Importance of Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning
Segmentation, targeting, positioning, also known as STP, is an important concept of marketing. This concept implies dividing customers into groups with distinct characteristics, targeting the most lucrative segments, and creating unique value propositions for those chosen segments (Gengler & Mulvey 2017). Organizations must find a way to cater to the needs of diverse populations; otherwise, their attempts at boosting the revenues will be futile. Herein lies the importance of segmentation, targeting, and positioning. (Gengler & Mulvey 2017). The purpose of this report is to determine a strategy for marketing management for Dover from the perspective of the Dover District Council.
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Segmentation is critical to meeting the requirements of a culturally diverse area (Bruwer & Li 2017). Although the process implies certain challenges, such as the need to explore the cultural background and unique characteristics of a target demographic, it helps ensure perfect customer experience and create a very deep understanding of a customer’s persona. Therefore, segmentation can be seen as one of the essential components of building a competitive business environment. The proposed way of viewing segmentation, however, is rather difficult to perform in a highly diverse environment. Therefore, a segmentation process will always involve a certain degree of generalization, which implies that an organization may fail to attract a part of the target audience.
Targeting, in turn, implies developing a set of strategies that will help appeal to the type of buyers that are viewed as the primary audience (Chang, Yu & Lu 2015). Identified with the help of the segmentation process, these customers require a unique marketing approach to accept a particular service as worthy of their time and money (Brennan & Parker 2014). The choice of a targeting strategy is especially important in the context of the global economy, where competition levels are extraordinarily high. On the one hand, targeting allows catering to the needs of a particular segment, which contributes to a rise in customer satisfaction levels. On the other hand, it restricts a company’s ability to attract other types of clients.
Finally, one must acknowledge the importance of positioning as one of the pillars for building a strong brand image and entering a particular market. The creation of a brand that will appeal to the target demographic is a challenging task that requires designing a product with a unique advantage (Gengler & Mulvey 2017; Davcik & Sharma 2015). However, after a unique brand concept is created and marketed to a specific audience, a firm is likely to attain impressive success, depending on the number of its resources and the quality of staff’s performance.
Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning Strategy for Tourists (Dover District Council Perspective)
At present, tourism holds the highest potential for Dover from an economic perspective (Dover District Council n.d.). According to a recent report, tourist cars made 13.44% (2,456,817 out of 18,270,422) of Dover port traffic (‘Dover Coastal Community Team economic plan 2017-2021’ 2017). The current growth trend roughly amounts to a total of 2.9% (‘Dover Coastal Community Team economic plan 2017-2021’ 2017). Therefore, it is reasonable to build the platform for the economic resurgence of Dover in the local tourism industry, which currently accounts for 15% of the British economy (‘Britain’s visitor economy facts’ 2017). However, significant changes must be made in order to create a comfortable setting for tourists. For instance, the Dover City Council will have to handle the problem of coastal erosion, which has been a significant problem in Dover (Dover District Council n.d.). In addition, pollution issues and the associated environmental concerns need to be addressed. Finally, the lack of hotels and qualified staff for meeting tourists’ needs should be listed among the key concerns. The specified issue affects the attractiveness of the city, thus causing people to avoid the city as a tourist site.
Currently, there are several ways of characterizing Dover tourists. The first and most important, classifying the target population based on their age is necessary. There are young people who look for adventure, middle-aged people who want to spend quality time with their families, or older people who are looking for a relaxed holiday (‘Markets & segments’ 2017). But what they all have in common is a love for historical places, sightseeing, and recreational activities. Therefore, it is necessary to create an environment in which the identified types of tourists will feel comfortable. To help them relieve stress, one will have to produce the services that meet their idea of comfort and at the same time have an affordable price. Since the average income of the identified type of population is around ₤27,000, providing comparatively inexpensive services with an appropriate set of services is necessary (‘Are you better than the average man?’ 2017).
Afterward, the analysis of the demand will be required. Given the recent rapid increase in the number of Millennials, it would be appropriate for the Dover Council to consider this segment as it a prime target (Font & McCabe 2017). In order to appeal to the selected population, one will have to transfer a significant part of the tourism business to the online environment. The segment is attractive since Millennials search for unique experiences in their trips and, thus, define changes in the modern tourism industry (Lamberton & Stephen 2016). While the traditional tools for accessing available organizations and their services are not to be abandoned entirely, tourist agencies will have to consider creating several online models for marketing their products to the specified demographic (Lamberton & Stephen 2016; Font & McCabe 2017). For example, applications for booking flights and hotel rooms, keeping track of the visited sights, locating restaurants, and choosing from a wide range of activities must be designed.
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The close attention to quality that defines Millennials as customers also indicates that local environmental issues must be addressed. Thus, a significant improvement in the infrastructure of the city is also an important step toward boosting the performance of the Dover tourism industry (Moghavvemi et al. 2017). Travel agencies will have to provide customers with instant access to all places that might interest the target audience, including beaches, restaurants, bars, and other entertainment areas (Liu & Chou 2016; Molina-Azorín 2015). Additionally, a massive issue concerning the maintenance of Dover beaches has emerged recently and requires the immediate attention of local authorities. Because of the erosion issue that has affected a significant part of the beach area, Dover currently does not look attractive as a resort (Dover District Council 2017). With the introduction of equipment and a management strategy that will help maintain the area safe and clean, one will improve the competitiveness levels of the resort to a considerable extent.
Given the recent rapid increase in the number of Millennials among Dover tourists, one will have to focus on creating a comfortable environment for the specified type of customers. Particularly, the presence of online tools for booking and shopping will have to be provided. For this purpose, the adoption of digital marketing along with traditional marketing tools will have to be seen as a necessity (Oliveira & Panyik 2015). The use of demographic, psychographic, and behavioral characteristics of the target population is crucial to delineating an appropriate marketing strategy. At present, the Dover District Council is facing a very difficult situation in which it has to attract both Millennials and older tourists to visit the local attractions (Xu et al. 2016). Therefore, two entirely different models of product promotion and marketing must be utilized.
The suggested mixture of cultures and lifestyles should become the brand image of the area. The specified approach toward positioning implies looking at the concept of tourism from an entirely new angle. Other tourist attractions often tend to fall into one of the extremes, i.e., either take people out of their comfort zone entirely with local exotics or barely change the setting of tourists’ home areas (Camisón & Forés 2015). Dover, however, will be able to develop a very strong competitive advantage by combining the two experiences and positioning itself as a resort that will satisfy the needs of both British customers and overseas tourists (Krajňáková, Navikaite & Navickas 2015). While the latter will be delighted to experience a seemingly incompatible combination of “Britishness” and a traditional resort, the residents of Great Britain will have a chance to enjoy the comfort of a beach resort, at the same time remaining in the comfort of their cultural environment.
The proposed strategy will help Dover build a significant competitive advantage. Since no other resort has created a similar opportunity or its tourists, people are likely to visit Dover more eagerly. However, apart from developing a singular advantage that will set it aside from the rest of tourist sites, Dover will need a seal of approval for the quality of its services. Thus, one must ensure a massive rise in the quality of services, which can become a possibility with the promotion of knowledge and skills acquisition among people working in the industry, as well as the renovation of the existing facilities. While the latter seems to be a fairly easy task, the enhancement of service quality and particularly the process of teaching staff members new skills might be rather difficult. Employees’ unwillingness to make an extra effort in their work may hamper the process of quality improvement. Thus, a combination of incentives and a change in the corporate philosophy along with the use of the transformational leadership technique will help promote a vast change across the industry (Camisón & Forés 2015). As soon as staff members realize that they are valued by their employers and that the latter is ready to invest in employees’ professional growth, a steep rise in service quality levels will be observed. As a result, Dover’s competitive advantage will comprise not only a unique environment but also an impressive quality of services for a reasonable price.
To ensure that Dover companies have enough competitiveness to withstand the pressure of the competition, one will have to redesign some of the aspects of tourist companies’ functioning. The focus on customers’ culture-specific needs must be regarded as the primary focus of Dover tourist agencies. For this reason, the principles of multicultural communication will have to be introduced into the context of the Dover tourist business.
Developing online services is central to the successful restoration of Dover’s economy. Since Millennials are currently viewed as the most lucrative audience, it is essential to build the market environment in which they will feel comfortable. For this reason, online services must be provided to improve customers’ experience, receive feedback, and introduce improvements to provided services and products. Online services must also become one of the advantages that Dover will have to offer to its clients. Even though the general idea of a tourist area with a unique combination of settings might seem to be enough to attract people, retaining it will require additional changes. Seeing that Millennials are viewed as the primary audience, it will be essential to design several applications that will help them book rooms in local hotels, identify available tourist agencies, search for nearby attractions and restaurants, etc.
Moreover, customers must be given an opportunity to leave their online reviews of Dover’s tourist attractions and services. Thus, Dover organizations operating in the tourism industry will be able to identify their weaknesses successfully and improve their services accordingly. Furthermore, channels for communicating with customers will have to be created. Thus, customers will feel valued, and their loyalty toward Dover’s organizations will rise.
As a tourist location, Dover has a very strong potential since it represents a unique combination of beautiful beaches and a traditional British environment with its comfort and coziness. Consequently, the specified feature of the resort must become its selling point and its primary advantage. As a result, Dover will be able to gain momentum in the tourism industry with its original and inimitable competitive advantage. In addition, one must keep the focus on the provision of online services and applications that will allow retaining new audiences. Particularly, Dover companies will need to attract Millennials as some of the most promising types of clients. Thus, local businesses will start to thrive, and significant economic growth will be observed.
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