This is a comprehensive report about an experience based product. The report highlights the key facets and gives a description of the idea and theme of the product. The report also highlights how the product was arrived at, clearly mentioning the stages of the product decision making process, as well as how the marketing objective will be achieved by implementing marketing strategies such as target marketing.
Besides these, the report gives an in-depth analysis of the target marketing elements, while highlighting the demographic and geographic elements which will be used to market the product, while also indicates how the product will be positioned in the market, as well as the communication strategies which will be used as a technique of sharing information with the intended customers.
Description and theme
The tourism industry is undergoing a dynamic shift where tourists and other travellers are having the urge to visit and explore vicinity’s and locations with exceptional amenities and sites for sightseeing and personal experiences. This urge has predominantly grown due to the changing needs where travellers are having the desire to customize travel based on their tastes, itineraries and needs, while also seeking new adventures and ways to improve their experience. In addition to this, diversification has also necessitated for this type of tourism, with many organizations and holiday circuits developing experience based products to enable them accommodate the growing needs of the 21st century tourist.
One of the experience based product in tourism is skydiving. It is the kind of sport that involves jumping from an aircraft usually at a higher altitude (Klimi, 2008), where the participants involved in the freefall can either be in groups or as an individual where the person jumps from a moving aircraft while on helmet, goggles and a belt tied around the waist protecting the participant against unusual manoeuvres while in the air as he/she descends towards the ground.
In this very rare yet interesting sport, tourists and various groups of travellers will have a once in a lifetime experience, where they will have a total feel in adventure based tourism. This is because they will be able to tailor their activities based on their needs, since the location will cater for skydiving equipment such as aircrafts and other safety based equipment used during the sport. On the other hand, ground staff will be available to guide the skydiving activities, as opposed to instances where inexperienced divers are allowed to skydive by themselves, hence giving a lifetime adventure to tourists with limited exposure to this sport, and with the desire to try new adventures as it is very rare.
However, while the sport seems to be rare, it is essentially important to address certain issues to enable various stakeholders make an informed decision making process. This will enable the organization to develop and produce a product that resonates with the demand in a given market. Apart from that, the decision making process will inform the organization on the resources which will be needed to effectively implement the product (McGrath, 2012), while also guide the product execution strategies based on the opportunities.
Product decision making process
The decision making process took consideration of the potential nature of the proposed product. This is because skydiving is a rare product offering that is not offered by many tourist based companies, as well in the tourism circuits. Therefore, the decision made was as a result of a market analysis that was conducted in the area, given the type of tourists that toured the region.
This process was applied by scanning the environmental variables such as potential opportunities, the type of product offering that was deemed to be rare in nature which would attract both domestic and international tourists. This led to the creation of the rare sport based tourism that is rarely offered in the region, given the trend in experience based tourism.
Recognizing the tourism product
There is need to recognize the need for a product which can suite a given market as well as attract more customers. This can only be successful after being able to recognize the need to create an appropriate product that resonates with the global trends as recorded in some global tourist circuits.
The decision that led to the creation of this sport as an experience based product was due to an existing infrastructure that could support skydiving as a sport based tourism product, compared to other tourism circuits that have no such capability. This is because similar regions such as those in Australia have similar physical characteristics, with the same attracting thousands of tourists around the globe. Therefore, these existing similarities in geographical features and climate, creates an avenue where tourists can be offered a similar sport in this region as those offered in Australia, given the same features are present in this region.
The search process
Information is crucial in any decision making process. This is because it enables various stakeholders to implement proper decisions among various opportunities. The search process was applied as it enabled the organization to compare various tourism circuits with the one to be implemented. Information search played a critical role as information helped in establishing the potential nature of the sport, given that the same occurs in Australia with the regions having similar characteristics.
In addition to this, it was important to search for information regarding skydiving, the resources and equipment needed that would support an experience based product. Therefore, the search process enabled the organization to conduct a search on possible opportunities that would be more appropriate in the region, thereby making a decision given its potential nature. In this stage, the objective and observation research methods were used to search for information. Observation research is a non verbal kind of research where a researcher does not ask for information from participants, rather information is collected based on behaviours that can be
seen or noticed (Housden & Chartered Institute of Marketing, 2007), while projective research is pegged on a motivating factor towards a given project.
Evaluating the alternatives
A number of alternatives were generated from the information that was gathered from multiple sources. This is because there was need to generate ideas in order to choose the most applicable experience based product, which seemed more adventurers and could appeal to people and tourists in this region. The alternatives generated were common in the region hence could not easily be marketed as compared to skydiving that is a rare sport and could attract more people to the organization. Apart from this, this type of sport would enable the organization to market it within the tourism circuit, since it looked more appealing compared to other product ideas which were somehow related to those already being offered in the surrounding regions.
In addition to this, this phase was critical in the decision making process. This is because the decision made regarding the product chosen seemed to be important as it would enable the organization to produce the desired product, more adventurers which would bring a lifetime experience to tourists and other groups visiting the organization within the tourism circuit.
Experience based product selection
The results of the information search established that skydiving, a sport based adventure is the most appropriate experience based product. This is because the tourism circuit and the location of the organization have immense capabilities, resources and geographical features which could help in setting up the product. Skydiving as an adventurous experience based product was selected due to its uniqueness. It is a sport based product that can easily be implemented, be able to attract thousands of tourists and people to the organization since it is rarely offered in the region. On the other hand, the scenery presented an opportunity for the organization to explore this unique, rare tourism based product which would allow various groups to have a lifetime experience.
Prior to the making a resolution to choose the product, the decisions made were evaluated based on market variables and the potential of the product, regarding sustainability and marketability. These critical elements were evaluated based on the target markets to ascertain whether the product would easily appeal to the intended markets, as well as be easily sold.
The evaluation process looked at the proposed experience based products, their marketability, potential to attract customers and sustainability given the investments which are to help in creating the product. The evaluation process also looked at the information collected through observation and assisted in making a projection on the desirable product that would have an impact in the region. This helped to make a sound judgment on the suitability of skydiving, as the major experience based product which would be appropriate to the organization and the tourism circuit.
However, the decision should also be backed with proper marketing initiatives, such as segmentation and product positioning attributes. In order to ensure that the product is successfully delivered to the customers, there is need to position the product in a given market, with segmentation and the target element playing a central role in marketing the product, since this helps to breakdown a given market into various segments, each with unique characteristics.
Segmentation is the process of grouping potential customers with similar characteristics (Hutt & Speh, 2010), while target marketing refers to a group of people or a population to which a product being designed is intended for (Lamb et al., 2012). These approaches help in implementing proper strategies that can appeal and resonate well with the markets, while on the other hand helps to create appealing messages that can be communicated to the different groups of customers.
In order to market the product to various people, the demographic and geographic elements will be considered with demographic segmentation considering aspects of age, gender and income level (Boone & Kurtz, 2015), while geographic segmentation taking into consideration the aspects of regions such as countries, states and sub-regions (Moschis, 1996).
The experience based product will target specific segments. These segments will consist of both domestic and international markets, with the domestic market including neighbouring countries while the international market consisting of countries which are miles away. On the other hand, it will also target groups of people and individuals with higher incomes who may want to have an adventure far from home.
In targeting the domestic and international market, the product will also be tailored for the locals, where the organization will develop special packages for groups and corporate organizations that may want to skydive. This will attract all sorts of people who may want to engage in something new since the sport is much rare, which will also attract a lot of interest from multiple quarters.
On the other hand, the international market will basically target international tourists and other specially arranged groups such as families. This is because the tourism circuit records a higher number of foreign tourists coming to the region as a result of the tourist attraction facilities.
In addition to the above, a product positioning strategy will also be used to market and position the product in the world map, mainly in the area of skydiving, with product positioning being a strategy that enables a product to occupy a given market segment as well as remain in the mind of consumers (Lamb & Dunne, 2011). In this, the attraction will be positioned in the world map as the leader in providing the best skydiving atmosphere and facilities in order to attract clients as well as to remain in the minds of the clients. In using this approach, the message will attract many clients as a result of the benefits that come as a result of touring the attraction site.
The other product positioning strategy will be the use of the cost leadership element. Cost leadership is a theory based on low cost where a company offers low prices to enable it compete competitively (Peng, 2014). In order to position the product as an attraction site, the managing company will subsidize costs to enable individuals, groups and visiting tourists to be able to afford visiting the attraction facility. Other than this, the facility will position itself as a high end facility that is lowly priced, as compared to other mainstream attraction sites that position themselves without going in-depth to inform the user or customer on the benefits of touring the attraction site.
Product communication activities
The marketing processes and themes will however need to be communicated to the intended consumers in the target market. Communication as a critical component in marketing involves passing information to various groups of individuals (Sims, 2002), with the main goal being to enable the parties to be able to understand the underlying information.
In the marketing process, communication remains to be an integral tool in communicating with the customers concerning a given product or service offering. However, for an effective marketing process, there is the need to use effective channels and platforms of communication in order to reach the desired market segment. Therefore, in order to communicate to the market regarding the attraction facility, there is need to use an effective platform to allow the information to penetrate the various segments.
The communication can be done through joint partnerships. In this kind of partnership, a third party such as trip advisor, which is the largest tour guide portal will be allowed to share information of the skydiving facility among users such as travellers, tourists and other interest groups searching for skydiving attraction facilities. In this approach, users will be allowed to rate the experiences about the area, where their views and comments will be used to generate traffic and attention among other attraction sites.
Apart from this, information will also be communicated via the World Wide Web, you tube and travel companies as well as agencies. This is because a majority of travellers use a combination of the above to search for information prior to planning their itineraries. The penetration of the World Wide Web has also enabled tour based companies to advertise their location through You Tube, while on the other hand gives an opportunity for travel companies and agencies to advertise their product and service offerings.
These platforms therefore provide the best avenues that can allow the organization to communicate with a market segment concerning its product offering, to enable it share information with the outside world.
The concept of skydiving has an enormous potential, with the capability of attracting thousands of visitors and travellers annually. However, this has to be handled in a professional manner to enable the facility to appeal to the intended market. In order for this to be effective, the target market elements, positioning strategies and the main communication element need to be adhered to in order to position the facility in the world map. This will ultimately result to its success and its ability to maintain its status as the best skydiving attraction site in the global arena.
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