Developing a Marketing Plan

As with any business venture, your entry into international, regional and domestic markets should be well planned. A detailed marketing plan should be developed to provide a blueprint for your marketing activities.

Whether you are a small family run attraction or an international airline, the principles for a marketing plan are the same. The purpose of marketing is to match the right product to the right market, providing an optimum return on investment. It is more than just advertising.

Essentially there are four elements (the four P’s) of marketing: product, price, place and promotion. A good marketing plan incorporates a combination of these elements.

Writing a marketing plan is one of the most important steps that you can take to improve your business’s effectiveness and efficiency.

The plan will guide your marketing decisions and assist in allocating your resources.

It should incorporate:

  • Overall business objectives. What is it that your organisation wants to accomplish?
  • Assessment of the market environment. What are the factors, internally and externally, that will affect your business and servicing of identified markets?
  • Market Identification. What are the specific markets and segments that are most likely to use your product?
  • Marketing Objectives. Are the objectives for each target market measurable, achievable, time-specific, non-ambiguous and flexible?
  • Marketing Strategies. What is the best combination of the four P’s for each of your target markets?
  • The action plan. What are the actions needed to make the plan work, who will do it and when?
  • The Marketing Budget. How much do you have to spend and how will you allocate the resources? and
  • Monitoring and evaluation. How will you measure the performance of your marketing efforts?

The challenge with tourism marketing is that the principal products are experiences and hospitality. These are intangibles and much more difficult to market than tangible items such as household appliances. The consumer also needs to travel to the product in order to experience it. Your tourism marketing message should focus on the consumer experience.

For the consumer the travel experience is made up of a number of components including: transportation, accommodation, food, shopping, entertainment, touring and events. It is important to consider this when developing your marketing plan.

Many more blogs on marketing will be posted on this site, so come back soon for the latest comments, insights and suggestions.

Lorton Consulting has been actively involved in Tourism marketing for more than 30 years, providing services in market analysis, strategic marketing planning, and implementation for enterprises engaged in all sectors of tourism, and collective groups such as destination marketing organisations, departments of tourism, and national tourism offices. Contact us for professional input on your marketing planning needs.

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