Marketing and Research
To succeed in a competitive environment, it is important to tailor your business to the wants and needs of your customer.
Marketing is about matching every part of your business with your customers so that:
- You meet their needs.
- They are aware that you meet their needs.
- They are motivated to buy from you.
- They are motivated to keep buying from you.
Market research is an essential tool in assisting you to do this.
Undertaking market research will allow you to:
- define the essence of your business so you know what you are offering visitors;
- determine who your potential visitor markets are; and
- Establish their needs and how you will go about meeting those needs.
Define your business
- Your product or service;
- Your geographic marketing area--neighbourhood, regional or national;
- Your competition;
- How you differ from the competition--what makes you special;
- Your price;
- The competition's promotion methods;
- Your promotion methods;
- Your distribution methods or business location
Define your customers
- Your current customer base: age, sex, income, neighbourhood;
- How your customers learn about your product or service-advertising;
direct mail, word of mouth, Yellow Pages;
- Patterns or habits your customers and potential customers share eg what they read, watch, listen to;
- Qualities your customers value most about your product or service-selection, convenience, service, reliability, availability, affordability;
- Qualities your customers like least about your product or service-can
they be adjusted to serve your customers better?
- Prospective customers like least about your product or service but whom you aren't currently reaching.
Tourism and Events Queensland provides research on a number of areas of the tourism industry and access to regionally specific research and information. This includes:
- International market research
- Domestic and International aviation research
- Destinations - including a regional update, regional snapshot, visitor surveys, aviation information and fact sheets
Owners of the Heritage Tea Rooms, Allan and Michelle Sharpe discuss the importance of market research in being able to foresee changes in the market, and adapting to those changes.
Your Business Success Part 5 - Market Research and Change
Create a marketing plan
With knowledge backed by research about your customers, a marketing plan brings together the planned activities and opportunities to promote your product or service. The key sections in developing a marketing plan are outlined below.
- Overview of your business, your industry and the current state of the market place.
- Competitive advantage - what is special about your business.
- External and internal factors affecting your business success.
- Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats (SWOT) analysis.
- Competition analysis.
- Target markets - who are they, how do they behave?
- Segmentation - how can you split your market up for the purposes of targeting them?
- Product (or services) - eg tours, accommodation, camping, souvenirs, restaurant, bush tucker etc.
- Packaging - how do you 'wrap up' your tourism product to market it? eg 2 night camping package with a bush tucker tour and breakfast included.
- Place - where will you promote yourself, and how will you achieve this eg in Europe through inbound travel agents, in my nearest town through tour desks etc.
- Who is going to do what, and by when?
- How much have you got to spend or how much will you need to spend to be effective?
Monitoring and Evaluation:
- How will you track which strategies have converted into bookings?
- What is the yield of the visitors you are attracting?
Developed by Tourism and Events Queensland specifically for Queensland tourism businesses, the BIG Marketing Guide contains loads of practical marketing information, covering the basics you need to know in order to successfully market your product to consumers, media and the tourism industry.
The Queensland Government business and industry website also publishes a comprehensive guide to marketing your business.