Marketing assignment on : Service – Airport shuttle bus – NSW
Service chosen for this particular paper is airport shuttle bus service in NSW. Main intend of this paper is to present marketing plan of the chosen service. Airport shuttle bus service serves New South Wales in Australia by providing door to door service from residential area of NSW to the airport. Company is also specialized in charter bus service. It offers:
- 15 seater mini – bus
- 20 seater mini- bus
- 21 seater deluxe air-conditioned mini coach which is luxurious
- Large and fully lockable luggage clips
- Charters available 7 days a week as well as 24 hours a day
- Trained and professional drivers
- Quality assured maintenance
- Corporate tours
Additionally, it is required to identify criteria useful for the segmentation in accordance with the marketing plan. These criteria will include attitude, consumer needs, social factors, desired benefits, usage of product/service and lifestyle. There are good numbers of variables that are involved in market segmentation of customer service and describe mentioned criteria. These variables encompass following:
- Psychographic variables
- Geographic variables
- Behavioral variables
- Demographic variables
Geographic segmentation: Market is segmented into geographical unit according to nature of the business. This can be based on region, climate, population density and city size. Thus, market for airport shuttle bus service would target people living in Australia and therefore requires putting its attention on geographic requirements and wants’ variability. After segmenting market on geographic bases, company needs to localize its marketing efforts for their particular service. To make its segmentation effective, company would require conducting research on Australian Bureau Statistics to know the exact data on people living in Australia and how many people may use this service in NSW. Moreover, segment would be a four scale matrix depending upon resident and non-resident business and non-business segment (Bloom 2004).
Demographic segmentation: Demographic factors are considered to be the most critical factors in segmentation of consumer market. These factors include:
- Social class
- Family life cycle
- Family size
Needs, wants, usage of products all these also depend upon demographic variables. Hence, for segmenting the market of airport shuttle bus service in NSW, all factors mentioned above would be required. In this context, airport shuttle bus service would target both male and female passengers of every age including kids, youngsters, and old people. Apart from that, people travelling frequently by plane as per their business or office requirement would also be a concern of market segmentation for this airport shuttle bus service. From occupation point of view, students, groups, office workers, business people, tourists, etc would be the target audience for this service (Andreasen & Kotler 2003).
Psychographic segmentation: In this, segments are described based on social class, personality traits, lifestyle, etc. Psychographic segmentation variables include:
- Social class
- Self image
Segmentation for target audience would be based on people’s different lifestyles, social class and attitudes toward shuttle bus service. Since shuttle bus service in NSW offers luxurious seats and comfort, it would target both high and middle level social class people having good lifestyle. Moreover, people’s attitude towards competitors’ service would also be a part of research for segmentation.
Intentions to use shuttle bus service, awareness of service and preference for usage of service are other important factors involved in market segmentation.
Behavioral segmentation: This segmentation includes following:
- Usage rate
- Price consciousness
- User status
- Product benefits
These behavioral segmentation factors are considered to be the most favorable tools since they use variables that are closely linked to the service itself. In this framework, usage rate of airport shuttle bus service in Australia would help defining the behavioral segmentation. Moreover, benefit of this service like saving of time, hassle free journey, convenient, comfortable service and door to door service would be another part of entire segmentation. Occasions like New Year, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day are some integral part of their service when more of the people generally go for the trips (Kotler 2001).
Market research: It would demonstrate total people living in Australia and among them how many may use this airport shuttle bus service in NSW. For this, separate population clock of New South Wales would also be explored. According to Australian Bureau statistics, 22,930,572 people come under resident population of Australia (Australian Bureau of statistics 2013). Moreover, New South Wales has the uppermost count of Torres Strait islander and native people around 172,600 or approximately 32% of the total. In addition, around 7,238,819 people out of Australia’s total population reside in New South Wales (Australian Bureau of statistics 2012).
(Australian Bureau of statistics 2012)
Around 43% of Australian population may use airport shuttle bus service in NSW. The journey cost charged by this service would be between $7.00 and $12.00 for one way per bus.
Total market: There are several airport bus services available in Australia that offer good quality service to the people of Australia. There is sunshine coast, Brisbane, gold coast airport shuttle, etc that offer door to door and 24 hours service to the people (Airport shuttles Australia 2012). They have their scheduled services which assist saving time of the customers and make them feel comfortable with those services. Other than this, there is Sydney airport shuttle bus service, in which people travel in air conditioned buses driven by professional drivers and with pick and drop facility (KST Airporter Sydney 2013). Hence, it can be revealed that competition level for airport shuttle bus service in Australia is already very high as there are running good bus services in the market with good offers and charges.
Consumer profile of the target segments:
|Target segment||Family||Student||Office worker/Business people|
60 above10-2519-55GenderBoth male and femaleBoth male and femaleBoth male and femaleIncomeAbove $3600 monthlyIncome from their parentsAbove $4500 monthlyPsychographic Info Social classUpper, Upper middle, MiddleUpper, Upper middle, Middle, lower (Child are charged less as compare to adults and officer workers)Upper, Upper MiddleLifestyleParents living without their children and generally celebrate festivals with their friends and relatives and go out for travellingChildren living far from their parents, students having passion for trips and travellingOfficial and business trips, general travellingAttitudes and opinionsShuttle bus service saves their time and assure their arrival at the destination on timeStudents generally like to travel in a group. In that case, shuttle bus service provides them the opportunity to be together while travelling for the same locationBusiness people and official people save their precious time by using bus service as they become loyal to the serviceBehavioral Info Product benefitsDoor to door service, saving of time, hassle free journey, best quality service inside the busMultiple benefits to the students, Discount on fair chargesConvenient and comfortable travelling, availability of bus on exact time from the airport to the destinationOccasionsChristmas, New Year, Easter, HalloweenChristmas, School and college trips, New year, Valentine’s dayNew year, Christmas with colleagues and business partners, Celebration of holidays with family and friendsPrice consciousnessLess price sensitivePrice sensitiveness is according to the circumstancesZero price consciousness
Hence, it can be concluded that attitudes of the target audience towards airport shuttle bus service depends upon their perception, viewpoints and beliefs which they have regarding with familiar atmosphere, quality service, convenience, full services and facilities available in shuttle bus.
Marketing and distribution options:
Best option for this type of shuttle bus service is to market the business regionally. In this context, service provider should work with a graphic designer in order to construct business and rack cards. Furthermore, these promotional cards should be placed at hotels and tourist attraction & nearby airport places as well as consider a kiosk at regional airports. Moreover, ads featuring preliminary discounts should also be placed in business and general pages of Australian newspapers. Hoardings, billboards, pamphlets, etc can be used for marketing this particular service.
Apart from it, distribution channels are also used to sell the service to the customers. Distribution channel assists recognize effective sales channels that can easily make the most of both sales and profits. Therefore, company needs to know about both direct and indirect channels. Direct channels of distribution would include telephone and online sales. On the other hand, indirect channels would involve retailers like airport travelling bags and accessories shops in NSW that sell products required in plane journey. Thus, these retailers can simply distribute and market airport shuttle bus service. Right selection of distribution channel partner also includes existing relationship of the customers with those partner companies (Small business Development Corporation 2012).
Positioning strategies can be envisaged and improved in a range of different ways. It can be propelled from the product’s attributes and benefits, features of the product and service class, etc. Two developed positioning strategies include:
- Positioning based on service characteristics or customer benefits: This particular strategy basically concentrate on features and attributes of the service that can be used to target the customers. At the same time, it can be noticed that product/service can be positioned along two or more features of the service. Therefore, it is always tempting to attempt to position along various product characteristics. In case of airport shuttle bus service in NSW, characteristics of bus service would include air-conditioned bus with luxurious facilities for the people travelling. Consequently, benefits such as door to door service, 24 hours bus service and corporate tours for the office workers and business people are some positioning tactics of the shuttle bus service.
- Pricing as a positioning strategy: Sometimes, pricing is taken as one of the positioning strategies. There are several airport shuttle bus services already running in throughout Australia as well as offer multiple benefits to their customers. Like Sydney bus service to/from the airport is charging $12.60 per adult for hotel to airport and $16.20 from airport to hotel, and $10.00 per child for one way and $18.00 for return (KST 2013). The price is high in case of booking is made on the day of travel. Therefore, by lowering the price than Sydney shuttle bus service, NSW bus service may position its target market along with pricing benefits (Karadeniz 2009).
As customers travelling in the buses to the airports or returning from airports to their destinations do not consider charges much but want to avail benefits and good quality service, first positioning strategy based on customer benefits or product/service characteristics suits more this airport shuttle bus service in NSW.
Positioning implementation plan:
Positioning basically refers to how a business communicates the fundamental benefits of its service to potential customers. Therefore implementation plan of positioning include options like specific demographic, price strategy, distribution and affinity.
- For implementation of positioning plan, first select the target audience, business wants to focus
- Develop the requirement list of customer group that has been intended to meet
- Identify target segment for target audience (Benohr 2007).
- Develop business service’ benefits that differently meet those needs
- Develop an attractive positioning statement to meet the requirements
- Evaluate positioning strategy and ensure consistency
- Continuously circulate it to everything company does for its customer group (Berry 2013).
Segmentation and implementation plan:
For an effective segmentation plan, customer need should be identified first and then develop consumer profiles of resulting market segments.
Next, business should evaluate level of attractiveness of each segment and then select effective target segment. Segment should be identifiable, profitable, sizeable, durable, accessible and measurable. After identifying target market segment in accordance with marketing plan, different advantages of each segment are required to be assessed in order to develop and select best positioning concepts for particular product/service. Afterward, an efficient marketing mix is prepared for each segment according to the selected position (Allenby n.d). This complete implementation plan demonstrates segmentation, targeting and positioning plan in marketing of a business’ product or service.
Airport shuttle bus service serves New South Wales in Australia by providing door to door service from residential area of NSW to the airport. There are good numbers of variables that are involved in market segmentation of customer service and describe mentioned criteria. These variables encompass psychographic variable, geographic variables, behavioral variables, and demographic variables. These variables further include age, gender, social class, lifestyle, attitude, occupation, etc. Moreover, market research of Australia reveals that according to Australian Bureau statistics, 22,930,572 people come under resident population of Australia. In addition, around 7,238,819 people out of Australia’s total population reside in New South Wales. Around 43% of Australian population may use airport shuttle bus service in NSW. Other than this, there is sunshine coast, Brisbane, gold coast airport shuttle, etc that offer door to door and 24 hours service to the people. They have their scheduled services which assist saving time of the customers and make them feel comfortable with those services.
Furthermore, to market service of business, promotional cards should be placed at hotels and tourist attraction & nearby airport places as well as consider a kiosk at regional airports. Apart from it, distribution channels are also used to sell the service to the customers. Distribution channel assists recognize effective sales channels that can easily make the most of both sales and profits. Since customers travelling in the buses to the airports or returning from airports to their destinations do not consider charges much but want to avail benefits and good quality service, positioning strategy based on customer benefits or product/service characteristics suits more this airport shuttle bus service in NSW. Similarly, with the support of an effective segmentation, targeting and positioning implementation plan, company can raise it business to its heights.
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