The bare bones
Set out below are the ‘bare bones’ of what marketing is all about. Study the information carefully.
- Marketing is the process through which organisations make sure that customers get the right products at prices they can afford.
- Marketing involves developing new products and responding to trends and new technologies.
- Marketing involves understanding the market, including what competitors are doing.
- Marketing involves a range of activities to promote the products of the organisation to customers.
- Market research involves finding out about the needs of customers and the products they are prepared to buy using surveys and other tools.
- Target marketing is about promoting certain products to a particular group of customers. These are known as market segments.
- A market is often divided up, or segmented, by age, gender, social group, lifestyle or ethnicity.
- The marketing mix is a way of breaking down the marketing process into four key areas which are: product, place, price and promotion. So successful marketing involves: providing a product that customers want, making sure that customers know where to buy the product, charging a sensible price and promoting the product effectively.
- A product can be a physical thing, such as a meal, sportswear or something which is intangible (cannot be touched) such as holiday or a flight. In other words, a product could be an experience.
- The product features refer to the things which make the product recognisable to customers. For example, the product features of a package holiday include a flight and a stay in a hotel with food, drink and leisure facilities.
- The brand name is not only the name of the organisation but helps customers recognise the product and what its features are. Examples include: Alton Towers, Madame Tussauds, Legoland, easyJet.
- Many organisations combine their brand name with a logo, which is a symbol which helps customers to recognise a particular organisation.
- The product mix is the range of products offered by the same organisation. For example, a large tour operator, such as Thomas Cook, will offer all-inclusive holidays, self-catering holidays, coach tours, etc.
- Price is important because tourism organisations want to be able to sell their products for a profit. However, the price charged for a product can be changed according to a number of factors. Tourism organisations use strategies such as peak and off-peak pricing, group and special discounts, special offers and loyalty schemes as well as other methods to ensure that customers are interested in buying the product.
- Place works differently in tourism to the way it works in other industries. There may be hundreds of Lidl stores or John Lewis stores around the country, but Thorpe Park is only in one place! Therefore, it is vital that customers know the location of the organisation, how to get there, where to park, how much will it cost to get there, etc.
- Promotion involves informing customers about the products of the organisation and persuading them to buy the products. It is important to understand the difference between promotional techniques and promotional materials.
- Promotional techniques are the methods used to promote products and include: advertising, direct marketing (to known people), sponsorship, displays, trade shows and sales promotions.
- Promotional materials are the medium through which products are promoted, usually through advertising. The choice of medium includes radio and TV advertising, newspapers and magazines and increasingly, the internet. Organisations will also produce brochures and leaflets to promote their products.
- Sales promotions are widely used by tourism organisations. Sales promotions are short-term marketing activities designed to encourage interest in a product, perhaps for example at off-peak times. Sales promotions include: free gifts, money-off vouchers, discount codes, price reductions and loyalty schemes.
- Websites have become one of the main methods used by tourism organisations to promote their products. Websites can be built to look attractive, provide all the information a customer requires, can be updated easily and most websites provide an option to buy the product online.