Marketing for a Concert
A Marketing Plan is a business document which describes our objectives and explains how we will market our services to the prospects and to the customers. There are some already defined principles that apply to all types of marketing and these can be used by all but we have to tailor the marketing plan according to our own unique target audience. (Kotler & Kevin, 2008).
In this paper, the marketing strategies used to make a concert successful will be discussed. The concert that we will be organizing is to be held in different cities of the United Kingdom and it is basically being organized to support the disabled children residing in the UK. It is a one month campaign in which Madonna Louise Ciccone Ritchie who is more commonly recognized as Madonna will be performing. Madonna is a famous American pop singer and writer. Other than the marketing strategies, the type of competition being faced by the event organizers who organize concerts would be discussed after which the marketing mix, segmentation and the conclusion.
Competition is very extensive when it comes to concerts. People especially the youngsters are crazy about music and they spend a lot of pounds on these. In the case of completion related to the concerts, the first thing that has to be considered is the artist who is to be selected. There are several artists who are in the field of singing. There are several famous solo and group singers around the world and so the competition is very intense. Some of the names of the well-known singers are James Brown, Jennifer Ellison, Justin Timberlake, Akon, Avril Lavigne, Victoria Beckham, Westlife, Backstreet Boys, Nelly, Mariah Carey, Chris Brown, Hillary Duff and Pussycat Dolls, etc.
Therefore, we have to select an appropriate singer for the concert for this particular concert that is being held for a social cause. Therefore, for this event we have selected Madonna as she is also a mother and a mother very well realizes how it feels to have a disabled child and the problems they have to encounter.
The Services Marketing Mix
This particular term “marketing mix” became popular when Mr. Neil H. Borden wrote an article that was published in “The Concept of the Marketing Mix” in 1964. Before this, in the 1940’s he used to use this term in his lectures. In his marketing mix, he didn’t include just these four P’s but many other terms such as planning, branding, personal selling and physical handling, etc were also used. Later onwards, the marketing mix was grouped into four categories that were the four P’s that are product, price, place and promotion.
Now coming up to the services marketing plan, this plans do consist of the four P’s mentioned above but other than that three more P’s are added to it. These three P’s are people, process and physical evidence.
The service marketing looks at the Characteristics of a service that are lack of ownership, intangibility, inseparability, perishability and heterogeneity. (Iacobucci & Swartz 1999)
Services are intangible and they do not have any physical existence in nature, neither can they be seen and touched. It is just the satisfaction of the customer that defines how much they contented with them. Services can be offered by anyone. Let’s consider the services of a doctor. A doctor gives his services to the patient but the patient does not own anything after paying the doctor’s fees. The results of the service being given by the doctor determine how much satisfied a patient is after taking the doctor’s service. It is definite that a patient will only be satisfied when the disease he had was cured by the doctor completely, partially or there is no effect of the cure prescribed by the doctor. A patient whose disease is completely cued by the doctor would be completely satisfied and so the level of satisfaction at other stages would obviously be different.
In this case, we are offering the service of organizing the concert that includes a complete package from planning out things, monitoring things, carrying out the advertising campaign and to mange the whole event itself successfully.
A concert is basically a live performance of music for the audience that is either performed by a single musician or a musical band. Here, we have selected a solo singer, Madonna for the show. The concerts are to be held in different cities in the UK and so there would be different venues where Madonna will be performing on stage.
The pricing decisions are taken on the basis of the type of the service and the target audience. We have to keep in mind the prices being charged to the customers by the other event organizing companies. It does not always include the list price but discounts are also included. As these concerts are being organized for a particular cause, we have to encourage more sales so that more children can benefit from it.
The prices of the tickets of the concert have been decided keeping in mind the expenses incurred and the profit margins required. The people will also be offered discounts on certain conditions so that more people are willing to attend the concert. Discounts would be like for those people purchasing at least or more than five tickets.
This basically refers to the channels of distribution that will be used to sell the tickets for the concerts. As the concerts are to be held at different locations, their would be different places that would be selected where the tickets would be available to the people
Place is very important in the sense that if the tickets won’t be made available to the customers they won’t be able to make the purchases. Market coverage comes under the pricing decisions. Therefore, the places decided have to be appropriate so that the prospective audience can easily reach there.
The largest audience of a concert is mostly the youngsters. Therefore, it would be appropriate to make available the tickets at places where the youngsters hang out the most.
Communicating the prospective customers about what we have for them has to be done efficiently by using effective promotional schemes. Heavy costs are used for this campaign; therefore, a wise decision has to be taken before just implementing an idea. (Scott 2007)
How to reach the target audience
There are many types of campaigns that can be run in order to promote the sales of the tickets for the concerts.
Online campaigns can be run in many different ways. They can run randomly, daily, weekly or monthly. A perfect timing should be used for running a campaign or the websites on which these ads are placed. We should run our campaigns between the times when our target audience is mostly available at the place that we have chosen to advertise so that the attention of the readers can be captured. (Meyerson & Scarborough 2007).
Brand is a name, symbol or design either used individually or a combination of the three to identify and differentiate the goods and services from the other sellers. It does not only mean being chosen by a customer over its competitors but the customer should be sure what he has chosen for himself is the best.
Some of the objectives that we have to achieve is to deliver our message clearly to the customers, confirm its credibility, motivate the buyer to make purchases and develop consumer loyalty. For this, we have to understand the needs and the wants of the customer well. (Kotler & Armstrong 2005)
In our event, the singer that we have selected is liked by the audience and so there are high possibilities that more and more people would want to attend her concerts.
The staff carrying out the activities of the campaign should be carefully selected before giving them duties or responsibilities for things. The person selected should be appropriate for the duty he is assigned to do and must carry out their duties efficiently. In this way, we can also achieve a competitive advantage over the other event organizing companies.
The perceptions of the consumers about the service offered to them depend on the employees they interact with.
The staff that is employed should have suitable interpersonal skills, aptitude, and service knowledge so that they can serve the customers well for what the customers are paying for.
Most of the British organizations aspire to apply for the Investors in People accreditation. This tells that the employees who are appointed by the organization are looked upon and are provided with training so that they can achieve the standards of the organization.
Customer relationship management
Nowadays the trend of customer relationship management is increasing day by day. More and more companies are becoming aware of the fact how important customer relationship management is. As the customer is getting aware about things, they also have complaints about them that have to be handled carefully and patiently by the customer relationship officers.
The types of methodologies that help a company to maintain customer relationships in an organized way is called customer relationship management. It’s not always that customer might have any complaints but they might also have some suggestions for further improvement or there can also be prospective customers who would want to know more about the company.
This P highlights the décor and ambience of the place where the service being delivered.
This ensures the customers to make their point of views about the organization. For example, if we go to an eatery, we expect a clean environment or if we rent a room in a hotel, we expect the room to be properly set with all the essential things present there.
Therefore, even when attending our concert, the people would be having expectations about different things such as the time on which the concert is to begin. The time mentioned on the tickets would be the time the customers would expect the concert to start and any kind of delay could reduce the audience.
This would also be bad for our event organization company because people would make a bad perception about us as the organizers and this would bring a bad name to the reputation of the company. And so physical evidence is of the most vital element of the service mix
In our case, the physical evidence is the type of place where the concerts would be held, how that place is managed, parking available there, the inside of the venue, the décor of the venue, etc.
This is basically how we deliver an event. It is the efficiency that is used to provide the service. In case of banks, if a customer’s credit card expires, the bank has to have an efficient process that can spot out everything and a new card is sent to the customer. This develops the loyalty the customer lays down with the service and so they are able to build up the confidence they have on the organization.
When we choose to do online marketing and sell the tickets online, the speed has to be maintained. As soon as the customer clicks on the icon to buy the ticket, he should be sent the receipt of his payment and the ticket number. The faster is the process, the more satisfied the customer would be.
The market is divided into segments, keeping the people or organization with the same interests and service needs in one group. All the market segments are different from the others, it possesses common attributes, use the same way to respond to the stimulus, and it can be reached by a market intervention.
The segmentation process consists of segment identification, segment characterization, segment evaluation and target segment selection and it is conducted using demographic, geographic, attitudinal or behavioral data. (Dunbar & Mcdonald 2004) A segment that has the same kind of requirements and attitudes is likely to respond in a same way to a given marketing strategy because they might have the same ideas about the marketing mix of a service being used in a certain way. The smaller segments are called niche markets or specialty markets.
The main idea of segmentation is to identify the similar needs of a group of customers and to prioritze them by understanding their behavior that can lead to significantly improved effectiveness. There can be other groups as well besides the youngsters who might be interested to attend the concerts.
We, being the event organizers of the concert have to make sure the type of audience that would be attending the concert. Although the majority would be of the young people, others might also be interested to attend. And the other factor being that it is a charity concert, people from other segments would also want to attend in order to help out the disabled children.
The company should keep in mind all the aspects of the target market. For instance, if the target market is the homeowners and business owners, the strategy of the company should be different as when the target market would be the children. As the homeowners and business owners always look up for ways to reduce their costs, the company can inform tell their customers the ways by which using their services, the customers can reduce their costs and can make a change. However, the strategy in case when the children would be the target market will definitely be different. Here, we will mostly target the youngsters as the young people are the ones who would be mostly interested to visit a concert being performed by Madonna.
The unique benefits that the customer can avail using the company’s services should be highlighted and the customer should be informed how their services are different from the rest of the companies.
Here, the most important factor of the concert is that it is being organized to raise charity for the disabled children in the UK. The audience would not only be attending the concert that would be performed by the famous singer Madonna but besides being entertained they would also be serving for a beneficial cause. The cause that is beneficial for those children and the society as well.
General example: Coca-Cola
This is a sweet black colored carbonated soft drink produced by the Coca- Cola Company.
Coca-Cola studied the different segments in the market and after research they realized that they should come up with Diet Coke. This was to have no sugar in it but was sweetened using some artificial flavors. This is just introduced for a niche market as the target market for the Diet Coke are mostly the diabetic patients who have been told not to include much sugar into their diet.
Examples of other competitors
As mentioned in the paper above, there is a lot of competition in this industry. The names of some of the competitors are mentioned above and each one is Madonna’s competitor but Madonna is in this field since long so she has more experience and good in demand by the fans.
Besides this, to analyze the competition persisting, we being the event organizers should carefully study the strategies that are being used by the other competitors who organize concerts not just to promote and market the event but many other things have to be considered as well. These things includes the pricing strategies used by them, the discounts they offer, the décor of the place that they choose as their venue and the type of crowd who would be attending the concert. Like for the rock concerts, ninety percent of the audience would be the teenagers and people who would be in late twenties. In case of other singers who sing songs that are a little lighter would attract a different audience and even the elders would want to come to such concerts.
Models, Framework and Illustrations
This is a plan whose main idea is to characterize and propose its metaphors that might represent a concept, idea or a system. (Armstrong & Kotler 2005)
The concepts used to solve out or to address complex issues is called a framework. . (Armstrong & Kotler 2005)
An illustration focuses more on the subject than its form. It is a drawing, a painting, or any photograph and can also be some other kind of art. An illustration provides a visual representation and is used to decorate the information in the text.
This refers to the type or the types of media that are chosen by a company to market its services. Marketing communications is principally concerned for the creation of the demand of the services of the company.
The experience the customers have with the service develops their observation about the company but this is also affected by the style of communication used by them.
The traditional marketing models are no more useful to attract and retain the customers.
Communication is essential in any relationship for building and managing relationships with the customers. Marketing communications helps organization in finding out the most relevant kind of messages to exchange, choice of media to use, etc.
Barriers to a strategic view
Marketing communications do not always have a strategic importance in the organizations due to some of the reasons that are mentioned below.
There are some of the reasons why the marketing communications are now considered as tactical. There has been a lot of development in the marketing communications from before and nowadays there are many agencies that offer these services. Ours is also one of those kinds. We not only plan put events but also do the complete marketing required for it. These strategies can also become a core competency of an organization. There has been a constant change that has been involved in this field. According to the changing needs and wants of the customers, we have to plan out things.
The organization should look for new ways in order to reach out the customer. (Schultz 1994) when a customer knows that he is been given importance, he also develops his loyalty towards the organization and also spread the good things about the organization through word of mouth.
The means of communication chosen by an organization according to the time factor, the relevance and its consistency.
The changing role of communications
We now have to re think and work on the changing role of communications. This begins with the corporate strategy that is further sub divided into functional strategies. These include the marketing strategy. An increase in the company’s brand value has also been seen and so providing an appropriate marketing strategy is essential. There are organizations that have different kind of offerings for different segments of people.
Competitive differentiation is being adopted and in this new model the marketing becomes the part of the process until the services are finally given to the customers. (Butterfield 1997)
The tactical planning for the marketing communications has to be redefined but this does not ensure an automatic evaluation for the tactical planning. We can still see a difference between the tactical communications that originate from the levels of the organization that is suppose to inform before hand to carry out all these activities but this does not agree with the fact that communication is different from the marketing mix. The theory of motivation is termed as the hygiene factor and this particular factor is mostly ignored. The basic thing that to be ensured is to provide the customers with at least the minimum expectation they have formed the company. The customers today have become more sophisticated and they cannot be fooled. They have an understanding as to differentiate good from bad and right from wrong. The customers want to be fully satisfied and the level of satisfaction of an individual differs from others. It is always best for the company to provide the customers with at least what they expect from the organization. In case, they are successful in delivering better than what the customers expect, they can do wonders.
The communications system defines the vision of the company and it is the way we choose to express. This is different in case of the different stakeholders. For the customers, we prefer the modes of advertising.
Implications of vertically-integrated marketing communications
Mixing up together the internal and the external marketing communications is one of the importances of vertical integrated marketing. For this, employees can be highly convincing. What and how they employees talk to the customers convinces the customer about the credibility of the organization. Other than this, the distribution channels chosen by the organizations to communicate the information are vital too.
Different kinds of strategies such as the pull and the push strategy can be adopted. The difference between the two is that the push strategies involve the trade promotion and personal selling, they offer incentives to distribution intermediaries of these services pushing them towards the end user while the pull strategies use consumer-directed techniques such as the advertising and sales promotion. This is done to encourage demand in order to pull the service through the channel. This is used basically to find the need of the customer and satisfy them.
It also focuses on the goodwill of the company, its image and reputation that is developed internally and externally. Many concepts have been proposed in order to analyze and develop effective marketing communications strategies. It is compulsory to make the marketing communications strategy operational. This can be done by mixing up different types of media that can be used for communication and for communicating in a customer centered way, the organizations have to think about the brand messages that they receive.
How customers receive marketing communications.
There are many sources of marketing communications but there are as many as customers who have diverse ways of knowing about, considering, or experiencing our services.
Public relations, sponsorship, word of mouth, packaging, signage, different forms of media advertising and sales promotion activity, internet searches, text messages, even litter in the streets – the list is extensive, and only partially controllable. (Schultz & Kitchen 2000)
This is the insecurity that makes it more important to think through brand contact points so that what the potential implications can be measured. The way in which the customers communicate with the brand can be managed in a better way by the organization. (Schultz & Kitchen 2000)
We being the service marketers can measure customer satisfaction in a way by asking customers to rate their experiences they had after buying the services against what they actually expected from the service providing company. The comments of the customers can vary from person to person.
The changing role of communications: customer preferences
The ways that the customers use in order to get information regarding the service highlights their preferences. Once we get to know about the customer we are on the stage of gaining a competitive advantage. It also makes communication easy, effective and economical. But if we fail to find out these facts, it can be bad for the company.
A way to improve communication is to think from the point of view of the customer. Other than that, we should also study the trends of the customer preferences.
Previously, there were many barriers that came in the way on marketing communications. This was due to the lack of the strategic coordination, challenges being faced using different communication systems. However, since the past few years the competition has increased a lot as challenges have increased. Therefore, it is essential for the organizations to re organize their communication systems.
Analysis and evaluation of other competitors marketing communications
The world today has become very competitive and all the companies are trying their best to capture the customers of their competitors. Other event organizing companies that organize concerts use different kinds of media such as the internet as one of the main medium and other than that they advertise on the bill boards and the radio.
No customer would himself know about the details of what the company has to offer to them and what benefits will they get after using those services. The type of marketing plan being used and how frequently the marketing is to be done depends on the target market of a company. If the company should go for direct marketing by using mailing lists or they should advertise on the television, etc. Should the marketing be done constantly or with time intervals or in certain period of time when the demand of the product is fairly high? (Brown 2006).
The marketing mix is important for an effective strategy as these seven P’s are just as important for an organization’s success as the wheels are for a car.
Marketing communications recommendations
Electronic commerce or e-commerce is basically about doing the business using the Internet and the World Wide Web. Other terms for e-commerce are e-business and e-tailing. Online catalogs are available on the websites from the where the customer can easily see the list of products i.e. the catalog available along with other details such as price. They can even compare prices on the Internet and can place the order easily from home. This way of doing business is advantageous in one of the ways that the customers can place their order at any time of the day and at any place using Internet on their computer as there is no restriction on time to place the order. Nowadays more of the rich consumers are also engaged in their own business activities so they don’t have ample time to visit a store to place an order so they might prefer to place online orders and so they will prefer those companies that provide online services to the customers.
Although e-commerce has many advantages, it has drawbacks too. Although more and more people now know and are learning to use this technology, still people resist providing their financial information such as credit card numbers on the Internet. Other than online catalogs, the company can also mail the catalogs to the prospective customers at their homes or work place. For this purpose, companies should also develop tracking systems so that hackers can’t take any negative advantage of this technology.
Another way of increasing sales is the trend of e-mails and faxes. Some people themselves subscribe to online newsletters but some may also get mails from companies advertising about their services without any subscription. Companies send mails about any particular service they want to sell via mails to the people. This is also of the easiest and cheapest source of advertising. Advertisements are also placed on websites that are commonly viewed by consumers but the people advertising should also take care where they are placing their ad. Do the prospective consumers of that particular product visit that website? And how often do they visit, etc.
New computerized technologies are being implemented by the manufacturing enterprises at very-increasing rate. This trend is increasing due to international competition. Currently, most of the organizations are somewhat fulfilling the technology needs of the company but still there is a large room for improvement. Many more technologies can be introduced to improve the efficiency of the organization. This not only increases the satisfaction of the customers but it also attracts new customers and retains the existing ones. It can also find new markets for their existing and upcoming products.
Other than that, feedback is also very important. Customers mostly have complaints about something or the other. For this, Internet and wireless technologies very important as it is easy for both the customers and the retailers to have access and so they can easily forward their complaints, suggestions and get feedback from the organization.
The company should basically educate the target audience about the services they are providing and they should inform the customers about what they can do for them. Furthermore, information sessions should be held and the benefits of the company should be highlighted. The target market should always be kept in mind and their needs and wants should always be taken care of.
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