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Segmenting blood donors in developing countries
Marketing Intelligence & Planning
  • Yanfeng ZHOU, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China
  • Shing Chung, Patrick POON, Lingnan University, HK
  • Chunling YU, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
Document Type
Journal article
Publication Date
Emerald Publishing Limited
  • China,
  • Developing countries,
  • Social marketing,
  • Marketing communications,
  • Motivation (psychology),
  • Blood donation,
  • Factor-cluster analysis,
  • Donor segmentation

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that there are three major blood donor segments in China, namely benefit-oriented donors, altruistic donors and health salience donors, with the use of factor-cluster segmentation approach. It also investigates the blood donation attitudes, group characteristics, and preference for information acquisition of the identified donor segments. Design/methodology/approach – A factor-cluster segmentation approach was used in this study. A questionnaire survey on Chinese respondents who had just completed a blood donation process was conducted in China and 7-point Likert-type questions were used to measure the respondents’ attitude toward blood donation, their motivation to donate blood, lifestyles, demographics and information acquisition. K-means non-hierarchical clustering method was used to segment groups of blood donors. ANOVAs were conducted to assess the differences regarding the blood donation factors across the cluster segments. Findings – Results demonstrate that there are three blood donor segments as predicted. Benefit-oriented donors are found to be the largest cluster (42.6 per cent), followed by altruistic donors (29.6 per cent) and health salience donors (27.8 per cent). The three clusters of donors show some extent of differences in attitudes toward blood donation, lifestyles and preference for information acquisition. Social implications – Through a better understanding of the donor segments, a more effective marketing communication strategy can be formulated. This can promote more blood donation by the first-time and repeat blood donors and may save many more lives in a society. Originality/value – The major advertising appeal for blood donation is altruistic in nature, particularly in Western countries. However, in other emerging countries such as China, some other appeals may be even more effective. Benefit appeal or health fitness appeal may be a better option in marketing communication strategy.

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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Citation Information
Zhou, Y., Poon, S. C. P., & Yu, C. (2012). Segmenting blood donors in developing countries. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 30(5), 535-552. doi: 10.1108/02634501211251043