A Business Plan Sample: How to Write a Business Plan

Direct Relief Marketing Plan

The Direct Relief International is a non-profit charitable organization offering humanitarian aid in over 80 countries across the world. The mission of the organization is to improve the health and living standards of people who have experienced social challenges and emergencies such as diseases and poverty (Direct Relief, 2018). Direct Relief promotes better access to health services for people suffering from cancer, cholera, diabetes, and maternal health and community health problems (Direct Relief, 2018). The organization offers treatment, prevention, support, and emergency services to help in disaster preparedness, disease control, and management.

Executive Summary

Direct Relief’s segmentation strategy is a differentiated strategy in which several segments of the market are identified, such as people with chronic diseases, pregnant women and children, and people affected by natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes. Direct Relief has certain strengths and opportunities that enable it to meet its mission: financial ability, skilled employees, experience, good management, and advanced technologies. However, issues of climate change and lack of community support affects the organization from achieving its marketing objectives. Direct Relief also uses multiple target markets strategy to offer variety of services to different types of consumers, and uses social media advertisements and direct sales to promote the organization in the public.

Situation Analysis

Situation analysis helps to highlight the situation of the markets where products of a company are affected by a variety of factors. The analysis of the market situations for Direct Relief helps the organization to identify measures that could be used to maintain the current markets or penetrate into new markets. The two common situation analysis tools are market segmentation and SWOT Analysis.


Marketing and promotional activities are often designed on the basis of the target markets. Market segmentation entails dividing the broad business market into smaller groups known as segments based on the characteristics of each market (Kotler and Armstrong, 2018). In the Direct Relief organization, the market is divided according to the nature of disasters and the needs of target customers. The market segments for the company include: victims of natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and disease outbreaks; victims of chronic diseases such as cancer and HIV; women and children who need maternal health and child services respectively; and charity organizations offering support to poor people in local communities (Direct Relief, 2018). This segmentation approach is a differentiated approach because the organization develops different offers for each market segment. For instance, the company advertises maternal and child health services in health facilities that offer maternity and child health service.

SWOT Summary


·         High network of funding organizations

·         Strong brand image

·         Sufficient financial resources

·         Long period of experience in charity

·         Qualified and experienced staff

·         Knowledge and capabilities in emergency response and disaster management

·         Worldwide presence

·         Good organization, management and efficient operations.


·         Complex systems

·         Many services and products

·         Overdependence on voluntary staff

·         Increased expenses


·         Lack of community support

·         Increased natural disasters

·         Climate change

·         Impact of human activities

·         Environmental degradation

·         Government regulations


·         Economic growth

·         Increased support for health living

·         Improved environmental awareness

·         High level of support from companies

·         Technological advancement


The Direct Relief organization benefits from a good management and efficient operations, leading to high utilization of resources to support customer needs. The company also has a good network of sponsors and funding organizations which provide sufficient financial resources to support the organization’s activities.


One of the key weaknesses of the charity organization is that it has a complex operating and management system that sometimes causes delays and ineffective delivery of services. As a large organization offering several services and product lines in many countries, Direct Relief fails to manage its complex systems effectively, and often incurs a lot of expenses.


There are certain opportunities that could enable the company to achieve its objectives. For instance, the company uses advanced technology to deliver its services and communicate with stakeholders. The use of enterprise systems such as SAP and Amazon helps the organization to manage its logistics and distributions (Nosta, 2013).


Direct Relief faces the threats of natural disasters, climate change, and poor relationships with communities. Climate change has caused several natural disasters such as wild fires, hurricanes, floods and earthquakes across the world. The disasters require the organization to stretch its limits to provide emergency services and response.

Marketing Strategy

Marketing Objectives

  • To achieve increased funding from individuals and companies by 35% per year
  • To build brand awareness across the world for increased support from local communities
  • Increase the markets and beneficiaries of the relief and health services offered by the organization
  • To cover over 100 countries over the next five years
  • Improve stakeholder relations and achieve effective communication with communities and sponsors.

Target Market Strategy

The target group is a category of buyers who are likely to buy an organization’s products and services. The target market strategy entails selecting one of the market segments to focus in the delivery of products and services (Kotler and Armstrong, 2018). Direct Relief organization uses the multiple target marketing strategy by focusing on several markets that have the highest levels of needs and disasters to be addressed. For instance, the company targets people who are at the highest risks of experiencing natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes, high-risk populations to chronic diseases such as cancer and HIV, and pregnant women and children.

Marketing Mix

Product Marketing

The products or services offered by Direct Marketing include: disaster management, charities to communities, relief services, and healthcare services to high-risk populations. The charity provides a broad variety of services to meet the different needs of people who always face disasters (Nosta, 2013). The greatest feature of the services offered by Direct Relief is the benefit it offers to the target customers. The organization focuses on safety and improved living standards of people; hence meeting the needs of the target customers.


The charity organization offers disaster response and health services to people who have been affected by disasters for free. The free pricing system is common for charitable organizations that depend significantly on philanthropic contributions. The prices are covered by donations, and beneficiaries are given services without paying any money.


Direct Relief is promoted through direct sales whereby voluntary workers are sent to various institutions, companies and communities to collect materials and financial funding and contributions. The company also makes agreements with big companies as part of CSR initiatives for the companies (Direct Relief, 2018). Through the agreements, the non-profit organization and the company make joint advertisements in public to gain brand image and support from stakeholders. The organization also uses social media to ask for donations and create awareness among vulnerable populations about its services.


The marketing initiatives of the charity are carried out by the marketing department which is responsible for setting targets and objectives for the funding, communicating with customers, and working closely with disaster responders to deliver services. The department works with outsourced companies such as FedEx to transport materials and human resources to areas affected by disaster (Direct Relief, 2017). The organization’s volunteers and employees provide knowledge and services needed to offer customer services and communicate with potential sponsors and beneficiaries about the services of the company.

Sales Forecasts

Direct relief focuses on delivering services and responding to several disasters, offering millions of dollars in cash and materials to beneficiaries (Direct Relief, 2017). The organization also makes several investments to generate income to go to charity, relief and emergencies. The target revenues from public support is targeted to be 1.5 million dollars annually, and the income from investments is targeted to be $200,000 annually as shown below.

Revenue 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Public Funding 200 230 260 300 350
Investment Revenue 1,000 1,032 1,089 1,120 1,200
Total 1,200 1,262 1,349 1,420 1,550


Direct Relief’s marketing objective is to achieve higher income and revenues from public support and investments, and increase the number of beneficiaries and target markets across the world. These objectives can be achieved through improved social media communications and face-to-face direct sales and communications with communities and companies. The organization also offers beneficial services to meet the needs of people who are affected by disasters, leading to increased support from donors.

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