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exercise 3

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Discount chains Sears, Target, and Wal-Mart each operate major online stores in addition to their many retail locations. For one of these companies (or a similar firm if none of these three is located near you), visit a physical location and the online store to identify specific customer touchpoints and observe how the company?s brand is presented in each. In a report of about 100 words, evaluate the touchpoint consistency achieved by the company and provide suggestions for how the company might improve its touchpoint;consistency.;Case 1. Oxfam;For more than 60 years, Oxfam has worked through and with its donors, staff, project partners, and project participants to overcome poverty and injustice around the world. Early in World War II, Greece was occupied by the German Army. Allied forces created a naval blockade around Greece to prevent further German expansion, however, the blockade caused Greek civilians to suffer severe shortages of food and medicine. In response to this humanitarian crisis, a number of Famine Relief Committees were formed by people in Great Britain to ship emergency supplies through the Allied blockade.;Most of these committees ceased operations after the war ended and the Greek crisis subsided, however, one of them, the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief saw a continuing need throughout post-war Europe and expanded its operations to provide aid there and in later years, the rest of the world. The Committee eventually became known by its abbreviated telegraph address, Oxfam, and the name was formally adopted in 1965.;Oxfam?s growth was due to many dedicated volunteers and donors who continued and expanded their financial support of the organization. In the 1960s, Oxfam began to generate significant revenues from its retail stores. These shops, located throughout Great Britain, accept donations of goods and handcrafted items from overseas for resale. Today, those stores number more than 800 and are staffed by more than 20,000 volunteers. The British organization has joined with 15 other charitable organizations to become an international confederation devoted to ending poverty and injustice with operations in 98 countries and annual program expenditures of more than $900 million. Oxfam often deals with humanitarian disasters that are beyond the scope of its resources. In these cases, the organization provides aid by mobilizing an international lobbying staff that has contacts with key aid agencies based in other countries, governments in the affected area, and the United Nations.;In 1996, Oxfam opened a Web site to provide information about its efforts to supporters and potential donors. The Web site included detailed reports on Oxfam?s work, past and present, and allows site visitors to make donations to the organization. Although Oxfam gladly accepts any donations, it encourages supporters to commit to a continuing relationship by making regular donations. In exchange, it provides regular updates about its activities on the Web site and through an e-mailed monthly newsletter. The Web site includes a sign-up page for the e-mail newsletter, which goes out to several hundred thousand supporters. When supporters sign up for the newsletter, they can choose to receive other e-mails from Oxfam. The supporters who have opted in constitute the Oxfam opt-in the e-mail list.;Oxfam has been involved in relief work in Sudan since the 1970s, when it provided help to Ugandan refugees in the southern part of the country. In its recent work there, it has set up sanitary facilities and provided clean drinking water camps that house thousands of displaced people fleeing pro-government Arab militias. The need in Sudan rapidly exceeded Oxfam?s capacity and it decided to use e-mail to mobilize support for the project.;Oxfam planned an e-mail campaign that would send three e-mails in HTML format to supporters on its existing opt-in e-mail list over a six-week period. The first e-mail included a photo of children in one of the camps. The text of the e-mail message described Oxfam?s efforts to provide clean water to the displaced people living in the Sudanese camps. The e-mail included links in two places that took recipients to a Web page that had been created specifically to receive visitors responding to that e-mail message. The Web page allowed visitors to make a donation and asked them to provide their e-mail addresses, which would be used to send updates on the Sudan project. A second e-mail was sent two weeks later to addresses on the list that had not yet responded. This second e-mail included a video file that played automatically when the e-mail was opened. The video conveyed the message that Oxfam had delivered $300,000 in aid to the camps but that more help was urgently needed in the region. This second e-mail included three links that led to the Web page created for the first e-mail. Two weeks later, a final e-mail was sent to addresses on the list that had not responded to either of the first two e-mails. This third e-mail included an audio recording in which Oxfam?s executive director made a plea for the cause. The e-mail also included text that provided examples of which aid items could be provided for specific donation amounts.;Oxfam?s three-part e-mail campaign was considered a success by direct marketing standards. The first e-mail was opened by 32 percent of recipients and had a click-through rate of 8 percent. The second e-mail had similar, but somewhat higher, results (33 percent opened, 10 percent clicked-through). Ninety percent of those who opened the e-mail watched the video. The third e-mail continued the slightly increasing trends for opening and attention (34 percent opened, and 94 percent listened to the audio), but the click-through rate was much higher than the previous two e-mails (14 percent). Also, the dollar amount of donations increased with each subsequent e-mailing. The e-mail campaign raised more than $450,000 in its six-week period.;Oxfam coordinated this e-mail effort with other awareness activities it was conducting in the same time period. The organization sent letters to supporters who had not provided e-mail addresses and ran ads in two newspapers (The Independent and The Guardian) that carried messages similar to those in the e-mails.;Required;2. For this campaign, Oxfam chose to use e-mails that contained HTML, audio, and video elements rather than using plain-text emails. In about 100 words, describe the advantages and disadvantages of using formats other than plain-text in this type of e-mail campaign. Be sure to identify any specific trade-offs that Oxfam faced in deciding not to use plain-text e-mail.;5. If Oxfam were to undertake a similar emergency fund-raising effort today, it might use social media. In about 300 words, describe how Oxfam could use Facebook, Google+, and Twitter in combination with its existing online resources to enhance or replace the e-mail campaign presentation of your results to your class.

 

Paper#72455 | Written in 18-Jul-2015

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