Proposition: donors would be retained instead of lost
Proposition: This proposal aims to raise brand awareness for Noah’s Ark Natural Animals Shelter (NANAS), so that the general public, with an emphasis on youths, will know about the organisation. This can be done via the design of a website, a viral video campaign and through an email drip campaign.
NANAS is a non-governmental organisation which focuses on taking in abandoned, abused and homeless animals to their sanctuary in Johor to live out the rest of their lives. The organisation was originally started in Singapore, but has moved their operations to Johor due to cost. Currently, their efforts include planning excursions from Singapore to their Sanctuary every few months as well as selling merchandise on their Facebook page. The organisation is not well known, being overshadowed by their own sister company Noah’s Ark Cares, as well as other more established organisations such as SPCA and SOSD.
The organisation is currently unable to reach a large audience since they are only recently established, in 2016. They also have limited points of contact, exclusively being their Facebook page. However, since the company is not yet well established, this gives them the opportunity to position themselves however they like. This can allow them to select a target audience, which will be youths. This is because youths are the ones who will have spending power in the future and are also the ones that can spread brand awareness the easiest.
There are a few ways to increase the brand awareness of NANAS. The first idea is to design a website. This website would enable potential donors to have a reliable point of contact and will allow NANAS to have a more professional look. It will also be something that can be done relatively easily, with little manpower required. The second idea is to create a viral video campaign. This campaign can be designed so as to promote the sanctuary as well as to showcase the core mission of the organisation. It can emotionally appeal to viewers and would lead to a large number of the public to be introduced to the organisation, significantly increasing the brand awareness of the organisation. The third idea is to have an email drip campaign. This campaign would ensure that those who are donors would be retained instead of lost as many donors are. The campaign can also be highly personalized, encouraging sharing on social media and allowing for word of mouth marketing to occur. The main goal is to raise awareness for NANAS, so that the general public, with an emphasis on youths, will know about the organisation. This can be done via a website, a viral video campaign, and through an email drip campaign.
First, some background information on NANAS. The issue that NANAS wishes to tackle are abandoned, abused and homeless animals (Noah’s Ark Animal Shelter Facebook). Their cause is to give these animals a home in the form of the sanctuary, where the animals can live without disturbance. The sanctuary, which was originally based in Singapore, has moved to a 10 acres plot of land in Johor and is home to over 1,000 animals, including dogs, cats, horses and other rescued animals. Currently, NANAS has ongoing sales of their own products (shirts and calendars) to raise funds as well as excursions to the sanctuary in Johor every few months. These are coordinated exclusively through their Facebook. There are no other current sources of information. They have no website and their blog has not been updated since September 2017.
NANAS is not a well-known organisation. The organisation is overshadowed by their own sister company, Noah’s Ark Cares. This was originally the Singapore hand of the shelter but had to splinter off when it was certified as a charity by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth. This leads to confusion between the two brands which reduces individual brand recognition. Other animal shelters are also more renowned, such as SPCA (Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and SOSD (Save Our Street Dogs Singapore). This is likely because they are based locally and have been established for a long time. This is reflected in the amount of Facebook followings that their respective groups have (104,112 and 128,734 respectively) as compared to the number NANAS have (3,827) (SPCA Singapore Facebook, SOSD Singapore Facebook). This is likely because of how much longer these charities have been established, as compared to NANAS.
(P3) Problem / Position
NANAS does not have a large outreach. The current entity was only started up in July of 2016, which is very recent for an NGO. Though the company themselves started up in 1995, this specific entity that is in charge of raising funds in Singapore only begun in 2016. This makes them an unknown as compared to other well-established pet focused NGOs. For example, SPCA was started in the 1800s while Action for Singapore Dogs (ASDA) was started in December 2000 (“SPCA Our History”, “ASDA About Us”). With the company being so young, they will need to have a good initial first impression to make sure that they are able to stand out from these more established charities. In addition, they do not have enough points of contact for their audience. The audience is not able to get more information from the NGO. Even if the audience does hear about the organisation, they may not be able to get current information on the organisation easily. This can be seen in how the Organisation only has a Facebook site as a current source of information. It makes the company seem less legitimate. Their other possible source of information, their blog, is out of date.
NANAS could potentially position themselves to appeal to the Singaporean youth. As they are relatively unknown now, the organisation has the capability to position themselves in their preferred manner to appeal to their target audience. This allows them to control the image that they wish to project to the public. Singaporean youth will be an ideal target audience as they spread information through social media quickly and are able to increase brand awareness for the organisation through this. In addition, once they have recognized the organisation, they will be more likely to donate in the future, when they have their own spending power.
The first possibility is to create a website for the organisation. The website will feature a store, so that they can sell their merchandise, as well as have a blog, so that the blogging that they previously did can now be done on their own personal website. The interface has to be designed to be slick and attractive. This will draw people in, after having an initial first impression of the website, which only takes 50 milliseconds (Laja). This will allow for it to ensure people who find the organisation will be drawn in by the design of the site. It will be important to make the website mobile friendly as well, since a quarter of global web searches are done through mobile devices (Mills). By doing this option, it will add legitimacy to the organisation. It allows for the company to be able to have a reliable point of contact which people will be able to find the organisation through. This will lead to more people being able to find the organisation and for brand awareness to increase. This option also has a low initial start cost. There are free website creation sites to create a basic start to the website. The main monetary costs would be buying the hosting domain, which is relatively cheap.
The second possibility is to create a viral video. The viral video can play into the feelings of abandonment. An important part of their cause is to give abandoned animals a home within the sanctuary. Playing into people’s sympathy and showcasing how the sanctuary is a safe haven can introduce viewers to the sanctuary and introduce it’s cause at the same time. Since the sanctuary is such a large area, it can be used as the location for the shoot. This showcases the area too, allowing people to preview the area and see whether it interests them. This will help tie into the sanctuary visit dates. When a viral video is successful, it is able to capture the attention of many people, especially young people. This will lead to them becoming more aware of the organisation, which is our priority. This has been successfully implemented before by small companies such as by Invisible Children where due to their seeding strategy, were able to obtain more than half a million followers as a relatively small organisation (Girling). This would enable the organisation to be able to gain the brand awareness that they are looking for, which is the primary goal.
The third possibility is to create an email drip campaign. An email drip campaign can be done so that any donors that they have already made can be retained. According to the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the overall Donor retention rates have been on a decline (1). A way to combat this would be through the use of an email drip campaign, where donors are reminded of why they donated and will be encouraged to donate again. When combined with social media, personalized emails directed to the donors can be shared by recipients which lead to the brand being promoted through them. For example, the email can detail how the money that they donated has helped a specific dog, which will lead to them feeling like the money they donated was put to good use. By doing this, donors will be inclined to continue donating to the organisation. Since obtaining new donors costs five more than retaining current donors (Sargeant), it will be important to the organisation that they keep as many donors as they can get. In addition, the donors themselves will be used as a means of promoting the website. By encouraging donors to share their experience, it allows for the organisation to have a further outreach, without spending any additional money.
The viral video option would be ideal. Even though there are higher costs in producing a video, the amount of traffic that it would bring in if it goes viral would be incomparable to the other methods. In addition, the location can be the animal sanctuary itself, where there are plenty of animals that can be video graphed as well, reducing costs. In addition, to do the other two methods very well, it would also require an investment in money and time, and the benefits of the viral video idea are greater than the other two ideas, despite the higher costs. The main purpose of our media campaign is to bring more brand awareness to NANAS. To do this, it will require something that can be shared and talked about through word of mouth, spreading into something with a wide reach. When compared to the other two methods, although they would indeed increase some traffic to the organisation, it would be nowhere near what the viral video would be able to do. The video would be able, to sum up the organisation and let it be presented in an interesting method, that can catch the attention of people. Through emotional appeal, the video can become viral and attract the brand awareness that we are looking for. Hence, the viral video would be an ideal campaign to execute.
The Email Drip campaign would not be ideal. The campaign would definitely help in retaining any current donors that the organisation may currently have. It would allow for them to have a continuous stream of income from donors when they are able to retain them. However, since the company currently has such a small following, it might not be ideal to do. Even if all their users were to share about the campaign, their reach might not be enough to significantly raise the brand awareness. This would be ideal in the short-term, due to the constant money stream, but in the long term, it might not have a significant increase in brand awareness. This plan would also require time and manpower since the emails would have to be crafted to be personalized, or would otherwise require a program to send personalized emails, which would require money. Since the goal of the media campaign is to raise the public’s awareness of the organisation and not just retaining the current donors, this would not be an ideal choice.
The website design option would not be ideal. The website would make the organisation more appealing to a general outsider, as it will make the organisation appear more legitimate. It also allows a clear channel of communication with donors at all times, ensuring that no donors are lost simply because of a lack of communication. However, since the organisation has such a small following currently, a website alone would not bring in traffic to the organisation. Although this would certainly help the organisation appear more professional when users do start coming in, it alone cannot bring traffic in. This would not lead to brand awareness spreading as we are looking to do. This is something that can be done alongside another main media campaign, but it alone cannot be the driving force in the media campaign. Hence, this is not the ideal choice.