How to Develop an Effective Destination Marketing Plan

The Development and Structure of a Marketing Plan: Towards the Development of Marketing Strategies

1. The Situation Analysis

In the planning process there are steps that must be taken prior to the development of the marketing strategies; the first one is conducting a situation analysis. A situation analysis is “the overall process of collecting and interpreting internal, competitive and environmental information.” It presents a summary of these environments and summarizes the company’s current marketing objectives and performance in the market. Through the situation analysis business is provided with a systematic way of viewing marketing activities by analysing the customer, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) in relation to the competition. The situation analysis according to Gartrell includes internal, external and customer analyses, also known as the product, position, and prospect analyses.

The product analysis includes a review of the current objectives, strategies, and company performance. Product capabilities are examined as well as the limitations of the tourist product. The whole destination and its facilities are examined to determine what is there to be offered to the potential traveller. This analysis eliminates poor performance since through this the marketing goals and objectives are reassessed in order to determine their effectiveness.

Second is the position analysis, which addresses issues such as how the destination is “perceived” by the market, an analysis of the strength and weakness and how these can be compared to the threats and opportunities in the external environment, as well as the previous success of the destination shown in statistical reports. Also, the position of the destination in relation to the marketplace, the competitors’ products, services and their position in the market are examined. Position is important, since marketing strategies are developed based on the kind of image that the company expects to maintain in the eyes of the customer.

Next is the prospect analysis also known as the customer analysis, which involves the selection of the best target markets, likely to increase the usage of the destination’s products and services. In this analysis factors like potential demand in certain markets, the criteria for selecting the competition, emerging markets, and what political, social and economical factor may influence the markets are examined.

It must be noted that one of the major steps for conducting the situation analysis is the collection of research. Research is pertinent because it is the tool that allows the organisation to become aware of the customer needs, wants and preferences. Marketing research “monitors and evaluates marketing actions and performance, and communicates the findings and implications to management”. Its importance is even more highlighted since it allows for the collection of the necessary data and information to conduct a thorough prospect analysis. In an effort to thoroughly collect accurate and up-to-date data and information from the external environment, an organisation should also have strong marketing intelligence. Marketing intelligence includes “everyday information about developments in the marketing environment that helps managers prepare and adjust marketing plans and short-run tactics.”

Besides, the product, position and prospect analyses, Gartrell speaks of a fourth, known as the promotional analysis, which examines the image of the destination in comparison to the competition and the allocation of resources of the two destinations. The bureau’s marketing budget, sales material and marketing programs are also compared to that of the competition.

On completion of the situation analysis, this information is fed into the SWOT analysis, which provides a framework for viewing the company’s actual strategic position and developing appropriate marketing strategies. When performed correctly, “it can be especially useful in uncovering strategic advantages that can be leveraged in the firm’s marketing strategy”.

2. Program Planning: Development of Marketing Objectives and Strategies

After analysing the information presented in the situation analysis, the next step is to develop effective marketing strategies and in order to do so, marketing objectives must be developed first. This step is a very vital part of marketing planning because without set objectives the marketer is unable to “measure their success in fulfilling the marketing strategy”.

Marketing objectives according to Malcolm H.B McDonald are generally concerned with the 4P’s. Therefore, marketing objectives should be set for each one of these variables of the 4P’s and then the most effective strategies or means of achieving the marketing objectives should be developed for each variable of the marketing mix.

The first variable, “product”, focuses on developing the right product and satisfying the needs of the target market. A product is “anything that can be offered to a market for attention, acquisition, use, or consumption that might satisfy a want or need. It includes physical objects, services, places, organisations, and ideas.” In the tourism industry, the product is “intangible, variable, inseparable and perishable”. The product is more of an experience put together in a package.

The “place” element on the other hand, refers to the channel distribution. It is imperative that a product be available to the customer and in order to do so there must be a channel of distribution that will bring the customer to the product as opposed to taking the product to the customer. This channel usually consists of “travel agents; tour wholesalers; specialists; hotel representatives; national, state and local tourist agencies; the global distribution systems; the internet; and concierges”. They must be very knowledgeable about the destination because they represent the main source of information for the tourists.

In order for a traveller to know of product offerings of a destination and make the decision to travel to that destination, continuous communication with present and potential travellers is necessary. On developing effective communication strategies, the target audience must be understood and the most important communication channels for this audience must be known. Secondly, communication objectives must be developed. The response sought from the target market must be identified through objectives.

It is believed that since the tourist product is intangible and cannot be tested beforehand, promotion “acts as the product as far as the potential tourist or leisure consumer is concerned” since through this, the customer receives a mental image of the destination, as its experiences are promoted. Images are portrayed through advertising and promotion as the only means of pushing the potential tourist to make a purchase decision. Therefore in tourism marketing heavy interest is placed on the promotional efforts of the bureau.

Ferrell & Hartline make reference to the classic AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) model, which sets the basis for the development of the communication or promotional objectives. The model holds that the first goal of the communication campaign is to attract the attention of the target audience. Interest in the product must then be built through telling the customer about the components of the product. If the product matches the needs of the customer, desire for the product is stimulated, which pushes the customer toward actually purchasing the package.

After setting the communication goals, the product must be shown to the target audience and the ways to do so are as follows:

1) Advertising – This refers to the use of information to “persuade consumers to take a desired action toward a particular product”. The main purpose of the advertising plan is to ultimately increase profits and sales for the company and also “to provide information that will change consumers’ mental and behavioral responses in a manner favored by the advertiser”. When setting advertising objectives, the overall marketing objectives must be used as a base.

2) Public Relations – This refers to “the process by which we create a positive image and customer preference through third party endorsements.” The major activities of public relations include, press relations, product publicity, corporate communications and counselling.

3) Sales Promotion – This concerns “short-term incentives to encourage the purchase or sales”

Other communication strategy options include travel, trade shows, presentations, non-print media advertising, familiarisation tours, event hosting, site inspections, cooperative advertising and direct sales. In sum, for each communication medium selected, measurable objectives and detailed strategies must be developed.

The final variable of the marketing mix is price. Price refers to that of the overall package that has been put together for the market and includes issues like car rentals, hotel rates, transportation rates and possibly air fare.

3. Implementation

After the marketing strategies have been developed the programmes must be coordinated in an effort to achieve the plan’s goals and meet its objectives. Timing is a vital factor of consideration during the implementation stage. It “affects the placement of advertising and the degree of impact the marketing effort will have on the targeted market”.

Evaluating Marketing Strategy Effectiveness

4. Evaluation

After careful planning and implementation of the marketing strategies, they must be evaluated in order to determine how successful they have been in achieving the expected or projected. The strategies must be thoroughly examined so that appropriate adjustments may be made. Should marketing strategies prove to be ineffective, the redevelopment of objectives and or new positioning strategies may be necessary.

During the evaluation process the firm “tracks results and monitors new developments in the environment”. Constant changes in the environment might also force the marketer to adjust the marketing strategies in order to better attract the traveller.

Gartrell states that in evaluating marketing strategies employed in a marketing plan, first results must be quantifiable. In addition, weekly, quarterly, or monthly results should be used as benchmarks for evaluating the plan’s effectiveness. Besides meeting the objectives of the plan, there are a set of measurement criteria that must be used in order to determine the effectiveness of the programs implemented. These include: “total number of visitors to area, average length of stay, room nights booked / used, total economic impact and the total room-nights”.

In addition, other measurements known as process variables like: “number of trade/travel shows attended, number of prospects/leads, quantity of brochures distributed, consumer reaction to brochures, number of familiarisation tours, number of participants at familiarisation tourism, number of ads placed, number of travel agents contacted, total number of visitor inquiries, number of direct mail programs, distribution of visitor inquiries, number of media kits mailed, number of editorial inches in publications and total number of direct mail pieces distributed.

Undoubtedly, in order to make marketing programs a success, large funds must be invested into the communication strategies plan. This is why Gartrell highlights that for bureaus, “return on the investment” is yet another variable for measuring the success of marketing programs. The best way then to measure effectiveness is to examine the end result of the marketing campaign by using indicators of success generated by a plan, like “visitor expenditures, economic impact assessment and tourism employment”.

Simon Kirby and Mark Richardson from the University of Central England mention that measuring effectiveness in marketing, calls for an analysis of the effectiveness “of each element of the marketing communication mix…”

The communication mix as mentioned, involves communication vehicles such as advertising, public relations and sales promotion activities. In order to evaluate advertising effectiveness, since Nylen believes that advertising leads to sales, tourist arrivals in this case, then the more advertising done the more “sales” there should be. Therefore, increased tourist arrivals can be used as a measurement of advertising effectiveness. Since print or broadcast media can also be part of the advertising plan, Nylen adds that although the impact of this kind of advertising might be difficult, it is still pertinent to set “expected performance levels that can serve as evaluation standards”.

It is also believed that the effectiveness of the promotional tools in the communication mix also varies with the stages of the “Tourism Area Life Cycle” (TALC). In other words, at certain stages of the TALC certain communication strategies will naturally be ineffective. With the TALC, it is believed that the tourist destination, “moves from evolution through involvement, development, consolidation before reaching stagnation”. In other words, during the introduction stage, advertising and sales promotion are extremely pertinent in creating an extremely high level of awareness. In the growth stage on the other hand, advertising and public relations are to remain considerably high, while slightly decreasing personal selling. Next is the mature stage, during which sales promotion is again of great importance as compared with advertising. In the last stage, known as the decline stage, sales promotions must be kept strong and “advertising is kept at a remind level”. Managers and marketers must therefore be aware of which stage they are at in the tourism product life cycle when developing communication strategies, in order to be more competitive and improve the sustainability of the industry.

Clearly, companies have control over the development of effective marketing strategies, but as mentioned, in other instances, the external environment literally weakens this control. The external environment of marketing consists of the microenvironment and the macro-environment. The microenvironment is that part of the external environment which directly influences the organisation. The macro environment on the other hand, “refers to the broad environment outside an organization’s industry and market. It is generally beyond the influence of the individual organization” as it contains technological, economical, environmental and political influences that “affect the level and patterns of demand” for prodcuts.

Source by Vicki L. Olton

Target Marketing – A Strategy For Business Success

The main aim of any organization is success.  In other words, what they really look for is to  increase their profits by way of satisfying the needs of the customers  providing them with goods and services that is up to their expectations. If the customers think that the goods and services are up to what they believe is value for  money, then this will not only increase the existing customers but also  the new customers as well. Increasing  the customers means, on the other hand increasing sales which will eventually pave way to increase the profits.

Why is Target Marketing Important ?

Today, with the limited amount of resources available for the business organizations, it is indeed very vital to use all  of their  resources, capabilities and capital effectively, in order to produce goods and services that the customers desire. Having said that,  in reality it is not an  easy task to do than say. In other means, producing goods and services to satisfy the entire market is not entirely  practical, and its only a waste of money. Not all people have the same desire for a single product or service.  Different people may want different products in order to satisfy their needs. As a result, it is thus important to target the customers who are likely to buy the products manufactured by the organization and concentrate the marketing efforts on those customers.  This will on the other hand help the businesses  to increase their profits while winning the hearts of the customers.  This is where the target marketing comes in to practice.

Target Marketing and Market Segmentation

Target marketing is all about concentrating on one or few segments of the market in order to develop products to satisfy those selected segments.  In other words, rather than trying to concentrate  on the entire market as a whole, the organizations tend to identify the customers who  are mostly likely to buy their products.  Upon identifying their targeted customers, then they produce goods or services so as to satisfy the customers within the target market. Target marketing basically involves  breaking down the market in  different segments in order to help the organization to identify its selected  customers effectively. This process is called market segmentation. This is very vital in identifying the target market. Generally a market is broken down into segments such  as,

  • Demographic segments – this is all about sorting the market according to the age, gender, income, education , occupation, family size, family lifecycle ( bachelor, married ), nationality etc.
  • Geographic segments – this basically includes identifying the market according to the region, country, neighbourhood etc.
  • Psychographic segments – this usually involves identifying the market according to their lifestyle, activities, interest, opinions and attitudes etc.
  • Behavioural segments – this is basically breaking the market according to the usage, brand loyalty, user status( first time buyer, regular ), benefits sought etc.

Having said that, the organizations basically  tend to focus on one or more segments of the market and thus develop  products that best meets the expectations of the consumers targeted. For example, an particular organization who tends to manufacture clothes  will want to produce cold weather clothes for both the boys and girls below the age of five and whose parents are in the middle income families. As  a result, once  they are aware of who their customers are,  the organizations are able to  use all of their resources only to produce what their customers are willing to buy. This basically minimizes the wastage which will  eventually lead to produce better quality products with cost effectiveness. This is due to the fact that, once the target market is identified  then the organizations can most probably concentrate their marketing mix to suit the customers identified.

Factors to Consider when Selecting the Target Market Segments

To say, it is not just enough to concentrate on  any one or few of the market segments  in order to form the selected target market for the organization’s products. In other words, there are basically two important factors that should be kept in mind when it comes to selecting the segments for the target market. First of all,  the selected segment/s should be attractive enough with regard to the size of the segment, growth rate of the segment, competition in the segment, brand loyal customers,  and the expected profit margins. For example,  there should be an attractive number of customers( not too big or not to small) in the segment/s, an  increasing growth rate, not too much competition, brand loyal customers with good profit margins.

Likewise, there should be a fit between the concentrated market segments and  organization’s objectives, resources and capabilities. This means that  the identified segment/s should be able  achieve the objectives of the organization, the organization should be able to offer value to its customers in the segments,  how accessible are the segments to their distribution channels and the organizations capital and the invested capital required to serve the segment/s. The better the market segments fits the organization and are entirely attractive, the greater the profits are.  

Finally,  it should be said that when it comes to target marketing, this however  involves only a certain proportion of the entire market. But still this helps to increase the profit of the organizations thus paving way for success, rather than trying to satisfy the entire market which is of course is not practical in today’s turbulent and competitive environment. What actually means by this is that by trying to produce goods for a large market, the organizations basically have to face a lot of competition, a lot of wastage  trying to market to the wrong customers ,and is also difficult to produce good quality product or services that the customers demand for. That is why target marketing is one of the important strategies that should be taken into account and carried out properly in order to achieve success.

By Shameena Silva

Source by Shameena silva

How Marketing Affects Society

Everyone seems to be into marketing these days and you have to wonder how marketing affects society nowadays.  From the young teenagers to the retirees, a lot of people want to get ahead of the competition by implementing a marketing strategy.  Because of the way we do business now, everyone is on equal grounds when starting.  So it doesn’t matter if you’re young, old, poor or rich.  If you’re into marketing, you’ll start where everyone started – at the bottom.

That’s one of the beauties of marketing.  It’s not like out there in the real world where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.  Take a rich and poor person and have them compete against each other in marketing and you may be surprised at the results.  It’s a matter of knowing how to properly use resources.  That’s how marketing affects society – by promoting equality among people.

However, marketing is also like survival of the fittest.  Especially during these times of the Internet, you can easily fail if you don’t know how to utilize resources.  That’s why it’s a dog eats dog world in marketing.  There’s a lot at stake so it’s obvious that marketers will do anything to succeed.  A lot of people have their own businesses that they want to market.  You now have to be wary of marketers who use unfair strategies in order to get ahead.  On the other hand, competition also produces innovation.  That’s also how marketing affects society.  It promotes healthy and unhealthy competition.

Customers are now more vigilant as ever.  They know if you’re trying to pull a fast one on them by marketing something that isn’t worthy of all the big talks.  They are also more apprehensive by the older marketing strategies.  It just doesn’t work on them anymore.  If you’re still stuck in the old ways of marketing your business, they’ll see right through you and it will be easier for them to say no.  Our customers are now wiser because there are a lot of choices so they can easily say no.  You then have to think of another marketing strategy in order to capture their interest.  That’s another thing how marketing affects society.  It makes us improve on how we do our business.

So if you’re going to take a look at it, it affects society from both the side of the consumers and the marketers.  So what can you do?  Since we all have equal chances of succeeding, why not go into a business that is innovative?  Healthy competition is rewarding.  That is, if you’re on the winning side.  That means you have to improve your marketing strategy.  For example, check out SixFiguresPro.com to see an innovative product that constantly improves its marketing strategies.  You can check it out for free to see a leading home business opportunity to see how you can apply it.  If you’re still questioning how marketing affects society, check out that link to see how it can help improve yourself as a marketer so you can help society as well.

Source by Scott Whaley

GREEN MARKETING – OPPORTUNITIES & CHALLENGES

GREEN MARKETING – OPPORTUNITIES & CHALLENGES

 

BY

Miss. P. PIRAKATHEESWARI, Lecturer in Commerce,

Sri Sarada College for Women (Autonomous), Salem – 16.

“Progress is possible, No one can stop it, but obstacle is there, we have to face it.”

– Amartya Sen

Introduction

Yes, green marketing is a golden goose. As per Mr. J. Polonsky, green marketing can be defined as, “All activities designed to generate and facilitate any exchange intended to satisfy human needs or wants such that satisfying of these needs and wants occur with minimal detrimental input on the national environment.”

Green marketing involves developing and promoting products and services that satisfy customers want and need for Quality, Performance, Affordable Pricing and Convenience without having a detrimental input on the environment.

Meaning

Green marketing refers to the process of selling products and/or services based on their environmental benefits. Such a product or service may be environmentally friendly in it or produced and/or packaged in an environmentally friendly way.

The obvious assumption of green marketing is that potential consumers will view a product or service’s “greenness” as a benefit and base their buying decision accordingly. The not-so-obvious assumption of green marketing is that consumers will be willing to pay more for green products than they would for a less-green comparable alternative product – an assumption that, in my opinion, has not been proven conclusively.

While green marketing is growing greatly as increasing numbers of consumers are willing to back their environmental consciousnesses with their dollars, it can be dangerous. The public tends to be skeptical of green claims to begin with and companies can seriously damage their brands and their sales if a green claim is discovered to be false or contradicted by a company’s other products or practices. Presenting a product or service as green when it’s not is called green washing.

Definition

According to the American Marketing Association, green marketing is the marketing of products that are presumed to be environmentally safe. Thus green marketing incorporates a broad range of activities, including product modification, changes to the production process, packaging changes, as well as modifying advertising. Yet defining green marketing is not a simple task where several meanings intersect and contradict each other; an example of this will be the existence of varying social, environmental and retail definitions attached to this term. Other similar terms used are Environmental Marketing and Ecological Marketing.

The legal implications of marketing claims call for caution. Misleading or overstated claims can lead to regulatory or civil challenges. In the USA, the Federal Trade Commission provides some guidance on environmental marketing claims.

Three keys to successful green marketing

Show potential customers that you follow green business practices and you could reap more green on your bottom line. Green Marketing isn’t just a catchphrase; it’s a marketing strategy that can help you get more customers and make more money. But only if you do it right.

For green marketing to be effective, you have to do three things; be genuine, educate your customers, and give them the opportunity to participate.

1) Being genuine means that a) that you are actually doing what you claim to be doing in your green marketing campaign and b) that the rest of your business policies are consistent with whatever you are doing that’s environmentally friendly. Both these conditions have to be met for your business to establish the kind of environmental credentials that will allow a green marketing campaign to succeed.

2) Educating your customers isn’t just a matter of letting people know you’re doing whatever you’re doing to protect the environment, but also a matter of letting them know why it matters. Otherwise, for a significant portion of your target market, it’s a case of “So what?” and your green marketing campaign goes nowhere.

3) Giving your customers an opportunity to participate means personalizing the benefits of your environmentally friendly actions, normally through letting the customer take part in positive environmental action.

Evolution of Green Marketing

The green marketing has evolved over a period of time. According to Peattie (2001), the evolution of green marketing has three phases. First phase was termed as “Ecological” green marketing, and during this period all marketing activities were concerned to help environment problems and provide remedies for environmental problems. Second phase was “Environmental” green marketing and the focus shifted on clean technology that involved designing of innovative new products, which take care of pollution and waste issues. Third phase was “Sustainable” green marketing. It came into prominence in the late 1990s and early 2000.

Why Green Marketing?

As resources are limited and human wants are unlimited, it is important for the marketers to utilize the resources efficiently without waste as well as to achieve the organization’s objective. So green marketing is inevitable.

There is growing interest among the consumers all over the world regarding protection of environment. Worldwide evidence indicates people are concerned about the environment and are changing their behavior. As a result of this, green marketing has emerged which speaks for growing market for sustainable and socially responsible products and services.

Benefits of Green Marketing

Companies that develop new and improved products and services with environment inputs in mind give themselves access to new markets, increase their profit sustainability, and enjoy a competitive advantage over the companies which are not concerned for the environment.

Adoption of Green Marketing

There are basically five reasons for which a marketer should go for the adoption of green marketing. They are –

  • Opportunities or competitive advantage
  • Corporate social responsibilities (CSR)
  • Government pressure
  • Competitive pressure
  • Cost or profit issues

Green Marketing Mix

Every company has its own favorite marketing mix. Some have 4 P’s and some have 7 P’s of marketing mix. The 4 P’s of green marketing are that of a conventional marketing but the challenge before marketers is to use 4 P’s in an innovative manner.

 Product

The ecological objectives in planning products are to reduce resource consumption and pollution and to increase conservation of scarce resources (Keller man, 1978).

Price

Price is a critical and important factor of green marketing mix. Most consumers will only be prepared to pay additional value if there is a perception of extra product value. This value may be improved performance, function, design, visual appeal, or taste. Green marketing should take all these facts into consideration while charging a premium price.

Promotion

There are three types of green advertising: –

ü      Ads that address a relationship between a product/service and the biophysical environment

ü      Those that promote a green lifestyle by highlighting a product or service

ü      Ads that present a corporate image of environmental responsibility

Place

The choice of where and when to make a product available will have significant impact on the customers. Very few customers will go out of their way to buy green products.

Strategies

The marketing strategies for green marketing include: –

  • Marketing Audit (including internal and external situation analysis)
  • Develop a marketing plan outlining strategies with regard to 4 P’s
  • Implement marketing strategies
  • Plan results evaluation

Challenges Ahead

ü      Green products require renewable and recyclable material, which is costly

ü      Requires a technology, which requires huge investment in R & D

ü      Water treatment technology, which is too costly

ü      Majority of the people are not aware of green products and their uses

ü      Majority of the consumers are not willing to pay a premium for green products

Some Cases

ü      McDonald’s restaurant’s napkins, bags are made of recycled paper.

ü      Coca-Cola pumped syrup directly from tank instead of plastic which saved 68 million pound/year.

ü      Badarpur Thermal Power station of NTPC in Delhi is devising ways to utilize coal-ash that has been a major source of air and water pollution.

ü      Barauni refinery of IOC is taken steps for restricting air and water pollutants.

Conclusion

Green marketing should not neglect the economic aspect of marketing. Marketers need to understand the implications of green marketing. If you think customers are not concerned about environmental issues or will not pay a premium for products that are more eco-responsible, think again. You must find an opportunity to enhance you product’s performance and strengthen your customer’s loyalty and command a higher price.  Green marketing is still in its infancy and a lot of research is to be done on green marketing to fully explore its potential.

References:

  1. Chopra, S. Lakshmi (2007), “Turning Over a New Leaf”, Indian Management, Vol-64, April-2007
  2. Ottman, J.A. et al, “Avoiding Green Marketing Myopia”, Environment, Vol-48, June-2006
  3. www.greenmarketing.net/stratergic.html
  4. www.epa.qld.gov.au/sustainable_ industries

Source by P. Pirakatheeswari

Strategic Marketing Or Marketing in Aviation

Strategic Marketing or Marketing in Aviation
Effective marketing depends upon effective marketing system employed by an industry or separate companies. Marketing as an activity is carried out in a variety of contexts. The most obvious context is of course the sale of goods and services to end-users. Marketing can be described as one of the functional areas of a business, distinct from finance and operations (McDonald, Christopher, 2003). Marketing can also be thought of as one of the activities that, along with product design, manufacturing, and transportation logistics.
In general, aviation industry is one of the profitable industries today which is characterized by of rapid technological and marketing changes. Nevertheless, the present situation requires cooperation between airlines and airports which should help them to market their services effectively to their clients.
Marketing strategies include a wide variety of techniques aimed to deliver customer satisfaction and safety. New product and services development, technological changes mark the main strategic activities in this market segment. Technology, being a universal factor that crosses national and cultural boundaries, plays the crucial role in aviation and aerospace industry. It should be mentioned that technology is truly “stateless”; there are no cultural boundaries limiting its applica¬tion. Once aviation technology is developed, it soon becomes available virtually every¬where in the world.
In regional markets such as Europe, the increasing overlap of advertising across national boundaries and the mobility of consumers have created opportunities for aviation and airlines marketers to pursue pan-European product positioning. For instance, in 1970s the jet airplane revolutionized communication by making it pos¬sible for people to travel around the world in less than 48 hours. Tourism enables people from many countries to see and experience the newest products being sold abroad. One essential characteristic of the effective global aviation business is face-to-face communication among employees and between the company and its customers. Without modern jet travel, such communication would be difficult to accomplish (Bellis, 2001).
New transportation technology significantly reduces the level of prices. The costs associ¬ated with physical distributionboth in terms of money and timehave been greatly reduced as well. The per-unit cost of shipping automobiles from Japan and Korea to the United States by specially designed auto-transport ships is less than the cost of overland shipping from Detroit to either U.S. coast. Another key innovation has been increased utilization of 20- and 40-foot metal containers that can be trans¬ferred from trucks to railroad cars to ships.
Another technological innovation, which helps to improve marketing activities is the Internet and World Wide Web. Airlines and aviation can be called boundaryless or global industries, and for this reason Internet and Intranet services has become a driven force for them.
Today’s information technology allows airline alliance partners to sell seats on each other’s flights, thereby helping travelers get from point to point more easily while boosting revenues for companies such as United Airlines and Lufthansa. Meanwhile, the cost of international telephone calls has fallen dra¬matically over the past several decades. That fact, plus the advent of new communi¬cation technologies such as e-mail, fax, and video teleconferencing, means that man¬agers, executives, and customers can link up electronically from virtually any part of the world without traveling at all.
When a company establishes a site on the Internet, it automatically becomes global, at least in terms of its potential to reach global customers with information. At present, Internet usage is heaviest in the United States. Even as that situation changes, however, many constraints must still be overcome before Internet merchandise purchase transactions can become borderless (Joines, Scherer, Scheufele, 2003).
Marketing departments in aviation and airline industry work closely with R&D departments to ensure that the products which are developed are those which cater for the changing needs of target customers and different needs of varying customer segments. In recent years, high failure rates in the introduction of new products have led departments to be very risk averse, with most ‘new’ products emerging being merely extensions of exist¬ing product lines and not truly new and innovative offerings.
The marketer’s role in aviation and airline new product development is therefore about providing a link between the market and the design department, with customers and R&D technicians both being involved in the process. It also requires involving senior management, as changes in customer demand and purchasing patterns may have serious implications for future busi¬ness objectives and directions.
The main marketing strategy in aerospace and aviation industries is to design a product that consumers did not explicitly request. The challenge of course is to get out in front of consumers; to extrapolate and infer future customer needs. Yet traditional forms of marketing research seldom seem to provide the insight necessary to engage in creative marketing. The basic aerospace initiative include:
“Re-invigorate basic and applied research in aeronautics and aviation.
Develop aviation/aerospace technologies that will significantly lower noise, emissions and fuel consumption.
Address the cost, frequency and reliability of entering space, and increase its economic viability.
Fund revolutionary, not just evolutionary, changes to the air transportation system to obtain greater capacity, safety, traffic flow and automation” (U.S. Aviation and Aerospace Industries, 2003).
It is easy to see the rationale for presenting the marketing department as the linchpin in the new product devel¬opment process. They are the conduit of information between the market, and the firm and the various departments involved in the new product development process. Taking on a pivotal role means broader involvement of various stakeholders which can be further facilitated by project teams which bring members of all groups together at the same time to discuss and attempt to solve mutual problems. “Infrastructure and air traffic management issues will be a new topic to address both on behalf of aerospace manufacturers and service providers and the SBAC airports segment” (UK aircraft and aerospace industry, 2005).
The above apparently suggests that new product development is purely finding out what customers want and then delivering it. It is possible to suggest, however, that cus¬tomers do not always know what they want, or at least cannot articulate it in concrete terms.
David Kiley expresses an interesting idea supposing that Airlines “are not marketing even if they think they are”. He explains that “consumers are, for the most part, choosing based on where their frequent flyer miles are (that they collect through their jobs) and price. The typical leisure traveler these days is checking online via Orbitz, Expedia or one of the other services for prices and schedules. When the selection of options comes up from United, Northwest, Delta, American, Air France, Virgin Atlantic–how many people are choosing based on how they feel about the airline?” (Kiley, n.d.). On the other hand, it is difficult to deny the role of advertising in airline marketing which has a great influence on consumers preferences and choice.
Today, customer service in airlines relies on reputation and trustworthiness and this no less true in the new forms of system-service. In fields such as package delivery and money management, consumers are seeking indications that their risks will be minimised or eliminated. For these kinds of consumer acts, customer service plays an essential role in assuaging the fears of consumers by projecting an image of trustworthiness and expertise (Johnson, Scholes, 1998).
The Choice of Press issues is based on readership. It refers to the total number of people who probably will read the publication. For example trade and technical publications are often read by people other than the purchaser at the purchaser’s place of work. Sunday newspapers and colour supplements are invariably passed around the family for reading. Therefore, readership figures may be several times larger than circulation figures and help to tell us how many people may read the publication. The readership profiles usually indicate the demographic characteristics of the readership, such as age, sex, income and, in particular, socio-economic grading of readers, quintessential to the effective targeting of a company’s advertising. For instance, “Delta has recently kicked off a new campaign, themed “Good Goes Around.” American has been running sentimental TV ads with the slogan, “We Know Why You Fly.” (Kiley).
For maximum penetration it may help to select primary (first choice) media that interlock or cross support each other. If deeper penetration into the same target market, for example, is required, then vertical advertising in the media that reach the same target market will be sought. For example, advertising on commercial television may be linked with advertising in the magazine that provides the program schedules for viewers, or local radio advertising in a particular area may be accompanied by direct mail or press advertising. “The airline industry has literally fought for deregulation that has made each company nothing more than a commodity” (Kiley).
Without new qualitative service airlines companies will not be capable to achieve the overall objectives, that is why the main objective of a company is to maintain the level of service quality and develop strategies to improve its services. Service concepts are based on understanding the unique environment in which a particular firm operates. Usually, airline companies find specific marketing strategies and then translate them into a detailed plan of action which foresee an efficient marketing effort. Implementing a customer oriented strategy is more important than any other techniques. It also means impressing upon the entire staff the importance of customer service because a satisfied customer is the best marketing tool available.

All customers have some expectation of the quality of services which have to be provided. Present day situation is marked by two factors specification, which is to do with the ‘design quality’ of service, and conformity, which is to do with the ‘process’ quality which is achieved are of particular importance to customers. Ultimately they are the two factors which deter¬mine the quality levels provided by a companies to their customers. These two factors however are themselves determined by other factors.
Specification in the airline industry is determined as a result of an organization’s pol¬icy, which in turn resulted from decisions on its market policy, and consideration of the market or customer needs and requirements, and the activ¬ities of competitors. This is the process of designing quality into the service (Ennew, Reed, Binks, 1993). For instance, “Airlines are scrambling to fill seats and make their customers happy, that’s clear. British Airways just this week signed a deal with the Worldwide Travel Exchange (WWTE) hotel-booking arm of Expedia inc company Travelscape, enabling the airline’s passengers to book rooms at more than 40,000 hotel properties” (Cox, 2002).
Proof of customer contact improvement includes measuring customer satisfaction, establishing new performance standards, and thereby gaining greater control over, and routinisation of, professional service work. At the same time, quality improvement through self-directed project teams has evolved into a practice whereby task forces adopt goals and use methods that are centrally determined. In this manner, ‘success’ is evaluated by others through institutionally defined performance improvement measures (Mascarenhas, Kesavan, Bernacchi, 2004).
Today, a wide range of Web services are adopted by airlines and aviation to contact with the customers and to ensure customer satisfaction. It is not a unique and a new form of service but still it is one of the most beneficial areas for attracting a new customers and providing new services for target customers. For instance, “Travelocity provides Internet and wireless reservations information for more than 700 airlines, but it doesn’t have special marketing relationships with all of them. It did sign a similar deal with Continental in January and has deals with British Airways, JetBlue and America West, among other airlines” (Cox, 2002).
For airlines companies, Internet rationalizes the expensive and cumber¬some proposition of large-scale customer service. Second, the system serves to reduce at least the appearance of risk associated with time-space distanciation and the opacity of the expert system.
In only a short time, online finance has become immensely popular around the world. This might have something to do with the fact that in climates of risk, especially those involving investments, many customers prefer a ‘hands-on’ approach. Indeed, online services and trading has several advantages for customers. The main, it is available around the clock. There are, of course, risks for customers associated with online trading (Mascarenhas, et al, 2004).
In aviation this approach includes maintenance of high standards which is a key factor in effective customer contact. The purpose of maintenance is to attempt to maximize the performance of service by ensuring that it performs regularly and efficiently. Service, however complex or simple, however cheap or expensive, is liable to breakdown. The effective operation of any system is dependent on the maintenance of all parts of the system, e.g. buildings, services. Indeed, company welfare or personnel practice is designed partly as a maintenance activity, e.g. training and retraining to maintain the availability of appropriate skills, facilities to maintain human capacity, counselling to maintain interest and motivation (Joines et al, 2003).
The audiences may be geographically dispersed in time, but they share common interests that are perhaps difficult to serve profitably though other international media. The online airlines sites (www.bluejet.net.tc or www.britishairways.com) thrive because they offer their participants the following: a forum for exchange of common interests; a sense of place with codes of behaviour; a meeting place for specialists; the development of stimulating dialogues leading to relationships based on trust; encouragement for active participation by more than an exclusive few.
“Customers can book on-line at www.CanJet.com through CanJet’s Reservations Sales Centre” (Cox, 2002). Service, however complex or simple, however cheap or expensive, is liable to breakdown. Another alternative is to deliver ads via third-party ad-server companies which can serve ad messages simultaneously to multiple Web sites, measure results, produce consolidated reports, report on the success of the entire campaign, and analyze these results immediately, enabling advertisers to quickly assess the ongoing effectiveness of the campaign.
In traditional markets, dual distribution systems are not uncommon; there are numerous examples of companies using more than one channel of distribution to sell to different groups of customers. However, the process of managing multiple distribution systems can be both tricky and risky. While electronic commerce is creating new opportunities for differential pricing, it can also make such pricing strategies more difficult when it is used to provide customers with better information about their choices. Indeed, customer ignorance -about prices, features and relative product performance – has traditionally been a source of profit for companies. The relationship marketing process involves an iterative cycle of knowledge acquisition, customer differentiation and customization of the entire marketing mix. This process is sometimes referred to as a learning relationship (Johnson, Scholes, 1998). A learning relationship between a customer and an airline comapny gets smarter and smarter with each individual interaction, defining in ever more detail the customer’s own individual needs and tastes.
“The leadership position of the U.S. aviation and aerospace industries is being eroded by foreign competitors who benefit from extensive government subsidies” (U.S. Aviation and Aerospace Industries, 2003). In aerospace services is creating new flexibility for consumers and for business, government markets. And innovation is also occurring through experimentation with new approaches to market development in emerging markets There appears to be a mismatch between the technology incorporation cycle and the technology introduction cycle. Just when the customer feels comfortable with a given technology that they have acquired, a new version comes along making the earlier one obsolete.
A problem with aerospace industry is that although there are only a few major companies, these companies have a majority of the control over the market, requiring an extremely unique spin off of this already established product to have a chance at success. There are many innovative products that enter the sector every year. A talented company management could definitely add these product to the list if they are willing to work hard, think outside of the box, and put their heart into their company (UK aircraft and aerospace industry, 2005)
Competitive pressures have prompted many airlines and aerospace companies to involve marketers in design, manufacturing, and other value-related decisions from the start. This approach is known in some circles as boundaryless marketing. Rather than linking marketing sequentially with other activities, the goal is to eliminate the communication barriers between marketing and other functional area’s. Properly implemented, boundaryless marketing ensures that a marketing orientation perme¬ates all value-creating activities in a company (McDonald, Christopher, 2003).
A partnership marketing strategy is the quickest and cheap¬est ways to develop a global strategy in aviation. It allow share control over assigned tasks, a situation that cre¬ates management challenges. Partnership in aviation is attractive because high product development costs in the face of resource constraints may force a company to seek partners and the technology requirements of many contemporary products mean that an individual company may lack the skills, capital, or know-how to go it alone (UK aircraft and aerospace industry, 2005).
It is possible to conclude that aerospace and airline industries mature, fragmentation is overcome and the industry tends to become a consolidated industry dominated by a small number of large companies. Although industries begin by being fragmented, battles for market share and cre¬ative attempts to overcome local or niche market boundaries often result in a few com¬panies’ obtaining increasingly larger market shares. When product standards become established for minimum quality and features, competition shifts to a greater emphasis on cost and service. Slower growth combined with overcapacity and knowledgeable buyers put a premium on a firm’s ability to achieve cost leadership or differentiation along the dimensions most desired by the market.
The increasing opportunities of the Internet offer another area of strength for airlines marketing stretagy. Customers want more help with the Internet, airlines in a better position to give it to them. In the traditional brand relationships, communication flows between the marketer and the consumer. The key to airlines successful relationship marketing program is information. The better information that a company can propose to a particular customer, the more value that firm will potentially be able to provide that customer.
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Source by Andrew Sandon

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