Columbia Southern Travel Agency Marketing Plan Price Promotion Assignment

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Marketing Plan: Part III

Throughout this course, you have been compiling a comprehensive marketing plan using one of the product/service scenarios listed in the Unit II assignment. (Note: You should have been using the same scenario for Parts I–III.)

This unit’s submission should consist of the items listed below.

  1. Product
    1. This section of the marketing plan should include a description of the products and services offered to the consumer. Remember that this product section should also identify services, warranties, and installation features. Additionally, brand, logo, and other identifying characteristics should be discussed in this section as they encompass part of the product offering.
    2. Examine whether your company has a competitive advantage relative to its product offering (i.e., only address the product here).
  2. Place
    1. This section of the marketing plan should explain the entire distribution channel (see Unit VII Lesson). As a reminder, this is the flow of the product from the manufacturer or creator of the product/service to the final consumer (the entire process—not just the retailer at the end of the process). Describe a physical facility associated with your company. This can be a unique manufacturing or distribution center, retailer, or even a merchandising technique. The idea here is to describe what it looks like to the consumer and the value that this atmosphere brings to the buying experience.
    2. Examine whether your company has a competitive advantage relative to its place offering (i.e., only address place or distribution here).
  3. Price
    1. This section of the marketing plan should describe the pricing strategies used by your company. Include theoretical aspects of pricing (see Unit VII Lesson) in your discussion here.
    2. Examine whether your company has a competitive advantage relative to its pricing strategies (i.e., only address pricing here).
  4. Promotion
    1. This section of the marketing plan should address the promotional methods used by your company. This should not only include social media/Internet marketing but also traditional marketing and advertising used (e.g., personal selling, advertising, sales promotion, publicity).
    2. Examine whether your company has a competitive advantage relative to its promotional strategies (i.e., only address promotion here).

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).

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Running head: PASSPORT MEMEORIES TRAVEL AGENCY MARKETING PLAN Woodard’s Passport Memories Travel Agency Marketing Plan Andrianna Woodard Columbia Southern University 1 PASSPORT MEMORIES TRAVEL AGENCY MARKETING PLAN 2 Introduction While planning a vacation is exciting for most people, it also comes with the burden of feeling like a full time job for many others. Between coordinating dates that suit everybody, booking transportation, gathering passports, figuring out hotel rooms, car rentals, activities and food the person tasked with making the travel plans might feel the onset of overwhelming regret. Or, the family looking to make a delightful trip to another county could seek the help of a professional travel agent. Woodard’s Passport Memories Travel Agency, is the ultimate travel guide to places that travelers have never seen. The organization is focused on inspiring a new generation of travelers. Since making a mark in the Billion dollar industry (Ghete, 2015), Woodard’s Passport Memories has earned notable recognition from every major travel supplier, including the best resorts and hotel brands, cruise lines, vacation companies, car rental agencies and tour operators all over the world. Woodard’s Passport Memories has earned a proven record of stellar customer service. The organization also goes above and beyond to present highly personalized travel accommodations to each client. Woodard’s Passport Memories is a travel agency that works to build intimate relationships with its travel clients, and strives to rise to the occasion, trip after trip. Market Research Strategies According to Ioncica, Petrescu and Ioncica (2015), the ideaology of what travel planning experts believe regarding understanding industry insight for profitable operations differs. Ghete (2015), believes toursim for young adults is an important target market for travel agents to put focus towards. The researcher explained, it is estimated that by the year 2020, 300 million PASSPORT MEMORIES TRAVEL AGENCY MARKETING PLAN 3 young adults will travel in a year. In terms of reveune that accounts for approximately 320 billion dollars in market value (Ghete, 2015). To captilize in the young adult target market for toursim, Woodard’s Passport Memories Travel Agency will put an emphasis on understanding the exchange of information. As mentioned by Ghete (2015), the exchage of information has a significant impact on the sale of toursim products. For that reason, the internet and information technology will be a huge part of Woodard’s Passport Memories Travel Agency marketing plan. Utlizing competitors’ web sites, monitoring competitor travel blogs, and leveraging social media analytial tools (Kotler & Keller, 2016). Moreover, in order to increase the efficiency of the travel agency Woodard’s Passport Memories will focus efforts on understanding the importance of centralzing the data available in the databases. Macro Environment Inspite of the future challenges that may be presented to Woodard’s Passport Memories Travel Agency, it is important that the organization understands the external conditions that typically can not be controlled. Assessing the major areas of outside influence that affect the organization can facilitate more effective strategic planning. Essentially the planning can be used to allow the organization to stay ahead of the competitors. Political Analysis The politcal analysis focuses on the government policy and changes in legislation that impact the economy (NetMBA Business Knowledge Center, 2010). Areas of government policy that could potentially affect Woodard’s Passport Memories Travel Agency, would be internet pricing regulations, or perhaps tax rates. There is no way to control if the government requires a PASSPORT MEMORIES TRAVEL AGENCY MARKETING PLAN 4 different tax rate to be paid when purchasing or making travel plans. For this reason, Woodard’s Passport Memories should prepare to notify travel clients on the website that depending on travel location pricing and tax rates will vary. Having this information easily accessible for young adult travel clients is a great way to keep clients fully informed and minimize pricing or budgeting surprises (Serbanescu & Necsulescu, 2013). Economic Analysis The economic portion of the analysis targets the key factors associated with econmic growth, inflation or perhaps recession (NetMBA Business Knowledge Center, 2010). Understanding the target market and the amount of discretionary income, will help Woodard’s Passport Memeories Travel agency better understand the types of trips that young adults are looking to experience. According to Ghete (2015), it is important for young adults to take trips because the young people are the future market for the future development of they places they choose to visit. Social Analysis The social factors that will be included in the Social Analysis will include, age, and cultural attitudes. Although Woodard’s Passport Memories Travel Agency will make travel plans for all age range and demographics, it is important for the agency to remember that young traverlers represent at least 20 % of all international travel (Ghete, 2015). According to Ghete (2015), young people spend more time on vacation compared to other categories of travel. Technological Analysis The technological componet considers the specific role of technology within the travel sector (NetMBA Business Knowledge Center, 2010). Most young adults tourist perfer to inform PASSPORT MEMORIES TRAVEL AGENCY MARKETING PLAN 5 themselves by way of websites and perhaps social media. To compete with the technological componets, a travel agency needs a user friendly website that provides tourist with as many travel options as possible. Conclusion In summary, there are a various factors that impact the macro-environment of an organization. For this reason, Woodard’s Passport Memories Travel Agency must prepare and manage the external factors that may arise in the industry. Although, it is not easy to prepare for unforseen events, the agency may be able to overcome unfortunate trends with a strategic plan. PASSPORT MEMORIES TRAVEL AGENCY MARKETING PLAN 6 References Ghete, A. M. (2015). The Importance of Youth Tourism. Annals of the University of Oradea, Economic Science Series, 688-694. Ioncica, M., Petrescu, E.-C., & Ioncica, D.-E. (2015, October). Innovations in Selling Tourism Products and Their Impact on the Efficiency of the Activity of Travel Agencies and Sustainability. International Journal of Economic Practices and Theories, 5(5). Retrieved December 2018 Kotler, P., & Keller, K. L. (2016). Marketing Management (Vol. 15). Boston: Pearson. Retrieved December 2018 NetMBA Business Knowledge Center. (2010). Retrieved from Internet Center For Management and Business Administration Inc: www.netmba.com/site/contact Serbanescu, L., & Necsulescu, C. (2013, October 1). Improving The Performance And Efficiency of Travel Agencies With IT Technology. Agricultural Management, 135-140. Running head: MARKETING PLAN 1 Marketing Plan Andrianna Woodard Columbia Southern University MARKETING PLAN 2 Marketing Plan- Woodard’s Passport Memories Travel Agency Current marketing plan is meant to enable Woodard’s Passport Memories Travel Agency be able to streamline mode of business delivery to the relevant authorities (Kitchen & Burgmann, 2015). Effective planning for travel guide is a complex process that requires a functional marketing plan. Woodard’s Passport Memories Travel Agency, is focused to become the best guide to top notch places for its clients. The company has settled not less than delivery of quality services for its clients. Therefore a marketing plan is an essential requirement for the company to attain a unique competitive advantage in the highly relevant industry. Marketing plan is a concrete document/blueprint detailing various efforts that the company embraces in order to remain relevant in the industry (Kitchen & Burgmann, 2015). There are numerous benefits that emanate from a well-designed marketing plan of a company. For example, in order to identify current description of the marketing structure of the company and business activities of accomplishing set objectives, a comprehensive marketing plan is essential (Ioncica et al., 2015). Marketing plan integrates numerous and essential components such as business monitoring methods, business expansion strategy, and communication channels used to relay company products to the target audience, use of social media forums for product advertisement and implementation among others (Kitchen & Burgmann, 2015). A comprehensive marketing plan is necessary for the company to meet customer needs and come with extensive research and developments programs to ensure that provision of vacation services and products do meet the international threshold standards. MARKETING PLAN 3 Segmentation and Target Market Analysis Woodard’s Passport Memories Travel Agency provides vacation services to clients in the industry by guiding them to relevant destination sites. Market segmentation is such a noble course for the company to attain success in travel planning. Market segmentation and analysis is based on four criteria. Market substantiality is a mandatory criterion for understanding market segmentation (DeFoe, 2016). The company will target the market that is sufficient in size and this is accomplished by creating a customized market mix. For example, the company will consider potential customers who are interested in the company services and products. The available customers are necessary for enabling the company to increase revenue generation and maximize on profit making among others. The second criterion for market segmentation is identifiability and measurability (DeFoe, 2016). This will be based on the available geographic regions, social and demographic categories and age groups among others. The company will measure the number of customers having developed passion for the company services and products. The third item for market segmentation is accessibility (DeFoe, 2016). Woodard’s Passport Memories Travel Agency will target tourists by product and service advertisement via the internet since majority of them rely on the internet for identifying suitable sites for vacation. The company will strive to advertise responsibly and consider aiming the promotions towards the target customer basements. Woodard’s Passport Memories Travel Agency will embrace extensive use of social media platforms and entire internet to reach potential customers. The final item for market segmentation is responsiveness- the company will strive to understand how potential customers will respond to vacation services and products (DeFoe, 2016). Having MARKETING PLAN 4 considered the above factors, Woodard’s Passport Memories Travel Agency will target the following market segments: Africa due to rich wildlife and awesome tropical climate, the United States of America and tourist destination sites in Italy. Competitive Industry Analysis The travel agency industry is made of companies whose major goal and objective is to provide various booking services, tours and providing accommodations. Common services provided in this industry include but not limited to: tickets and reservations and even organizing for packaged tours and cruises. Companies are also providing travel insurance services and help in international monetary exchanges. Demand for travel services is determined by consumer incomes, airline seat availability, jet fuel price, the economic growth and technological advancements. The industry is characterized by consumers turning to online system of booking for services (Berrigan, 2018). Independent travel agencies are focusing on advanced marketing strategies to reach customers. For example, there is extensive use of websites and social media platforms to reach relevant customers from target market segments. Travel agency industry is highly competitive due to huge profits and revenue generation that is associated with the same. There is stiff market competition caused by major industry players such as American Express Global Business Travel, BCD Travel, HRG North America, Expedia, Booking Holdings, Group and Priceline Group among others (Berrigan, 2018). Despite of stiff market competition, the industry is promising in terms of revenue generation and maximization of profit making. For the last five years, travel industry has been experiencing positive growth. This is depicted by the manner in which top players have been recording positive financial growth. MARKETING PLAN 5 For example, in 2017, Expedia recorded $88 billion while a sale of Booking’s increased by 20.7% (Berrigan, 2018). Top players have positioned themselves in a unique manner in the highly competitive industry. Understanding nature of market competition is necessary for the company to develop indomitable strategies of dealing with stiff market competition and how to streamline marketing strategies (Marketing Magazine, 2010). Understanding market competition is also necessary to develop strategies of market segmentation (Kotler & Keller, 2016). SWOT Analysis SWOT analysis of the travel agency industry reveals that Woodard’s Passport Memories Travel Agency is associated with the following strengths: diversified knowledge of the employees on service delivery, the agency having bulky deals with various airlines, ability to offer services that are unique in the industry and one stop shopping experience as made possible by extensive use of the internet (Steve, 2016). Some of the weaknesses are: tough time in justifying the unique value of the services offered to them, inability to adopt new habits in the highly competitive industry, and complications in use of the internet (Steve, 2016). Available opportunities are: educating customers on the importance of vacation services, ability to embrace advanced technology in the process of educating consumers and utilizing on the available opportunities offered by the internet. Threats are: terrorism and natural disasters that affect general economy and willingness of people to travel, downturn economy that affect will of consumers to spend, stiff market competition as caused by major industry players and inability to inform customers on what the company offers. In conclusion, the travel industry is still advancing due to technological changes. A comprehensive marketing plan is necessary for Woodard’s Passport Memories Travel Agency to remain relevant in the highly competitive industry. MARKETING PLAN 6 References Berrigan, T. (2018). the Top 20 Companies that Dominate the World of Taravel Agencies? DeFoe, D. (2016). The Four Criteria for Succesful Market Segementation with an Example Target Market. Hubpages. Busines and Emloyment. Ioncica, M., Petrescu, E.-C., & Ioncica, D.-E. (2015, October). Innovations in Selling Tourism Products and Their Impact on the Efficiency of the Activity of Travel Agencies and Sustainability. International Journal of Economic Practices and Theories, 5(5). Retrieved December 2018 Kitchen, P., & Burgmann, I. (2015). Integrated marketing communications: Making it work at a strategic level. Journal of Business Strategy. 36: 34–39. doi: 10.1108/JBS-05-20140052 Kotler, P., & Keller, K. L. (2016). Marketing management [VitalSource Bookshelf version] (15th ed.). Retrieved from https://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781323591512 Marketing Magazine. (2010, January 28). Value added branding – Double A Paper [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/8j0fq74ACFI Serbanescu, L., & Necsulescu, C. (2013, October 1). Improving The Performance And Efficiency of Travel Agencies With IT Technology. Agricultural Management, 135-140 Steve, (2016). S.W.O.T. On Travel Agencies in 2016. UNIT VII STUDY GUIDE Integrated Marketing Communications Course Learning Outcomes for Unit VII Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to: 3. Compare new product development and competitive product strategies. 3.1 Explain the product strategies of a company. 6. Explore positioning, differentiation, and pricing strategies for effective marketing scenarios. 6.1 Describe the pricing strategies of a company. 7. Compare holistic, direct, personal selling, retail, and wholesale marketing concepts. 7.1 Summarize distribution techniques used by a company. 8. Examine the key aspects in managing advertising, sales, promotion, events, and public relations. 8.1 Analyze the promotional techniques used by a company. Course/Unit Learning Outcomes 3 6 6.1 7 7.1 8 8.1 Learning Activity Essay; Chapters 20 and 22 Essay; Chapters 20 and 22 Essay; Chapters 20 and 22 Essay; Chapters 20 and 22 Essay; Chapters 20 and 22 Essay; Chapters 20 and 22 Essay; Chapters 20 and 22 Reading Assignment Chapter 20: Managing Mass Communications: Advertising, Sales Promotions, Events and Experiences, and Public Relations Chapter 22: Managing Personal Communications: Direct and Database Marketing and Personal Selling Unit Lesson Promotion is defined as the communication of information between a seller or company and a potential buyer. This communication not only parlays necessary information about the product and/or service but also typically utilizes an influencing tone in order to encourage the potential buyer to purchase the product/service. The first thing that may come to your mind is the commercials we see on television. This is indeed a segment of the promotional process. The methods of promotion include personal selling, mass selling, and sales promotion. Personal selling involves the direct spoken communication between a company representative and the consumer. This is typically a face-to-face venture, but the use of technology such as Zoom, Skype, or a variety of other electronic methods could be viewed as personal selling. With this method, the salesperson has the advantage of being able to modify his or her message based upon the consumer and will also receive immediate feedback. While this is a huge advantage, this method is one of the most expensive methods as it requires the hiring and training of personnel. Salespeople tend to take on one of the three following approaches in their presentation style: MBA 5501, Advanced Marketing 1 The image depicts sale presentation approaches. Mass selling involves communicating with large numbers of potential customers simultaneously. As you can imagine, this method is particularly effective if the message to be delivered is similar for all and if the target market is geographically dispersed. Within the mass selling category, there are two methods typically used including advertising and publicity. Advertising is the paid form of marketing and typically utilizes media such as television, radio, magazines, billboards, direct mail, and the Internet. Take a look at the Heinz commercial aired during Super Bowl 2016 by clicking the link below. Wall Street Journal. (2016, February 1). Super Bowl 2016: Heinz ad [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3HqIkJ9-3w Click here for a transcript of the video. Why do you think the Heinz commercial was so effective? The National Football League (NFL) Super Bowl is one of the most coveted days in the marketing and advertising world. While this day includes a day of good football, it also represents one of the largest audiences of consumers who are all viewing the commercials at the same time. Because of this, companies produce the biggest and best commercials. They pay extremely high placement costs to the networks, and production costs are enormous. In spite of this, companies believe this is one of the best deals in the advertising world with consumers anxiously looking to see the ads and talk about it with their friends for weeks after. YouTube provides a second life for these commercial messages as well. Pu ...
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