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Essay: HURT NI’s digital marketing presence

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  • Subject area(s): Marketing essays
  • Reading time: 12 minutes
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  • Published: October 4, 2021*
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  • Words: 3,349 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 14 (approx)
  • Tags: SWOT analysis examples
  • HURT NI's digital marketing presence
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Executive Summary

HURT NI is a drug dependency centre based in Derry. They offer unique drop in service for holistic approaches for drug and alcohol dependencies. They are a charity ran by a small team.

The centre was set up by Sadie O’Reilly, after her son sadly passed away as a result of a Heroin overdose. Initially it was Sadie herself that funded HURT and the offerings were for a listening – ear service, family support and drop- in service. Since its beginnings HURT has secured more funding to allow it to grow and be able to offer services to more clients whilst still maintaining the confidentiality and service to all who are in need. HURT are proud to say that they will never turn anyone away from their services.

HURT also have an educational training offering courses in the following: Drug and Alcohol awareness, Counselling, listening Skills and basic IT. They also deliver preventative educational programmes within local schools youth clubs and community based initiatives. This provides some income to HURT but as they are a charity, they are also reliant on grants and donations from events and the public.

Within Section One of this Report I will assess the impact that operating in a digital environment has on HURTs objectives. I will also provide analyse on the current trends in the digital world that HURT is operating in.

Within Section Two I will look at the strengths and weaknesses of HURTs current digital marketing presence and provide a comparison with two other organisations within the charity sector.

Within Section Three I will recommend a detailed digital strategy for HURT in order to improve their digital presence to improve brand awareness and increase course uptake.


Within this assignment I will assess the impact of how HURT NI operate their social media channels and website in order to raise awareness for the brand, their services and the educational courses they offer. Within this Report I will use PR Smith’s SOSTAC Frame work (See Figure 1.1) to create a digital strategy for HURT NI for 2019. SOSTAC Marketing frame work has been identified as a top ranked marketing planning framework. I will use a PESTLE analysis to look at the current environment they are operating in and how trends may affect their activities.
I will also carry out an analysis of what the strengths and weaknesses of HURT NIs current digital marketing channels with a comparison to Macmillan Cancer and Welcome Organisations digital presence which operate in the charity sector as do HURT NI. Following the research, I will then recommend a digital marketing strategy for HURT NI to improve the digital marketing strategy for increasing donations and increasing awareness they currently have in place.

Section 1

Digital marketing has been defined simply as “Achieving marketing objectives through applying digital technologies and media” (Chaffey and Ellis-Chadwick, 2016).

There is a number of different factors that have an effect on the operations of HURT NI within the digital landscape and how they operate. To fully assess the digital landscape a PESTLE analysis (Political, Environmental, Social, Technological, Legal, Environmental) (Chaffey and Ellis-Chadwick, 2016) will be used to identify the external forces which have an impact on the marketing plan and strategic initiates of HURT NI.

Within the digital landscape there is a number of different communications that can be used, these include “Search Marketing, Online PR, Online Partnership, Interactive ads, Opt- in emails, Social media marketing” (Chaffey and Ellis-Chadwick, 2016)

Within search marketing, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay per Click ads are methods, this could be an opportunity for HURT NI to invest in to gain a wider audience. SEO can however be completed with key words and phrases appearing within the website however it is not guaranteed with the paid ads appearing top of google searches.

Online PR and Online Partnerships could be used as a method of spreading awareness for HURT NI, these channels may give HURT NI an opportunity to reach audiences through other user’s channels.

Also there is a number of traditional marketing methods that can be used for offline communication to include Advertising, PR, Sponsorship, Direct Mail, Exhibitions, Merchandising and word of mouth, (Chaffey and Ellis-Chadwick, 2016) which HURT NI could use to drive people to their digital marketing provisions for the most up to date information. According to Smart Insights “It is important to integrate traditional marketing methods with their digital methods” (Smart Insights, 2018). However an issue associated with traditional methods of marketing is that it is expensive, it takes time to prepare the items and the conversion rates would be harder to record.

It has been identified by Hubspot that within the UK 66% of the population have access to social media. Within Northern Ireland there is approximately 1.2 million, 64% of the population active Facebook users, as it has been identified that Facebook provides the highest social value for business to consumer at 96% (Smart Insights and Clutch, 2017), this offers an opportunity to HURT NI as there is an audience that can be targeted for advertisements in order to both raise obdurate awareness of the brand and courses.

It has been identified that 75% of UK teenagers are currently using snapchat, with this dropping to 51% within the 18-24 age group (Smart Insights, 2017). This however is on the decline as identified by recent trends. For HURT NI this could offer an opportunity to advertise some of the youth programs they run.

Currently 46% of UKs population have a Twitter account, compared to only 22% with an Instagram account. (Smart Insights, 2017). These platforms offer a different reach for HURT NI, which is an opportunity to achieve their awareness objective.

With the introduction of General Data Protection Rights (GDPR) in 2018, a change in regulation has meant that businesses must only use data for the purposes it was gained. They must not use data for any other purposes. This could pose a threat for HURT NI as if a user doesn’t agree to their data being used to receive marketing material, they will be unable to use the mailing list for advertising.

LinkedIn has been identified to offer the highest social value for Business to Business at 93% (Smart Insights and Clutch, 2017), this is an opportunity for HURT NI in order to increase course awareness and businesses forming partnerships.

In 2017, Mobile devices overtook desktop devices for searches online, (Kemp, 2018) According to Smart Insights more than 50% or searches are on mobile, with 91% of Facebook usage being from a mobile device. Over two thirds of the world’s population now own a mobile phone, with over half of the devices being “smart” devices. (Hubspot, 2018) This offers an opportunity for HURT NI as the majority of people now have instant access to the internet, offering a wider audience for the marketing. However a threat that is identified is that 41% of people in the UK use an ad blocked which means paid for ads may not get the reach of other content. (Hubspot, 2018)

YouTube has been identified by We are Social as the number one search engine ahead of Google. Video Viewing is one of the most popular online activities along with social media. According to Animoto, 96% of consumers ages 18-34 watch a social video a few times a week with 75% of millennials watching a video at least daily. This offers an opportunity to HURT NI as the video content they currently use are getting significant views, however there isn’t much user generated content with them.

It has been identified that written articles, videos and images are the three most engaging content on social media. (Smart Insights and Clutch, 2017). This offers HURT NI an opportunity to create content that will attract the attention of social media users.

We are Social predict that in 2019 most marketing will take place through messenger apps opposed to social media, with the most popular messenger app being WhatsApp. This offers an opportunity for HURT NI to be able to contact users and inform them about updates and new courses.

In Northern Ireland, according to Mintel Reports a higher number of people aged 18+ (80%) are choosing to drink alcohol (See Figure 1.2). It has been identified that 70% of alcohol is consumed by 20% of the drinkers in Northern Ireland, the harmful levels are on the rise and as trends are leading people to drink at home it can be harder to identify when a problem is developing. Within the UK, alcohol misuse is costing the NHS 2.7 billion a year according to the NHS. This offers an opportunity to HURT NI, in order to spread the awareness for educational offerings.

The age group with the highest drug related deaths is 34-44 according to NI statistic and research agency. It has also been identified that those living in the most deprived areas are four times more likely to die from drugs or alcohol related mortality than those living in least deprived area. This offers an opportunity for HURT NI for raising awareness as Derry has a high level of deprivation, there is need for spreading awareness in order to tackle the issues.

(Word Count: 1073)

Section 2

In order to complete an analysis of the current digital channels used by HURT I will use a SWOT analysis as adopted from Chaffey and Ellis-Chadwick in order to “summarise the external opportunities and threats that are presented by digital platforms” (Chaffey and Ellis-Chadwick, 2016). There are three main types of media channels that will be analysed these include “Owned, Earned and Paid Media” (Chaffey and Ellis-Chadwick, 2016). As HURT NI currently don’t have a paid Media channels, the focus will be on the current provision of the owned and earned media.



  • Hurt NI have very informative information on their website.
  • The content HURT NI have available is very emotive.
  • HURT NI provide details on all offerings from the charity.
  • HURT NI share and thank funders for the charity.

HURT NI Owned Media Weaknesses

  • There is issues with the loading speed of the webpage on both desktop and mobile devices.
  • There is information over load on some pages of the website.
  • The Social media pages don’t follow consistent themes with different handles and images on Facebook, Twitter and Linked In. (See Figure 2.1 & 2.2)
  • The donate button on the website doesn’t stand out. (See Figure 2.1)
  • Google maps option not available on website. (See Figure 2.4)
  • HURT NI don’t have a full time member of staff for social media
  • The contact details are not very clear on the website.


  • HURT NI have a large following on their Facebook Page.(4.5k likes)
  • The user reviews of HURT are all positive (See figure 2.3)

HURT NI Earned Media Weaknesses

  • The Facebook Posts aren’t currently generating user content.
  • Posts aren’t regular and following a theme.
  • There isn’t a variety of information provided in the posts.
  • The posts aren’t consistent across all social media channels.


  • Website and social media pages all follow the same standard logos and images
    (See Figure 2.6-2.8)
  • Excellent content within videos on social media.
  • Regular posts and user generated content.
  • Content covers range of different topics, information, groups fundraising events.
  • Range of different ways to help the organisation, not just donating (figure 2.8)

Macmillan Owned Media Weaknesses

  • Inconsistent page navigation, some pages have three navigation panes
  • Pages don’t have main display to draw you in.
  • There is information overload on some pages (home page, information pages)
  • Facebook pages not up to date
  • Length of time required to load some webpages.


  • Users mentioning their social media pages in posts.
  • Social media all linked to appear on website.

Macmillan Earned Media Weaknesses



  • SEO when searched on line, all top posts related to webpage, maps, and social media. (See Figure 2.5)
  • Using the advertising campaign that is very well known all over social media platforms

Macmillan Paid Media Weaknesses

  • Large costs associated for paid advertisments.


  • The content is relevant and emotive.
  • Call to action is front and centre once website is opened (See Figure 2.9 &2.10)
  • The information is concise and easy to read.
  • Calls to action on every webpage.
  • Consistent images across all social media platforms.

(See Figure 2.9 & 2.10)

Welcome Centre Owned Media Weaknesses

  • The website is slow to load.
  • There is no direct message button on the social media channel.


  • Testimonials are included as a main point on the website
  • Search engine optimisation, it is the number one hit when homeless Belfast is searched.

Welcome Centre Earned Media Weaknesses

  • Poor Reviews on Google Review.

The RACE framework (Chaffey and Ellis-Chadwick, 2016) must be considered to review the performance of on line marketing. RACE stands for Reach, Act, Convert and Engage. (See Figure 2.11)

  • Reach is building the awareness of the brand and what it offers, this takes into account both offline media and social media content.
    Act is how the users are interacting with the brand with its website or online presence.
  • Convert this is how the content leads content or sales both online and social media.
  • Engage is how relationships are created with the brand to ensure users are retained and return.

For HURT NI, currently they have a large following on their social media channel however the content that is being posts is not gaining much interaction on their social media. This is a weakness of posts as there is no call to action with in the posts in order to get users to the website to sign up for donations and courses. The current engagement is also a weakness for HURT NI as they aren’t tagging pages that they currently work with in order to form relationships with brands.

Macmillan have a large following within their social media channels, they use this as a strength and ensure posts are often and are encouraging users to visit their webpage in order to sign up for events and donations. Macmillan engage with users actively on social media and tag users in posts and encourage the use of hashtags to promote the brand.

Another frame work that can be used to measure digital marketing is DRIP (Chaffey and Ellis-Chadwick, 2016), which stands for Differentiate, Reinforce, Inform and Persuade. (See Figure 2.12)

Within HURT NI current digital offerings the content is not standing out to users, there isn’t a consistent theme within posts across social media channels in order to make users aware that it is HURT NI the posts are referring to. The content that HURT NI is currently posting is however informing users of the ongoing which is a strength they can use in order to improve posts. Within HURT NI posts there is currently no call to action, the user is not being told to visit the webpage. This is a weakness for HURT NI as there is a missed opportunity to provide more information or to encourage users to sign up to the donations.

Looking at Macmillan they use DRIP within their social media posts. They have a brand that stands out and is well known by the users. All posts follow a theme and reinforce the brands image. The posts are informative and have calls to action for users to visit the webpage for more information or persuade them to sign up to help the charity in any way possible.
(Word Count: 1066)

Section 3

The digital strategy that I am proposing for HURT NI for 2019, in order for HURT NI to improve their awareness for the charity and the education qualifications offered is to improve their online presence including all social media channels in order to increase monthly donations.


The proposed objective must be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and targeted.) (Chaffey and Ellis-Chadwick, 2016) The objective that I recommend is for HURT NI, to improve their current webpage and social media channels in order to raise the amount of monthly donations by 200 people, is a specific objective to work to. In order to measure how they are successful the increased donations will allow them to keep track of it. This is an achievable target for HURT NI as they currently have a large following and highlighting the importance of the donation will encourage people to sign up to the donations. For this objective it is recommended that HURT NI target people aged 25-49, which is the age group with the highest disposable income.


In order for HURT to achieve this they must be aware of the audience for donations and courses. As identified Facebook is the social media channel used by people aged 25-49, within this age group is the sector with the most disposable income, therefore this is the age group HURT NI should be targeting in order to increase donations. For HURT NI, I recommend that they improve their Facebook and LinkedIn pages, these are the social media channels in which the target audience for HURT NI are currently using. Twitter, Instagram and Snap Chat age demographic is not the target for HURT NI. The content also required for these social media channels are more image based and creating the content is not feasible for the current restrictions with staff and budget for HURT NI.

Actions and Tactics

HURT NI need to improve their current website in order to make it more user friendly, the current load speed of the website on both desktop and the website will cause users not to visit the webpage. Optimising content such as images should aid in reducing the load time along with making the website more consistent.

LinkedIn has been identifies to have the most social value for Business to Business, and so for HURT NI to have more business clients for their courses, a strong LinkedIn profile will be requires. This will enable them to target businesses within the area for advertisements and to promote the courses. LinkedIn could also bring new opportunities for sponsorship and links with local business.

In order for HURT NI to achieve their objectives, I recommend that they produce more video content. Video is a very powerful tool for advertising and informing. HURT NI have powerful messages from the testimonials that they have and reconstructions can be created to spread the message about the work HURT NI currently do.

Infographics is another type of post HURT NI should implement more of. It is a simple yet powerful tool that gets the message across. Tools such as Canva can be used to create Infographics. Canva is a free tool and it is simple to use, this means that it will not cost anything for HURT to create these messages. (See Figure 3.1 & 3.2) for an example of an infographic HURT NI could produce.

A landing page is something that I recommend HURT NI to create, a page with the call to action for people to sign up for the donations. Trocaire have a very powerful landing page (See Figure 3.3) with a simple message, emotive content and then the call to action for the user to donate. For HURT NI, the landing page should be linked through all social media posts, to drive users through to the website. See Figure 3.4 for a landing page that has been created for HURT NI using WIX, which is a free online tool for building webpages.

As HURT NI do not have a full time member of staff for social media, they could offer placements for Univ

In ordeck page activity for both social media channels and websites.

Facebook insights and Google Analytics are free tools that will enable HURT NI to measure interactions with posts, see click through rates and measure the reach of posts. Figure 3.6 Shows an example of a Google Analytics dash board which can be customised to a view that suits the business, this gives a visual summary of the traffic, conversion rate and were users visited from for both the website and social media. This would be very beneficial to HURT NI as they will be able to see what content is working and getting users through to the website, signing up for donations and enrolling for courses.


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