Thriving in a dynamic and competitive business environment calls for the implementation of rigorous marketing strategies. Communications mix is a set of methods that a company uses to inform their customers about their products. The use of the appropriate tools to exchange information positively affects the number of sales that organizations can manage within a given period. Flydubai uses different communication methods to reach its customers. The methods include personal sales, online advertising, social media, sales promotions, exhibitions and events, television advertising, and public relations activities. This essay examines the suitability of Flydubai’s marketing mix to its target markets with a view to recommending various strategies that can be executed to ensure sustained profitability.
FlyDubai Current Communications Mix
Personal sales is a marketing communication strategy that salespeople employ to show a customer that a given product or service is tailored to their needs (Hollensen 2015). Personal sales are usually conducted via face to face communication or via phone calls. When doing the personal selling, a sales representative normally asks questions to the customer, inquires about their concerns and addresses them, initiates the conducting of the sale and follows up afterward for any positive feedback or protests the customer might have (Johnston & Marshall 2016). Personal sales for Flydubai are conducted mainly at their travel shops that are located in various cities in their regions of operation. There are satellite maps on their website that helps customers to locate the travel shops near them.
Online advertising is the use of the internet to promote the organization’s products and services. The advantages inherent in the use of online advertising include interactive communication with customers that allows for feedback, reduction in the cost of advertising, exposure to a wider customer base, and the ability to capture the audience’s attention through the use of videos and animated illustrations (Chen & Stallaert 2014). Flydubai mainly conducts online advertising through its website. The online content includes ticket information, flight schedule, promotions and additional services offered while on board their planes.
The advancement in technology has seen a rapid growth of social networking sites, and big companies have taken advantage of that growth by using the social sites as tools for marketing communication. Social sites offer a broad network of customers and audience that are usually targeted by sales promotion campaigns. Flydubai has accounts on major social sites such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn. These sites are used by the company to promote their products and communicate with their customers. Their YouTube channel is used to showcase their promotional videos.
Sales promotions are techniques used by organizations to lure customers into purchasing their products. The promotions are usually put on offer for a given period of time because they are normally aimed at achieving certain organizational goals (Armstrong et al. 2015). The objective could be to increase sales of a particular product or to introduce a new product into the market (Armstrong et al. 2015). Flydubai uses sale promotion techniques such as reward points, and price reduction offers for certain groups of customers. Examples of its price offer include discounts for customers with Ararat Bank and Samba Bank Credit cards (Flydubai 2017).
Exhibitions and Events
These are programs that are organized by organizations to showcase their products to other businesses and the general public. These events can be used by organizations to create awareness about their services or to introduce new products into the market. Flydubai recently participated in its fifth Dubai Airshow where it presented its new Boeing 737 MAX 8 (Flydubai 2017). Another exhibition event attended by the company was the Arabian Travel Market exhibition in 2016.
This is the most popular marketing communication medium employed by organizations. It is effective because it reaches a large number of audiences at the same time especially when done during prime television times. Local and overseas television networks are used by Flydubai to promote its services.
Public relations activities are used by organizations to create an affinity between them and their customers in an effort to get them to use their products. This can be done through newsletters, print media, electronic media and online means (Armstrong et al. 2015). The public relations activities used by Flydubai to promote its service services include a press kit that contains fact sheets about the company, video clips shared on their website via YouTube, a newsroom where it shares its current updates to services and products and newsletters that provide customers with company information from time to time.
The normal target customers for airline companies include business people, tourists, and those who travel for urgent reasons like a sickness. These customers are targeted from various markets based on some market segmentation techniques. The techniques used in market segmentation include geographic, behavioral, psychographic, and demographic (Baker 2014). On the geographic basis, markets are segmented according to the regions from which the customers originate. On this basis, Flydubai has markets in Africa, Middle East, Central Asia, Indian Subcontinent, and Europe.
The behavioral segmentation identifies markets according to the customer’s patterns of using a product and their loyalty to the brand of an organization (Baker 2014). Based on this strategy, Flydubai targets tourists, urgent travelers, business travelers, and special-occasion travelers like those traveling for honeymoons. Customers are also grouped on this strategy based on their ability to afford flight tickets as that will determine the frequency with which a customer uses the airline.
The psychographic technique groups markets depending on the psychological traits of the customers. This technique categorizes customers according to lifestyle, attitude, and personality. Based on this technique, the company has economy class and business class flights for various customer targets.
Demographically, markets are segmented according to the population characteristics of the customers. The demographic traits used to segment markets include age, gender, and marital status (Baker 2014). Flydubai has markets among the middle-aged to old customers from their market regions. Their economy class flights target the low and middle class while the business class targets the middle class and the high-class individuals in the society.
Recommendations for a New and Improved Communication Mix
From the analysis, it is clear that FlyDubai has an elaborate communication mix that has allowed it to become one of the world’s fastest growing airline companies. However, there are certain improvements that could still be implemented to ensure the company gains a larger market share than it has currently. One of the marketing communication strategies it can apply is the use of interactive marketing. Interactive marketing involves a set of online activities that are aimed at directly engaging customers in order to get them to purchase the products offered by an organization (Chen & Stallaert 2014). Examples of interactive marketing involve communication through text messages and emails. Although the company runs social media and website advertisements, it has no established interactive communication tools that it uses to promote its activities to the customers. The use of direct and interactive marketing would allow the organization to send customer-tailored information and ensure it offers them better services.
Another recommendation to improve the communication matrix for Flydubai is to use direct marketing. Direct marketing is the process of reaching out directly to the customers without having to go through mediums of marketing (Baker 2014). Communication tools that can be used for direct marketing include mail and mobile phones. Direct communication has certain advantages that include convenience to customers as they do not need to stand in queues or be affected by traffic at the point of sales, it offers immediate shopping experience making the process faster, and helps in building positive customer relationships due to the dedication to communicating directly with the clients (Baker 2014). Flydubai could use this strategy to increase the sale of its flight tickets mainly to locals. This would help them beat the competition as they will be providing personalized customer services thereby helping in building their brand reputation among customers.
Publicity is another communication tool that can be used to improve Flydubai’s communication matrix. Publicity can mainly be integrated into the public relations activities to help popularize the organization with a view to increasing portraying a positive image of the organization that will help attract new customers and retains the current ones (Baker 2014). Running stories that are favorable to the company ensures that it gains the interest of journalists and they can report about the benefits of an organization’s services and convince customers that they are the best in the industry. Unlike advertisements that are bought, publicity is only gained through the running of stories that favor the company (Baker 2014). Flydubai could embark on promotional campaigns or hire the services of marketing firms that can help in increasing the awareness of its brand among the customers. Good publicity campaigns can result in the expansion of the airline to territories in which it does not operate such as the Latin America and North America.
Another method that Flydubai could use to improve its marketing communication is through sponsorship of events. The most events sponsored by the company are currently in Dubai and other Middle East nations. The company can increase awareness of its brand by sponsoring international events. Such sponsorships would ensure that the company connects with its customers that are loyal. Apart from the interaction with its loyal customers, the events also present an opportunity for the company to convince new customers to use its brand. If the company combines these recommendations with its already-established marketing communication tools, it will not only gain new customers but will also improve its relationship with its current customers.
12-Month Communications Mix Implementation Plan
Objectives of the Plan
The implementation communications mix is scheduled to start in the 2018/2019 business year on 1st June 2018. The plan has been prepared with the following objectives in mind:
- To ensure efficient and objective-driven product promotion.
- To use effective communication tools for maximum awareness of our products
- To provide stakeholders with timely and clear information about the activities of the company.
- To make sure our audiences are aware of the key dates for activities during the next business year.
- To ensure there is transparency in the activities of the company so as to strengthen our customer’s trust on our services
- The target audience for this communication plan is our stakeholders and all our internal staff.
- All our business partners and suppliers
- All third parties affected by our business operations
- The company will engage in meaningful and productive product promotion campaigns that will help increase our market share
- The company remains committed to offering the best service services to its customers through transparent and efficient manner
- The company remain fully focused on ensuring the welfare of the employees so that they can continue offering quality services to our customers
- We will continue to review our services with the help customer and other stakeholder groups to ensure we live up to their expectations
The table below represents the key dates for the company during the upcoming year
|1stJune 2018||Review of the previous year’s promotion campaigns||Marketing department|
|3rdJuly 2018||Marketing department meeting on new promotional events||Marketing department|
|4thDecember 2018||Release of annual financial||Finance department|
|1stFebruary 2019||Annual general meeting||Stakeholders|
The communication tools that will be used to promote our products and services will include:
- Print options
Leaflets, flyers, company brochures, daily newspapers, periodic magazines, and posters
- Electronic options
Television adverts, radio adverts, electronic posters, e-mails, text messages.
- Internet options
- Social media (Facebook adverts, YouTube videos, and Instagram photos and videos).
- Internet advertising
- Oral options
Publicity campaigns, television interviews, radio interviews, personal sales.
Exhibitions and events, trade fares, sponsorship activities.
The success of the communication strategy will be evaluated using the following criteria:
- The number of visits to the company website
- Number of brochures, leaflets, and flyers prepared and handed out
- The number of views of our social media videos
- The number of followers on our social media platforms
- Number of publicity campaigns held during the year
- Number of successful TV, Radio and website adverts
- Amount and nature of feedback from our interactive sites
- The number of events attended and/or organized by the company
Armstrong, G, Kotler, P, Harker, M & Brennan, R 2015, Marketing: an introduction, Pearson Education, London.
Baker, M 2014, Marketing strategy and management, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK.
Chen, J & Stallaert, J 2014, ‘An economic analysis of online advertising using behavioural targeting’, Mis Quarterly, vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 429-449.
Flydubai, 2017, Flydubai, Web.
Hollensen, S 2015, Marketing management: a relationship approach, Pearson Education, London.
Johnston, M & Marshall, G 2016, Sales force management: leadership, innovation, technology, Routledge, Abingdon, UK.