people and eliminating social injustice (Chapleo, 2015). In relation to this, Oxfam applies a Marketing Model that involves 5 stages to determine the target audience for its efficient working:-
Acknowledgement of a Specific Target Audience: The first step undertaken by Oxfam is ascertainment of target audience that they wish to reach. Although it is believed that business generally targets the world, it is imperative to realise that an objective is achieved only if practitioner identifies the right people so as to build networking with them by aid of e-marketing tools. Equipping e-marketing media is as important as ensuring that it communicates to the right people who can contribute towards the funding of Oxfam. Deciding the right target set of individuals, business organisations, trade unions, professionals etc. is essential as this indicates that entity possess sufficient funds to carry out humanitarian work and eradicate poverty across the globe.
Determining the Criteria to Identify the People that Business wants to reach: An audience can be sorted any number of ways based on infinite number of criteria. But the right audience is unique to every company. Thus, the next step taken by Oxfam is identification of factors that can assist in creating an effective networking channel between the needs of company in relation to funding and the possible prospects (Wilshaw and et. al., 2015). These criteria range from age, gender, geographical location to any other factor that may deem fit to the marketing practitioner of Oxfam as per the current market scenario. The criteria are important for company to determine whether the beliefs, opinions and values of charity match with those of the probable prospects for funding and volunteering. The major objective behind this step is to remove the people who are not probable to contribute for the humanitarian work conducted by Oxfam. With such people out of the target audience, company can now focus upon communicating the marketing message or appeal through effective e-marketing tools to those who are most suitable and willing to offer funds or volunteering service required by company.
Identification of Requirements of Prospects: One of the biggest challenges faced by marketing practitioners in Oxfam is their closeness with the charity as this makes it impossible for them to understand the perspective of the individuals that they are targeting. It is required by the marketing practitioner of Oxfam to think from the point of view of people and then communicate the message and vision of company clearly to the audience. By viewing the operations of company through the eyes of target individuals and groups, company can determine the potential weaknesses, areas of potential misuse or misunderstanding and even those things that people may at times find offensive. Also, this enables the company to analyse and understand the information that needs to be communicated by aid of e-marketing tools so as to influence a large number of people to contribute towards the charity. Taking this step ensures the creation of effective marketing messages and campaigns that fully address the concerns of people.