Rent-A-Car is a UK’s car rental company. This company offers car on rent for business and private purposes. The company wants to create a marketing plan for its new business set up in Brisbane, Queensland. The marketing budget of the company is $500,000 Australian. The marketing plan will be made after making the current situation analysis, swot analysis, segmentation, target market analysis followed by suggesting marketing strategies, action plan, marketing budget, controls and contingencies.
The aim of the study is to brief rational for the marketing plan. That is Rent-A-Car wanted to start its business establishment in Brisbane, Queensland. Therefore the company wanted to formulate a business plan through which it can successfully enter Australian market and get the desired business returns.
The Scope of the study is to research through various concepts like Swot Analysis, Current situation analysis and various other methods to formulate a most appropriate marketing plan for the company. This way the company wants to initiate its business operation in Brisbane, Queensland by taking care of the various internal and external factors that may affect the business operation.
1.3 Company Background:
Rent-A-Car is a well-known U.K Multinational company that offers services in travelling through rented cars for personal and business use. Jack Taylor founded the company in year 1957. The company at present is operating in 370 locations throughout the United Kingdom. It is offering service to nearly 90% of the residents with availability within 10 miles. The company has its operations in seven countries in a decentralized management method. Therefore efforts are made managers at different locations as per the customer requirements and comfort with a view to achieve customer satisfaction and high returns from the business. The company has 8,200 rental offices in nearly seven countries around the world. This includes U.S.A, Canada, Ireland, Germany, France and Spain.
2.0 Current Situation Analysis:
Current situation analysis is actually the critical review of the whole business system both internal and external. This is made while the formulation of the marketing plan so that the main factors and features that may affect the business function in the later stage. The current situation analysis of Brisbane, Queensland in Australia has been done as below.
2.1 Internal Analysis:
The internal analysis of the company includes the analysis of the business operation and environment that the company has control over. This includes the mission statement, resource allocation and establishment of business relationships.
The mission statement of Rent-A-Car is to provide its customers with the best service in travelling. The motto of the company is “Take care of our customers and employees and profits will take care of themselves”. This way the company wants to achieve customer satisfaction through its business operations. For this purpose the company has been following a decentralized method of management through which the managers in different areas makes decision as per the customer requirements and demands with a motive to give more comfort and attain satisfaction for the customer.
The company has deployed its car on rents on various locations at place where it has it business operations. At present the company has its offices in 8,200 locations in seven countries. The main motive is to provide quick and comfortable transport facility to the customers through rented cars. Also the company has trained its employees including the floor operators and managers in the offices such that they are required to meet the customer requirements and satisfaction. This way a decentralized method of management is followed so that the quick decision and response can be achieved with a view to provide customers with immediate support and care during the travelling experience (McKinney, Yoon, & Zahedi, 2002).
The company has to offer the comfortable travelling experience to its customers who rent a car for personal or business purposes. The company motto is to achieve satisfaction for customers in a priority. These way efforts are made to make the travelling experience more comfortable and memorable to bring back the customer for next service.
The company has developed business relationships with the chauffers at various locations who work whole heartedly towards achievement of company goals. This way a formal pay and benefit plan along with the code of rules and regulations are required to be followed to achieve customer satisfaction and comfort during travel (Patrick, Burkhart, & Suzanne, 1993).
2.2 External Analysis:
The external analysis includes all those factors that affect the business operations and existence but are not under direct control of the management. This way these factors influence the business in many ways. The external factors includes the followings.
The technological trend has been changing in Brisbane, Queensland. In the present day, the customer has unlimited desires for getting services. Due to this reason, various other car renting companies has been offering various technological upgrades to their rented cars. Radio taxi’s consisting of Radio FM channels to entertain the customer during travel has been used as technological advancement in the rented car travelling experience. Moreover use of mobile applications for booking a car on rent has been offered by various companies so that the customers can be facilitated at a touch of a button. The presence of perfumed environment, mobile phone facility and various other features has been added to attract and impress the present day customers (Priem & Butler, 2001).
At present the world is facing economic slowdown and so is whole Australia. Since the inception of 2008, the global slowdown has affected various businesses. However the travelling to offices and various other reasons has not changed. But the trend of using taxis has been falling. This is due to the reason that the people are trying to save money by using the more economic and cost effective transport medium such as bus, tram, trains etc. This way the recent economic slowdown has adversely affected the business of renting a car.
The political and legal factors are all complied as per the Australian laws by Rent-A-Car Company. This is because the company follows highest standards that do not only comply to Australia, but also the European standards which are among the top reliable resources to ensure application of fair and legal business around the world. The political parties in Brisbane, Queensland also offer fair enough options to develop business and offer its public with the world class facilities (Samli, 1995).
The socio-cultural factors include the customer tastes, willingness, recent trends etc. The socio-cultural environment in Brisbane, Queensland is favourable for the establishment and development of renting car business. This is because of the reason that the people in these areas have to travel long distances for moving to offices. Moreover it is a regular feature of using rented car for travel for personal reasons in this area. Therefore the socio-cultural factors in this area are quite favourable.
The natural environment in the Brisbane, Queensland is favourable for the business. The downpour, sun heat and various other factors has resulted in customer trend moving towards use of rented cars to safeguard their skin from the damage from such natural activities. This way the natural environment also supports the rented car business in the region.
2.3 Market Analysis:
Market analysis is actually a method of determining the attractiveness of the business conditions in the present and estimated future. This way the market trend, competitive situation, customer needs and various other aspects that affects the business are all analysed. The market analysis for Brisbane, Queensland is done with a motive to figure out the market attractiveness in terms of business establishment.
The market trends in Brisbane, Queensland include use of spacious and attractive colours cars on rent. The customers therefore prefer to rent a more spacious car so that they have a more comfortable journey. Moreover they would like to carry their belongings in more spacious cars. Female customers prefer to select the attractive colour cars for rent.
However the present of the various other well established car renting services can prove to be a serious threat to the business which already follows the market trend and make changes as per the requirements (Young, Dermody, & Taylor, 2004).
Competitive situation analysis:
The competitive situation analysis helps in comparing the marketing policies of different companies that offer similar services. Moreover the recent trend of offering heavy discounts and aggressive advertisements are among the key competitors trends that are affecting the renting car business in the area. The rising cost of advertisement has further been seriously affecting the profitability of the business. The data related to the increasing rates for advertisements can be displayed as below.
After going through the above advertising rates we can easily observe the rising price of advertisement in Radio FM, Google, Direct mails and even web designs. This way a high level of competition where the perfect competition like condition exist in the country with number of car renting facility providers making investment in advertisements.
However Rent-A-Car has a competitive advantage of being an experienced firm with a European standard that is followed in its regular business operations. This way the company has a lot to offer in terms of quality and life time experience to its customers. Also the new fleet of cars offered on rent will attract customers to avail the service (Walumbwa, Orwa, Wang, & Lawler, 2005).
There are different customer needs related to travel in the area. People are used to travel on regular basis for business and personal reasons. Therefore offering them with a personalized rented car option can help them gain extra benefits. This way they won’t have to wait in cues, move in crowd and travel as per the schedule of bus or train. The customers’ needs of travelling in a comfortable way as per their personal availability can be offered by Rent-A-Car.
However the customer’s ability to spend has been seriously affected due to the economic slowdown therefore they are cutting their needs as per their financial status and therefore, may not avail the benefit the rented car has to offer to them (Liu & Khalifa, 2003).
3.0 Swot Analysis:
SWOT analysis initials states S for Strength, W for Weakness, O for Opportunities and T for Threats. The Swot analysis of Rent-A-Car for internal factors and Brisbane, Queensland for external factors can help in making a market plan that actually fits the requirements and help in achieving success after the business establishment.
1. Rent-A-Car has decades of experience in handling the travelling customers.
2. The company has a motto of serving customers on priority.
3. The company has its presence in 10 miles area of the customers.
4. Business operations are done on the basis of International standards.
5. The company has its presence in various countries that brings in more knowledge and market trend at various places.
1. The company uses the decentralized method of management therefore the control becomes lesser in such management conditions.
2. The company has a limited budget of $500.000 for establishing its business in Brisbane, Queensland.
3. The company faces lack of experience and information about the Australian markets.
1. The business set up in Brisbane, Queensland will result in adding more states later on.
2. The company will be able to earn more income from its business operations.
3. The brand name of the company will expand in the new region.
4. The company can learn new experience from the new client base which can be used in the further expansion process.
1. The company wants to establish its business in Brisbane, Queensland where already well established companies are offering their services.
2. The cost of advertising is already rising in the country which can result in increasing the cost of running business in the area.
3. Local businesses may add to the problems of the company establishment and business operations.
4. The customers may take time in accepting new car service and avail its benefits.
5. The competitors may start a heavy discount offer or advertising campaign that may affect the company business.
This way there exist a number of issues that the business may get affected which are stated above through the application of the SWOT analysis (Kotler & Gary, 2006).
Segmentation is method of describing, defining and distributing the data regarding the target population on various basis such as age, geographical presence, marital status, gender, psychological difference etc. There are actually five requirements that are required to be followed for effective segmentation. These include the followings.
Measurable and obtainable:
The first and foremost requirement for effective segmentation is measurable and obtainable. That is the target population should be measureable in terms of quantity such as number of male, applicants etc. Thus the target population related information should be obtainable on the basis of the research to make it an effective segmentation for the further research process.
The effective segmentation requires relevance on which the distribution of the information can be done. The relevance is actually as per se the research model. That is if the research is regarding the cosmetics of ladies than the segmentation relevancy will be through research on females of various age.
The effective segmentation requires it to be valid so that it can be checked and rechecked later on. Thus the validity feature in segmentation makes it more credible and dependable for the future research process.
The effective segmentation requires the identification of its uniqueness. That is the basis of the segmentation should be easily defining the difference. The unique difference can be between male and female, young and old and on various other basis. These basis are unique as they are easy to define and identify on the basis of the various segmentation features.
The effective segmentation should be feasible. That is it should not surpass the research budget and hence meets all the requirements related to data input while remaining expenditures under control.
The market segmentation in our case study of Rent-A-Car is required for the population of Brisbane, Queensland. This way the market segmentation is required to be done on the following basis.
- Number of males/females using rented cars regularly.
- Male/female using rented cars for business/private purpose.
- Frequency of applying rented cars.
- Number of students in male/female using rented cars. Etc.
(Kaiser, Hogan, & Craig, 2008)
5.0 Target market:
Target market refers to the concentration on a definite market section or area which is under research. Market segmentation actually refers to the division of one market into different sections on various basis. Target markets takes into consideration either of the market segment that has already be segmented by market segmentation process. Thus target market is the part of the whole market segmentation process in which the target customers are concentrated after making its distinction from other customers. This can be depicted as below.
The target market that we need to concentrate includes the number of male/females using rented cars for business or private purpose. This way we can go through the identification of potential customers, along with their needs, wants, behaviour, attitude, loyalty and purchasing pattern (Jayachandran, 2004). This can be discussed as follows.
1. The identification of the potential customers can be made by identifying the needs of the people. That is the business person, employees who have to reach their offices and uses private or public source for transport can be identified as target customers for Rent-A-Car.
2. The wants of people who use private cars for personal reasons of travelling can be identified as the target customers who wants facilitates accordingly.
3. The behaviour of people in using the travelling facility can help in recognizing the potential customers for Rent-A-Car.
4. The attitude of those people who use private travelling means for saving time and more comfort can be identified as the target customers for Rent-A-Car.
5. The customers already using the rent car services can also become the target of the Rent-A-Car company. Therefore the company can advertise or issue special discounts and offers for daily travellers to break the customer loyalty from those companies and grasp their loyalty towards them.
6. After careful go through of the purchasing patterns the target can be made on those customers who regularly use the travelling service of rented cars.
(Hamiliton & Cynthia, 2005)
The positioning stands for thinking and deciding on the strategy so that the maximum number of potential customers can be attracted and the company gets huge business possibilities. Therefore it is methods of communicating the most essential and varied features of the products and services that are offered to the potential customers. The positioning strategy used for Rent-A-Car Company is selected from the following available strategies.
The advertising through radio, television and hoardings is the first priority for positioning strategy. These advertising campaigns can help in making the brand name of Rent-A-Car popular among the masses. The advertisement of the company brand name in the famous game or popular shows can help in reaching out to the potential customers. The list of rates of prices of advertisements through various mediums has been displayed in above stated figure 1.
Various promotion strategies such as heavy discounts for regular travellers, gift coupons and schemes to promote business can be used by Rent-A-Car service so that the brand name and brand image can be created in the minds of the customers.
The healthy public relations through quick response and proactive results in bringing desired outcome to the company and comfortable service experience to the customer.
This way a good brand image can be created by using the above stated three methods of positioning which could help in the long run to attract customers and achieve customer loyalty (Goldstein, 2007).
The marketing objective for the short term that is in next twelve months is expected to be achieved as follows.
- To create a brand image in the minds of the customers.
- To attract potential customers using the various schemes and promotional ideas.
- To achieve sales growth on month on month basis.
- To achieve customer satisfaction and cordial relations.
- To offer value for money for the customers.
- To bring in faith and loyalty towards company.
- To foster needs of various customers in Brisbane, Queensland region.
- To understand the needs of the customer and meet their demands accordingly.
These way efforts are made to achieve the SMART objectives whose initials stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time bound. Thus the various goals that can be achieved are as follows.
- To achieve targets goals of sales.
- To increase and improve sales month on month basis.
- Market share:
- To achieve high market share.
- To attract potential customers.
- Brand awareness:
- To make the brand name well known to the customers.
- To offer value for money for the services offered by the company.
- To maintain a definite quality standards.
- Customer segments:
- To attract customers from markets who use travelling service for both personal and business reasons.
- To increase the customer base by adding schemes for various other types of customer segments.
- To achieve customer loyalty so that the rising competitive can be dealt with.
- To increase schemes and promotional programs for customers so that the customers can be made satisfied with the company services.
8.0 Marketing strategies:
The various objectives for marketing strategies are used to overcome the key issues that are identified in SWOT analysis.
1. To increase strength of the company by following a certain level of standards those are actually followed in the European countries.
2. To deal with the weakness of dealing with the employees working on decentralized method by attaining centralization up to some levels.
3. To take the benefit of the available opportunities by increasing ability to foster the needs of the customers of different segments rather than just concentrating on one target market.
4. To overtake threats due to competition by making efforts to achieve customer loyalty through schemes and value addition programs.
The product range that Rent-A-Car has to offer is the car renting service to the people in the Brisbane, Queensland area. This includes giving quality service that attains high comfort for the customers. The product of car renting service will come with the following method.
- The customer will be able to book online.
- Quick and efficient response to the customer query for availability will be given.
- The cars will be well-furnished, clean and perfumed.
- Easy to recall numbers will be made available for customer booking for the product related service.
This way the augmented feature to the company product that is rented car will be its easy availability with varied features like cleanliness and well furnished interior.
The price will be charged on renting service on per miles basis. That will be around $20 per miles. However the minimum amount of $50 will be charged from the customer for providing renting service irrespective of the miles covered. However an extra discount of 10% will be given to the regular travellers who will issued with the identity cards for availing special discounts. This will help in enhancing customer loyalty. Also the price per mile will be declined by 10% so that the customer gets the most cost effective rates of travelling. This pricing theory is called Skimming pricing. Thus the regular customer who has to travel long distances will not have to pay for delivery fees and extra charges that waves away with discounts and schemes (Gadot, 2007).
The promotion of the rented cars will be done using television, radio FM and print media like newspaper and magazines. The timing for reaching the customer will be only weekly basis by making promotional activity on every Sunday as this is one day when most of the people like to stay at home. The objective of this promotional method is to reach out to the maximum target audiences. The person who carries out this promotional service will be the models that will participate in the advertising campaigns (Corta, 1993).
The place of initiating the business process is Brisbane, Queensland. The service will be carried out for both business and personal use travel by the customers. The steps followed will be as follows.
- Customer makes contact.
- Customer contact details are saved.
- Driver is contacted.
- Customer gets the service.
9.0 Action Plan:
The action plan is to offer the customers with the high quality service by following the below stated steps.
Step 1: Advertising the product and make initiation in creating brand name.
Step 2: Offering huge schemes and discounts to attract the potential customers.
Step 3: Making loyalty cards for regular customers.
Step 4: Offering quality service at competitive price.
Step 5: Achieving high sales through increase in customer base on monthly basis.
(Bartram & Casimir, 2007)
10.0 Marketing Budget:
The breakdown of all marketing costs involved can be stated as below.
Amount spent in dollars Australian.
Advertising on Magazines
3575 (on quarter page)
Advertising on Radio
250 (on 100 ads.)
Advertising on web design cost on interactive website
2000 direct mails (printing, paper, postage)
U on Sunday
11,704 (full page)
Reserved amount for other advertisings
11.0 Controls and Contingencies:
The boundaries and benchmark will be to foster need of at least 500 customers on monthly basis which is expected to increase at 20% every month. The success of marketing activities can be monitored by the increasing number of customer calls for queries and booking for car renting. If the calls does not increase overtime than it is easily depictable that the marketing activity has not worked well. Thus the marketing activity will be quickly removed and new plans will be developed.
In the end, the marketing plan that has been created for Rent-A-Car follows current situational analysis and Swot analysis. The STP plan helps in in-depth analysis of the market situation in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The marketing strategies therefore developed along with the marketing budget helps in identifying controls and contingencies. Thus the Rent-A-Car company needs to follow the marketing plan that has been suggested above to achieve high gains for the company in the new market.
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