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Operation Christmas Child Marketing Audit

Essay by   •  September 22, 2011  •  Case Study  •  430 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,452 Views

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Executive Summary

Operation Christmas Child (OCC) is one project of an international Christian relief organization headed by Franklin Graham called Samaritan's Purse. It collects shoeboxes full of gifts and delivers them to children living in desperate situations around the world. OCC has collected over 86 million shoeboxes since 1993. OCC collects shoeboxes in eleven countries and distributes them in 139 countries. (Operation Christmas Child, 2011)

OCC's external environment has challenges and opportunities. Rising unemployment rates and cost of living increases cut into donors' discretionary incomes. The new world of electronic communications has revolutionized information sharing with both good and bad consequences. Cultural opposition in donor countries and political unrest in countries where the boxes are distributed bring trouble. Countries that close their doors to evangelical Christian groups can shut out OCC.

OCC faces may competitive forces. Its suppliers are donors who can be fickle, and who can choose to give to other rival organizations that are just as worthwhile. The customer is the recipient of the services or goods provided, and they can reside in countries with governments that can be fickle as well. Local organizations in the donor countries can provide substitute products in the form of ministries to help those in need in that donor country.

OCC's target market includes volunteers who donate and help with the logistics of collection of the shoeboxes. OCC reaches out to community groups, churches, prayer groups and individuals. The United States and the 10 other countries where shoeboxes are collected are divided into geographic regions, and Area Teams are developed in each region for outreach to donors.

OCC maintains its 'competitive advantage' with a low-overhead (low-cost) strategy combined with focused differentiation strategy to set itself apart as the best ministry of its kind in the world. Samaritan's Purse is not myopic, and they seem to meet spiritual and physical needs with the most effective means. OCC segments their ministry according to benefits / behaviors with some geographical segmentation. This strategy has been successful, but recent years have seen a plateau in the number of shoeboxes given.

Smiles highlight OCC's marketing mix. OCC sells smiles in the form of happy children who have been helped physically and spiritually by the gifts given. Teams formed to target specific types of donors sell these smiles. These volunteer teams accomplish most of the organization's marketing, and this keeps overhead low. These efforts have kept OCC on the road to recovery from 2008's financial recession.



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