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Operation SmileHow to Launch a Marketing Campaign OnlineMathieu DEGANDClaudia GALEANAMaxime GRIMARDTherese LARROZACharlotte MARYAnna RELLAMACamille THIḖBAUTDirect Marketing, Fall SemesterTim Lyons21 October 2011 i
Abstract With the increasing trend of online marketing and the current shift to the onlineworld, it is crucial that even non-profit organizations such as Operation Smile adapt tothe changing tides and begin establishing a solid online presence that would hopefullygenerate more volunteers and donations for the benefit of the organization’s charitableprograms. One way to maximize Operation Smile’s online presence is through searchengine optimization (SEO), which focuses mainly on on-page tools such as keywordsand off-page tools such as Google Adwords. Another way would be through largelypopulated social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Delicious andsome blog sites such as Blogspot or Wordpress.Operation Smile ii
Operation Smile Operation Smile, although internationally acclaimed for its generous acts ofcharity especially in the cleft palate sector, still experiences problems when it comes tothe acquisition of not only funds and donations, but also volunteers especially since theirprojects have been increasing every year. As a response, the group believes that it is bestto make use of a tool that encompasses and reaches out to the most individuals in theworld at a low cost, and that is, the Internet. The Internet has proven to be a powerfultool nowadays and is actually still growing at a very big rate. Not making use of suchwould be a mistake as the move towards the online world is becoming more and moreevident each day. Table 1: Internet Usage Statistics – The Internet Big Picture (World Internet Usage and Population Statistics)1 Throughout the study, the group will try to be in the aid of Operation Smile as ittries to expand it’s online presence through tools such as Google Adwords, on-page andoff-page marketing tools, social networking sites, blogs and other famous sites such asYoutube.1 From http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm2 T. Singh (2008), Blogging: A new play in your marketing game plan, Business Horizons,
Objectives For this study, objectives had to be established by the group so as to guide themin the formulation of all the other marketing ideas that they had for Operation Smile. Inthis case, the company aims:1. To increase the numbers of volunteers, medical ones and community ones of Operation Smile by 20% within two years;2. To increase collected donations, both financial and material, by 30% within a year; and3. To double the number of visitors of the website who not only sign up for the site, but also stay involved in Operation Smile’s activities. These objectives were kept in mind as the group tried to optimize OperationSmile’s online presence through tools such as blogs, email blasts and social networkingsites. The group made sure that these are aligned with the company’s corporateobjectives, mission and vision so as to show consistency, thereby preventing anymisunderstandings that may result from such. Search Engine Optimization One way to increase Operation Smile’s online presence is through the use of on-page marketing tools such as keywords and off-page marketing tools such as GoogleAdwords. Such tools, when used properly, can reach out to more individuals—that is,more potential donors and volunteers. As to how, however, this will be discussed furtheras we go on with the study. On-page Marketing Tools Considering that our target is made up for doctors and medical students who may not have much time but they have great interest in social responsibility focused on volunteer work, we decided to build a website that has a simple but attractive structure to ensure that users remain on the site and remain interested in joining Operation Smile’s projects. To ensure effective navigation, we have identified five bases. Firstly, don’t make your user guess. We classified the information found on the website in four areas, which contains the main points of interest to our target as follows:
Figure 1 The links for the subparts of the site need to stand out.Taking into account the second base that is quality, not quantity, we included more information only in the areas that need to be clarified, for example: VOLUNTEER n Medical volunteers n Community volunteers DONATION n Financial n Material Similarly, to facilitate the navigation of the pages, we took into account our thirdand fourth bases, which are “consistency is key” and “don’t be adventurous.” Making the website structure similar to others found on internet gives the user an easy understanding of the format. Also, the structure of the pages (titles, subtitles,navigation buttons, placement of information, etc.) were made similar, thus providing consistency and easy usage of the website. Finally, considering that the main information is on the Home page, the option of Back to “Home” (this is the 5th base) is always visible to allow effective navigation. Figure 2 The Header for Operation Give-A-Smile must contain shortcuts to all parts of the site including Home.
On-site Factors A recent report from DoubleClick.com (2005) reveals that about half of allpurchases in the business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce category are preceded by aweb search (Ross A. Malaga, 2007). In line with this, we decided to implement searchengine optimization so as to increase our chances of being the first one selected for thesearch engines and users, thereby increasing donations and volunteers for OperationSmile. Some of the elements used by the major search engines to determine relevanceinclude, but are not limited to: age of the site, how often new content is added, the ratioof keywords or terms to the total amount of content on the site, and the quality andnumber of external sites linking to the site (Sullivan, 2003). Figure 3 How on-site factors fit in the generation of site profits. (Ross A. Malaga, 2007) Although more complex searches are possible, most web users conduct simplesearches based on a keyword or key phrase (Ross A. Malaga, 2007). For this reason, weperformed an analysis of the on-site factors of our competition and the official website ofOperation Smile to determine the title, description and keywords best suited for ourwebsite. The results are as follows:Operation Smile 4
Figure 4 The title, meta description and keywords that are most appropriate for Operation Smile. Looking at these results, we decided that the title to our website should be simpleand must refer to Operation Smile, because a moreextensive selection would not be practical since itwould not be visible in the tab. With regards to the description, since we arelooking for volunteers and donations, we have decidedto focus on the emotional appeal to the users. For thekeywords, we took some of the proposed bases forOperation Smile, but added more general terms suchas children world organization, free for children,operation and operations help, to attract more userswhen they are looking to support an association. Figure 5 The resulting details for Operation Give-A- Smile.Operation Smile 5
Off-page Marketing Tools In order to achieve effectively our objectives, we cannot just use on-pagestrategies. We need to combine them with off-page strategies to optimize even more theperformance of our website. The most strategic tool for us is Google Adsense, which permits us to raiseawareness and encourage donations by orienting our advertisements towards users whoare keying in words related to Operation Smile’s actions on Google. We chose to payonly when users click on our ad, thereby reducing significantly our promotion budget.The main advantage is that we can easily control and regulate our costs thanks toGoogle Analytics, a tool that generates graphs and charts showing the evolution of ourcampaign day after day. The second most appropriate way to promote our actions out of our website is theuse of social networks. As of the moment, approximately 8,544 people “like” OperationSmile’s page on Facebook but the plan is to be more present on these networks bysubscribing to more platforms and posting news as often as possible. This will be detailedmore later in the paper. Blogging is another key way to reach more people, but since around 60,000 blogsare launched every day, it is crucial to know how to blog. With this in mind, it isessential that we only post the most important information, both to make the navigationeasier and gain more credit from a search engine viewpoint.2 The blog also aims to build relationships between us and visitors, making visitorsdiscuss about Operation Smile and then redirecting them on our website if they areinterested. Generally, careful attention needs to be paid to what is being said aboutOperation Smile on the web even if we cannot control everything. The least we can do isbalance it by building a large enough network to monitor all these. We can also makeuse of forums where posts or topics that are linked to Operation Smile’s website can befound, which will then be crawled by search engines.2 T. Singh (2008), Blogging: A new play in your marketing game plan, Business Horizons,51, 281-292Operation Smile 6
Other Potential Online Tools Besides on-site and off-site marketing tools, certain sites that can be used asmarketing playgrounds already exist. These sites can range from social networking sitessuch as Facebook or Twitter to blogs such as Blogspot or Wordpress. With a well-defined marketing plan, these sites can add up significantly to Operation Smile’s onlinetraffic. Facebook Business owners are "friends" with Facebook. With 800 million users around theworld and with more than 50% of active users log on to Facebook in any given day(Facebook, 2011), Facebook is one of todays leading destinations influencing onlineidentity, entertainment, and content distribution. A growing number of businesses aremaking Facebook an indispensible part of their marketing plans. In line with this, therules of the marketing game have changed. The command and control television era,where big brands were built by heavyweight messaging to the nation every night, isdrawing to an end (Ward, 2010). Once Operation Smile uses Facebook as a marketing tool to reach its marketingobjectives and goals, it will enable the company to find and reach out to sponsors,volunteers and patients, build online communities of supporters and dig into gold minesof demographic information. However, relationship marketing for the Facebookgeneration demands both thinking and acting differently. In its place, a radically newstructure is emerging that will dominate marketing, recasting the discipline anddemanding a new direction in customer communication (Ward, 2010). Once a goodmarketing campaign is created and executed well through Facebook, this social mediawill play a critical part in driving Operation Smile’s target consumer intent as well asdelivering brand engagement in the digital networked society. Twitter In a globalized world like ours, when people think about Social Media Marketing, they do not just focus on Facebook but also twitter. In fact, it cannot be denied that some people have been tweeting much more than necessary. They tweet about their thoughts, reactions and actualities—those that happen either to their private lives or Operation Smile 7
even the public. Because of the simplicity and the increasing trend in its usage, Twitter has been used by a lot of organizations and enterprises for advertising and customer services. As a matter of fact, “marketing professionals use Twitter extensively for communicating with and monitoring customers, for observing competitors, and for analyzing chatter concerning brands, products, and company image” (S. B. Rinaldo, S. Tapp, and D. A. Laverie, 2011). In the case of Operation Smile, a Twitter account could be established so that their updates can be followed not only by potential partners and volunteers, members, but also those who can simply increase the brand image and add to Operation Smile’s online presence thanks to word-‐of-‐mouth. It could be an efficient way to provide timely feedbacks and updates relating to Operation Smile’s current operations and how its followers can be involved. The more the subscriptions, the more the followers, the better! Delicious When focusing on blogging, we tend to consider only the classic structure that offers you the possibility to post articles, and sometimes photos and videos online. Delicious goes further than that—it enables the user to post bookmarks on a single page to simplify its access to other users. We can assume that “a bookmark posted on a user’s Delicious account consists of the URL of a Web-‐available resource; a title for the resource […]; a brief comment, description, or analysis of the site as a note; and one or more tags, which serve to organize the bookmarks and take the place of the rigid folder structure common to browser-‐based bookmarking systems” (K. Stolley, 2009). The use of such a tool for an Operation Smile’s marketing/communication campaign could be considered especially if we want to give a lot of information at once to potential partners. Press articles, video trailers, partners’ website, and so on could be accessed directly from the Operation Smile Delicious’ account. Youtube Youtube, being the biggest video platform on the Internet, can be quite advantageous for Operation Smile as well. People use Youtube for looking for advertisements, movies, video campaigns, music clips, etc. Its big network can be Operation Smile 8
characterized by the 65,000 videos that are uploaded to it daily and the “75 million e-‐mails [that] are sent through posted commentary as well as forwarded video links” (Clark & Stewart, 2007; Kelly, 2007). “By posting videos on YouTube, responding to content via posts, and sharing posted content, consumers have the ability to influence marketing and communication campaigns” (Owen & Humphries, 2009). In our case, using Youtube to broadcast its videos, Operation Smile’s online presence would grow more rapidly. Moreover, these Youtube videos can directly be added to the organization’s website. Thus, whenever someone is looking at the videos on Youtube, a link to the website will be available under the video. An efficient Youtube campaign would help “Operation Smile” to broadcast its message and then to raise more funds. Foursquare Foursquare is a social media that emphasizes on the geo-localization of the users.It accounts for more than 10 million of users all-over the world and 500 000 businesseshave already adopted it. Foursquare allows its users to check-in in different places through theirsmartphones, and allows others to get access to such information. Similar to other socialnetworking sites, you have “friends” who can see your activity and where you makeyour check-ins. Using Foursquare for Operation Smile would be relevant because it will informthe followers of Operation Smile about its activities, like when they are currently doing asurgery operation, are making a special event3 in a certain place. By this geo-localizationsystem, they can segment their followers, and address messages to people who are in aspecific place.3 Eleven Digital Trends to Watch In 2011, Maddie Grant, Jan. 13, 2011Operation Smile 9
Sample Campaigns To give you a better picture of how these tools can be used as marketing tools forattaining our short-term objectives for Operation Smile, here are some examples: The Facebook Campaign Facebook has quickly moved from the periphery of marketing into the forefrontwith a large and growing portion of some of the most valuable demographics spendingmore of their time and attention on Facebook and less on other channels and media.This is a new and quickly evolving field and there are few established formulas forsuccess (Ward, 2010). With Facebook, Operation Smile can “start small.” For most businesses,Facebook pages (distinct from individual profiles and Facebook groups) are the bestplace to start where the organization can post updates, photos and videos about theiractivities. This will allow Operation Smile to collect “fans” the way celebrities, sportsteams, musicians and politicians do (Pattison, 2009). Because Pages are morecustomizable than groups, Operation Smile can add HTML, Flash, or even Facebookapplications to their page to extend their functionality and the depth of experience userscan have with the organization. The next step is to create Facebook Events that Operation Smile can use topromote their events, sponsored parties, or even celebrity endorsements, launches, transactions, or company milestones. Since Facebook Events is a fully featured page, much like a group, that includes a wall, discussion, photos, videos, and links, Operation Smile for can add as much media they can. They can invite all of their friends and fans to the event and with Facebook Events, it’s easy to get the word out to hundreds of people, manage the guest list, and build a community around Operation Smile’s upcoming events Figure 6 This is how sharing a post on Facbook would look like. (Pattison, 2009). Moreover, with the Facebook Share application, theOperation Smile 10
organization will be able to promote any Group, Event, Photo, Link, or Application thatis relevant to the organization. By posting on its page, it can direct the consumers’ clicksto the shared item that will help the consumers understand more the organization’smission. Furthermore, Operation Smile should use Facebook Ads, which can give theorganization the option to pay on a CPC or CPM basis, whichever they prefer. FacebookAds are very cheap and offer very powerful targeting capabilities: when an ad is created,for example, one has the option to limit who sees your ad by age, sex, location,keywords, education level, workplaces, political views, and relationship status (Pattison,2009). With this, Operation Smile will be provided with real time feedback on the size ofthe target audience and the suggested bid range to achieve impressions. Moreover,Facebook Ads offers placements in the News Feed, thus getting much better clickthrough. Lastly, participation through comments, posts and likes is key. Operation Smile’spage can grow exponentially by word of mouth especially since an average Facebookuser has 130 friends on the site (Pattison, 2009). It’s all about delivery – giving the targetaudience a choice about where, when and how to consume the organization’s content. The Delicious Campaign Delicious, as it was mentioned before, is a useful tool for bookmarking.Operation Smile can make use of such tool in expanding the visibility of the webpagesthat involve the organization. For the campaign, the group has decided to create a Delicious account forOperation Smile with “Operation Smile 2011” as our username and a password thatonly we know. We have prepared 4 URLs that directs to Operation Smile. Peoplelooking for keywords such as charity, donation, surgery, children, and smile will nowable to find our links and stacksOperation Smile 11
Figure 7 Operation Smiles Delicious account For example, upon the keying in of “children surgery” in Delicious’ searchtoolbar, some results will definitely appear on the page. These are called “stacks”. Onestack contains some links related to the stack subject. Figure 8 Stacks in Operation Smiles Delicious account With an account for Operation Smile ready, it will be in the first stacks. Byclicking on our stack, the user will now discover the 4 links related to the association.Then the association is now more visible for the users.Operation Smile 12
Figure 9 Sample links in Operation Smiles Delicious account With the Delicious website, users looking for keywords such as charity, ordonation, will now directly find our Operation Smile stack. Since all links are stackedtogether, it will be more convenient for both Operation Smile and its users. Whenlooking for the association video campaign or for the association website to make adonation, for example, you just have to navigate easily between the different websites. The Foursquare Campaign Since the aim of this campaign is to gather together people interested in theOperation Smile Project, a page for Operation Smile needs to be created first. With this,every time a follower is doing something related to Operation Smile, they can signal it totheir relatives on Foursquare.Step 1: Attract people to our page To generate more traffic on our page, it is important to be visible on otherfoursquare pages of similar nature. On the Red Cross’ page, for example, or on the pagesof the French Doctors.Operation Smile 13
Step 2: Find new medical volunteers One of the objectives of our campaign is to increase the number of volunteers allaround the world. For that, we can use hospital check-in points that would make ourprograms visible through the comments. When a doctor checks-in at the hospital, uponlooking at these comments, there will be a link to our webpage about volunteering in itscountry or area. Even if he is not directly concerned, he could at least spread the worldto his colleagues.Step 3: Rise Donations The motivational aspect of Foursquare is mainly to raise “badges” according toyour check-in actions. By providing an Operation Smile’s partner badge, every personthat makes a donation or volunteers to the association will get this particular badge. Inorder to make it more attractive as possible, we should be associated to a brand that willprovide special offers to people that have earned this special badge. Because of theexclusivity of such offer, it will hopefully be very attractive.Step 4: Keep informed of recent activities Our third objective is to keep followers informed of our different activities, likesoperations, talks. Through the foursquare page, which is linked to the twitter account,we can inform in real time what is currently happening thanks to the organization, andfurthermore localize it. Conclusion and Recommendations The Internet offers a wide range of tools that can be used for the benefit of allsorts of businesses including non-profit organizations such as Operation Smile. With theright strategy and the right timing, numerous online marketing campaigns can belaunched and maintained successfully, thereby attaining Operation Smile’s objectivesand reaching out to more children that are in need.Operation Smile 14
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