Customer service is like a central attraction to the global business. The level of concerns varies with the range of organisational size. Every single business has its own business goals and a distinguished set of definition for customer service. Marketing is frequently viewed as the one option that can significantly influence the customer service standard of the concerned firm. There are reasons for it. It is indeed difficult or challenging also to reach to a wider customer base that is not based in the local area. It is also not feasible to physically visit those areas and introduce the product. There must be a system for it and marketing does provide the same (Pike 2015).
The central theme of this study is marketing. The theme is being understood with the help of the case study organisation which is “Holidays By Design”. The case study company is a travel agency located at Cleethorpes in Lincolnshire of the United Kingdom (Holidays By Design 2018). They are specialised in offering the systemised services to customers. A range of services that they offer is financially protected under the license ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) and ATOL (Air Travel Organisers' Licence). ABTA allows customers claiming their money back in case the company goes out of the business. ATOL provides financial protection under the government scheme (Law et al. 2015).
This study is aimed at understanding the importance of marketing in reference to the case study organisation which is a travel agency in Lincolnshire of the United Kingdom.
Explanation of the importance of marketing in contemporary business:
There are extensive uses of marketing and it is close to impossible to discuss all such benefits of doing it. It is also undeniable that marketing can never ensure a sure shot success. However, it is undeniably a very effective way to promote products or services at the level much higher than is achieved through physical visits. This is the one most essential benefit of marketing that it helps to reach to a wider audience. Following is the list of factors that establish a fact that marketing is important for contemporary businesses:
Movement of goods: There is the number of ways through which customers get their needful or desired products or services. Products are made available to customers through intermediaries between the service provider and the customers. Those intermediaries are the wholesalers, dealers and the retailers. Dealers do the market survey of a specified zone and manage the products accordingly. This is being done to meet the demands and needs of customers. The ultimate vision of this strategy is to increase the unit sales of the specific product. Dealers in return get the performance-based commission from the service provider. Wholesalers and the retailers follow the same concept to keep the stock of relevant goods (Brady 2014).
Influence on the living standard: Marketing has helped the community in recent times by serving their needs which differ from one class to another. In general, there exist three social classes like the high-income groups, middle-income groups and the low-income groups (Roux and de Jager 2016). It is a challenging for a business to fulfil the needs and demands of the diverse range of customers. Be it the local area or the new markets, the challenge remains the same in terms of customer service standard; however, variably differs in regards to the level of complexities involved in understanding the consumer behaviour in local as well as in new markets (Baker 2014). In such situation, marketing survey is a handful strategy that provides useful insights of consumer behaviour. Moreover, marketing strategies are beneficial as well when the targeted zone is being introduced to a new product or a service. It helps to manage a large scale production and offer customers the commodities at lesser prices (Solomon et al. 2014). Large-scale production does not let a service provider face the shortage issue which may give chances to other competitors to capitalise on the created opportunity. Cheaper prices of commodities do fulfil the basic needs of the lower-income group (Kotabe and Helsen 2014).
Marketing promotes employment: Marketing does help in reducing the employment challenges. It is a complex process and is never possible without a systemised planning for it. The systemised planning and the consequent implementation of the constructed plans attract a significant staff base that takes care of the range of distinguished tasks (Öztamur and Karakad?lar 2014). Hence, service providers are bound to spend money on hiring professionals especially being trained on the range of marketing activities. They may also need fresh talents which are like creating an employability solution for many who do not have the platforms to execute their talents (Öztamur and Karakad?lar 2014).
Marketing as a source of revenue: A business might be contributed from different departs like the IT and Finance; however, at the day end, it is the sales that provides the required money. A portion of the money is then utilised for paying the salaries. It is understandable that there has to be a system which goes to the market and creates opportunities for money. Marketing is that one solution which is aimed to influence the buying behaviour of customers and facilitating the required cash flow through the incremented sales (Vásquez and Escamilla 2014). When products are abundantly available to the different shopping platforms, the sale itself happens provided, that product meets with the demands & needs. However, marketing does only give a better insight of customer’s needs and demands (Vásquez and Escamilla 2014). Marketing also helps to create moments which let customers realise that the offered products are valuable (Kanagal 2015).
Discussion of the Marketing Mix:
Principles of marketing: Marketing can be referred to a process that channelizes the gaps between the service providers and the service seekers. This can sufficiently be done through marketing mix which means mixing the diverse strategies in different regards. The different regards can possibly be as follows:
Such marketing principles are deployed to get the maximum positive results through satisfying the target demographic or the market. Target demographic mean aiming the actual customer. It is totally unpractical to offer brush to older people who are left with less or probably no teeth in their mouths. Marketing principles are exactly aimed at avoiding such consequences and rather meeting the actual needs (Aghazadeh 2015). It helps to identify the needs of customers in different regards as mentioned earlier. Moreover, service providers are guided through every possible step from price range to kind of products and the place of operation.
Product: The marketing principle suggests offering the products that stand up to the expectation of customers or it meets their needs. The range of products may differ variably which depends on the nature of business (Pham and Gammoh 2015). For example, a car manufacturing company is centered only on a variety of cars whereas a soap making company to the varieties of soaps. In any such context, the features of the products must be in accordance with the needs and demands of customers. It is foolishness to offer winter clothes in summer seasons. Hence, it is quite evident that products must be chosen wisely, so that, it meets the needs of the target demographic (Pham and Gammoh 2015).
Place: This is another very useful principle which helps to identify the best marketplace to sell the products or the services. This means selecting the most suitable platform which is feasible to the target market (Hunt 2014). For example, this is of no mean to launch products or services for the online sales to a specific market area unequipped with the internet skills. This is also not advisable to target only the reputed shopping stores. Such shopping stores may not be the convenient zones for lower and middle classes. Target place also aims to find the potential customers. A product may or may not define the needs and demands of the universal people (Gillespie and Riddle 2015). Hence, this is extremely suggested that the target place must be carefully planned, so that, ample of customer’s responses could be generated (Gillespie and Riddle 2015).
Promotion: It is one of the essential elements of marketing activities. It helps to promote the products or services to the target customers. There are the different ways through which promotion can be targeted on actual demographic. The different types of promotional channels help to define the concept of marketing in a different way. Additionally, the different promotional sources help to channelize the products or services to a different segment of customers (Armstrong et al. 2014). For example, television advertisement is suitable for a place where a large number of audiences love to watch the daily soaps. On the other hand, public relation (PR) activities are suitable for businesspersons and the media personnel (Armstrong et al. 2014).
Price: Different social classes have distinguished preferences for the kind of products and the prices. The lower and the middle classes are very prone to cheaper prices whereas richer have the higher buying capabilities. In any case, the range of customers on the basis of price preferences looks for value shopping. The amount of money they spend on purchasing, they need to realise that they have been to the right place (Motohashi 2015).
Clear Explanation of the principles of marketing and the marketing mix in relation to the chosen organisation:
The chosen organisation is a travel company which is specialised in providing excellent experience through the range of packaged services. “Holidays By Design” is a trusted name in Lincolnshire. This is due to their service standard, membership to ABTA and investments in ATOL license. The chosen organisation can be extremely benefitted from the marketing principles and the marketing mix strategies in the following ways:
Product: “Holidays By Design” offers a variety of products in different locations. They need to be very specific with the kind of audience they target. The product mixing must be well constructed with appropriate pricing for it also. They also need to make a note of the popular events or the purpose of visiting a particular place. For example, tennis lovers go to London to watch their favourites in the Wimbledon championship. Hence, identification of the purpose of visit allows targeting the appropriate audience which is both fulfilling the needs of customers and also avoiding the unnecessary expenses on irrelevant people (Dzisi and Ofosu 2014).
Place: The place is to understand the needs of the target audience. This can be justified if the company is able to figure out the usual purpose of visiting a place. Therefore, there must have a clear conception of the places of selection and the reasons behind it (Katsikeas et al. 2016).
Price: They offer extensive packages meeting the variety of needs of distinguished customers. It is important that they offer the competitive prices, so that, the lower to higher income groups feel valued with the different packages. Hence, apart from being good in mixing with the packages they also require to focus on pricing in order to establish them as the best travel agency (Parente and Strausbaugh-Hutchinson 2014).
Promotion: It is a quintessential element of any business. “Holidays By Design” need to use effective promotional strategies to attract the target audience. They may certainly go with the online, and newspaper advertisements. They may also select the online advertisement which is a good way to reach to millions of audience (Makasi and Govender 2015).
Therefore, it is important for “Holidays By Design” that it gives utmost cares and thorough planning to the marketing activities. This includes adhering to the marketing principles and carefully designing the marketing mix strategies. Marketing mix strategies can be extensively helpful in offering a balanced and a competitive package to the target audience. This is indeed required to maintain the highest level of customer service. A continued improvement to customer service standard may be the key to the flourishing business of "Holidays By Design”.
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