The effectiveness of promotional strategies is highly dependent on their ability to resonate and be relevant to the target audiences over time (Reference). This is the basis of the research being undertaken; to determine which promotional tools and strategies are the most effective in attracting, training and retaining the most talented and motivated volunteers for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The following are the aims and objectives of this analysis. The primary objective of this study is to determine which promotional tools are the most effective in recruiting and retaining volunteers. In support of this objective, the following goals are defined:
a. To understand and segment the volunteer population in westernized nations including the UK, and determine the characteristics of these markets as they relate to volunteering for events.
b. To determine the psychographic attributes of each group as they relate to propensity to participate, contribute and assist in keeping recruitment efforts moving forward.
c. To determine how the recruitment of volunteers correlates to the sales process, specifically the managing of upper and lower funnel customer recruitment, conversion and retention.
d. To analyze how the Integrated Marketing Campaigns (IMCs) of each Olympics contributed or detracted to the growth of volunteer bases over time.
e. Through primary research, to understand what the primary Critical Success Factors (CSFs) are for the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Olympics.
In determining which promotional tools and strategies are the most effective for recruiting volunteers, the recruitment funnel needs to be first considered. The funnel is actually comprised of a series of strategies that when used in conjunction with each other lead to additional volunteers being recruited who have the qualifications of interest. Although in some ways this is similar to attracting customers to a business, the motivations for volunteers differ drastically from consumers and this is also a critical point of this analysis. The continued growth of volunteering globally can be attributed to the shift in attitudes and beliefs regarding the need to give back and be part of the global community, the need to be altruistic, pay back society, and the need to give out of a spiritual need to provide for others. Studies of volunteers globally indicate that there are several large psychographic segments that dominate volunteering. These seven segments include Communitarians (26%), The Devout (21%), The Investor (15%), The Socialite (11%), The Altruist (9%), The Repayer (10%), and the Dynast (8%) (Yavas, Riecken, Parameswaran, 1980) (Strategic Directions, 2010).
These psychographic segments form the basis of the model used by researchers to understand the trade-offs and decisions volunteers make in donating their time, funds and resources to one cause relative to another. (Yavas, Riecken, Parameswaran, 1980). These segments are discussed in detail throughout the literature review. Core concepts of this dissertation that relate to the intersection of volunteers' segmentation models and criteria for participating (Yavas, Riecken, Parameswaran, 1980) with the extensive array of promotional strategies, tactics and programs form the foundation of this dissertation's core focus and direction (Tellis, 2004) . Emanating from these connections between concepts is the need to create a high level of task ownership with the volunteers (why? You didn't mention anything about ownership before. Why is it important for people who volunteer. You should mention this above maybe when you first mention psychographics etc.). The goal needs to specifically be focused on providing them with the opportunity to attain autonomy, mastery and purpose (Yavas, Riecken, Parameswaran, 1980) so they will have strong ownership of their roles and jobs. (Again, I would put this next to the psychographics stuff above It is now in this location per this comment The combining of autonomy, mastery and purpose can be nurtured and achieved over time, and the structure of the training programs for the London 2012 Olympics needs to specifically focus on these needs of volunteers over the long-term.
(I think you need to be clearer about your aims here because you don't really state them directly. Be direct and simple. Basically what do you want to find out with your research (aims) and how can you find it out (objectives)? For example, you could say:
'The aim of this research is to gain an understanding of the most effective tools and strategies with which to recruit and retain Olympic volunteers. To achieve this aim, several objectives have been laid out for the study:
(a) To define the motivations of volunteers and map these onto the recruitment funnel
(b) To relate psychographic segmentation studies of volunteers to Olympic recruitment practices and possibilities.
(I don't know if these are OK. I just used your ideas from above. I think you should choose a couple more if possible. Basically, aim is what you want to find out and objectives are how you will find that out step-by-step)
1.2 Overview of this Analysis
The selection of which promotional strategies will be the most effective needs to begin with an appreciation of the approaches, strategies and platforms that the intended (Zyman, Brott,2002) base of volunteers most often relies on. For the majority of them, social networking is the preferred method of communicating and gaining updates on programs of interest (Bernoff, Li, 2008). The use of Facebook and Twitter specifically are among the most popular forms of collaboration between members of the target audience. There is also the extensive use of smartphones for staying connected to these applications, which for many people, form the foundation of how they manage their social lives (Bernoff, Li, 2008).
1.3 Concepts, Frameworks and Relationships Between Concepts
It has been proven through much of the social media research completed that the preferences and needs of consumers change over time (Bernoff, Li, 2008) (O'Reilly, 2004). This is a critically important point in this dissertation and an outcome of the research completed. The traditional means of managing promotion in print media and through static means of traditional marketing has given way to a more fluid and agile model, which is able to respond to how those targeted by the communication choose to learn and be communicated with. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in social media and the exceptionally rapid adoption of Facebook, Twitter, and many other social media platforms (Bardhi, Rohm, Sultan, 2010). It is the intent of this dissertation to analyze how best to use these evolving platforms in the context of attracting, training and retaining key contributors and volunteers (Zhang, Watts, 2008). The literature review seeks to explore both the need for greater knowledge of volunteerism on the one hand, and the need for appreciating just how quickly the promotional tools relied on by potential volunteers are changing and gaining critical mass in society on the other.
The velocity of change is increasing drastically and for any marketer the challenges can be daunting for how best to keep up and capitalize on them. Given the finite amount of time that the London 2012 Olympic Committee has for recruiting, training and retaining volunteers, this puts significant pressure and importance on the decisions of which promotional strategies to use. This is further made more difficult by the sheer number of options available. There are literally hundreds of potential promotional strategies and programs, which can be used over time. The question is which to use and in what sequence. This dissertation looks to answer those challenging questions and provide insights into how best to use current promotional platforms most effectively.
The development and fine-tuning of any promotional strategy aimed at the recruitment and retention of volunteers must take into account their innate needs for volunteering in the first place, how their shared needs create psychographic or group-based segments, and how best to reach them with promotional programs. The intent of this chapter of the dissertation is to discuss and analyze existing research ideas in these areas.
Motivations for Volunteering
Motivations vary significantly across age groups and psychographic profiles as to why people choose to volunteer (Zyman, Brott,2002). Conventional wisdom states that the opportunity to learn more about a given subject and gain valuable skills is why younger volunteers choose to provide their time. This however is not as prevalent as the motivation many volunteers have for creating a social network that they can rely on and be strengthened by over time (Bernoff, Li, 2008). Motivations of volunteers are very complex, much more than just relatively quick judgments of their needs and wants by demographic stage of their lives (Sirgy, 1998) (Fernsler, 1997) (no link between this and the previous point) There now is What is needed is more of a focus on how the psychological needs are enablers or greater motivation overall. The misconception that the needs and motivations for volunteering are driven by demographic needs alone is one fraught with potential errors in recruitment strategy (Fernsler, 1997). The first part of this literature review specifically shows why this is the case.…