How Management, Marketing and Operations can Work Together

We once saw a plasma center where the exit took donors down a long, dark, narrow hall into a dirty alley—it was more depressing than a prison corridor.

1. Real estate and plasma production

Decisions made in the building of plasma centers can influence production. For example, how does your traffic flow make a donor feel?

  • EU regulations require donors to leave from a different door than the one they entered the center from. Give the same attention to both spaces in planning your layout.
  • In that same center, donors were handed their payment from a small slot in a window behind which an employee sat. The message to the donor was, “We don’t trust you to have direct contact with where our cash is stored.” What kind of message is that to send to your valued customers?
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2. Real estate, operations and marketing

When building a new plasma collection center, give consideration to how donors and employees feel upon entering your center.

  1. Is the space welcoming, brightly lit and cheerful?
  2. Have you chosen surfaces that are easy to clean?
  3. Is the furniture comfortable; can people sit at a safe distance from each other while waiting to donate plasma?
  4. Does your signage make it easy to move from one part of the center to the next?

All these are important considerations for both operations and marketing. When people have a good experience at your center, they will be more inclined to return.

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3. Throwing money at donors doesn’t work

A plasma chain recently increased fees paid to donors by 50%. It didn’t work. The scheme added $200,000 to their monthly costs, without drawing a measurable increase in donors.

So if that doesn’t work, what does?

Figuring out what has drawn the donors you have, and doing more of that.

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4. PR, marketing and plasma operation

If you have a number of centers, you can try out different ideas to draw new donors.

With all the new technologies available—equipment that tracks the movements, behaviors and buying habits of consumers—proven PR and marketing tactics can be applied to the plasma business.

  • You can track the demographics of the people donating at your center, then create campaigns that talk to these people where they live, eat, shop, watch TV/stream, etc.
  • You can study the tactics of businesses succeeding in your area with these groups and copy their methods
  • You can study the giving habits of these groups: what charities do they care about? What schools do their children attend? Can you support these organizations and make sure donors know that every plasma donation results in a small gift to groups they care about?
  • What paths do donors take to get to your centers? Are you advertising along these corridors?
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5. Getting operations excited about marketing

The typical scenario, where management tasks operations to execute marketing ideas, is a recipe for failure. The people in operations, have been asked to keep costs as low as possible, yet marketing costs money.

In order to get everyone pulling together, there need to be short-term incentives for operators to implement marketing tactics.

  1. For example, a secret donor could check to see whether tactics are being properly implemented (in a timely way), and reward center managers with gift certificates tailored to their favorite shops or restaurants, or paid time off.
  2. Even easier, the secret donor report could result in kudos spread through company communications about the excellent work the manager is doing.

Production can increase with strategic marketing—in time. Don’t wait for dramatic increases to thank your employees for getting on board. Reward effort as quickly as possible to encourage more of the same behavior. Then reward the increase in production when it comes.

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Conflicts between management, marketing and operations are not inevitable if everyone’s needs are considered in the planning phase. Starting with real estate decisions, Stough can help you get everyone pulling together.

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To streamline delivery and control costs, we take a prototype approach when possible, engage local civil engineering consultants for each project, and establish a working relationship with the local governing authority.