4. Marketing Strategy
As the key ambition of Shrewsbury is to raise the numbers of tourist to their sight up to 4 million, a campaign was launched to achieve this target. This report will show the key experiences and strengths that the campaign planned will provide for visitors. The campaign will improve the surroundings of the Shrewsbury area for the better enjoyment of the Shrewsbury's visitors as well as to create a more sustainable and make Shrewsbury engaged in the region's tourism industry.
the task of this report is to simply make available the products at shrewsbury, besides that it will also show that the products and services offered are made affordable and acceptable to the tourist, customer satisfaction and interest.
The UK short break and VFR markets are growing generally. The older (45+) markets have more leisure time and are taking breaks more frequently; they are also taking breaks mid week. The Henley Centre has already identified the decline in the family market as a key trend. The increase in single parent families and single dwellers are also on the increase.
All consumers have increasing expectations in terms of quality, service and value for money but are also more time aware and now equally seeking value for time. The decision making process has also been shortened. People having less time to read weekday newspapers means we should be looking at alternative media opportunities.
Rest and relaxation – Traditionals
The main motivation is rest and relaxation. This segment will also undertake a number of other activities including sightseeing, walking, shopping, eating out, passive activities etc.
The company's product range is consumer driven, whether that consumer is an individual buyer of advertising space or a visitor seeking information. In all cases the company must continue to be responsive to both industry and visitor demands. This is particularly relevant in areas of E:commerce, printed matter and advertising and especially when looking how best to supply visitor information.
The standard of welcome and hospitality and the general standard of the product is such that it often surprises visitors and over delivers. This helps support the suggestion that the average prices could be raised. Overall the product does still need some quality improvements but these are generally in the area of service provision rather than significant physical improvements to establishments. As previously mentioned there are possible gaps in the provision of four-star serviced accommodation.
However the visitors increasing expectations in terms of service and facilities cannot be ignored neither can their willingness to complain if things are not right.
Shropshire Tourism is price sensitive and tries to be competitive in all the services it sells and in the charges it applies for information provision. However, price sensitivity does not mean selling services at a discount, indeed it should mean maximising the revenues generated by selling quality at a premium price whilst still providing value for money.
The “Place” element of the marketing mix usually applies to channels for distribution. In the case of the company this could be where we distribute our brochures, how we make visitor information available and how we undertake direct mail. It also covers how we place our services to the membership and wider industry. This will be worked up in more detail in the annual marketing plan. However it is clear that the methodology so far employed by the company has led to a competitive edge being established that needs to be maintained.
The rural nature of Shropshire and the increasing weight of green issues make sustainable tourism a county priority. This however needs to be measured against the 86% of visitors who come by private car (and by all indications will continue to do so for the foreseeable future) and the need to generate increased bed occupancy and footfall for tourism businesses.
The promotional mix covers advertising, press & PR, direct selling, exhibitions and how we use the team to undertake these activities again this will also be covered in more detail in the annual marketing plan. Adopting a cost effective use of our marketing resources and consistently aiming for low cost per response and high conversion rates has also created a competitive position for the company.
Specific marketing activities should include:
• Radio advertising (Classic FM, Magic,)
• Editorial features in Gardening magazines, weekend supplements (particularly the Telegraph and Mail)
• Weekend features in local papers in North West, East Midlands, M40 corridor
• Features in Caravanning magazines
• Postcards for direct mail (using bought mailing lists)
• Promotion of packages and reader offers to coach and tour operators including joint local press and radio advertising with operators
• As membership grows and closer links are forged with the district tourist associations and other consortia, Shropshire Tourism is well positioned to meet any competitive threat. It is also clear however that with more resource more promotional work could be done. This is particularly true in the increasingly important areas of E:marketing, new media and television.
5. Budget and Controls
6. Controls and Conclusion
Visitors to attractions
The motivation for a visit to Shropshire for this group is to visit an attraction. They may be also undertaking other activities as part of the day out. Characteristics of this group will vary widely – this will be partly influenced by the specific attraction and its appeal.
The experiences to be offered to visitors
Relaxing break offering an authentic experience that is special, yet safe. The experience would include sightseeing (market towns, scenic drives etc) local food and drink, speciality shopping, arts and crafts, visiting attractions, museums and gardens, quality cultural events, gentle walking)
Market focus (characteristics of target audience)
Traditionals represent 12.4% of the population. This market will tend to be from older age groups – typically they are aged 46-65. Most of this segment will be post family, and a significant proportion retired. They are predominantly ABC1.
They are low users of internet, yet a high proportion (over 40%) does purchase goods using the web. In general, they are likely to undertake some physical exercise, enjoy arts and culture, gardening and listening to the radio. A good night out involves classical music, opera or ballet or socialising with friends.
This market is evenly spread throughout the county and there will be significantly untapped potential within Shropshire's core catchment areas. This market has reasonable disposable income.
Marketing messages, and positioning
The key messages are of rest and relaxation, ‘Be yourself,' authentic experience, and not following the crowd.
For example, describe a short break experience: ‘Stay in a fine country house or cosy B&B, enjoy a fine meal in England's gourmet heartland, walk the ‘Blue remembered hills' or stroll along the banks of the River Severn, pick up some art or antiques, see gardens and castles... find some space to breathe, have some time for yourself.
Soft” product development
Development of specific itineraries of activities and car tours featuring things to do both in and around Shropshire. The less well-established parts of Shropshire (such as North Shropshire, Oswestry and Bridgnorth) would be important, as would certain locations beyond the Shropshire borders.
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