Marketing sales and promotion


Executive Summary

The promotional campaign on Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours is mainly purposed to create more awareness concerning the destination tours majorly targeting the Chinese markets together with the local domestic tourists. The region is well endowed with various beautiful sceneries which comprises of wild animals such as Koalas and Kangaroos, recreational facilities for surfing and mountain biking expeditions, misty waterfalls and pristine rainforests. The enterprise in line with its mission aims at achieving the following; provide quality and educational wildlife tours to the domestic and international guests, lead on Koala Conservation Days for locals which are conducted once in a month and also they engage in citizen science research conducted on wild Koalas, normally funded by the tours.  Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours will utilize a growth-strategy approach to promote its tourism activities. Additionally, the main target market will be international tourists from China and local tourists in the region. The main objective of the communication will be to create awareness to the potential customers concerning their products and services that are delivered. Great Ocean Road will form the basis competition as it also provides similar products to those of Echidna Nature Tours.  In order to realize these objectives, different forms of communication will be used comprising of both personal and non-personal forms of communication. A strategy in evaluating the promotional campaign will also be used in determining the success of the campaign. To sum up, budget will be drafted in estimating the costs to be incurred in the campaign so as to make it more successful.

Introduction

Background of the report

This study is purposely made to come up with a complete promotional campaign report to be presented to the management team of the Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours. Through the use of industry and the relevant academic literature, this report will aim at determining a suitable promotional campaign for Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours which will include the target market for the campaign, communication objectives of the promotional campaign as well as the communication channels to be used. The report will finally conclude by evaluating the promotional campaign and drawing a brief budget of the campaign.

Overview of the Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours

Echidna Walkabout is a social enterprise established in Howe Parade, Port Melbourne VIC, in Australia with a mission to preserve Australian wildlife in the wild. The enterprise was founded in 1993 (Ulrik, 2017). Since then the enterprise has been providing an exceptional wildlife experience in the diversity hotspots of Australia. The enterprise main business is to receive tourists and help them to see the natural behavior of the preserved animals. The enterprise in line with its mission aims at achieving the following; provide quality and educational wildlife tours to the domestic and international guests, lead on Koala Conservation Days for locals which are conducted once in a month and also they engage in citizen science research conducted on wild Koalas, normally funded by the tours. The enterprise supports the culture of the surrounding community as well as engaging itself into a social corporate responsibility. It is also a discrimination free zone which offers equal employment opportunities to all members of the society irrespective of race, gender, sexual preference, religion or disability. The current staff in Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours is comprised of 9 women, 6 men, and 1 LGBT person, one indigenous and 4 people who are almost over 60 years of age (Ulrik, 2017). The team is very determined with relevant skills to drive the organization towards achieving its goals as well as improving the tours and business structure. The main source of income for Echidna Walkabout is tourism. The company mostly depends on domestic tourists with a few international visitations. However, last year the enterprise recorded the highest number of international visitors ranging to 300,000 (Federico 2012, 28). Australia coast is well known for its surf beaches, beautiful hinterland, and good restaurants hence becoming a major destination for European tourists who also walk in the interior parts to see wild animals and natural features.  Recently, it has been discovered that China tourists are also visiting Australia recreational places in large numbers. Due to such a change in the tourism market, this report will propose a promotional campaign that will aim at attracting more tourists to the Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours.

Promotional Campaign Strategy

Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours will utilize a growth-strategy approach to promote its tourism activities. This strategy will, therefore, incorporate use of advertisement tool in the promotion. Use of advertisements as the promotional tool will reach and persuade visitors to come to Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours instead of going to other tourism destinations and attraction centers. Use of public media and Networking to create public awareness will reinforce the main information and create a relevant brand image of the enterprise (Baker 2014, p234). Furthermore, more emphasize on online initiatives will “bridge tourism gap.” Promotion of the tourism product has a vital role to play in boosting the number of visitations, the lump sum of money spend per trip, as well as the overall tourism revenues through attractions, experiences, and infrastructure (Berger 2013, p85). Our aim is to concentrate our resources on the best opportunity so as to succeed in attracting customers from our competitors. This can only be achieved through the creation of fully integrated programs and campaigns. Throughout our advertisement, we intend to focus on the use of social media and electronic advertisements (Men 2014, p256). The social media will play a major role in the promotion of our products through the use of our domestically run websites that will enable our potential customers to research our enterprise, reserves, and book for trips electronically. Lenhart 2007 (120) defined social networking as platforms where people with common interests come together. An example is the Facebook or Myspace (Men 2014, p267). It is easier and cheaper to advertise in social media since it does not involve location or time constraints. We shall post our beautiful sceneries, the wild animal and the design of our enterprise in a more appealing manner so as to position it in the minds of our customers.

Target market

Use of market segmentation will assist in identifying the distinct groups of consumers to target. The main aim of segmenting the tourism market will be to gain access to the homogeneous group of consumers so as to satisfy their desires, needs, and preferences in a more effective way (Federico 2012, 28). This will be more effective than dealing with the whole market as a mass marketing strategy could do. According to the recent literature review on tourism market segmentation studies, psychographic factors are the most often used to divide the tourism market followed by behavioral. Other variables used to divide the market are geographic, socioeconomic, demographic and lifestyle variables (Andaleeb 2016, p234). Generally, the tourism industry is segmented geographically into domestic and international tourism. Therefore, our main target market will be the international visitors, especially from China. We shall also target the domestic tourists who may not be aware of the existence of Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours. Demographically the tourism market is segmented depending on age, gender, occupation and marital status. According to the study conducted by (Federico 2012, p28), those factors significantly differed among Chinese tourists with the young generation dominating the market. However, we will be targeting all gender as well as the entire age. Depending on occupation we shall not have a specific group. Depending on socioeconomic classes our recreation sites are designed for different classes. The low-income earners will still enjoy our products and services despite the depth of their pockets (Andaleeb 2016, p345).

Destination marketing Organization (DMO)

The campaign will focus on the DMO strategy that strives in establishing channels that guide the tourist in particular locations in the Australian country. The fliers that the firm designs majorly focus on the beautiful scenarios that will lure the tourist to visit. The list of the major parks and hotels inclusive of the packages and discounts will be at the disposal of the tourist to make a choice. Discounts will be given in the case of bookings of many clients at once. The main aim is geared in convincing the tourist of the most enjoyable places to visit that will have some breath taking environments. (Baker 2014). The promotional campaign will target the tastes of the kind of tourism the visitors want so to define a portfolio that will fit within their budget and preferences. The DMO center forms the guidance point where tourist can log online and search for the places they want to visit in Australia and easily book online for hotels, animal parks for reservation. DMO provide sandy beaches and hotels around for couples wanting honey moon privacy and even for the VIPs.

Communication objectives

The main objective of our promotional campaign will be to create awareness to our new customers concerning our products, services, and brands. We will aim at retaining our customers as well as attracting more visitors. Another communication objective will be to inspire, educate as well as inform our prospective visitors about the diversity of experience in the Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours. Our communication will also aim at educating our customers on how to enjoy our goods and services. This will manipulate their desire to have a taste of our products.

Main Competitor

Echidna tours experience competition from different tourism sectors in the country. One of the greatest competitors is the Great Ocean Road which is located on a 243 kilometers stretching road along the South Eastern part of Australia and also situated between two cities namely Allansford and Torquay.  It also stretches by approximately 420 kilometers on the Sothern border of Australia. Great Ocean Road is one of the major tourist attraction in Australia which has beautiful coastal drives and therefore attracts thousands of both local and international tourists from countries such as China on a yearly basis (Kerr 2013, p80). The region also has attractive misty waterfalls and pristine rainforests that form part of the beautiful sceneries in the region. It also associated with various leisure activities such as bushwalking, mountain biking expeditions, and surfing. The region is also a habitat of various wild animals such as kangaroos, koalas, and emus. With such beautiful sceneries, Great Ocean Road experiences a high number of tourist visitation in the region creating high competition to the Echidna Walkabout Tours which also located in Australia.

Communication Channels

Based on this promotional campaign, Echidna tours will opt to use various forms of communication channels and this will comprise of both personal and non-personal forms of communication that will be applied during the period of the promotional campaign. Advertising is one of the forms of communication which will be enhanced mainly through social media, use of televisions, newspapers, and magazines. Additionally, the use of advertisement as a form of promotional campaign in reaching information to prospective customers about the Echidna Walkabout Nature tours will be mainly through the use of billboards and fliers that provide the pictorial view of the area. The presentations will be more appealing in order to attract more customers so as to realize high revenues (Berger 2013, p70). The best strategy to deploy to enhance personal communication will be through the creation of an online platform which operates on a 24 hours basis in ensuring that inquiries can be made by people interested at any time and providing them with the right information at the required time. The personal communication will be more flexible in ensuring that people receive the right services.

The location of the still hand painted standard billboard will be in most of the roundabout as well as road highways that will target most of those who drive since a good percentage of the citizens own vehicles. Some of the billboards will also be situated in various town centers especially in the market areas as well as near most of the shopping centers. The expected time duration in ensuring that the process of the promotional campaign is well accomplished is approximated to be six months which will commence as from 1st March 2013 to 30th August 2013. The proper advertisement will be with the aim of increasing the revenue collected from the tourism sector which is normally expected to increase during high seasons such as the December holidays especially in the sector of domestic tourism.  The placement of the billboard should also be done at Broome International Airport which is a strategic point especially for the international tourists from China alighting in the region (Berger, 2013, p74).

The advertisement will also be made through daily newspapers of the country to ensure that the information is widespread to a large number of population. The publication of such newspapers having different advertisement representing the various tourist sites and animals such as the Kangaroos found in the region provides a broad geographical view of the region, especially to the local and international tourists. Therefore advertising various geographic features and wild life in the Brisbane newspapers will provide tourists with a broader view of the Echidna nature walk tours. The publication of various recreational facilities will also create a positive impression towards the tourists and increase their desire to visit the region. In addition, the use of the digital online system in communication is cost effective and enhances personal communication among various stakeholders (Men, 2014, p267).

Campaign Evaluation

In order to make an evaluation of the promotional campaign, various factors will be put into consideration. The success of the campaign will be evaluated based on the number of visitation to the Echidna by both the local and international tourists from China who form the basis of the target market. Additionally, increased usage of the social media activities will also be used where the tourists capture various animals and geographic features by photographs and posting such photos on the social media as a way of appreciating their traveling visit to the region. The statistical data will be used to measure the increase in the number of tourists in the year 2013 as compared to the previous year 2012 in which the strategy of promotional campaign was not used in attracting more tourists. The basis in which the data will be collected will originate from the Information Centre used in recording the number of tourist visitations within the region (Federico 2012, p24). Through such comparisons based on the data provided for various years, it is, therefore, possible to determine the percentage in which the number of tourist visitation decreased or increased within the particular period of study. Based on the statistical information provided, it enables someone to determine whether the geographic location has been strategically placed with respect to the target market so as to attract more tourists. The measurement of the effective awareness of the campaign will also depend on the success of the increased number of the local domestic tourists from the region together with other international tourists from countries such as China.

The measurement of the success on the use of the online platform as a form of communication will depend on the higher number of the tourists who inquire or are directed on various issues concerning the region. When it is approximated that more than 15000 people used the platform as a way of communication in making inquiries, then it signifies that the promotional campaign was successful (Federico, 2012, p28). In addition, measurement and monitoring of the results obtained from the campaign through the use of advertising method depending on the number of billboards placed in various strategic locations as well as the number of newspapers bought by the local people with regard to the number of people visiting the region will be used in calculating return of investments used in the campaign (Baker, 2014, p56). Therefore, these form the basis of the success of the promotional campaign.

Promotional Budget Estimation

For the success of the promotional campaign, it is prudent to develop an advertising budget. The total budget estimation for the whole campaign is approximately 150,300 AUS dollars inclusive of all the advertising materials that will be used. However, being that the campaign will last for six months, the budgeted costs of operations will, therefore, be 50,000 AUS dollars. The newspapers that cover the advertisement of the region will be produced after every three weeks which will cost 150 AUS dollars per page used (Lee 2013, p1). Therefore, the total budgeted cost of producing the advertisement through the newspaper is approximated at 300 AUS dollars for the whole six months. The budgeted cost that will be incurred in the purchase of the machines required to provide an online platform for communication will be approximated to be 20,000 AUS dollars which will be inclusive of the training expenses on the employees who might require some training skills on how to manage and operate the new machines. Additionally, there will be budgeted cost of maintaining the machines at approximately 80,000 AUS dollars.

The KPI indicators

The indication for success will depend on the number of tourists that flock in the company website that materializes on the day of booking. The set standards of the guest that gives positive feedback on the treatment they received indicate either positive or negative thought shapes the operations of the tour guide. Engaging stakeholders in the industry aids in the creation of a robust cohesion of employees and the guest rapport relation that eventually translates to the booming of the business.

Conclusion

Tourism is a complex phenomenon existing in our times, is a lived experience of life by the tourist destination visitors as well as the domestic residents. Tourism relies on the communication results, intensive inter-human relationship and the collaboration between public and private sectors of the economy. Being a service, it is difficult to standardize and highly perishable hence frequent promotions are needed to keep it going. In connection to that, so as to market our enterprise we intend to use a growth-strategy approach to promote our tourism activities. The strategy will make use of advertisements as the promotional tool so as to reach and persuade visitors to come to Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours instead of going to other tourism destinations and attraction centers. Since our target market will be mainly the international visitors we have decided to use mass media and networking so as to reach more tourists from all over the world. Our main communication objective will be to create more awareness to the potential customers concerning our products and services as well as educating them. To recap, one of the main competitors to Echidna is Great Ocean Road which also attracts a large number of tourists yearly due to its beautiful sceneries. Different channels of communication will be deployed in ensuring that information reaches a large number of people and this is mainly through advertisement and personal communication through an online platform. Therefore the evaluation of the promotional campaign will be done based on the number of tourists’ visitation in the region and thus a budget estimate will be essential in approximating the cost to be incurred in the campaign.