Under blood pressure – differentiated versus undifferentiated marketing to increase blood donations

  • Larissa M. SundermannEmail author
  • Silke Boenigk
  • Jurgen Willems
Original Article


Despite strong evidence in current marketing theory and practice that a differentiated marketing approach increases recruitment success, blood services worldwide often use undifferentiated marketing strategies to address new blood donors. Relying on the assumption that differentiated marketing is highly promising; the authors developed an online experiment among 838 participants who had not donated blood during the past 10 years. The experiment tested the effects of a differentiated in comparison to an undifferentiated marketing campaign on three marketing outcomes: (1) awareness, (2) intention, and (3) behavioral enactment. Surprisingly and in contrast with most marketing studies in the for-profit context, the results of the blood donation experiment suggest that differentiated marketing is not more effective than undifferentiated marketing. This finding has important implications for marketing strategies and actions of blood services.


Differentiated marketing Target groups Blood donor recruitment Blood donor management Experiment 



The authors would like to thank the German Red Cross Blood Services North-East for their support in developing the marketing campaigns and for their valuable feedback during the study.

Compliance with ethical standards


This study did not receive any funding.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Larissa M. Sundermann
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Silke Boenigk
    • 3
  • Jurgen Willems
    • 3
  1. 1.Zurich University of Applied SciencesZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.German Red Cross Blood Service North-East Research CooperationHamburgGermany
  3. 3.University of HamburgHamburgGermany

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