Lizzie’s house: marketing plan

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Executive summary

Lizzie’s House is a non-profit organization that provides shelter and help to at-risk women and children. The group is involved in an area of concern among many sociologists where the number of homeless people is growing, mostly composed of women and children.  Due to this trend, there is an increasing need to provide much-needed help to these marginalized groups. This marketing strategy includes a definition of the various approaches that the organization can reach its target market composed of victims and donors. The prominent plan includes communications with the local community, building relationships, and creating an integrated product that will tackle the issue holistically. Techniques to be applied will consist of community outreach activities such as free medical screening as well as increased communication through digital and print media. The goal of this marketing plan will be to increase funding to the organization as well as facilitating the attainment of additional facilities to provide help to more people. Finally, this project will provide better conditions for higher success rates among the graduates of the program.

Situational analysis

Lizzie’s house is a non-profit organization working to stabilize at-risk women and children. The group is responsible for providing housing and other services to these demographics with a focus on the homeless. In fact, homelessness is part of the organization’s requirements for help-seekers. The team is rooted in Christian ideology that advocates for kindness and servitude in the society especially among the less fortunate. Other services included in the organization include training and counseling of the participants to promote their return to society. The group relies on charitable donations from the community as well as fundraising efforts such as selling southern-style food and using the revenue for the organization. Despite these current efforts, Lizzie’s House is still underfunded and in need of additional help. It wishes to rise above its competitors in soliciting funds and assisting the community.

Market summary

The society exists at a time of economic and social uncertainty. Women and children are usually the primary victims of such conditions where they are subjected to poverty and abuse from fellow family members or even other members of the society (Grant, Gracy, Goldsmith, Shapiro, & Redlener, 2013). This situation has led to the prominence of family homelessness in the United States mainly driven by destitute women and children. According to the HHS (US Department of Health and Human Services), over half of the unmet requests concerning domestic violence were for housing. Additionally, 57% of the homeless women population attributed their situation to domestic violence (Family and Youth Services Bureau, 2016). The additional victims are due to various other reasons such as economic hardships, which were also common among victims of domestic violence. Lizzie’s house is a crucial part of society that seeks to assist to homeless women and children in a bid to mitigate the current trend of increasing homelessness in America.

SWOT Analysis

Lizzie’s house operates in a competitive and underfunded market. However, it also has particular strengths that position it for success.

  • Strengths – Lizzie’s House is a non-profit organization that enjoys a tax-exempt status. As such, revenue and funds collected by the team go entirely to the dispensation of the organization’s services and operations (Kong, 2008). The agency is also fully established meaning that it does not struggle with its competitors who have launched their services recently.
  • Weaknesses – the primary weakness of the organization is cash flow. Just like any other non-profit organization, all of its donations and revenue go towards supporting the cause at hand, which is severely under-explored (Galaskiewicz, 2016). As such, budget deficits are common since the company experience challenges in addressing the demand. For instance, Lizzie’s house requires finances to funds its needs such as house repair and maintenance.
  • Opportunities – the homelessness population is continuing to grow as America’s income deficit increases alongside many cases of domestic abuse (American Psychological Association, n.d.). The high number of at-risk women and children provides an opportunity for Lizzie’s house to increase the intensity of their services and grow.
  • Threats – just like other non-profits, economic conditions affect the ability of these organizations to mobilize funds. High individual taxation and financial crises make raising funds a challenging job to the unwillingness of the community to help in light of adverse economic conditions.

Competition

The main competition in this industry includes thousands of homeless shelters created commonly under governmental and religious organizations (homeless Shelters USA, n.d.). For instance, the Salvation Army is a significant player in the industry as are local governments.

Product offering

The products or services offered in Lizzie’s House aim to provide stability to at-risk women and children as well as capacity building to allow their integration back into the productive society and normality. The following services are offered:

  1. Permanent and temporary housing and shelter for at-risk women and children
  2. Life skills training including money management, self-assessment, goal setting, and hygiene
  3. Psychological assistance including group and individual psychotherapy
  4. Job placement assistance including career counseling and collaboration with job creators involving cooperation with the WINN job center
  5. Childcare in partnership with the TANF program and YMCA centers for women who have to go to work
  6. Follow-up services up to 6 months after graduation

Distribution

Lizzie’s house will dispense its services through the organizations building. Target participants will be receiving shelter as well as life-skills training in the house. Additionally, the organization will work with the community to obtain funds, employment opportunities, and training facilities. For example, partnerships with local businesses will promote the availability of employment opportunities. Additionally, Lizzie’s House will work alongside regional training and education institutions to impart professional skills to the participants.

Marketing strategies

Objectives

  • Lizzie’s house wishes to increase funding from donations by 20% in the 12 months
  • Increase public awareness of the social problem
  • To expand boarding facilities to accommodate 100% more participants in 24 months

Target Markets

As a non-profit organization, Lizzie’s House has to target both donors and at-risk participants to define its success. As such, a definition of the at-risk market involves women and children who are homeless. This target market remains at risk of numerous social adversities including poverty, abuse, substance abuse, illness, and even death. The criteria for selection of the participants include multiple considerations. Firstly, these people should have a desire to change their situation through improved self-care, job seeking, and attend therapy sessions. Additionally, the program will not host women who are currently pregnant during application.

The other target market is composed of donors. Target donors include individuals within the middle or high-income categories based on the assumption that they have money to spare for the homeless. Donors should be people invested in the welfare of the community such as people with local businesses or institutions. Finally, donors should be passionate about helping others. Therefore, individuals with a history of donating as well as corporations with CSR programs make up the vast majority of the expected donors.

Positioning

The company utilizes a product differentiation approach to stand out from the competition. The United States is home to hundreds of thousands of homeless shelters and NGOs’ working on various issues. Lizzie’s house is involved in a specific niche that includes providing services for a particular target market that includes at-risk women and children. This niching sets it apart from other shelters that offer help to everyone or other charities dealing with other social issues.

Marketing Strategies

Product

Lizzie’s House aims to provide at-risk women and children with basic needs required to survive and stabilize their lives. Therefore, Lizzie’s House wishes its brand to stand for assistance as a beacon of hope for members of the target population. Through an integrated service package, the participants can receive appropriate support to help them overcome their current financial, psychological, and social inadequacies (McLeish, 2010). Counseling is a crucial component of this program since it will improve the mental health of the participants and provide them with the skills necessary to maintain professional and social functions in the society. On the other hand, life-skills training will promote their competence for any given job that they may be interested. Therefore, an integrated service package will be crucial in providing holistic assistance to the participants. Additionally, this comprehensive approach will act as confidence builder among donors. It is essential that the Lizzie’s House brand is associated with recovery success as a way to attract more investment and build a reputable organization.

Distribution

The operations of the organization will occur in close collaboration with the local community. The company aims to provide at-risk women and children within the local community an opportunity to return to normalcy or improve their situation. Maintaining healthy and beneficial relationships with other aspects of the area will remain a crucial pillar of success for the organization (Van Puyvelde, Caers, Du Bois & Jegers, 2012). As such, Lizzie’s House will look towards businesses and the local people to support the organization. Donations from individuals including money and other items that the participants need will have a significant impact on the NGO’s success. Additionally, relationships with businesses will provide a source of substantial funding, publicity, and employment opportunities for the program’s participants (Austin & Seitanidi, 2012). Therefore, Lizzie’s House will enhance relationships across its supply chain to improve its ability to provide services to its members.

Marketing communication

Communication is an indispensable function in any organization regardless of its categorization. It provides an opportunity for the group to pass its message to the people. In doing so, the company enhance its public standing, foster public interest in its products, or even improve external relationships (McMurray, Pirola-Merlo, Sarros, & Islam, 2010). Therefore, Lizzie’s House will be engaging in effective communication as a way to develop relationships with both donors and potential participants. Communicating a message of love and comradely will also improve the non-profit’s reputation as a champion for needs of homeless women and children. Advertising will be a prominent aspect of this communication plan due to the demand for the organization’s benefits and services among the public. However, market research will be a vital requirement driving the success of the communication process. Therefore, Lizzie’s House will be involved in marketing communication to draw donors and participants to the program.

Marketing mix

This section will offer the various activities required to fulfill the marketing strategies outlined for the organization.

Community outreach: The program will offer free health check-ups for potential program applicants upon application. The homeless are usually susceptible to both physical and mental illnesses that make it difficult for them to thrive in an unsheltered lifestyle. The check-ups will allow them to understand their health status and help in the identification of individual needs. The check will be free all the individuals who show up regardless of the program’s entry requirements. However, those who do not qualify will not be admitted to the shelter.  Nevertheless, the free screening is an opportunity to provide the homeless population with a much-needed service. Additionally, it will act as a tool that will attract potential program members who will be identified after the selection process (Scheitle, 2015). The activity will also facilitate a positive reputation for the organization as an agency looking to better the society.

Print and digital media campaign: Lizzie’s House plans to unveil a digital and print marketing campaign to attract potential donors to participate. The campaign will utilize print advertising for local populations. The distribution of fliers and other print material will promote increased awareness among the residents and businesses within the local community (Lovejoy & Saxton, 2012). In doing so, it will provide an opportunity for these people to participate in the organization’s activity. Additionally, a digital campaign using social media and television will allow nationwide recognition of the company’s efforts. It will also appeal to individuals outside the immediate community surrounding the NGO. As such, the campaign will be in a position to solicit more funds to facilitate its activities. The digital and print approaches will enhance its ability to communicate with the community and improve relationships and awareness concerning the cause.

Market research

Market research refers to continuous collection and analyses of information about a particular topic with the intention of increasing the organization’s marketing capabilities (Nuna & Di Domenico, 2013). To this effect, Lizzie’s House will engage in data collection from various governmental and non-governmental sources to update their understanding of current trends concerning donation and participation in the program. Both introspective and ‘extrospective’ research will be necessary to assess the organization’s operating environment and internal capabilities to address changes in trends in the marketplace. Doing so will provide insight on how to approach the target markets.

CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW

As a Christian-based organization, Lizzie’s House will aim to conform to certain tenets of the religion in the dispensation of its services. One example of these principles involves adhering to the Christian teachings of neighborliness and service to society. Lizzie’s House is committed to following these biblical instructions in its operations.

“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11: 28)

“For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:” (Matthew 25: 35)

These verses characterize the commitment of the organization to help those in need of the services provided. The group is based on the belief that helping the poor and the needy is an obligation aimed at exalting God as explained in the verse below.

“He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, But he who honors Him has mercy on the needy.” (Proverbs 14: 31).

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  3. Family and Youth Services Bureau. (2016). Domestic Violence and Homelessness: Statistics (2016). Family and Youth Services Bureau | ACF. Retrieved 30 November 2017, from https://www.acf.hhs.gov/fysb/resource/dv-homelessness-stats-2016
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  13. Van Puyvelde, S., Caers, R., Du Bois, C., & Jegers, M. (2012). The governance of non-profit organizations: Integrating agency theory with stakeholder and stewardship theories. Non-profit and voluntary sector quarterly41(3), 431-451.
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