Throughout this course, you will compile a comprehensive marketing plan using one of the product/service scenarios listed in the Unit II assignment. (Note: You will use the same scenario throughout the course.) This scenario will be the basis of your start-up company and will be the catalyst for the subsequent marketing plan that you will compile. The company that you choose to submit a marketing plan for is a fictional start-up company (not an existing company).
The first scenario is listed below.
This unit’s submission should consist of the items listed below.
Provide a segmentation and target market analysis.
In this section of the marketing plan, you should identify the four criteria useful in segmenting the market, and apply them to your company. Explain how identifying the target market is more clearly defined once a marketer has conducted segmentation on the population. Explain several target markets for your company using detailed explanations.
Include a competitive and industry analysis.
This section of the marketing plan should identify three or four competitors of your company. These can be direct or indirect competitors. (Note: Not all companies have competitors.) Differentiate each competitor based upon multiple criteria. Additionally, conduct an industry analysis by looking at the health of the industry in which your company resides. Identify whether the industry has grown or shrunk in the last 5–10 years. Explain why understanding the competitors and the health of the industry are important elements of the marketing plan.
Provide a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis.
In this section, you will compile a SWOT analysis of your company. The internal strengths and weaknesses as well as the external opportunities and threats need to be identified and explained (include at least 2–3 elements under each area of the SWOT). The value proposition will be demonstrated through a strong showing in the strengths section of the SWOT analysis. Reference the SWOT analysis explanation in the Unit I Lesson for additional insight on how to compile this analysis.
Ensure you provide an introduction for this assignment that is engaging and provides a clear background to the purpose of the assignment. The format of the submission should be in essay format using subheadings. Use APA format. Additionally, you need to include a minimum of five sources, three of which must be peer-reviewed, academic sources that are no more than 5 years old. The submission should be a minimum of three pages in length (not counting the title and reference pages).
Travel Supreme is a start-up organization that offers travel planning services. This company was founded to help vacationers to develop their vacation packages. The company compiles offers for different destinations, develops itineraries, and does accommodation and transport bookings on behalf of the consumers. This business model is designed to make travel plans easier and less stressful for travelers. Many customers enjoy developing their vacation plans in person, but Travel Supreme believes that there is still high enough demand for travelers who may need the services the company offers.
Market Research Strategies
Market research is important in the design of a marketing strategy. The research helps to collect data on the level of demand in the market, industry characteristics, competition, demographics of people who need the product or service, and the characteristics of the product or service that the target market will likely prefer. Travel Supreme can use the following research strategy to ascertain that there is adequate demand for travel planning services.
Market research can be done through the evaluation of industry data. There is a large amount of data that is collected from different sources that can be used to evaluate an industry. For instance, government organizations collect tourism data that can be used to examine the travel trends for different destinations (Goffin, Varnes, van der Hoven, & Koners, 2012). Such data can be used by Travel Supreme to understand its market and the general market needs.
Market surveys are some of the most common strategies for market research. There are different groups of people that can offer valuable information to the company (Goffin et al., 2012). The company can conduct surveys with frequent travelers to determine their need in the industry. The consumers can reveal the gaps in the market that Travel Supreme can fill in its market strategy.
The company can also benefit from conducting focus groups. Focus groups are small groups of people averaging 15 people that are used to collect data about a given topic (Sarstedt & Mooi, 2014). Travel Supreme can create focus groups made up of travel customers where they discuss their experience in the travel industry. From the information collected in the focus group, Travel Supreme can create a marketing strategy that meets the needs of the consumers.
The overall condition of the external environment of the Travel Supreme business will influence its market effectiveness. A business needs not consider only the internal business factors to be successful in the market (Cadle, Paul, & Turner, 2010). This section presents an environmental scan to determine the factors that will likely influence the effectiveness of this business. The analysis evaluates the political, economic, technological, and social factors that will influence the company’s market effectiveness.
Political issues in different parts of the world affect travel planning. Instability in a given destination leads to decreased rates of vacations occurring in the affected regions and their surroundings. Political conflicts such as warfare, coups, and internal violence lead to decreased demand for travel-related services (Pratap, 2019). Therefore, Travel Supreme needs to be prepared for the possible fluctuations in travel plans resulting from the increasing rates of political conflicts.
The company’s operations will also be affected by travel regulations. Different countries have unique travel regulations. For instance, some countries require visa approval for travelers from certain destinations while others issue visas on arrival. As a travel agency, Travel Supreme will need to be aware of travel policies for different destinations to avoid issues that may negatively affect the customers’ vacation experience.
Economic changes influence changes in demand for travel and tourism services. A well-performing economy is characterized by a higher per capita income. This implies that more people have the disposable income to spend on travel plans (Pratap, 2019). However, when the economic performance declines, many people are unable to afford vacationing. As a company that makes travel plans, Travel Supreme will need to be aware of economic changes and how they will affect their travel services. Understanding market fluctuations helps the company to make better plans for fulfilling the customers’ needs.
Cultural and social factors impact the demand for travel services in different seasons around the year. Most people tend to travel around the holidays such as Easter and Christmas because these are the periods with enough time from work to travel. Religion also influences travel plans. Muslims go to Mecca for pilgrimage while Christians tend to travel to holy cities (Pratap, 2019). Therefore, the company can plan its marketing strategy to meet the travel needs around the seasons when demand for their services increases. Cultures can also affect how people perceive travel. For some cultures, travelling is considered to be important while others do not value travel. People who value travel will more likely demand the services to be offered by this company, hence, the marketing strategy can be designed around making vacationing to be perceived as valuable.
The travel and hospitality industry has generally been influenced by technology. New technologies are coming up and creating significant changes to the travel market. For instance, the development of peer-to-peer services for accommodation has influenced travel trends. Companies like AirBnB have made travel much cheaper because of the more affordable accommodation options that the company’s sites offer (Pratap, 2019). Technology also creates a lot of opportunities for companies in the travel business to directly interact with their consumers. Components of technology such as social media provide better marketing opportunities for travel businesses to reach and engage their target consumers.
Cadle, J., Paul, D., & Turner, P. (2010). Business analysis techniques. British Informatics Society Limited.
Goffin, K., Varnes, C. J., van der Hoven, C., & Koners, U. (2012). Beyond the voice of the customer: Ethnographic market research. Research-Technology Management, 55(4), 45-53.
Pratap, A. (2019). Factors affecting demand in the tourism sector. Retrieved from: https://notesmatic.com/2018/02/factors-affecting-demand-in-the-tourism-sector/
Sarstedt, M., & Mooi, E. (2014). A concise guide to market research. The Process, Data, and, 12.
PLATON, N. (2018). Internationalization of Tourism Services and Products in the Context of Globalization. Annals of “Constantin Brancusi” University of Targu-Jiu. Economy Series, 35–41. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.libraryresources.columbiasouthern.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bsu&AN=134681189&site=ehost-live&scope=site
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