The marketing is the group of activities to carry out different operation related to promotion, selling and building good relationship after pre and post sales of product. Marketing is the process which is utilised to provide information to the prospective customers for the company. Marketing includes identification of different needs of the customer and and analysing market behaviour. Marketing is engaged in developing strategies to gain the customer attractions and provide them satisfactory services and products according to their needs (Buhalis and Foerste, 2015). Different marketing and promotional schemes helps in building a brand image about the company perception and vision in the customer mind. Marketing plays very important role in development of the industry.
The growth of the tourism industry is majorly involved in marketing strategies. The tourism industry is totally based on attracting the customers towards the services and the visitor attractions provided by the company. The unique marketing approach adopted by particular business organisation helps in gaining competitive advantage from other competitor. Thomas is continuously engaged in the promotional activities that provide information and helps in attracting new customers towards the company services. Thomas cook is tourism company who deals with the tourist client to attain profitability from their repetitive buying behaviour.
In this report the various approaches implemented by the Thomas cook organisation is studied to attract people towards their services. Different type of market mix strategies and promotional approaches are implemented by the Thomas cook to attain competitive advantage in the market.
P 1.1 Concept of marketing in travel and tourism sector
The UK economy is facing huge financial crisis in 20007-2008. After the recovering from the crisis of 2008 the economy grows and the people is having good income and big budget to spend. After the crisis the people are being engaged in the tourism industry this provides tourism company a great growth opportunity from the crisis (Ashworth and Goodall, 2012). The people are involved in spending leisure time in terms of utilising various services of the tourism industry like small vaccination nearby beaches and holiday packages for foreign tours. All these behaviour of the clients of tourism industry enhance the business of travel and tourism to the large extent. The core concept of marketing is to (1) develop marketing needs and wants than (2) analysing the product and (3) providing value to money spend to customers and the satisfaction of tourist and (4) establish a transactions and the relationship with the market and (5) influence the market needs with their strategies and product services. The needs of the customer can be basic needs, safety needs, love/belonging needs, esteemed needs and self actualisation needs that can be accomplished by involving in the tourist activities. This can be utilised by the tourist companies like Thomas cook to grab opportunity to attract the customers depending upon needs.
The Thomas cook is the travel industry established by the Thomas travel group (1965). Thomas cook is the brand of customers which is continuously engaged in building strong relationship with the customers. Thomas cook develop their approaches with the changing needs of growing market (Crooks and et. al., 2011). The growing market shows the customer behaviour more emphasizing on the luxury services and the value of quality time provided by the various tourism company like Thomas cook. Marketing involves the assessment of needs and expectation of the tourist with selected tourist destination in the package and the total travel product provided by the company leads to enhanced satisfaction of the customers of Thomas cook.
Thomas cook organises various marketing campaign to spread awareness about the quality services and the product provided by the company to their customers. Thomas cook follows the segmentation, targeting and positioning approach to analyses various needs of market and how to concur these needs through their services. Thomas cook divides their prospective customer according to their needs, desires and expectation and then target the segmented market through different positioning approach and built brand image ton attain business customer attraction. Thomas cook has a vision that higher is the satisfaction and better experience of the customer higher will be the profitably through repetitive purchase of customers. This helps the company to build loyal customers towards organisation products and services. The core concept of the marketing defines providing the satisfactory product to the clients and maintenance a relation of trust with between the company client and the employee.
The market research is the important step involved in building strong market base analyses market behaviour. As the field research involved in studying the changing market needs and the informing the prospective customer about the services and changing them in the present and loyal customer for the organisation (Dasgupta, 2011). The Thomas cook develop their holiday packages according to the expectations of customers. The company is having different packages on the basis of capabilities and preferences of the customers. Different type of couple packages emphasis on the needs of the newly wed couple and ensuring them to spend quality time with their loved ones and the selection of destination according the requirement of the couple. While the business is also involved ion developing the holiday packages on the different price ranges concurring the capability of various student tourist, business tourist and higher class tourist. These all packages are differentiated on the total travel product involved in particular price range package of Thomas cook. The 2017 holiday package involves visit of 7 days in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. This 2017 holiday package of Thomas cook provide a total travel product including boarding and lodging facility from airport to the doping back home and the breakfast, lunch and dinner services along with guide to avail all services provided required in travelling these three palaces. The concept of marketing defines the various strategy implementation to carry out the promotional and sales activities of the Thomas cook company fro development of the successful business.
P 1.2 Impact of marketing environment on travel and tourism industry
Market is the place where all buyers an seller communicate with each other no matter physically or electronically. The market over the medium of internet is called as virtual market. The customers interact with sellers in order to make inter transaction of goods and money between each other (Evans, N., Stonehouse and Campbell, 2012). The market shows different changes on the basis of products provided by the different business, taste and preferences of customers, various economical, social and political factors.
The Thomas cook is global company which interact with various clients from different parts of the world. All people are having own taste and preferences influenced by their socio-cultural environment and the different travelling habits. The customer are segmented on the basis of different travel requirements. Managing such a huge variety of customer needs is a tough task. So there should be development of unique and appropriate approach to satisfy the customer and gain customer loyalty through satisfactory services of the Thomas cook. Thomas travel group is engaged in various inbound and outbound travel services to serve the customer world wide. The managing quality of inbound services and outbound services of the company is the major task that has to be focused (Garín-Muñoz and Pérez-Amaral, 2011). Effective management of different services like arrangement of flight tickets, accommodation and transportation arrangement for the host country tourism and also for the other country target destination to entertain customers and taking care of their expectation from the trips. The economical, social, political and cultural factors are the extrinsic aspects of travel and tourism and can not be regulated by the tourism companies. Regulation of these factors include make preventive measures to decrease the effect of political, environmental issues in the marketing strategy of the company.
The market environment of particular services influence the strategies of the companies to the large extent. As the services are intangible in nature and the experience of the customer can not be quantitatively analysed so it requires proper management of effective delivery of services depending on the prospective consumer expectations. Thomas group counter the niche markets differentiated on the basis of different needs and preferences of customer need and dynamic needs of market. This resulting in building a strong and loyal relation with their present customers. Market behaviours is influenced by variety of internal and external factors some of which can be regulated by the company some can not be. The effect of these factors are described below.
Macro environment comprises the external factors that can not be maintained by the operations of the company (Gertner, 2011). But effect of these factors can be reduced by the implementation of proper approaches top concur problems related to social, economical and political factors. Thomas cook organisation regularly analysis affect of external factor on changing scenario of present market and implement different strategies to concur various issues related to political and economical problems.
Micro environment constitutes the aspects that affects market behaviour directly and these factors influence the working of companies directly. The different leadership style and management approaches formulated in the organisation culture defines the mission and vision statement of the organisation. Hence influencing the operations of the business of Thomas cook directly. This results in changed outlook of company towards changing market scenario. These are the intrinsic factors that affects the travel and tourism companies like Thomas cook directly. But the affects of these factors can be regulated by the motivating workforce and better management team for tasks and the services of the company provided to the visitors.
Market environment constitutions the suppliers, customers and competitors of the Thomas cook business firm. The market environment is influenced by the negotiation behaviour of suppliers and the customers and this also affected by the development of various pricing strategies by competitors to agreeing the customer to switch their brand loyalty. So, Thomas cook is providing best holiday packages at best prices to gain competitive advantages in the dynamic market.
P 1.3 Factors affecting customer motivation in tourism industry
Every company execute various marketing strategies to build a large customer base for utilisation of their products and services. The customers are involved in repetitive purchase from the past experience with their company and work as reward system for probability of the Thomas cook continuously. The companies are regulars modify their serviettes and product quality to motivate tourist to be engaged in these services (Goeldner and Ritchie, 2012). The motivation factors that influence the customer purchasing behaviour of services provided by the tourism industries involve:
Attitude of the tourist: attitude of the customer defines his belief and behaviour towards the particular product and services of brand depending upon past experience and the future intentions to buy. The attitude of the customer largely influence the level of customer loyalty of the the Thomas cook organisation. So, the positive attitudes and the past experience can be the motivation for the consumer to be involved in repetitive purchase of the Thomas cook services. This is the intrinsic motivation of the tourist that leads to the travel motivation.
Perception of the tourist: This is the early assumption of the person toward the particular brand and this defines the expectation of the customer from the products and services. The perception of the tourist is intrinsic forces of the motivation that is defined by the nature and the mindset of the individual. This intrinsic factor is effected by external environment also and change in perception may be positive or negative fro the motivation level of the traveller fro particular tourist attraction. The perception of customer of Thomas cook can influence the profitability of the organisation as it is linked with the expectation and the satisfaction of the customer from services.
Place of origin: the place of origin influence the behaviour of travel habits of the consumer (Goodall and Ashworth, 2013). The tourist belongs to the different places where they show various behaviour towards the life and the travelling habits. This affects the tourism sector growth largely. The American women and families prefer more travelling as compared to another.
Extrinsic motivation: Income, money, expenditure and other economical, political and environment factors also contribute in the motivation level of the customer. The Thomas develop various offers and sales to access the advantage customer who is having less financial reserves in budget for spending on tourism other factors like climatic factor also influence the preferences and interest of customer regarding selection of destination and duration of the tour. This all factors are well utilised by Thomas cook company in various holiday packages development.
The family size and age: Family size influence the expenses and the savings from the salary. Nuclear family is having less expenses so they can budget a trip easy as compared to the large families. The small families are less influenced by other relatives and their working so they independently plan out a weekend trip. But the larger family believe in unity and being involved in making trip with whole family which requires high budget and long planning for making travel arrangements (Hahm and Wang, 2011). The age of the tourist also influence the selection of holiday package provided by the
Thomas cook on the basis of prices. The age also impact on the selection of destination. Like children prefer Disneyland, youngsters prefer adventures destination while older people prefer religious and cultural; destination. So, age affects largely to the customer interest and preferences ultimately impact on motivational level of the customer of Thomas cook tourism company. The family size, political environment, society perception and culture, income all are extrinsic factors of the motivation that leads to the increased interest of tourist if the conditions are in favour of the travel and tourism conditions.
P 1.4 Principle of market segmentation on the basis of customer needs
The different segments of market comprises cluster of people with shared taste and preferences of the groups. The segmentation is necessary for the company for targeting and positioning market strategies of the company (Hall, 2013). The Thomas cook company follows different market segmentation strategies like undifferentiated market which having same homogeneous demand; differentiated segment having different demand and need; concentrated market having focuses on niche market; customised market that have fulfil individual needs and customised packages for single person needs.
The preferences of different segments helps in developing appropriate market mix strategies by the Thomas cook company. The various kind of segments developed by Thomas group in deciding their target niche markets are as follows:
Psycho-graphic segmentation: the Thomas cook organization develop their holiday packages on the basis of customer lifestyle, preferences of the people etc. like Thomson couple packages for newly wed to celebrate their love in foreign places. The Thomas cook divides their packages on the basis of elite customers, luxurious customers and the budget friendly tourist leads to overall catering in the all psycho-graphic segmentation of the Thomas cook.
Demographic: Division of their packages on the basis of demographic aspects like sex, age, stage of life cycle etc. the Thomas group develop their packages ion the basis of different stage of life cycle packages for the independence stage, stage of couple, stage of joint family etc. Thomas cook holiday packages include [products and services according to the different age groups. Ex. While dealing with the young tourist Thomas cook packages have included various adventures activities in the packages. Disables is having various influence from the market that segmented differently in market. The disable is needing some one to help, package should be economical and special facilities from the travel agency like Thomas cook.
Geographical segmentation: This comprises division of the customer on the basis of their origin climatic conditions, locations and cultural beliefs by the Thomas cook tourism company.
P 2.1 Importance of strategic marketing planning:
The Thomas cook deals with variety of customers all over the world. Managements of this huge no. of customer base requires different promotional and motivational strategies to provide services according to the expectation of the consumer. The different strategies followed by the Thomas group company to maintain such a large customer base are:
The product life cycle: The company grooms their marketing strategies according to the different stages of product and services of the Thomas travel group. This include the development of different promotional schemes of product in the market to gain continuous profitability from particular product and services (Hall and et. al., 2012). Strategic planning involved with the product life cycle and the development of the product at different stages is important for marketing growth. The various stages of product life cycle and the approaches implemented by Thomas group at different level of product life cycle are as follows:
Exploration stage: This stage is also known as introductory stage of product in the market. In this stage the Thomas cook organisation develop new destination according to the needs of customer and market dynamics. Then the company carry out the field research on the viability of the location and growth opportunity in the present market. This stage involves various campaign and the advertisements carried out by the company to spread information and awareness about the new destination and inherent services in the new developed packages by the Thomas cook. This stage development of pricing and promotional strategies to market the new destination of Thomas cook package. This includes various strategies related to penetration schemes, skimming strategies of various promotional approaches. This develop an importance of strategy development in successful exploration of the new destination.
Development stage: This stage is showing the faster growth of the the product or new destination in the market (Hays, Page and Buhalis, 2013). This stage development of the new facilities like luxurious hotels, variety of different cuisine restaurant and well developed transportation system in the new destination. These all facilities develop higher motivation level in the tourist mind to travel these new location. The company like Thomas cook is basically involved in providing more facilities to the customers.
Stagnation stage: The new explores destination for tourism is now showing stable growth with no more growth. At this stage the destination carrying capacity is achieved or is at peak level. The destination is developed s well known tourist place at this stage of life cycle. This stage involves suspended advertisement and promotional schemes by Thomas cook and the more focuses about quality services and the building customer loyalty. This involves the product modification or the market modification to maintain the no. of customers with the new tourist destination. These strategy is having important role in development of the travel and tourism