Marketing Communications

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents. 1

Executive Summary. 2

Brief Context and Stakeholder Analysis. 2

Promotional Objectives and Positioning. 3

Promotional Strategies. 4

Promotional Mix. 6

Schedule and Outline Costs. 7

Evaluation Method. 9

Appendix. 9

Reference List 14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Executive Summary

The success of the marketing campaign for Sheffield’s tourist attractions depends on the participation of its stakeholders, including local businesses, the city council, city residents and local environmental conservation programs and groups. The promotional objectives that the marketing campaign should seek to achieve include and to inform the audience about the city’s attractions, to appeal and improve the city’s image, to create interest among visitors and stimulate demand for its attractions. An integrated marketing communication strategy, which includes the use of a variety of promotional strategies and media, is proposed for the marketing campaign because it is effective in reaching out to a large audience that is defined by the unique preferences of each consumer. A budget of £480,000 is proposed for the campaign, which includes staff costs and additional financing of promotions. The proposed budget is aligned with the Sheffield’s strategy of implementing a modest and honest marketing communication strategy, which is also effective in meeting the marketing objectives.

Brief Context and Stakeholder Analysis

An effective marketing communication strategy will enable Sheffield to achieve its ambition of being among the top ten tourist destinations in the United Kingdom for leisure activities, festivals, conferences and sporting activities. Sheffield ranks at position 26 of the UK’s best cities that are preferred for visitors because it has not invested adequate effort and resources in marketing its attractions. Through effective marketing communication, Sheffield will allow tourists and visitors to gain knowledge of its industrial heritage, great lifestyle, business opportunities, cultural attractions, its reputation for sporting activities and its nearness to Peak District.

The participation of all stakeholders in marketing Sheffield is an important prerequisite to the growing the city’s appeal to visitors, sports enthusiasts, business people and tourists. Local businesses, the city council, city residents and local environmental conservation programs and groups are the main stakeholders of the city’s tourism sector. These stakeholders should implement a collaborative effort in supporting the marketing efforts of the city’s attractions to make it more appealing as a tourist destination. The contributions of local businesses, such as hoteliers will specifically expand the budget that is set aside for the marketing of the city’s tourist attractions.

Promotional Objectives and Positioning

A promotional campaign will seek to achieve the following objectives:

  1. To build awareness of Sheffield’s cultural attractions, sporting events and activities, industrial heritage, conference facilities and leisure opportunities among visitors and tourists
  2. To create interest and appeal of Sheffield city within the target market
  3. To provide visitors and tourists with adequate and relevant information on what makes Sheffield the most attractive city for holidays, sports and business
  4. To stimulate demand for tourist attractions, conference facilities and sporting activities in Sheffield
  5. To reinforce the image of Sheffield with a view of making it the most preferred city in the UK for tourism, leisure and business

Effective positioning of Sheffield within the tourist market in the UK is the prerequisite for the attainment of the above objectives. An objective positioning strategy will be used to develop a distinctive image of Sheffield among visitors and tourists. Through objective positioning a positive image about a tourist destination is effectively created.[1] Therefore, objective positioning will be used to develop an appealing image about the physical characteristics of Sheffield, which make it to be the most appealing city in the UK for leisure, sports and business. Objective positioning is effective in providing information, creating interest and building demand for what actually exists within a tourist destination.[2]

Promotional Strategies

Integrated marketing communication will be used as the preferred marketing strategy for Sheffield’s tourist attractions, events and leisure and business opportunities. An integrated marketing communication strategy is effective because it allows marketers to implement a wide range of promotional strategies, such as advertising, digital communications, social media and sponsorships with a goal of presenting messages and images which communicate similar messages to the target audience or market. The marketing campaign with adopt a wide range of promotional strategies so that it would effectively inform and create appeal among visitors and tourists within different market segments.[3]

The marketing campaign will seek to attract customers from a wide range of business segments, including business people, investors, tourists, sports enthusiasts, students, groups and families. Online communications and social media promotional strategies will be used to access the vast market which characterizes the online community. Through online communications and social media, the marketing communication processes will become highly interactive.[4] These are effective promotional strategies because they will ensure that consumers are adequately informed about the wide range of tourist attractions and leisure opportunities that are available in Sheffield. In addition, online communications and social media are effective marketing media because they allow marketers to share multimedia, such as images and videos, with consumers in order to create the highest level of appeal. The physical characteristics of Sheffield will be presented to the market in a meaningful, attractive and appropriate manner through the use of social media and online communications.[5]

Sponsorships will be employed as the preferred promotional strategy for attracting sporting events, sports enthusiasts, students and tourists into Sheffield. Sponsorships are effective strategies of enhancing the image of a tourist destination and allowing visitors to have first hand experiences of the attractions which characterize that destination.[6] Sponsorships will also create opportunities for creating awareness and displaying messages and images of Sheffield’s attractions to sports enthusiasts, students and other visitors. Sponsorships are therefore an effective promotional strategy of accessing specific market segments.

An integrated marketing communication will be used because it is an effective approach of achieving all promotional objectives. This is depicted by the role of integrated marketing in presenting consistent and credible messages and images which inform consumers, create appeal and improve the image of a destination while driving demand.[7] This means that the ads of the campaign will be designed in a manner that they depict similar messages about Sheffield as the most attractive tourist destination in the UK. Several images of the city’s attractions will also be presented through promotional media with a view of creating appeal for the city and making it more attractive to visitors than other cities in the UK.

Promotional Mix

Advertising will be used as the main element of the promotional mix in the marketing of Sheffield’s tourist attractions. Advertising is preferred because it effective in reaching out to a large audience.[8] Both traditional and online media would be used to propagate the ads of the promotional campaign. Television and billboards will be used to inform the target audience of the physical attractions of Sheffield and create a desire for visiting the city. Television is an appropriate media for the promotional campaign because it will market the city across the United States, which will contribute to an increase in the number of visitors and tourists. Television is also an effective media for displaying the conference facilities within Sheffield and communicating about its cultural heritage and attractions through the use of both visual and emotional appeals.

Advertising through online platforms will target the young generation, including college students and young couples. It is through online ads that the great lifestyle, leisure activities and sports events will be communicated to the audience. Online communication is preferred because of its characteristic viral marketing.[9] The goal of advertising across online platforms is to ensure that images of the attractions of Sheffield city spread rapidly through the internet in order to reach out to a large number of potential visitors.

Public relations will also be used as an important element of the promotional mix in the marketing campaign. Through public relations, a positive public image of Sheffield city will be created.[10] In addition, public relations are an effective strategy of evaluating the attitudes of visitors towards Sheffield city. More importantly, public relations will be used as a tool of demonstrating that Sheffield is a friendly and diverse city which has unique cultural heritage and practices. It is through this that the city will become more appealing to visitors. Furthermore, the city’s commitment to conservation and the protection of the environment would be made known through public relations promotional strategy. This will encourage tourists to find a reason of visiting in Sheffield.

Schedule and Outline Costs

The marketing campaign will run for a period of 12 months. It will involve planning activities, the design of marketing communication strategy, images and messages, engagement with stakeholders and the rollout and implementation of the campaign. Table 1 below depicts the main activities of the marketing campaign and the associated cost estimates.

Promotional Activity

Cost

Design of marketing media

 £2,000

Advertising

 £200,000

Websites

 £5,000

Online communications and social media

 £2,000

Catalogs

 £10,000

Shows and fairs

 £10,000

Sponsorships

 £140,000

Public relations

 £5,000

Staff Costs

 £100,000

Others

 £6,000

Total

 £480,000

Table 1: Budget Estimates for the Marketing Campaign

Since the city council of Sheffield has set aside only £280,000 for marketing communication, there is need to increase the budgetary allocation for the year long marketing campaign. The proposed £480,000 budget includes staff costs which had not been considered before. In addition, more money should be allocated to promotions/advertising in order to adequately support the year long marketing activities. The proposed budget is aligned with Sheffield’s strategy of implementing a modest and honest marketing communication strategy. Stakeholders, such as local businesses and universities will be encouraged to contribute to the city’s marketing communications. More funds will also be obtained by sponsors of the city’s sporting activities.

Evaluation Method

The implementation of the marketing communication plan will be evaluated in terms of its effectiveness in achieving the marketing objectives. The marketing communication will be considered effective if it informative, appealing and effective in enhancing the image of Sheffield. A survey will also be conducted among visitors with a view of determining their level of awareness of Sheffield’s attractions in order to determine whether the communication plan and promotional strategies were effectively implemented.

Appendix

Social media is growing in popularity as one of the most preferred communication vehicle in the implementation of marketing campaigns. Social media is a modern marketing communication vehicle, which is motivated by the rapid advances in technology, the increased use of smartphones and the vast population of consumers within online communities and social media networks. Regardless of the benefits that are attached to social media as a communication tool, it is notable that many companies are struggling in using social media to achieve their marketing communication objectives and goals. It is on the basis of this understanding that a critical analysis of this marketing tool is necessary in order to provide marketers with informative insights on the role of social media and effective implementation of social media networks to support marketing communication objectives. The analysis and critique will focus on the application of social media in marketing communication campaign that focuses on the market segment of university students in the marketing attractions and sporting activities in Sheffield city.

Social media is an effective communication tool because it provides marketers with a wide range of platforms through which they target consumers with their marketing images and messages, depending on user preferences for social media. Social media is specifically popular among young people, which makes it an effective communication tool for marketing Sheffield’s attractions to university students across the UK. Social media is also dynamic and appealing to online communities. Therefore, the application of this communication vehicle in the implementation of Sheffield's marketing plan is a guarantee that many young people in universities will receive the informative messages about Sheffield’s attractions.

Marketers should however understand that the use of social media as a marketing communication vehicle is not easy.[11] This is because a lot of time and effort is required in updating an organization’s accounts on social media. Therefore, Sheffield’s marketing campaign will need to dedicate a team of social media marketers who will be responsible for updating images and messages on the activities and attractions in Sheffield, which would be of importance to university students. It is therefore notable that social media marketing is not free as most potential marketers assume.[12] This is because staff costs must be incurred in compensating social media marketing teams. In addition, costs associated with web hosting and internet service providers are incurred by marketers who decide to use social media as the preferred marketing communication tool.[13]

Social media is generally a powerful marketing communication vehicle. This is illustrated by the fact that it is highly interactive and allows users to generate their own content.[14] Through the interactive features of social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, the marketing team will be able to exchange information with university students about Sheffield city, including its sporting activities and educational attractions and facilities, which will make it appealing to this market segment and encourage them to visit the city to attend various events. The capabilities of social media which allow users to generate content is beneficial for Sheffield’s marketing campaign because it will enable university students to share videos and images depicting the city’s attractions via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The viral marketing capabilities of social media makes it highly appealing communication vehicle for marketers because it allows them to reach out to a large audience within a short time.

Regardless of the attractive features that are associated with social media, marketers should anticipate some risks of using it as the preferred marketing communication vehicle. For instance, negative comments within various social media platforms would have a negative impact on the marketing campaign.[15] Therefore, the marketing team will be mandated to control what users comment on the city’s social media accounts by responding to their concerns and addressing their questions about the city’s attractions, events, activities and lifestyle. In addition, unrealistic expectations from university students would emerge from social media marketing communications.[16] The social marketing team should be able to address the expectations of the audience so that undesired effects of the marketing communication processes are mitigated.

Social media provides platforms within which young people share knowledge, opinions, videos, music, photos and stories.[17] This makes it an effective marketing communication tool for Sheffield’s marketing campaign because it will allow students who have visited the city to share their experiences with others. This is an effective approach of implementing credible a credible marketing campaign because users are more likely to trust the opinions of visitors that are build on their experiences at Sheffield city. The students who join conversations about the Sheffield’s attractions will be encouraged to visit it during holidays or prefer the city for educational or recreational tours. Social media marketing will also create appeal for Sheffield city among university students because it will be used to depict its sporting events and tournaments through attractive images and videos with a goal of making the city more attractive to this segment of visitors.

A majority of university students in the UK have access to internet and use smartphones. This makes social media the most appropriate tool of providing these students with instant images and messages about Sheffield city through its social media accounts. The marketing team has a huge opportunity of achieving the objectives of Sheffield’s marketing campaign. However, the marketing team should be able to understand where on social media to start. This is because there are specific social media platforms which are more popular among university students, such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. These platforms should be the main focus of the marketing campaign as opposed to Google +and LinkedIn.

 

 

                                                                                                                    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

Aktas, G. B. Atrek and S.  Kurt, 'Sports as a 'Green Product' in Destination Marketing: Case of Windsurfing in Cesme, Turkey', Journal of Yasar University, vol. 10, no. 39, 2015, p. 6596-6606

Alvarez, M., 'Marketing of Turkey as a Tourism Destination', Anatolia: An International Journal Of Tourism & Hospitality Research, vol. 21, no. 1, 2010, p. 123-138

Bongkosh N.  J. Beck, and Q. Hailin, 'Promotional Strategies and Traveler's Satisfaction During the Asian Financial Crisis: A Best Practice Case Study of Thailand', Journal Of Quality Assurance In Hospitality & Tourism, vol. 3, no. 1, 2012, p. 109-124

Cheng, M. and D. Edwards, 'Social Media in Tourism: A Visual Analytic Approach', Current Issues in Tourism, vol. 18, no. 11, 2015, p. 1080-1087

Chhabra, D., 'Proposing A Sustainable Marketing Framework for Heritage Tourism', Journal of Sustainable Tourism, vol. 17, no. 3, 2009, p. 303-320

Dibb, S., 'Up, Up and Away: Social Marketing Breaks Free', Journal of Marketing Management, vol. 30, no. 11, 2014, p. 1159-1185

Hatfield, L., 'Sponsorship in Marketing: Effective Communication through Sports, Arts and Events', Journal Of Sport Management, vol. 30, no. 1, 2016, p. 97-98

Hays, S. M. Page and D. Buhalis, 'Social Media As A Destination Marketing Tool: Its Use By National Tourism Organizations’, Current Issues In Tourism, vol. 16, no. 3, 2013, p. 211-239

Hersh, A. and K. Aladwan, 'Tourists Perceive Marketing Deception through the Promotional Mix', Business Management Dynamics, vol. 3, no. 12, 2013, p. 21-35

Hvass, K. and A. Munar, 'The takeoff of social media in tourism', Journal of Vacation Marketing, vol. 18, no. 2, 2012, p. 93-103

Kavoura, A. and V. Katsoni, 'From E-Business to C-Commerce: Collaboration and Network Creation for an E-Marketing Tourism Strategy', Tourismos, vol. 8, no. 3, 2013, p. 113-120

Kavoura, A. and V. Katsoni, 'From E-Business to C-Commerce: Collaboration and Network Creation for an E-Marketing Tourism Strategy', Tourismos, vol. 8, no. 3, 2013, p. 113-128

Lai, W. and V. Nguyen, 'An Application Of AHP Approach To Investigate Tourism Promotional Effectiveness', Tourism & Hospitality Management, vol. 19, no. 1, 2013, p. 1-22

Petkovska, T. and N. Cuculeski, 'The Necessity of Applying Marketing Strategies in Tourism - The Case of Slovenia and Tunisia', Economic Development, vol. 17, no. 1, 2015, p. 25-36

Popesku, J., 'Social Media as A Tool of Destination Marketing Organizations', Singidunum Journal of Applied Sciences, 2014, pp. 715-721

Talpau, A., 'Social Media - A New Way of Communication', Bulletin of the Transilvania University of Brasov. Series V: Economic Sciences, vol. 7, no. 2, 2014, p. 45-52

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1] L. Hatfield, 'Sponsorship in Marketing: Effective Communication through Sports, Arts and Events', Journal Of Sport Management, vol. 30, no. 1, 2016, p. 97

[2] A. Kavoura and V. Katsoni, 'From E-Business To C-Commerce: Collaboration And Network Creation For An E-Marketing Tourism Strategy', Tourismos, vol. 8, no. 3, 2013, p. 113

[3] T. Petkovska and N. Cuculeski, 'The Necessity Of Applying Marketing Strategies In Tourism - The Case Of Slovenia And Tunisia', Economic Development, vol. 17, no. 1, 2015, p. 27

[4] W. Lai and V. Nguyen, 'An Application Of AHP Approach To Investigate Tourism Promotional Effectiveness', Tourism & Hospitality Management, vol. 19, no. 1, 2013, p. 8

[5] A. Hersh and K. Aladwan, 'Tourists Perceive Marketing Deception Through The Promotional Mix', Business Management Dynamics, vol. 3, no. 12, 2013, p. 23

[6] M. Alvarez, 'Marketing of Turkey as a Tourism Destination', Anatolia: An International Journal Of Tourism & Hospitality Research, vol. 21, no. 1, 2010, p. 123-138

[7] N. Bongkosh,  J. Beck, and Q. Hailin, 'Promotional Strategies and Traveler's Satisfaction During the Asian Financial Crisis: A Best Practice Case Study of Thailand', Journal Of Quality Assurance In Hospitality & Tourism, vol. 3, no. 1, 2012, p. 120

[8] G. Aktas, B. Atrek and S.  Kurt, 'Sports as a 'Green Product' in Destination Marketing: Case of Windsurfing in Cesme, Turkey', Journal Of Yasar University, vol. 10, no. 39, 2015, p. 6596-6606

[9] A. Hersh and K. Aladwan, 'Tourists Perceive Marketing Deception Through The Promotional Mix', Business Management Dynamics, vol. 3, no. 12, 2013, p. 22

[10]  A. Kavoura and V. Katsoni, 'From E-Business To C-Commerce: Collaboration And Network Creation For An E-Marketing Tourism Strategy', Tourismos, vol. 8, no. 3, 2013, p. 113-128

 

[11] D. Chhabra, 'Proposing A Sustainable Marketing Framework For Heritage Tourism', Journal Of Sustainable Tourism, vol. 17, no. 3, 2009, p. 304

[12] K. Hvass and A. Munar, 'The takeoff of social media in tourism', Journal Of Vacation Marketing, vol. 18, no. 2, 2012, p. 94

[13] M. Cheng and D. Edwards, 'Social Media In Tourism: A Visual Analytic Approach', Current Issues In Tourism, vol. 18, no. 11, 2015, p. 1084

[14] J. Popesku, 'Social Media As A Tool Of Destination Marketing Organizations', Singidunum Journal Of Applied Sciences, 2014, pp. 717

[15] S. Hays, M. Page and D. Buhalis, 'Social Media As A Destination Marketing Tool: Its Use By National Tourism Organizations’, Current Issues In Tourism, vol. 16, no. 3, 2013, p. 214

[16] A. Talpau, 'Social Media - A New Way of Communication', Bulletin of the Transilvania University of Brasov. Series V: Economic Sciences, vol. 7, no. 2, 2014, p. 49

[17] S. Dibb, 'Up, Up And Away: Social Marketing Breaks Free', Journal Of Marketing Management, vol. 30, no. 11, 2014, p. 1165

 

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