University marketing challenge – promoting blood donation

In the traditional value-exchange equation, typically we hand over hard earned cash in return for something shiny and new, or in return for our time or effort we are paid a wage. The amount of money changing hands represents the perceived value of goods or services.
So how do we place a value on goods and services when there is no personal financial gain or loss? And how do we market and sell them?
Promoting New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) was the annual marketing challenge, put to University of Otago Marketing students. People who donate blood do it for reasons other than money. The class was given a target of signing up 500 donors (with 50% being first timers). Each team had to come up with a concept and formulate a sales plan that would ultimately translate into signing up donors.

Josephine Tan and her team said it initially felt like quite a challenge, but a very worthy cause the team were excited to get behind. Her team’s concept was around people realising the feel good value and reducing the perceived barriers associated with donating. The team focused their effort on a one-day drive to sign up donors locating themselves in a high foot traffic area outside Otago Museum. They created a ‘lives saved’ board showing human outlines that were coloured-in with every new donor signed up. “Every silhouette represented the potential for three lives to be saved,” says Josephine. “Being able to immediately see the impact of donating helped people personally connect with it.” Being able to talk to people face-to-face was an important and effective sales method for the students. Josephine explains, “People wanted to ask questions and learn more about giving blood. It was great to explain to people how easy donating blood actually is.” “We learnt people donate for many different reasons, and we had 66 people register that day.”

The team also wants to thank local businesses Mitre 10 and Rainbow Paints who donated paint and other materials for the team’s project. Overall, the class as a whole beat their target by 40%, signing up over 700 new donors.

To find out more about how to become a blood donor to help save lives, click here or call 0800 GIVE BLOOD.

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