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Oxfam International: Company Activities


Oxfam international has started its pace since 1942 as a charity. This paper focused different area of Oxfam’s marketing. How Oxfam apply exchange process in order to operate its marketing, as a charity unique criteria of a service, application of marketing mix for services, list of publics both for resource attraction and resource allocation, problem behind in dealing with them, relationship between Oxfam corporate business partners and companies with merits and demerits, the range of Oxfam unwrapped campaign, acceptability of this campaigns and at last the advantages and disadvantages of the campaign are the center of attention of this report.

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With the arrangement of famine relief Oxfam started its generous movement in the period of Second World War. It changed its name officially as Oxfam in 1965. Gabriel H. (2008) Government, different agency and people (about half a million) monthly donate Oxfam for its financial activity. Improve the living standard of insolvent people, equal rights, and reasonable justice are the issues of Oxfam’s campaign. Campaign for these issues is for craft awareness of people and manipulates government. Oxfam works with eight different local NGOs that located at different region.

In Thailand they provide existing medicines and nursing for HIV or AIDS affected people. Just not so, Oxfam also make available treatment for the farmers of Zambia who affected by copper miners. Not only in Christmas but also in Eid and Diwali they arrange dinner for the school. Their charity program is involved in selling products at a low price as a part of their unwrapped campaign. For a better living their product line includes goat, mosquito net, packages for tree planting and donkey as live gift category. Oxfam’s product line also includes latrine, packages for school textbooks. For children of the school they make available meal. All of these charity tasks maintain through a rich promotional motion. Attractive posters, online advertising, ad in newspaper and also in television etc. are their promotional tools. Their aim is to develop and change poor people’s life style and create a resonance environment for children for a developed country.


Marketing operates as an exchange process

From the Second World War Oxfam International has started its commotion. In that time their mission is to provide famine relief to over come the food crisis. From that consequence they expand their charity program. Kotler, P. & Armstrong, G. (2008) argued that marketing is the process discipline of today’s business world which provides the ability of exploring, constructing and bringing value to gratify the target profit in a particular market for a business concern. The marketing is science that determines the shape and size of demand and supply of a particular market, set the target and drive to achieve the targeted goal of profit. Positively marketing measures and quantifies the dimension of a target market and planes to profit maximize. It locates the segments of a company that is competent to serving the best and endorses the suitable products and services for the company. As a charity Oxfam International operates their marketing as an exchange process. To do so they need to involve in following factors-

Marketers and prospects- In between two parties, both of them want to sell products or services they known as marketers. On the other hand, if any of they carry out reply in terms of donation, purchase products or services from the opposite then it known as prospects. In this case, Oxfam International is the marketer and people (almost half million), different agencies and government who donate monthly for their charity program are the prospects.

Kotler, P and Armstrong, G (2006) states that segmentation is the procedure by dividing a market into distinct groups of buyers with considering different needs, characteristics, or behavior. Oxfam always be aware of target market’s needs, wants and demands. As a result, from the beginning Oxfam hardly try to pay attention in changing poor people’s life standard. They also work for country development and for this another movement is for education of children, sell latrine for a hygienic atmosphere, tree plantation, dinner and meal for the school going children. For recreation they arrange surprising gifts in Christmas. It is well known that wants for specific products that backed by buying power is demand. So, Oxfam give live products such as donkey and goat to support a family when it face calamity. In this way, Oxfam try to meet people’s needs, wants and demands.

Product, offering and brand- Product of Oxfam is under different category. Live gifts, artistic gifts in festival, medical treatment, financial services through bank and online, telecommunication products like mobile phone etc. Their products offer service, experience and information at a time. Their offering in UKas well as another place makes a favourable weather that build a strong brand image.

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Value and satisfaction– Oxfam successfully delivers value that get satisfaction to the target buyers. Primarily value is a combination of quality service and price. Buyers choose offers that make available most values than others. In this case, Oxfam get customers satisfaction through supply of their offerings at a reasonable price. More specifically, they sold 50,000 goats and each of them is £24 only. Not only goat in 2005, they sold per latrine at £30 and number of sold latrine is 30,000. From a survey report, they find out that their £50 priced products are largely accepted.

Exchange and transaction– Core concept of marketing is exchange and is the process of obtaining products. In this process buyers get products in terms of return. This process requires two parties who involve in exchanging products or services. This process of exchange has a value and that create satisfaction in consumers mind. When number of parties is more than two, this exchange is termed as transaction. As a charity Oxfam engross both in exchange and transaction in the course of its variety of products and cervices as mentioned above.

Relationships and networks– Oxfam mutually build a strong relationship as a part of their marketing with government, donors, and different agencies, different corporate companies like-Mobile Company UK, Northern foods, the Co-operative bank etc. The outcome of this relationship builds a strong and exceptional marketing network. This magnify the value this charity firm and also make a chain among customers, suppliers, employees, retailers, distributors and ad agencies. Thus they maintain a profitable business relationship and network among parties economic, social and technical sectors. Throughout all of these Oxfam gain satisfaction of their customers and thus they get benefited.

For a satisfactory target market (consumer) Oxfam needs to use different marketing channels. Most of time they use three major type of marketing channel as bellow-

  • Communication channel- Exchange message from consumers their communication tools are- attractive posters, online advertisement, print media like-newspaper, magazine ad in television, radio, billboard etc.
  • Distribution channel- through different agents, distributors, retailers wholesalers Oxfam sell their products or services. These distribution tools are also used in display their products to sell as a charitable task.
  • Service channels- Tools of service channels are-banks, food supply companies, mobile companies, transportation companies. They involve in transactions with sustainable buyers or consumers.

Supply chain– Supply chain is a way to reach finished products to the potential consumers or buyers. Oxfam’s supply chain corresponds to a value delivery process. Oxfam incarcerates a large percentage of the aggregate value executed through supply chain. This high ratio of supply chain support Oxfam to achieve its both upstream and downstream goals.

Competition– Competition of Oxfam considers all offerings that buyers or consumers pay an attention. There are four levels based on the range of products or services. They are:

  • Brand competition- Though Oxfam has a strong brand image but in case of similar products and services at alike price there has a competition among competitors.
  • Industry competition- In this case, Oxfam pay attention in producing similar categories of products as its competitors do.
  • Form Competition- Products that supply the same service are the factor of these categories of competition.
  • Generic Competition- This competition is for same categories of target consumers or buyers. Target customer of Oxfam is poor people.

Marketing environment– Oxfam’s Competition operates through marketer and this operation is forced by marketing environment. The marketing environment is composed by two parts-internal environment and external environment. Internal environment involves in producing, distribute the produced goods and necessary promotional activities for the offering. Internal environment also maintain a relationship among company, dealers, distributors, suppliers and the target customers. On the other hand, external environment deals with economic condition, technological environment, demographical environment, natural environment, socio-cultural environment and the political-legal environment. These six factors are essential for a company as well as Oxfam unwrapped for its external environment.

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Marketing program– Marketing program is another vital issue for a marketer to achieve the desired goals. A marketer of Oxfam considered several decisions whenever he uses the marketing mix tools. Tools of marketing mix contract with-product, price, place and promotion. In case of Oxfam, products are medicine, latrines, tree plantation; provide books for children, financial services from bank, live gifts for poor people for better living etc. Price of their product is reach of the people with low income, their services and products are available in UK, Africa, India, Pakistan, and Srilanka. For promotional activities they use Internet, electrons media, print media and campaign.

Above are the factors through which Oxfam operates its marketing as an exchange process.


The unique characteristics of a service Johnson, J. R. (1998) mentioned that the service is an action or presentation of any move that a party preserve to propose to a further party that is fundamentally ethereal and does not effect on the ownership of something. Its fabrication may or may not be fixed to a corporal product. On the basis of this definition, service is characterized by four major factors. They are –

  • Intangibility
  • Inseparability
  • Variability
  • Perishability

Above are the unique characteristics of service that applies to Oxfam as a charity. For more clarification, aforementioned criteria can be explained as bellow in case of Oxfam.


Intangibility of services refers that it can not be seen, felt, tasted or heard or any kind of outcomes before it is bought. Service quality can reduce buyers uncertainty for that he bought. A service provider can make a service tangible in different ways. At the end quantity is measured from people, price, place, communication and equipment. Whereas product marketers try to add intangibles to their intangible offers. Oxfam wants to position itself as the “fast” charity. It could make this positioning strategy tangible through a number of marketing tools. They are-

  • Place- Target place of Oxfam International are- UK, Africa, India, Pakistan, Srilanka.
  • People- There has a satisfactory number of employees to manage the workload. Oxfam’s director is Barbara Stocking who is enough efficient to operate Oxfam.
  • Equipment- Live gift, surprising gifts in Christmas, Diwali and Eid, programs for books, latrines, tree plantation, some financial services, health treatment etc. are their vital equipment.
  • Communication material- Internet, attractive posters, electronic and print media.
  • Symbols- They have a strong goodwill is charitable work and their brand name is also enough strong image in industry.
  • Price- Their price level is too sound for all type income level.


Services are typically produced and consumed simultaneously. This is not true of physical goods which are manufactured, put into inventory, distributed through multiple resellers and consumed latter. If a person renders the service of Oxfam then the provider-client interaction is a special feature of services marketing. Several strategies exist for getting around this limitation. The service provider that is Oxfam know how to work with larger groups. Thus this service organization can train more service providers and build up client confidence.


Services are highly variable because they depend on who provides them and when and where they are provided. Service buyers are aware of this variability and often talk to others before selecting a service provider. Oxfam takes three steps toward quality control as bellow-

  • First of all, they emphasis on investing in good hiring and training procedures. Recruiting the right employees and providing them with excellent training is crucial, regardless of whether employees are highly skilled professionals or low-skilled workers.
  • The second step is standardizing the service-performance process throughout the organization. This is done by preparing a service blueprint that depicts events and processes in a flowchart, with the objective of recognizing potential fail points.
  • At last the third step is monitoring customer satisfaction through suggestion and complaint systems, customer surveys and comparison shopping.


Services can not be stored. The perishability of services is not a problem when demand is steady. When demand fluctuates, service firms have problems. Earl Sasser (1976) has described several strategies for producing a better match between demand and supply in a service business of Oxfam-

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On the demand side:

  • Differential pricing will shift some demand from peak to off-peak periods.
  • Nonpeak demand can be cultivated.
  • Complementary services can be developed during peak time to provide alternatives to waiting customers, such as dinner and meals in festival and automatic teller machines in banks.
  • Reservation systems are a way to manage the demand level.

On the supply side:

  • Part-time employees can be hired to serve peak demand. Colleges add part-time teachers when enrollment goes up and shops call in part timeservers when needed.
  • Peak-time efficiency routines can be introduced. Employees perform only essential tasks during peak periods. Paramedics assist physicians during busy periods.
  • Increased consumer participation can be encouraged. Consumers fill out their own medical records or bag their own groceries.
  • Shared services can be developed. Several hospitals can share medical-equipment purchases.
  • Facilities for future expansion can be developed


The marketing mix for services:

Oxfam’s offering to the marketplace often includes some services. The service component can be a minor or a major part of the total offering. Five categories of offerings can be distinguished as bellow:

  • Pure tangible good- The offering consists primarily of a tangible good such as live gifts. No services accompany the product.
  • Tangible goods with accompanying services- The offering consists of a tangible good accompanied by one more services.
  • Hybrid- The offering consists of equal parts of goods and services. For instance- Oxfam’s credit card.
  • Major Service with accompanying minor goods and services- The offering consists of a major service along with additional services or supporting goods. In this case, Oxfam make available shops with different items.
  • Pure service- The offering consists primarily of a service.

Unstable goods to service mix as mentioned above it are difficult to generalize about services without supplementary differentiations. However, several generalizations could be safe that draw as follow-

  • Services vary as to whether they are equipment-based or people-based. People-based services differ by whether they are provided by unskilled, skilled or professional workers.
  • Some services require the client’s presence and some do not. If the client must be present the service contributor has to be considerate of the client’s needs.
  • Services differ as to whether they meet a personal need (personal services) or a business need (business services). Service providers typically develop different marketing programs for personal and business markets.
  • Service providers differ in their objectives (profit or nonprofit) and ownership (private or public). These two characteristics when crossed produce four quite different types of organizations.

SWOT analysis of Oxfam unwrapped:


  • Oxfam unwrapped brand position and quality image increase its profit and popularity rapidly
  • It has experience and efficient employees to serve the service
  • It has advanced technological support
  • It has websites to provide service all over the world,
  • Oxfam work with more than 1000 partner organization with 71 countries. Its strong network is its main strength
  • In order to provide service, it maintain strong administrative control


  • Oxfam’s service system has maintained by Companies Act 1985 but after passing the Companies Act 2006 and Charities Act 2006, the charities rule is changed. So it service may affected for this new Act. Now it is essential for Oxfam to change all the documents in light of these Acts.
  • Relatively smaller budget for advertisement and promotion.


  • It has the opportunity to provide quick service with high satisfaction
  • Spread their service by new campaign
  • It has strong capital for further expansion its service


  • Previous year some fraudulent activities occur by the customer, it can be threats for this company.


List of multiple publics for resource attraction and resource allocation for Oxfam international’s marketing environment includes various publics. A public is any group that has an actual or potential interest in or impact on an organization’s ability to achieve its objectives. A short description of these publics are explained as bellow-

  • Financial publics- They influence the ability of the organization to obtain funds, banks, investment houses and stockholders are the major financial publics.
  • Media publics – The task of these publics is to hold news, features and editorial opinion. They include newspapers, magazines and radio and television stations.
  • Government publics- Management must take government developments into account. Marketers must often consult the company’s lawyers on issues of product safety, truth in advertising and other matters.
  • Citizen action publics- A company’s marketing decision may be questioned by consumer organizations, environmental groups, minority groups and others. Its public relations department can help it stay in touch with consumer and citizen groups.
  • Local publics- Neighborhood residents and community organizations are included by this type of publics. Oxfam usually appoint a community relations officer to deal with the community, attend meetings, answer questions and contribute to worthwhile causes.
  • General publics- Oxfam needs to be concerned about the general public’s attitude toward its products and activities. The public’s image of the company affects its buying.
  • Internal publics- Internal publics of Oxfam involves in workers, managers, volunteers and the board of directors. Oxfam uses newsletters and other means to inform and motivate their internal publics. When employees feel good about their company. This positive attitude spills over to external publics.

A company can prepare marketing plans for these major publics as well as for its customer markets. Suppose the company wants a specific response from a particular public such as-goodwill, favourable word of mouth or donations of time or money. The company would have to design an offer to this public that is attractive enough to produce the desired response as Oxfam has.


The advantages and potential disadvantages of the linkages between Oxfam and corporate business partners and companies.

The joint producers of coffee with Progreso has resulted a profit of £7,956 in 2007 when there was a loss of £29,959 in previous year. Oxfam considered that it has accomplished the point highest capable of generating profit. The management of Oxfam aimed to transfer the loan of The Oxfam Activities Ltd to Progreso and move its shareholding to Progreso and as well as service colleague Tinderbox (Scotland) Ltd.

Most of the directors of Oxfam in Great Britain are the Trustees. These trustees are together called the Council of Oxfam. The council lead administer operate and govern Oxfam and its policy target and goal based drives. The Council’s corm consists of at least ten and an utmost twelve Trustees. Every Trustee could serve a preliminary period of three years which could be comprehensive up and about to an upper boundary of eight years. Generally the Trustees sustain up to six years. The Treasurer, Vice-Chair and the Chair possibly will serve as officers in anticipation of the end of term. There are also member companies who are acknowledged as association. The Association consists of every one of Trustees including a maximum 32 members. The new Trustees are selected by this Association as well as on the suggestion of Council.

To run its charitable activities Oxfam needs to link among different categories of business companies. Different banks, mobile companies, food supply companies etc. are their business partners. From these partnerships they gain several advantages and also there have some disadvantages. Oxfam’s corporate partners are Mobile company UK, Northern foods, the Co-operative bank and Zurich financial services. Not only Oxfam and its partners but also its consumers get benefited through this partnership. The advantages and potential disadvantages of the linkage between Oxfam and corporate business partners and companies are explained as bellow-

Advantages Disadvantages
1. Partnership between Oxfam and the Co-operative bank get benefited a lot through their partnership. During 1994, they instigate credit card at only £15 each. This offer accepted by the people vastly and as a result, £2 million moved up to Oxfam.
2. In UK Oxfam have almost 750 Shops and about 20,000 volunteers scamper these shops. Thus this is a great opportunity for people to earn and also make contribute to local economy as well as in national.
3. In case of second hand books, Oxfam is one of the biggest retailers in Europe. They have 100 book shops that sold £18,000 amounted rare collection in 2005 in an auction.
4. With the support of Oxfam, Café direct placed in top ten of UK’s coffee industry.
1. Disadvantage of this partnership is it needs more time in decision making. Therefore, launch for a new project or products or services are time consuming for Oxfam in several times.
2. Another disadvantage is that available fund for new project is hard to manage.
3. Sharing profit is other disadvantage. After the end of the project, sometimes negotiation for profit sharing came into conflict. So, there have a demerit of partnership between Oxfam and other business companies.


The scope of Oxfam Unwrapped Campaign and justification of this Unwrapped Campaign as:

  1. Create awareness in peoples mind for improving their living standard. For this reason Oxfam’s campaign is for growing consciousness for the proper basic needs of a human being that is- conscious for food, shelter, clothing, health and hygiene, education, equal rights, fair justice, diversity management, fair payment in workplace, equal rights in job sector and also in education.
  2. After disaster what is the peoples next step, how to overcome this damages as soon as possible, what are the initiatives stage they could take advance for bad seasons.
  3. Make a clear conception about HIV or AIDS. What are the reasons for that a man can affect by this virus. What are the steps of protection for it? After affection what will a people do? This is another part of Oxfam unwrapped campaign.
  4. Aware people to secure their life. Area that attack by natural disaster frequently, train people of those area for the bad period for that they can secure them and also their friends and family.
  5. Oxfam also work to create awareness for global warming. How will global warming be protect they aware both common people and government. They also suggest ways of anti global warming tasks.
  6. Another aim of campaign is for accountability. Both government and any other business sector are in their objective.

The advantages and disadvantages of the campaign:

  • This unwrapped campaign creates consciousness for basic needs of people. As a result people alert themselves what will be they do or not.
  • In case of health and hygiene how anybody could avoid HIV or AIDS, they learn them. Thus, ratio of HIV or other critical diseases remain reduce.
  • Lack of awareness or superstitious conception of people resists Oxfam to continue their activities.
  • Several time government rules and regulation is another barrier for their campaign.
  • Some agency questioned on Oxfam’s transparency and legality of their workings. For this reason, socially they face barriers sometimes.


This is report based on “Oxfam’s Unwrapped Campaign”. Here, discuss on their overall marketing process, their aim, their achievement, their advantages and disadvantages, ways of their marketing and also campaign etc. Here also presents their partnership with different corporate and business company. Thus, how would they benefited or looser and also how they fulfilled their mission, vision and objectives are expressed.

As a charity what are their unique service criteria and how they operate their application of marketing mix for services. This paper also describes multiple peoples both for resource allocations and resource attractions. From overall discussion it is clearly assumed that as a charity Oxfam has accomplished a number of noble tasks though they have criticized several times for their transparency. But their great achieved is that they succeed to create awareness in peoples mind, improve their living standard, decrease the ration of sick people as well as HIV or AIDS.


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Charitable Expenditure
Figure-1. Charitable Expenditure
Figure-2. Trading income/contribution

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