GNN has several objectives that need to be addressed in the immediate future if they wish to continue to have success. Some of their marketing is currently problematic, and they wish to:
Increase their revenue by 7% in the next 12 months.
Attract new and younger members (12-21 years)
Make optimum use of both direct and internet marketing to drive on and offline marketing activities that will be used to achieve their first and second goals.
Reactivating members that have allowed their memberships to lapse and involving existing members in more activities and fund raisers are also important goals. For these purposes, the following direct marketing plan is suggested.
First, one of the main considerations is retaining the customers that GNN already has. There are several ways that this can be done but one of the easiest is to insure that those customers know that they are valued and appreciated (Hoffman, 2004). Direct marketing to these individuals who already belong to the organization with promotional deals, letters of thanks, and discounts or other gifts that can be offered on various goods and services in their immediate area will help to keep these individuals feeling good about their membership. GNN may be able to contract with companies in the area to provide some of these goods and services at a discount and therefore pass this savings on to the individuals that belong to the organization.
Naturally, not all individuals will take advantage of these types of offers and they will not be offers that everyone can use, but they will be another way of showing that GNN appreciates what many of these people are doing for it and recognizes these customers. These types of promotions and letters of thanks go only to individuals that already have memberships and it is also important to be careful when these things are delivered. Customers and others that belong to organizations must not be inundated with direct mailing information or it will begin to make that individual feel that they would receive a lot less junk mail if they would simply stop belonging to a particular organization (Hoffman, 2004).
This can actually drive customers away instead of keeping them and this is not something that GNN or any other company wishes to do, especially when that company relies on memberships and donations to continue operations. By being careful and assuring that these direct marketing messages do not arrive too frequently, the idea of retaining customers in this way will be much more likely. It is also possible that some of these types of offers and marketing ideas can be sent to individuals that the company wishes to get help from or wishes to have belong to the organization. Invitational letters can be sent to those that do not already have a membership, since GNN cannot afford television advertising to contact these people and ask for their support.
Another strong concern for GNN is to create new communication that will appeal to the new target market, which is between 12 and 21 years old. One of the best ways to determine what will appeal to this target market is to do research into this age group (Fishman & Schwartz, 2000). Likely, there has already been a great deal of advertising research done into this particular age group when dealing with various items. What GNN needs from these people is somewhat different than what many advertisers look for when they are selling goods and services, however, because GNN needs active participation and help from its members instead of simply trying to sell them something they can use.
It is for this reason that GNN should look at doing its own research into the target market and what type of needs and wants this particular market has as opposed to looking only at what has been done in the past. Once this has been done, a campaign can be developed that will look toward what will interest these individuals within this age bracket and cause them to want to be involved with GNN and what it does. Naturally, GNN cannot expect to get everyone in this age group interested in what it is that they do and even many of those that become interested in the company will not be active participants. This is one of the most significant problems that GNN is facing right now, in that they have enough members, but they do not have enough members that are actively participating in what is going on with the company.
If they had active participation from all of their members they likely would not need to work so hard at a direct marketing campaign that will look for other individuals to help them out. As to this new target market, what should be developed should go off of what was discovered by researching this age group and determining what it is that they are interested in and what type of marketing fascinates them. Until this is known based on studies that are conducted by GNN it is quite difficult to give specifics about what type of direct marketing would work the best. Once this has been determined, however, these types of direct marketing should be delivered right around the time that schooling will be getting out for vacation time.
This is due to the fact that many of these young people in this age bracket will still be in school and therefore they will be looking for something to do when they have vacation or holiday time. It is during this time that many of these individuals will be most vulnerable to joining a new organization or belonging to something that will provide them with something else to do while they are not in school. This is the best time for GNN to market to individuals within this age group.
When GNN conducts this research it might want to look to the type of target markets that it is considering. In other words, these younger members are important but there are likely other markets that GNN would like to get into and other individuals that they wish to contact. Their characteristics have to be studied, and this includes not only the demographics of how old they are, what gender they are, and other specifics, but also the lifestyle that this target market leads. GNN, in needing active participation, would not want to look toward individuals that have a sedentary lifestyle and have no desire to change this. They would also be wise not to look at individuals that are already working 60 hours a week and have large families.
Much of this has to do with the fact that the sedentary individuals would not be interested in being active participants of GNN and the individuals who works such long hours and have large families to take care of would also likely not be interested or would not have time to spare even if they were interested in what GNN does. Many of these types of individuals would also not have money available to help contribute to the expenses and other issues that GNN must deal with on a daily basis. Looking at the target markets and the desired base of younger members shows that there are many different ways that these individuals could be targeted and marketed to.
Direct mail is only one of these ways. The Internet and other promotional methods are also very important and GNN should make use of these in any way that they can. The Internet is particularly important because so many people access it today (Hoffman, 2004). It was not that long ago that computers were still relatively scarce in individual homes, but in the last several years there has been quite a surge of computer buying from the public and it is surprising to find an individual that does not either have a computer in his or her home or have access to a computer through someone else or through a library or educational institution. Because of this, most people are connected to the Internet in some way and have e-mail addresses and other ways of being contacted other than the direct mail or telemarketing phone calls.
The telemarketing phone calls are probably not the way to go with GNN's business because most people are tired of being interrupted when they are doing something else by an individual who is trying to sell them something or convince them to join a group. Direct mail is better for this. Even though individuals may simply throw the mail away many of them will at least stop to look and see what GNN is about and what the company is asking for. By being able to do this on their own time when they feel like looking at it, rather than being interrupted and accosted over the telephone, the percentage of individuals that looks at GNN's information positively will be much higher. This does not mean that these individuals will join…