Hi everyone,
Hope you are well.

My name is Holly and I am a 22 year old final year university student studying marketing at the University of Hertfordshire. For one of my final year modules, we have been given the task of developing a marketing communications plan for the North Herts branch of Crossroads Care, Britain's leading supplier of support for carers and those being cared for. This organisation already has existing relationships with The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and has been given a three star rating by the Care Quality Commission.

In particular, we are looking to investigate the private home care market for our client. As a result, we would like to gain the opinions of you the carers of the UK into the following areas:

 What are/would be your service needs when/if purchasing private home care?
e.g. one off care break, continuous care etc.
 What are/would be your service preferences when/if purchasing private home care?
e.g. same carer each time, book in less than 24 hours in advance, book online/over the phone
 What would be/are your motivations behind purchasing private home care?
e.g. long NHS waiting lists, urgent care needed, better quality care, better skilled staff, top up to statutory services
 What would be the most appropriate way to communicate and contact you in regards to a marketing campaign?
e.g. online, email, phone, text, post, events, shopping centre stands, leaflets, offers

As someone who has watched her mother be a carer for her father and also for my own father when he was terminally ill, this topic is of personal relevance to both myself and several of my group members. Thus, we would love to feature your opinions on the above topics in order to help us provide the most effective marketing solutions to Crossroads Care North Hertfordshire so that we can help carers in that region and possibly nationwide if successful.

If you would like to have your opinions included in our study, simply post your thoughts below in as much or as little detail as you like by Sunday 20th March 2011 and we will include your views as a representation of the views of carers across the UK. If possible, please also state your which of the following age brackets you fall into (18-35, 35-45, 45-60, 60+) and who it is you care for currently e.g. spouse, parent etc. Please be aware that all replies will be anonymous and confidential to the study towards our degree, as this is the purpose of the research and not for wide publication.

If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
Thank you very much for your time and in anticipation of your responses. I look forward to hearing your opinions on how the marketing discipline could be used to help the needs of carers like yourselves across the UK.

Take care,