The principles of marketing may be applied in the everyday life, and the fact, that these rules and statements are relevant not only for the business performance of the commercial organizations, but also for the assessment of the marketing performance by the average citizens, who know at least the basics of the marketing. The aim of the paper is to analyze two business organizations, which operate on a single market sphere. Thus, the research will be directed for investigating the respective marketing activities of these organizations, and various factors of marketing activity and the aspects of the economic principles, associated with the selected marketing sphere. The analysis will be performed from the perspective of the consumer’s view, and based on the principles of comfort, suitability and availability of the services for the consumers.
The outline of the marketplace and the position of the organization within the market sphere are regarded as one of the most important and basic factors of the marketing activity. Considering the necessity to analyze two companies, engaged in the tourism and travel sphere, such issues as quickness of solving the formalities, understanding the customers’ needs, cooperation with the airline companies etc. Moreover, most of the companies specialize on various regions of the world. While some companies act in Asian region, the others offer Caribbean and Latin American regions.
Thus, one of the companies “Havana Travel” was founded with the only orientation for the Cuban tourist region, and the other – “Asia Tour” offers tours to numerous East Asian countries, including several ways of having leisure time. Thus, the tourists may spend their time on a beach, they may be engaged in mountain hikes. Admirers of the Asian culture may participate in excursions, studying culture, history and cuisine of the selected country, etc. This company undertakes quick solving of visa formalities, and cooperates with several airlines, which offer first and economy class transportation.
“Havana Travel” offers only Cuban direction of trips, and is not engaged in offering trips to other countries of Latin American region. The duties of this company are not numerous, nevertheless, the main aim of the business strategy is to offer high class services, and provide the maximum comfort level for the customers. That is why these two companies may be placed in a single raw, as the amount of customers is equal.
In accordance with Lim, Acito, et.al. (2006) it should be stated that the business outline for the tourism and travel companies is essential for the representation of the set of skills and experience, which the companies have gained, and for creating the required performance levels. On the other hand, the benefits for the customers are defined not only by the business outline, but also by the quality and stability of the provided services. Thus, while “Asia Tour” offers the wide range of services, and numerous directions for the trips, “Havana Travel” company knows everything about Cuba, and offers everything, that is available in this region. Consequently, if “Asia Tour” is selected for the variety of the services, “Havana Travel” is known as the stable and reliable company.
Target Audience and Positioning
Considering the importance of the target audience aspect in the entire business outline of the companies, it should be emphasized that the tourist agencies depend on the precise selection of the target audience essentially. The fact is that, numerous people would like to travel and have a leisure time, nevertheless, all of them have various financial opportunities, various interests and various demands. Thus, it is important for both companies to orient all the possible groups, in order to serve as much customers, as possible.
As for the “Asia Tour” company, it should be emphasized that the company offers elite travel for customers with high income, tours for people with middle income, and educational tours for students. Thus, the maximum range of the customers is covered by the positioning.
Havana Travel offers mainly high class leisure and middle class trips for the people with middle income. Originally, educational tours to Cuba are not popular, as students prefer either Spain or Argentina for studying Spanish. Consequently, the positioning of the “Havana Travel” is closely linked with the high class leisure, and tropic rest in a paradise.
In accordance with Ghimire (2001, pp. 99-101), the following should be emphasized:
Positioning refers to the way your customers think and talk about you and your company when you are not there. The position that you hold in the customer’s mind determines all of his reactions and interactions with you. Your position determines whether or not your customer buys, whether he buys again and whether he refers others to you.
In the light of this statement, it should be emphasized that the original value of positioning for both companies is closely associated with the matters of awareness of the offered services within the customers of both companies. The target audience selects the services of any company basing on the advertising principles, which form the market positioning strategy.
Products and Services Offered
Originally, this aspect is one of the most important and valuable for the entire business performance, and the offered services define the target audience of the company, and, as a result its reputation and incomes. The services and the audience of “Havana Travel” and “Asia Tour” have been already discussed, thus, there is strong necessity to focus on the theoretical aspects of products and services. As it is stated in Beirman (2003, p. 45):
A firm in the market economy survives by producing goods or services that persons are willing and able to buy. Consequently, ascertaining consumer demand is vital for a firm’s future viability and even existence as a going concern. Many companies today have a customer focus (or market orientation). This implies that the company focuses its activities and products on consumer demands. Generally, there are three ways of doing this: the customer-driven approach, the sense of identifying market changes and the product innovation approach.
In the light of this statement, it should be emphasized that the positioning of the two analyzed companies is extremely precise, as the audience, which wishes to buy the offered goods and services is wider than the audience which is really able to buy it. Nevertheless, travelling as a service have a bright differentiating feature, which makes it different from other services. Some people dream of travelling, and, even if their incomes are low, they may save money for some time, consequently, even if in accordance with the marketing research some groups of people can not be potential target audience of a company, some representatives of these groups may be the potential consumers. King (2008, p. 109) claimed the following, considering this aspect of services consumprion:
In the consumer-driven approach, consumer wants are the drivers of all strategic marketing decisions. No strategy is pursued until it passes the test of consumer research. Every aspect of a market offering, including the nature of the product itself, is driven by the needs of potential consumers. The starting point is always the consumer. History attests to many products that were commercial failures in spite of being technological breakthroughs.
Consequently, the consumer-driven approach, when applied in the marketing strategy of a company appears to be very helpful, as it provides the company with an opportunity to aim not only the representatives of the target audience, but also the representatives from other groups, which are not regarded as the target audience. In general, this approach presupposes the positioning of the services as the services available for everyone. Thus, the only group which will not be aimed is the group of people who dislike travelling.
First, in order to analyze the pricing strategies of the analyzed companies, there is strong necessity to review the essentials of the pricing in general. Originally, the pricing strategy may be defined either by the period of the company’s market activity, the entire consuming trend, or the season, if the services and demands for them are subjected to seasonal variations. Thus, it should be emphasized, that the entire principle of forming the price strategy in tourism and travel agencies depends on the directions of the trips, the diversity and level of additional services, such as airplane transportation and hotel.
In accordance with the matrix of pricing strategy, it should be stated that both companies are located in the high quality sector of pricing, nevertheless, the prices may be either low or high, depending on the target audience, and the issues of product positioning. While “Asia Tour” is a young company, it resorts to the penetration strategy in general. “Havana Travel” has been serving tourists for more then thirty years, and the pricing strategy is close to premium.
Nevertheless, along with the issues of the marketing strategy, the companies should consider the environmental factors. In accordance with Rogers (2001, p. 402), the following statement should be emphasized:
Pricing must take into account the competitive and legal environment in which the company operates. From a competitive standpoint, the firm must consider the implications of its pricing on the pricing decisions of competitors. For example, setting the price too low may risk a price war that may not be in the best interest of either side. Setting the price too high may attract a large number of competitors who want to share in the profits.
Thus, pricing strategy should be based not only on the customers’ needs and opportunities, but also, also on the issues of competence. Originally, “Havana Travel” has numerous competitors, nevertheless, their positioning is a bit different, and they do not offer high class tourism to Cuba, consequently, the company stays unique within the sphere of Caribbean travelling. As for the “Asia Tour” it should be emphasized that all the companies, who work with this travelling direction, aim to offer the widest range of high quality services, consequently, “Asia Tour” needs to consider the issues of price reduction. Skimming is not acceptable by its origin, and economy is widely practiced by lots of other companies. Consequently, “Asia Tour” offers additional discounts for transportation and accommodation of the tourists. (Samli, 2003, p. 193)
In accordance with the marketing theory, the issues of communication define the efficiency of the marketing and business activity of the company, thus, defining the quality of the provided services and the satisfaction of the consumers. As for the travel and tourism sphere, the companies, which are engaged in this market, should have the properly arranged communication with the hotels, councils of the States, where the tourists are aiming to travel, cultural organizations, restaurants, airlines etc. Depending on the quality of these communication processes, the quality of the offered services varies. As Stavros, Pope, et.al. (2008, p. 135) emphasized:
Marketing communications is focused on service as opposed to corporate communications where the focus of communications work is the company itself. Marketing communications is primarily concerned with demand generation, service positioning while corporate communications deal with issue management, mergers and acquisitions, litigation etc.
Considering this statement, it should be emphasized that both companies “Havana Travel” and “Asia Tour” have their own principles of arranging the required communication with partners and suppliers, as their success in the travelling sphere is undoubted, and both have their own range of returned customers, which signifies that the quality of the provided services is high. (Sinclair, Stabler, 2004, p. 78)
The main aim of the distribution is to arrange the channel of selling the goods or services, offered by the company. The two analyzed companies have their own distributional channels, and they often resort to direct marketing, and working with the returned customers. Originally, these two companies are the followers of traditional (in some measures conservative) way of distribution. They avoid loud slogans and TV commercials, as these ways of arranging the distribution channels are not effective enough for the tourism and travel sphere. Instead, the companies resort to direct mail, and issuing of the specialized journals, dedicated to Cuba, Havana, leisure in tropical region and Asian Countries. The fact is that, these journals or brochures are posted by mail to consumers, for make them return, and use the services of the company again. All the consumers are congratulated with holydays and special events, and special offers are usually made for the holydays. (Wahab, Cooper, 2001, p. 289)
If clients wish to order a tour, it is enough just to make a call, and all the requirements and formalities will be fulfilled, as trust to consumers is one of the key components of the distribution strategy.
As for the matters of marketing strategy in everyday life, it should be emphasized that the analysis of two travel companies from the point of view of the average consumer of such companies is featured with the traditional view on the goods and services, offered by such companies. In spite of the theoretical aspects of this paper, these were finally regarded from the practical perspective, and the position of the consumers’ behavior, as well as the satisfaction of the customers. In the light of this fact, the analysis of the consumers’ behavior would be important, nevertheless, some aspects, such as communication, distribution and positioning touch upon the issues of consumers’ behavior slightly.
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