Virgin Atlantic Marketing Plan
This marketing plan belongs to Virgin Atlantic which is a medium size private organization that provides airline services to people. The need to come up with the marketing plan is to curb the difficulties that small sized private companies encounter when planning, producing and implementing a marketing plan. Promotion of growth and attracting new customers are the main reasons behind the marketing plan. The plan has been produced for 3-5 year period to improve the future of the business. Virgin Atlantic saw the need to improve and expand the airline services offered in the country, ensuring that quality, faster and convenient services are guaranteed to the customers.
For the last 10 years, the market has enjoyed the benefits of quality services from Virgin Atlantic making the organization among the leading airline companies. Growth in the economy and improvement in socio-economic status has favored the organization because many people have afforded traveling by air. Virgin Atlantic mission is to be the leading airline service provider in the UK and the world at large. Marketing has played a significant role in promoting the organization for the last ten years that it has been in existence. It has opened u more doors and attracted many customers who have been maintained increasing the number by a large percentage. There has been a lot of completion from British American Airline but the organization has responded positively by ensuring they offer quality services to the customers and giving discounts to maintain them and attract more (Gospe 2008, p. 19). Marketing has played a key role in familiarizing people about the organization and bringing in more customers across the nations.
Virgin Atlantic is a medium sized airline organization that has been in existence for the last 10 years and has maintained a steady growth throughout the years. This has been maintained by the innovativeness in the organization and offering of quality services to the customers. This has also been faced with challenges of the slow economic growth in the country but it has emerged victorious. It has developed a strategic marketing development divided into smaller segments to facilitate its growth in the global market. Marketing mix activities have been proposed over the 3-5 years to achieve the marketing objectives.
Virgin Atlantic has corporate objectives that will enable the organization to evaluate if the goals are achieved within the stipulated time.
• The organization aim at increasing the total sales turnover by 40% in the first two years to make sure the growth is tangible and worthwhile.
• They want to reduce the debt ratio by 5% per annum in the next five years to stabilize the growth development.
• To increase the market shares by 11% in the UK by the end of 2013.
• To raise awareness of a differentiated brand positioning by end of the third year.
• To increase distribution channels by 15% in UK by end of 2014.
• To increase sales revenue from existing products by 25% in UK by the first quarter of 2014.
• Generate 10% of sales from non-UK and Europeans markets by the end of 2013 and increase this by 20% by the end of five years.
• Over five years achieve 90% brand awareness of Virgin Atlantic in its customer service segments in the UK and Europe and 60% in its business-to-business and professional markets.
Virgin Atlantic targets the local customers and it has an objective of growing outside UK and offer their airline services to more people across the world. There are several local stations in the airports where their services are rendered but they aim at increasing this by opening more offices where their services can be offered. The main target for Virgin Atlantic is the working and business class who make frequent trips and prefer using the air in the UK (Yarmosh 2010, p. 41). In the less developed countries, discounts will be offered to attract and encourage more people to use the Virgin Atlantic airline for quality, faster and convenient traveling. The organization will target businesspeople who will be traveling frequently maintaining the flow of the services. There will be different services to cater for every class of people to travel with the airline.
The advantage of Virgin Atlantic airline lies in its reliable, practical, quality and inclusive offering to a specific group of people with specific requirements in delivering their services. The added value of the quality services offered by the organization to the target customers enable it to charge medium- high prices compared to low-cost alternatives airlines available in the market (Stevens 2006, p. 21). Virgin Atlantic looks forward to expanding overseas so that their services both the existing and new ones can be enjoyed by many people and it is known internationally.
Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning
Virgin Atlantic aims at dividing the total market into smaller segments to improve the delivery of services. This will enable more people to have the access to the quality airline services that the organization offers.The selected segments will be able to create value for the targeted customers of the airline (McDonald 2008, p. 58). Positioning the mind of the targeted customers will increase the number in a significant way. Differentiation creates a strong customer value because the customers are able to choose and make sound decisions about the services available in the market. Virgin Atlantic will offer quality airline services to the customers to ensure they are comfortable and happy about them thus will be able to come back again and travel with the airline again.
Through this, the organization will have worn a good position in the customer market that is good for the business. Increasing the number of handling of customers in the airports and providing car hires and internet to the customers will increase the positioning of the organization.This will play a key role in the marketplace because existing products will be improved by new ones leading to market development. Strategic marketing and STP are appropriate for Virgin Atlantic organization because they help in improving the means of offering services to the customers by giving a clear view of the marketplace, and helps in advancing the means of rendering the services to the customers to be able to compete with well-established airlines like the British American Airline. They are able to establish the strategies to use to attract new customers and maintain the existing ones at affordable prices with improved quality services. The introduction of new airlines in the market will not pose a great threat to the organization because they will be able to handle it accordingly and overcome by use of exception services (Luther 2011, p. 41).
The marketing activities that support the strategies to achieve Virgin Atlantic objectives include price, products, communication channels, internal marketing, and services. The mix of components utilized to achieve success requires planning and integration at various organization levels in conjunction with stakeholders and partnership.
Virgin Atlantic has a range of services to offer to the customers and this varies from one customer to the other locally and internationally due to different preferences. The organization will ensure customer satisfaction in the service being rendered. They range from 1st class travel services, business, and common travel services. The services given will be quality by well-trained and qualified personnel to make sure that customers are satisfied and will definitely come back.
The price of the services will be different according to the level to support the differentiation and innovative value added solution of Virgin Atlantic services offered. The mix of services will be reflected in the actual context of the prices in service delivery. The services will be priced to reflect the brand's positioning against the competitor and it will reflect in the prices. New services will also be priced based on penetration policy in the market for long-term growth.
Communication and Promotion
Virgin Atlantic will have to create awareness of the airline and this will be achieved through integrated communication plan for both local and international customers. The plans include push and pull communication, which will revolve around communication directly to the customers. The organization aims at achieving this communication by a launch of magazines which will be distributed across and events that will familiarize people on the airline and the services (Johnson 2004, p. 70). There will also be exhibitions where the organization will showcase its services to the customers. The marketing manager will be in charge of the whole marketing plan while the sales managers will be responsible for customer and sales related issues.
The staff within Virgin Atlantic will need to be aware of the mission and objectives of the organization especially its innovation platform. Internal marketing communication program will be included in the marketing plan. This includes staff meetings, sales and marketing recognition, rewards schemes, email updates and internal newsletters and magazines.
Monitoring and Control
There will be set up systems to monitor the financial and non-financial performance, against targets and regular reporting systems be introduced that will be directly through the marketing managers, sales managers to the directors of Virgin Atlantic airline. The introduction of new services in the market will be closely monitored and the movement in the market. This will ensure that mistake is corrected and appropriate actions taken through the marketing mix. It will also help in revising in the case of an unplanned event to help to enact it.
Virgin Atlantic wants to ensure that customers are satisfied by the services they offer to them and maintain them as business partners to maintain a regular clientele. The organization aim at increasing the profit margin by 20% and above for the first three years. There is a big volume of sales expected in the first quarter of the organization by ensuring that there are more new customers. The market share value of the organization is expected to increase together with the levels of service awareness.
Virgin Atlantic targets the working and business class customers because they make frequent travels and they will maintain stability in the business. The organization will compete with the other airlines on the basis of quality and convenience of the services that they offer. Their competitor British American Airline offers their services at a high price and them at times discriminate against the Blacks and Asians (Stevens 2006, p. 25). The organization to have the services rendered is the best that customers can get in the market.
Marketing Mix Programmes
The organization will use integrated marketing strategies in order to be able to achieve its objectives. This will include partnering with other service providers to enhance the quality of services. It will also look for stakeholders who can own part of the organization and help in its development. Use of internal expertise will improve the marketing of the organization because quality service will be guaranteed. Resources needed for the organization will be made available like the newsletters and magazines containing the information that the customers may need (Logan 2005, p. 87).
Implementation and Control
The scheduling of the organization activities will be set out in a detailed Gantt chart in line with the achievements of the specified objectives. The human resource provides management expertise to provide quality personnel to the company although they may be resistance to change. There will be systems to be implemented to constantly control and evaluate the events in the organization (Beamish & Ashford 2005, p. 32). This will enhance smooth running of the organization because any mistake that happens will be corrected in time and measures taken to prevent it from happening again.
Previous SWOT Analysis plays an important role in determining the future of the organization. The strength of this organization is that it offers quality airlines to all customers irrespective of their background (Baker 2010, p. 60). It has a weakness of cash flow problem of limited funds for development and investment in the marketing plan. There is an opportunity for long-term growth in the organization and a threat of technological development by competitors. Research information shows that there is a promising future for the organization together with the Gantt chart that shows the achievement of objectives.
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