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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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1.1) Introduction

DJ Mag is a British monthly magazine dedicated to electronic dance music and DJs. DJ Mag is famous from their Top 100 DJs poll, in which every year the top 100 best DJs in the world are chosen by the public. This research will be conducted for the Top 100 DJ's Foundation. DJ Mag started the Top 100 DJs Foundation in 2014. They envisioned that, in collaboration with the DJ MAG Top 100 DJs poll  (, 2015), funds can be raised and awareness can be created for good causes. Their initiative empowers different stakeholders (DJ's, Fans and Brands) within the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) scene to do something good.

1.2) Vision

Freedom has always been a central value in EDM, at this day the most dominant and still growing stream in youth culture, worldwide (John D. Langdon & Jennifer C. Lai, 2013, August). Although these Millennials or “Generation Y's” generally underwrite the importance of freedom, they are harder to reach and to engage than the adult generations (Jeroen Hogenhout, 2016). The board of TDJF believes EDM and its ecosystem can make a difference and bridge the gap, by means of co-creation and democratizing ‘doing good'.

1.3) Mission statement

Through the global reach and voice of dance music, the Top 100 DJs Foundation aims to expand the basic Freedoms that most people take for granted; Freedom to be your self, Freedom to express yourself and Freedom to develop yourself.

Each year as part of the Top 100 DJ's process TDJF will focus on a specific cause that has been chosen by the voters in internationally renowned poll.

Through the unprecedented audience of the Top 100 DJs and other DJ's involved TDJF will not only be able to raise awareness of the chosen cause but raise funds both from the public and the DJ's and the industry alike.

1.4) The Foundation's strategy

1.4.1) Creating a win-win ecosystem

TDJF wants to build an ecosystem, in which all stakeholders benefit: DJ's can actually do something good and enrich and broaden their communication with their fans, fans get extra's and a sense of belonging, partners can reach the fans and other stakeholders with their content driven messages, all with the end goal in mind: accelerate freedoms. TDJF strives for big impact with measurable results, achieved in association with the causes the DJ's and Fans voted for.

1.4.2) Annual cycle

TDJF works with an annual cycle that starts and ends with the announcement of the new Top 100 DJ's, traditionally in October. During this whole cycle, awareness and funds are generated for the current Freedom Project (from October to October). During this cycle also a new Freedom Project is selected (from January to October) for the next cycle, by means of a tender. In both, DJ's and Fans have a crucial role: their support raises awareness and funds to make a difference and their votes determine ultimately what cause is supported next.

Figure 1: The annual cycle of The Top 100 DJ's Foundation. Source: Top 100 DJ's Foundation policy plan 2015.

Figure 2: Annual project voting procedure Top 100 DJ's Foundation. Source: Top 100 DJ's Foundation policy plan 2015.

1.4.3) Excellent and cost-effective execution

TDJF acknowledges that overhead costs should be minimized as much as possible. TDJF seeks to operate costs neutral, meaning that all overhead costs are covered by the Foundation Partners. This means that all other proceeds can go straight to charity.

TDJF's Executive Team to-be-built will predominantly consists of volunteers and interns, who work -when applicable in small teams. The sub teams cover the following disciplines:

- Organization

- Charities

- Marketing & Fundraising

- Community & Communication

2) Problem analysis

The Top 100 DJs Foundation is founded in 2014 and, whishes to bring the EDM scene and all its stakeholders together to accelerate freedoms in the world. The board believes that EDM fans, DJ and brands support life's basic freedoms. The foundation believes in developing freedoms and everybody's right to express them selves. The foundation's objective is to develop a platform to raise funds and awareness to support and leverage the work of charities that are already working towards freedoms (

The different stakeholders are the brand partners, DJ's and the non-profit organizations. The brand partners provide the foundation with monetary resources as well as in-kind support. In exchange, the foundation shares with them the dance music community and functions as a ‘'bridge'' to the ‘'hard to reach'' Millennials (Jeroen Hogenhout, 2016).

The DJ's provide the foundation with monetary resources and an audience. The foundation amplifies the message through charity partnerships and the Top 100 DJ's.

The non-profit organizations are the annually changing cause of what the foundation stands for that year. Together with these organizations, TDJF will raise funds and awareness through cause related marketing campaigns and events.

The Top 100 DJ's Foundation has an unparalleled reach through DJ MAG's annual top 100 DJ's poll. In 2015, the Top 100 DJ's poll received 1 million verified votes from 179 countries, (Top 100 DJ's year overview, DJ Mag, 2016) at the celebration in October there were 40 000 event attendees, 30 000 DJ's were nominated and the event's life stream had over 4 million viewers (Top 100 DJ's year overview, DJ Mag, 2016). These numbers are growing every year.

Currently, the foundation is still in its start-up phase and continuously developing itself and looking for brand partners, DJ ambassadors and non-profit organizations for next years. The framework of the foundation is established in the past six months and now it is time to move on to the next phase and further develop the organization as a whole.

In order to be able to do so, it is vital to know how the foundation should position itself relative to the different partners, charities and DJs. Furthermore; it is also vital to know the underlying reason why these different parties would possibly associate themselves with the Top 100 DJs Foundation.

2.1) Main Problem Statement

The problem on which this thesis shall be based is: to research and analyze how the Top 100 DJ's Foundation can best position themselves relative to partners, charities and DJs in the future. The challenge here lays in finding out the exact wants and needs of these parties. Learning about the real why behind the co-operations can be very valuable for the future strategies of the foundation.

Because the Foundation is new and still finding out how they exactly want to operate, this thesis will be of much value to the board in order to learn more about the foundation its own position and how they should develop itself. Also, this research will be of great use to find out if using the Electronic Dance Scene is an effective and efficient way to approach Millennials.

By conducting research based on the desires of the stakeholders the company can investigate what their potential stakeholders see as a necessity to be implemented in a possible partnership or co-operation. In this thesis, the interrelation between the different parties and the foundation will be analyzed. Moreover, this thesis will contain segmentation, targeting and positioning (STP) model and a marketing plan, from which the future positioning strategy will be formed.

2.2) Main research Question

What is the best strategy for the Top 100 DJs Foundation to position itself relative to the brands, DJs and other charities?

2.3) Secondary research Questions

1) What are the motivational drivers for brands, DJs and Charities to associate them with the Top 100 DJs Foundation?

2) What is the inter-relation between the different stakeholders and the foundation?

3) What is philanthropy and why is it becoming more important in todays business?

4) How does philanthropy affect the Top 100 DJs Foundation?

5) How can the Top 100 DJs Foundation best generate sustainable partnerships with brands, DJs and charities?

3) Theoretical framework

3.1) Introduction

The following section will discuss the bodies of literature that will be reviewed during this study:

- Corporate philanthropy

o Entertainment industry

o Brands

o Non-profit sector

o Millennials

- Segmentation, targeting and positioning

- Corporate cultures

o Brands

o Non-profit organizations

o DJs

- Sustainable partnerships

o Multi-sector partnerships

o Cause related marketing (campaigns)

o Motivational drivers of partnerships

3.2) Corporate philanthropy

Philanthropy is an umbrella term that covers a number of different values, interests, mindsets and alternative approaches. Originally, philanthropy describes voluntary, active, non-reciprocal efforts by an entity with the sole purpose of benefitting human beings, or fulfilling an unmet social need, regardless of any specific ‘return on investment' for the donor (Leisinger & Schmitt, 2010). On the other hand, corporate philanthropy is needs oriented and falls into the category of purely ethical (Archie Carroll, 1999) because it is not based on economic, legal or political considerations. However, corporate philanthropy is often used as a strategic tool and tends to come from the main reason of benefitting the organization (Leisinger & Schmitt, 2010).

Philanthropy has distinguished features from charity, however, not all charity is philanthropy.' The philanthropic sector is growing rapidly. Companies, wealthy individuals, entrepreneurs and foundations are associating with social goals. Also non-profit organizations, like universities and hospitals, are reaching out to the private financers and set up funds.

This study will give an in-depth research of what philanthropy is and why it is becoming more popular in modern business.  Moreover, this study will research the inter-relation between philanthropy in the entertainment industry, brands and non-profit organizations, and how philanthropy helps these organizations to reach out to the ‘Millennials' target group.

3.3) Segmentation, targeting & positioning

All marketing is built on Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning (Kotler & Keller, 2005, p.310) ‘'A marketer can rarely satisfy everyone in a market. Therefore, marketers start by dividing up the market into segments'' (Kotler & Keller, 2005, p.24). Segmentation is often the basis of developing a competitive advantage based on differentiation, low costs, or a focus strategy (Aaker, 1995, p.49). Once the segments are identified, marketers can make an offer to target these specific segments. Once the organizations know in which segments their target market is located they must pursue relevant positioning and differentiation. Positioning is the act of designing the company's offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the mind of the target market (Kotler & Keller, 2005, p.310). In order to define the best position strategy for the Top 100 DJs Foundation, the segmentation, targeting and positioning model will be applied.

3.4) Corporate cultures

‘'Culture and leadership are two side of the same coin and one cannot understand on without the other'' (Edgar H. Schein, 2009). To fully understand this, we have to recognize that organizations exist within broader cultural units that matter in today's global world because mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and special projects are often multicultural entities who must have the ability to work across cultures (Edgar H. Schein, 2009). Next to this, there is also a big difference in the company's culture between young, middle and old organizations.

Corporate culture matters because it is a powerful, implicit and sometimes unconscious set of forces that control both the individual and conjunct ways of perceiving, thought patterns and values. The organizational culture in particular matters because cultural elements often determine strategy, goals and models of operating (Edgar H. Schein, 2009)

Researching, defining and understanding the corporate cultures of potential partners (brands and non-profit organization) and DJ's are very important. Every organization has its own unique culture or value set. If the Top 100 DJ's Foundation is able to understand the differences in organizational cultures of their (potential) partners, it will help developing the positioning strategy. This also counts for DJ's. Every DJ has different personality traits, thus, if the Top 100 DJ's foundation learns what is important for the DJ's, they can adjust their strategy to this and attract them more easily.

3.5) Sustainable partnerships

‘'The issues we are facing are so big and the targets are so challenging that we cannot do it alone. When you look at any issue, such as food or water scarcity, it is very clear that no individual institution, government or organization can provide the solution'' (Paul Polman, CEO Unilever). To define Sustainable partnerships: Sustainable partnerships are mutually beneficial interactions in which constituents (internal and external) share knowledge, resources and expertise (Kellogg Commission, 1999; Sandmann, 2006). The process of developing strategic partnerships involves the matching of constituent needs with the knowledge, resources and expertise available (Sandmann, 2006).

Sustainable partnerships often come in the form of multi-sector partnerships. To define this: Multi-sector partnerships are generally defined as initiatives where public-interest entities, private sector companies and/or civil society organizations enter into an alliance to achieve a common practical purpose, pool core competencies, and share risks, responsibilities, costs and benefits (Sustainability through partnerships, Grey & Stites, 2013). A global survey of 766 CEOs in 100 countries revealed that ‘'78% believe that companies should engage in industry collaborations and multi-stakeholders partnerships to address development goals'' (Lacy, Cooper, Hayward, & Neuberger, 2010). The motivational drivers for both brands and non-profit organizations, for forming sustainable partnerships, can be divided into four categories: legitimacy oriented, competency oriented, resource oriented and society-oriented motivations (Sustainability through partnerships, Grey & Stites, 2013). Later in this study this will be further explained.

This brings us to cause-related marketing (CRM). Cause-related marketing is a tool that companies use as a promotional strategy.  With CRM, a firm's sales are linked (and a percentage of the sales revenues is donated) to a charity or other public cause. However, unlike philanthropy, the money spent in a CRM campaign is often considered as an expense and is expected to show a return on investment. CRM is defined by Business in the Community as ‘ a commercial activity by which businesses and charities or good causes form a partnership with each other to market an image, product or service for mutual benefit' (Michael J. Baker, 2003).

This study will further research sustainable partnerships, multi-sector partnerships and cause-related marketing. Furthermore, the relation and differences between CRM and philanthropy will be explored. Lastly, the motivational drivers behind these different partnerships will be studied.

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