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Canadian Blood Services Case Study

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Blood collection in Canada was initially funded and operated by the Canadian Red Cross in 1930’s. During the 1980’s the blood supply was contaminated with the AIDS and hepatitis C virus which affected hundreds of people and eventually it let to the creation of CBS in 1998. Canadian Blood Services (CBS) is a not-for-profit charitable organization dedicated to giving Canadians a safe and secure blood supply system in all the provinces and territories outside of Québec. CBS’s objectives and operating principles included of a safe, sufficient, voluntary, national supply of blood and blood products at the time of its inception mainly due to blood contamination scandal in 1980 when there was a negative public perception regarding the process of blood donation and collection. But now with the continuous efforts from CBS towards public attitudes and management of blood supply, the situation has been changed and now more than 80% of population trusted CBS to manage the blood system. Mission statement of CBS

Canadian Blood Services operates Canada’s blood supply in a manner that gains the trust, commitment and confidence of all Canadians by providing a safe, secure, cost-effective, affordable and accessible supply of quality blood, blood products and their alternatives. SWOT Analysis of CBS

Implemented strong screening practices for blood safety.
Restored confidence in the blood system.
Collects a large amount of units of blood annually (900,000 units in 2011) through 17,000 community volunteers and 4,500 employees which fulfill the demand across Canada. Hospitals are satisfied with the services provided.

Local image knowledge
Knowledge of donor recognition program

People are looking for ways to give back to their community. People are
constantly looking for emotional connections. 87% of Canadians say that the Canadian Blood Services is doing a good job. Canadians are increasing their social network usage so they can be contacted instantaneously.

losing donors each year currently only 4% of Canadian donate blood contrast to other countries where this ratio is more than 5% More and more charitable organizations are being registered and need volunteers in Canada.

Demand for Blood
To answer the question why do donors give the blood is mainly due to demand for blood in hospitals. Approximately every minute of every day, someone in Canada needs blood. In fact, according to a recent poll, 52 per cent of Canadians say they, or a family member, have needed blood or blood products for surgery or for medical treatment.

Source http://www.blood.ca/centreapps/internet/uw_v502_mainengine.nsf/page/E_Who%20Needs%20Blood

Decision Making Process in Blood Donation
Consumer behavior is generally associated with the activities or considerations in acquiring or purchasing physical products such as toothpaste, dog food or automobiles. Simply it means that is purely a cost benefit analysis that every consumer in general think that the benefit he gets for spending each dollar on those products is worthwhile for him. For that every consumer engages in some research that what products actually he needs, he may influence with other passive factors such as advertising and then he makes the decision to buy product. But it is not in the case of blood donation as just as recipients do not pay for the blood products they receive, donors are not paid for the blood or plasma they give.

For a consumer to be motivated to donate blood it would require overcoming a number of personal, psychological and physical barriers and for that awareness program should be implemented aggressively. Consumer behavior suggests that for first time blood donors often influenced by peers, family or colleagues from work. People who donate blood they want to be involved within their communities and look for opportunities where they can see a direct impact. These people want to be more accountable in terms of social responsibility, they want to exercise control and be positive influences on the people in their lives. They believe that giving blood is very important. In nutshell a donor may be motivated on the grounds of Self-Fulfillment, Humanitarian Reasons, Ease and Convenience and Habituation.

Donors Segments
CBS says that Donors are the heart of our blood supply system, the lifeline to hundreds of thousands of Canadians who, each year, need blood, blood products or stem cells. Without generous and committed donors, there would be no blood system in Canada. On the basis of survey conducted by “Ipsos Reid” there are five segments from A to E measured on variables such as willingness to travel, willingness to spend time and commitment to donation, altruism, achievement , humanitarianism, self-efficacy, self-esteem and sociability. Among those A being the most attractive to CBS, “A” donors ranked highest on ‘altruism’ and ‘like helping others’. In this survey the demographics were not good variable as others because in each segment the average donor age was approximately 42+-2 years and based on gender men are 58% as compared to 42% women in Segment A and on the contrast in Segment E this number shows women 57% to men 43%.

We can further segment the blood donors as per following:

A- Based on Age
B- Nature of blood donors
C- Donors based on products
D- Based on Ethnic belongings

A- Based on Age:
Mostly younger people, first time donors and repeat donors have great proportion in donating blood. When looking at the break down of Canadian Blood Services’ donors it becomes apparent that adults aged 20-59 years of age are the most involved. Figure 1, shown below, demonstrates that adults, 20-59, make up 372,744 of the 456,357 donors.

Source http://shannonleak.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/cbsdocument.pdf

B- Nature of blood donors
Business-based blood donors
C- Donors based on products
According to Annual Report of CBS the donors may be classified on the basis of type of donation which include following: Stem Cell Donors
Unbilical Cord Donor
Bone Marrow Donation
Peripheral blood Donation
D- Based on Ethnic belongings

How can CBS attract more donors?
Though the current marketing budget of approximately $4.5 million is devoted to attract the donors and CBS had developed a number of traditional television, cinema and radio ads. But maintaining the blood supply to meet the current and future demand of Canadian patients is an ongoing challenge to CBS. More than half of Canadians will require blood for themselves or a family member, less than 4 percent of the population regularly gives blood. Therefore CBS needed to reach out to new donor groups especially now that the primary donor age cohort—Baby Boomers—has begun moving from being net donors to net users as they age and undergo medical procedures associated with the ailments of seniors. In all major regions throughout Canada, there will be a smaller ad placed in order for the local community to know about the events happening and how to get involved. All local newspapers chosen are the same demographic, just in a different location. All newspapers are accessible to the rural areas of the regions so the reach is in the surrounding areas as well.

Use of Technology including Social media is very important to attract more donors. Currently over 20% of volunteers use the Internet to aid their volunteer efforts. They either used the Internet to search for opportunities or even to perform an activity for a group or organization. Internet usage has been increasing among Canadians especially with the usage of social networks, over 60% of Canadians use social networks such as Facebook.

By targeting the Canadian adults who spent part of their leisure time each day surfing online. They more than likely have a social network profile and spend time updating or using its services each day. They want to be a positive influence on the people around them and will share their motivations with others as well as help educate others on the good that Canadian Blood Services does.

How can CBS increase the rate of donation by repeat donors?
Donor participation in Canada is weak and not well understood. Because blood plays such an important role in the health of so many people, a better understanding of the factors involved in blood donation is necessary to help increase levels of repeat donation.

There are certain factors which refrain blood donors to donate blood include unemployment and immigration status. These are the strongest indicators that a population will not donate, while populations that contain a large number of educated teens and young adults are the biggest indicators that a population will donate blood. So CBS should formulate an awareness program for this population.

Although CBS researching the characteristics of current donors is a good beginning for the end goal of understanding the motivating factors involved in Canadian blood donation, it does not necessarily help identify ways of getting non-donors to become regular donor participants. For that possibly involving the analysis of individual donors within a single donor clinic or group of clinics could help identify more detailed factors that relate to blood donation.

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