In order to develop a sufficient donor base that is capable of providing funds that can grow the organization, it is necessary to identify primary and secondary target markets. The best option that Kick for Nick has for a primary target market is the “working soccer mom.” The working soccer mom is a mother between the ages of 35 and 44 that has an income of $55,000 to $60,000. There are over 10 million married couples in America that parent children under the age of 18 (Mintel 2007). At the time when a child is old enough to engage in activities (i.e. soccer), a mother is typically in the largest age grouping of parents, that is, 35 to 44 (Mintel 2007).
There are 32,193,725 parents at work in the labor force (U.S. Bureau of the Census 2007). Using this number, and accounting for the margin of error, there are approximately 8,821,081 mothers at work. The median income for these mothers is $58,686 (U.S. Bureau of the Census 2007). People in this age and income range can be expected to make cash contributions between $1,700 and $1,800 each year, part of which Kick for Nick can vie for (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2006). These are the best available potential donors because there is a large base, and they will be able to understand the cause of the organization. Kick for Nick has already targeted this group, by working with youth soccer programs to raise funds, but the group must be targeted specifically to optimize giving (KickForNick 2008).
After the working soccer mom, the next best option is the “young working veteran.” These are veterans of the fighting that has been ongoing since September of 2001. These people will be able to sympathize with the cause, as many were in the position that Nick Madaras was in before he died. They will know what he went through and be willing to contribute. The young working veteran is aged 18 to 24 and has a median income of $35,000 to $40,000.
There are 450,011 veterans of the most recent fighting that are between the ages of 18 and 24 (U.S. Bureau of the Census 2007). Of those approximately 450,000 there are 369,083 that are presently employed and have a median income of $36,053 (U.S. Bureau of the Census 2007). People in this age and income range can be expected to make annual cash contributions between $600 and $1200, part of which Kick for Nick can vie for (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2006). This group presents a significant base for a secondary target market.
Surveying the People
To best reach our target markets it is important to first understand who Kick for Nick is trying to reach. The best way to find understanding is to research what the organization can do to reach this segment of the market by surveying different people, holding in-depth interviews, and conducting a focus group. The survey examined a number of things. It took into account the current economic situation and how it affects charitable donations. Apparently many of the factors that affect giving, such as income and GDP will be largely unaffected by this economy, or at least only on paper (Hrywna). The survey’s function is to provide information for Kick for Nick regarding the best way to appeal to donors.
The survey compares Kick for Nick with other charities that focus on children in war torn countries, and allows for further segmentation to see which respondents are most likely to give to children, war efforts, etc. Finally, the survey takes into account the demographics of the people who are most like to donate to these types of charities. The survey results allow for understanding as to what makes a charity more or less appealing to donate to than other charities, and what influences a donor’s decision on which charity to give to.
The survey asked questions specifically designed to address these main issues. There were questions regarding the economic situation of the country, as well as what other social situations might influence a donor’s choice on which charity to donate to. These responses will directly concern donations over the coming months and very possibly years. With no end to the financial crisis in sight, people will start to watch their money more carefully, and this could easily mean giving less to charitable donations. Also, there are a huge variety of opinions on the war in Iraq, and this can make a big difference as to whether people will donate to Kick for Nick. These responses will allow for conclusions leading to specific marketing activities that can maximize coverage of potential donors.
Survey data shows that Kick for Nick might have some difficulty as a small charity, as it is less popular to give to well funded well known charities and small unknown ones, as opposed to moderate sized ones that seem underfunded. Also Kick for Nick is going to have to spin the charity’s image more towards helping United States soldiers, as most people would donate to a charity that affects the United States rather than foreign countries.
It seems that the survey data is correct in saying that for the most part people will continue to donate the same amounts, if not a bit less. It is very possible that Kick for Nick needs to upgrade its website because in a recent survey, nearly 50 percent of online consumers plan to donate using the internet this holiday season (JupiterResearch). This may be due to the ease of the transaction, and hopefully this will open another avenue of funding.
There were some restrictions in distributing and receiving information from the surveys. Ideally, the survey would have been distributed randomly and on a much greater scale in order to achieve the most diverse and comprehensive data. However, due to restrictions in time and money, the survey was only able to be distributed to 50 individuals, with 42 responding at time of publication. Also, the survey was distributed to relatives and associates of relatives, meaning that the recipients of the data were far from a random sample. Almost 55% of respondents were female, and many respondents were aged between 40 and 50 years of age. Preferably, the survey would have been distributed to an even percentage of males and females of all ages and races. Regardless, the survey provided some useful information in developing conclusions and assisting in further qualitative research.
The Focus Group
Had a focus group been conducted, it would have utilized the participants to try and find out what the customer’s wants and needs are. By gathering six to ten potential customers in a room together, it’s important that the moderator ask the right questions in order to achieve whatever objectives the focus group is attempting to achieve. The most difficult problem is effectively communicating with the participants to be able to find out the difference between what they say they do, and what they actually do. When used effectively with the in depth interviews and the surveys, focus groups can provide useful information and present group dynamic and organizational issues with a product or service.
There are many benefits to running a focus group, as they tend to bring out ideas and suggestions not obtainable through traditional surveys and in depth interviews. Focus groups can be used not only as a resource for getting the customers’ needs recognized, but can even be used after the product launches to gauge the public perception. Although in depth interviews are more effective in obtaining a deeper knowledge of the customer’s decision making process, focus groups are economically favorable as the moderator can infer the customer’s actions without direct observation.
For years focus groups have successfully been used to figure out what the customers want, but fail to see the customers how they actually use the product. This results in the company not finding what its customers need. Focus groups can’t be the only source for information as many of the participants are swayed by others’ opinions, and never express their own thoughts. Although the free flowing ideas technique has its advantages, often the participants get sidetracked and irrelevant information is gathered. In the end, the results gathered are judged by the observer, who may be biased to make the information gathered to either support or negate a previous theory. When used correctly focus groups can help bring out customer wishes and wants, but often it is difficult to interpret the information not knowing if these thoughts are what the customers actually need in a product.
The In-Depth Interview
In depth interviews aim to uncover more concealed information which is not easily translatable via the other research styles. This type reaches past surface data and into the depth of the matter through the heavily detailed research. Once a rapport is developed between the interviewer and the interviewee, in depth interviews can expand the study providing much more key research. In the in depth interviews conducted for Kick for Nick, the aim was to uncover thoughts and ideas relative to those who have previous interest and knowledge of the non for profit.
The personal goals of these interviews are to identify the ways in which they have heard of the charity and, based on their knowledge, what ways Kick For Nick could expand their marketing and target audiences. Dr. Emig, an Associate Professor of Accounting and Information Systems at Villanova University, had leveraged the not-for-profit last year, when he was approached by students who had worked with Kick for Nick in a semester long project for a Management Essentials class.
Due to his previous involvement with the charity, the in depth interview was relaxed and less structured than it would have been with a source less familiar with cause; in addition, the team members conducting the interview had previously had Dr. Emig in class, resulting in familiarity on a personal level. Dr. Emig was also a good candidate for an interview because he has valuable experience with non-profits.
Entering his eighth year as treasurer for his local youth soccer league, his background in a number of areas provoked many refreshing ideas. He broadened the spectrum of ideas for remarketing Kick for Nick; moreover, Dr. Emig showed interest in expanding the not-for-profit by broadening the equipment collected. His idea was to focus on basketball and baseball, emphasizing the inexpensive cost in basketball and soccer, as compared to more expensive sports such as baseball.