Tasmania Walking Company Marketing Strategy

Tasmania Walking Company Marketing Strategy

Part 1: Research Proposal

Executive summary

Tasmania Walking Company (TWC) offers sustainable luxury experience through guided walks. Founded by Ken Latona, TWC has been in operation for over 25 years and is targeted towards promoting fitness levels for clients as they walk and navigate through the world’s iconic mountain and coastal sceneries. The objective of the research proposal is to come up marketing-related management decision in order to be successful in future. To achieve this, TWC needs to adopt an approach that is best suited to achieve this objective. The research proposal recommends adopting a customer-focused holistic marketing approach. To clearly understand and address the customer’s needs, TWC should adopt the approach since it is brand-based, effective and long-term single marketing approach which offers integrated unique business aspects for maximum customer satisfaction and product effectiveness (Cătălin, M.C., Andreea, P. and Adina, C., 2014). It is indispensable to strengthen the brand value through relationship marketing which is achievable using the holistic approach. The approach will help TWC achieve external and internal marketing to the target market and employees where each of them will become a brand ambassador. Moreover, the holistic approach is deemed perfect for achieving integrated marketing through the various TWC communication channels. By keeping the brand values simple and with a touch on customer psyche, TWC will profit from solidifying its ‘it’s in our nature’ tagline. To implement the marketing strategy, TWC will have to analyze and identify the cognitive space of its customer, customer psyche in relation to the business, as well as its competence level of TWC in availing products and services. After identifying the highest importance needs of the customers, TWC should consider delivering the values to the customers.

Introduction

With vast experience in offering adventure walks to targeted high-end clients, Tasmania Walking Company (TWC) ought to invest in strategies that will sustain its brand and profits into the future. It can only do so by clearly understanding the changing needs of its customers. TWC needs to address the following questions:

Research questions

Qualitative:

RQ1: Are customers generally satisfied with quality of services offered by TWC?

Quantitative:

RQ2: Does TWC generate sufficient revenues from its operation to sustain business in the future?

The qualitative question will help assess the reliability and relevance of TWC services to customers. The quantitative question on the other hand will help understand whether the TWC is optimizing its revenue for sustainability into the future.

Information required

The information required to ascertain whether customers are generally satisfied with the services offered by TWC include valid responses of customers through questionnaires administered to the clients. Financial statements which detail the activities, incomes and expenditures undertaken by the company over the years will also be required.

Expected learning outcomes

Studying the customers’ needs will help understanding the focus areas that a business should consider to accurately and correct meet the clients’ needs (Borgen, W.A., 2000). The higher the customer satisfaction level, the more clients will keep becoming back for the service and referring others thereby translating to increased incomes to the company.

Existing knowledge

According to Race, K.E., Hotch, D.F. and Packer, T., (1994), understanding clients’ needs is indispensable if the business is to sustain operations in the long run. In a dynamic market with vast number of competitors, customer attraction and retention is indeed critical for consideration especially if a business is to survive into the future and be able to stay afloat. According to (Sashi, C.M., 2012), interest, desire and ability of a customer to want to take a first, second or even third purchase is guided by the quality of experience offered by a vendor. Many customers make their second choices based on their first time experience. (Betz, F., 2003) suggests that a business that is quick to adopt change and innovation sharpens its competitive edge against rivals. The product life cycle (PLC) helps fashioning the marketing strategies of a company (Anderson, C.R. and Zeithaml, C.P., 1984). The PLC undergoes various phases which can be summarized as follows:

The TWC product profile shows that it considers different growth and development phases whenever it seeks to introduce and market a product in its profile. As a result, TWC has managed to attain profits over the past financial years.

Micro and macro environmental factors

Some of the macro and micro environmental factors that TWC should consider include the external product and service market, market trends including prices and inflation levels, government regulations, imports and export exchanges, as well as competitive and sustainability strategies (Alon, I. and McKee, D., 1999). Notably, over the decades, TWC has  maintained certain social and environmental sustainability strategies including using environmentally friendly such as installing solar panels in all buildings, collection and recycling of rainwater in tanks, using renewable gas for heating purposes as well as proper waste management.

Research design

The study will adopt a descriptive research design in analyzing the results obtained from the data collected. Cooper. D.R., and Schindler, P.S. (2003), states that descriptive research is an accurate profile of persons, events or situation. The qualitative and quantitative data collected will be used to summarize the information required hence fulfilling the objectives of this study. According to Mugenda, M. O., & Mugenda, G.A. (2003), descriptive research is best used in addressing the status of the subjects under study.

Ethical concerns

The ethical concern to consider for the research study is the confidentiality of the customer information. Sensitive information will be handled in an ethical manner and not exposed to other people. This will be communicated to the clients during administration of questionnaires.

Case studies.

Companies such as Samsung and Coca- cola have in the past adopted customer-focused holistic marketing approaches in the strategy. Ideally, this has helped the companies to be sustainable and record high profit margins over the years.

Target demographics

The target market describes the population of interest that a company focuses on delivering service to. A well-defined target market has the potential of achieving the objectives, visions and missions of the company (McQueen, J. and Miller, K.E., 1985). TWC targets two types of customers; the high-income consumers and overseas tourists. TWC targets high net worth individuals high who are willing to pay for a guided nature walk rather than undertaking the experience independently. Most of these people tend to be retired professionals such as doctors and lawyers most of who are averagely in their 40s, 50s or 60s. Moreover, TWC domestic target market is composed of individuals who reside in the urban areas seeking a luxury adventure-and-nature-based experience. TWC’s target market comprises of multiple-groups each with unique attributes. In particular, TWC targets the residents of Australian states of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.  The company however, does not target the Chinese tourists who visit the Australian beaches, wildlife and bars.

Research methodology

Sampling procedures and sample size

The research proposal will adopt a random sampling model in selecting the clients to administer the questionnaires and conduct interviews to. Given the nature of the customers, a stratified random technique will involve dividing the population into stratum of one or more subsets will be used (Cooper. D.R., & Schindler, P.S.2003). The reason why stratified random is best suitable to undertake is because it leads to a high degree of representation and efficient in terms of representing the category groups o the clients. To ensure that the results of the study are representative, the study will seek to reach out to at least 75 percent of the total number of clients in the database.

Conceptual framework

The independent variable for the qualitative research question is the quality of service. The dependent variable is the customer’s level of satisfaction. To measure the dependent variable (level of satisfaction), a five-point Likert scale (strongly disagree to strongly agree) will be used.

Definition and measurement of variables

Research data collection methods

To establish the level of customer’s satisfaction of the service offered by TWC, a questionnaire will be administered to the sample population. The questionnaires will have both open-ended and closed-ended answers which will seek to establish the level of customers’ satisfaction. The information data will be collected from primary sources which includes the administering the questionnaires to clients. Interviews will also be held where deemed necessary. While administering the questionnaires, the respondents who are the clients in this case will be assured that the data collected will be confidential and held with outmost sensitivity. The data will not be exposed or used against the respondents. Additionally, the questionnaire will be tiered to sections which will help the respondents express their satisfaction level based on their experiences at the walking adventure.

To collect data on the revenues obtained by the TWC, financial statements comprising of the income statement, statement of financial position and statement of cashflows will be used for analysis. From these statements, the activities leading to the generation of revenue to the company will be obtained. Information such as the revenue, sales, administrative expenses, cash inflows and outflows of the company will be analyzed over several years and financial ratios as well as an ordinary least square equation linking the independent and dependent variables will be formulated. The data collection method will be through the use of secondary data outsourced from the financial statements. Based on the information obtained, a descriptive analysis will be conducted by highlighting the key sectors contributing revenue to the company and whether TWC is optimizing its revenues for sustainability in the future.

 

Part 2: Choosing Statistical Tests

Scenario 1: Meal choices

Objective: To establish whether the restaurant should be ordering different proteins at different times, and who they should be offering side dishes to.

Research questions

  • RQ1: Should the restaurant offer different proteins at different times?
  • RQ2: Which customers should the restaurant offer side dishes?

Hypothesis testing

  • RQ1: Should the restaurant offer different proteins at different times?

HO: The restaurant should not serve meals containing proteins at different times

HA: The restaurant should serve meals containing proteins at different times

  • RQ2: Which customers should the restaurant offer side dishes?

HO: Female customers do not take more side dishes than men

HA: Female customers take more side dishes than men

Nature of variables

  • RQ1: Should the restaurant offer different proteins at different times?

Frequency of ordering meal types = F (meal protein choice, meal serving times)

The dependent variable is the frequency of ordering meal types while the independent variables are the meal protein choices and the meal serving times.

  • RQ2: Which customers should the restaurant offer side dishes?

Frequency of the customer eating at the restaurant = F (side dish selected, gender of customer)

The dependent variable is the frequency of the customer eating at the restaurant while the independent variables are the side dishes selected and gender of customer.

Level of measurement

The frequency of ordering is quantitative variable which measures the number of times a meal has been order. The meal protein choice, side dish selected and meal serving times and gender are ordinal variable which has category level of choices.

Statistical tests:

To test whether the restaurant should serve meals containing proteins at different times or not, the manager should use an ANOVA test to study the differences in the serving times (breakfast, lunch, dinner). To test the validity of the hypothesis, an ANOVA test to test for variances would be most appropriate to conduct for check for variances between males and females in taking side dishes.

 

 

Scenario 3: Customer Insight

Objective: To study the relationship between product quality and satisfaction with retail service as well as the interaction of quality and satisfaction over time.

Research questions

  • RQ1: Does quality affect the level of satisfaction of customers with retail service?
  • RQ2: Does the relationship of quality and level of satisfaction change overtime?

Hypothesis testing

  • RQ1: Does quality affect the level of satisfaction of customers with retail service?

HO: Quality does not affect the level of satisfaction of customers.

HA: Quality affects the level of satisfaction of customers.

  • RQ2: Does the relationship of quality and level of satisfaction change overtime?

HO: The relationship between quality and level of satisfaction is static overtime

HA: The relationship between quality and level of satisfaction changes overtime

Nature of variables

Level of satisfaction of customers = f(Quality)

The dependent variable is the level of satisfaction of customers while the independent variable is the quality of the retail service offered to customers.

Level of satisfaction = f(time)

The dependent variable is the level of satisfaction achieved within a span of time which is the independent variable.

Level of measurement

Quality and level of satisfaction are qualitative variables. The level of customer satisfaction to the retail service is an ordinal scale which is measured using a five-point Likert scale. Time is a continuous variable which when considered in terms of years, it is considered a discrete continuous variable.

Statistical tests:

To test whether quality affects the level of satisfaction of customers, a z-test for the samples should be used since the sample is larger than 30. To test whether the level of satisfaction changes overtime, ANOVA test should be conducted so as to establish whether there is variance between the customer satisfaction level over the period of the seven months both in the first and second surveys.

Number of samples

The sample size from the first survey was 300 and 250 for the second survey while the received responses were 100 in each of the surveys. The total sample size 550 with while the total responses received 200 responses received. In both the surveys, the aim was study whether there is relationship between quality of the retain service with the level of satisfaction.

Scenario 8: Outlet Performance

Objective: To investigate the performance of different outlets from a customers’ point of view, computing the average the average satisfaction score for each outlet, testing whether customers are, overall, satisfied with a given outlet and testing whether there is a difference in the satisfaction levels between the two are managers.

Research questions

  • RQ1: Do the outlets have different levels of performance from a customers’ point of view?
  • RQ2: Are the customers, overall, satisfied with a given outlet given the average satisfaction score?
  • RQ3: Is there a difference in the satisfaction levels between the two are managers?

Hypothesis testing

HO: The outlets do not have different levels of performance from a customers’ point of view.

HA: The outlets have different levels of performance from a customers’ point of view.

HO: The customers are, overall, not satisfied with a given outlet given the average satisfaction score.

HA: The customers are, overall, satisfied with a given outlet given the average satisfaction score.

HO: The satisfaction levels between the two are managers are homogenous.

HA: The satisfaction levels between the two are managers are heterogeneous.

Nature of variables

Level of performance = f(no. of customers)

The dependent variable is the level of performance from a customers’ point of view while the independent variable is the number of customers expressing their views on their perceived level of performance of different outlets.

Level of satisfaction = f(no. of customers)

The dependent variable is the level of satisfaction of shoppers while the independent variable is the number of customers expressing their views on their shopping experience in different outlets.

Level of satisfaction = f(frequency of purchase)

The dependent variable is the level of satisfaction among the two managers while the independent variable is the frequency of purchases in the outlets managed by the 2 managers.

Level of measurement

The level of performance is a qualitative variable while the customer satisfaction score is an ordinal scale qualitative variable measured using a seven-point Likert scale score. The number of customers and frequency of purchase is a scale quantitative variable.

Statistical tests:

To test for the difference in difference in the outlet performance from a customers’ point of view, an ANOVA test should be conducted. The ANOVA test should also be used to test whether the satisfaction levels between the two are managers are homogenous or heterogeneous.

To test the significance of the satisfaction level of customers, a z-test should be conducted on the average satisfaction score and the p-value should be determined to establish whether the results are significant.

Number of samples

A total of responses of atleast 100 responses per outlet obtained from the total of 60 outlets handled by the 2 managers. Thus, a total of atleast 6,000 (60*100) sample responses from the shoppers expressing their satisfaction levels based on their shopping experience is obtained.

 

Part 3: Interpreting Data

Frequency and Likert scale

A total of 327, 242 and 516 respondents indicated that they had eaten from a fast food restaurant within the past 4 weeks(22.6%), more than 4 Weeks to within the past 3 months (16.7%), more than 3 months ago (35.6%) respectively. A total of 91 respondents (6.3%) indicated that they had never eaten at the restaurant. Out of the 569 respondents only 139 (9.6%) indicated that they frequently ate the restaurant while about 93 respondents (6.4) ate less often at the restaurant. On a 10-point scale, majority of the respondents indicated rated the restaurant a score of 8 (139 respondents) while 53 respondents gave an excellent score of 10 of the quality of service at the restaurant. However, only 2 respondents recorded to have had a terrible experience from a fast food restaurant.

Statistical Test Results (Chi-square test, T-test)

Since the chi-square statistic (51.423) > chi-square critical (3.01) and the Tstatistic (25.832) > Tcritical (1.965), the null hypothesis should not be rejected. The conclusion is that respondents had not eaten from the restaurant in the last three months. A paired sample statistics shows that the majority of the respondents indicated that they read nutritional labels for the products they buy and many of them have been making an effort to look for fast food choices have better nutritional values.

Correlation

There was significant correlation (65.2%) between those who consider the amount of fat in the fast foods restaurant and those that stay up-to-date with current and latest health and nutrition information. Females were more proactive than male in both staying up-to-date with the current on the latest health and nutrition information (female(173)>male(152 as well as reading Read nutritional labels on most products they buy (female(173)>male(152)).

OLS Regression Results

The more the respondents (are up-to-date with health and nutrition information (0.535), make effort to find about nutritional content (0.531), consider the amount of fat in foods (0.145), consider the amount of fat in kids food (0.570), opt for alternative fast food choices with better nutritional value (0.330)), the more higher the number of times they are likely to go and eat in a fast food restaurant. On the other hand, the more times the respondents read nutritional labels (-0.915) and concerned themselves with high content (-2.471), the less the number of number of times they are likely to go and eat in a fast food restaurant. There is a fairly low correlation (26.3%) between dependent and independent variables. The goodness of fit test (r-square) shows that the independent variables accounted for about 6.9% of all changes in the dependent variable.

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