Purpose The purpose of this report or study is to provide a promotional campaign report for Hunter Valley at the request of the management team of Cessnock City Council. And the report is going to address many issues such as the concept of the marketing for Hunter Valley region as tourist destination and the expected cost from the planned marketing strategy etc.
Discussion This report has been made through observation of the actual region of Hunter Valley and its attributes as a destination which may appeal to domestic and international tourists. Brief introduction of what Hunter Valley has to offer will start the report to give overview of Hunter Valley, the campaign or promotional strategies which have been chosen and deemed appropriate to achieve the marketing objectives of the management team, establishing the target market for this particular marketing campaign with deep analysis using academic literatures. Following the chosen target market, then the report will outline the communication objectives and communication channels that will be used to reach the targets. Main competitors are also going to be outlined in this report and along with the expected budget needed for the campaign to be successful, which has been calculated realistically. This report shows and explains dimensions in the marketing campaign design through many literature reviews, which are useful for the writer to make a conclusion of campaign practices.
This report has been made to present a promotional campaign report to the management of Cessnock City Council regarding Hunter Valley region. This report will decide a matching campaign in accordance to the marketing objectives. Hunter Valley is located 2 hours’ drive north of Sydney and reachable by different transportation methods such as car, bus, train or air. Visitors are also able to reach Hunter Valley by riverboat from Newcastle on the NSW North Coast, which sails along the stunning Hunter River (Destination NSW, 2017). As one of Australia’s most ancient region, attractive towns and villages surround the Hunter region. The grape vineyards are very impressive national parks of the Hunter Valley in the Upper Hunter and Barrington Tops (Destination NSW, 2017). Hunter Valley is regarded internationally for its wine produce and for the culinary experience it has to offer. The visitors will be able to experience and taste numerous world-class wines and cellar doors located all over the region. The Hunter region has many subregions with each of them having their own wine characteristics, which also increase its attractiveness for the visitors. The visitors may explore many of the tiny villages easily and uncover the secrets of those villages by driving car, which takes just 40 minutes from one end of Hunter Valley to other end. There are approximately more than 150 wineries yielding a big batch of extraordinary wines reflective of their root (WineCountry.com.au 2017).
2. Promotional Campaign Strategy
King (2001) stated that destination marketing is important in the tourism world as it ensures the strategies, structure and skills of the campaign. The greater emphasis on a brand image of a destination will identify the brand values that are connected to the targeted visitors (King 2001). Promoting a destination will imply the development of the communication channels from the promotional campaign (Shani, Chen, Wang & Hua 2010). The communication channels could introduce the destination towards the target market (Shani, Chen, Wang & Hua 2010). It will also attract the clientele and other stakeholder to increase their awareness and be persuaded to purchase the products (Shani, Chen, Wang & Hua 2010). According to Shani, Chen, Wang & Hua (2010), independent businesses can advertise their company using the media such as television, magazines, Internet, books or even movies and it has been found very popular when advertising a destination. There is an increasing evidence of significant rise of tourists visiting the destinations where popular advertising in billboards or magazines (Shani, Chen, Wang & Hua 2010). Advertising has an emotional and rational appeal. Emotional appeal will stir up negative or positive emotions that could encourage purchase, while rational appeal focuses on the visitor’s practical and functional need, therefore, having their own reasons to purchase the particular brand (Grigaliunaite & Pileliene 2016). The creative ways to promote Hunter Valley for its wineries, food and activities are essential for visitors to have knowledge of and encourage visitors to purchase products and deals. Advertising will be a useful tool to advertise the destination, as the visitors will be visible with the advertising and promotion from social media, billboard and magazines. When advertising are placed in billboards in the middle of the cities, it could urge target markets and potentially be interested when looking at the billboards a couple of time.
5. Target Market
Jang, Morrison & O’leary (2008) defined target market as the common characteristics of customer that a company is looking for, hence it will help the company to create a specific target market and it is an essential step to establish a marketing strategy. The target markets from Hunter Valley are mainly for couples with 49% and family and friends with 45% (Tourism Australia 2008). It is a great place for couples because the company provides intimate scenery and restaurants that will cater towards the couples and create a romantic atmosphere for them. The company also accommodates families and friends with activities provided by Hunter Valley. These activities are local market that is held during school holidays, restaurants that offer family sized food and an icy wonderland for all ages with live ice sculptures, ice skating and tobogganing that could provide a wonderful time for the families and friends (Wine Country 2017). Activities for adults such as hot air ballooning, game of golf and bike riding for a peaceful ride while experiencing the Hunter Valley is also available (Wine Country 2017). Visitors aged 25-54 years old are the majority of guests visiting the company with 69%, while the other 28% and 18% goes towards visitors aged 25-34 and 35-44 years old (Tourism Australia 2008). Most of the visitors come from Australia, with a percentage of 92%. 88% comes from New South Wales, 6% from Queensland and others from Western Australia and other states and territories; therefore, the main target market is from Australia. The target market are not only what the company are focused on, the increase of visitors are what targeted too. For example, on the year or 2015, Hunter Valley Wine & Tourim Association (HVWTA) made a winter campaign that led to and increase of 126,000 visits and 65% growth year on year because of the success of the campaign (Destination NSW 2016).
4. Communication Objectives
According to Besley, Dudo, Yuan & Ghannam (2016), communication objectives are accomplished in order to engage with the public or whomever they wanted to reach. The definition of communication objectives is to find out and understand what are the goals that the writer would like to achieve from the promotional campaign (Besley, Dudo, Yuan & Ghannam 2016). The effectiveness of communication objectives is very high since the focus on it will help to operate the programs that are in the promotion (Besley, Dudo, Yuan & Ghannam 2016). Hence, the target markets could accept the message of awareness and knowledge and having visitors understand what the company got to offer (Besley, Dudo, Yuan & Ghannam 2016). As the target market for Hunter Valley are mainly couples, friends and family from Australia, it is important to have the communication objectives, which are awareness and knowledge. Hunter Valley should create more awareness towards potential visitors by showing what they have. They can advertise the destination by posting advertising on the Internet and on social medias, for example, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. The knowledge objectives are also important as the company should advertise the winery, restaurants, accommodation and activities that includes programs for couples family and friends that are available in Hunter Valley, hence, providing knowledge towards potential visitors. Promotion offer such as cheaper rates or discounts should also be offered. Awareness of the destination is essential to focus on, as it will ensure visitors on the expectations of the company (Besley, Dudo, Yuan & Ghannam 2016). Given that 77% of visitors stayed at least one night in the destination and the remainder 23% were day visitors, it is important for consumers to be aware and be knowledgeable of Hunter Valley and what it got to offer to have a repeat visit for the next time (Tourism Australia 2008).
5. Main Competitors
The definition of competitors is companies that are operating in the same industry and also provides similar products and has similar target markets (Chen 1996). Analysing whom the main competitors from a company could assist on how to build the market strategy and resources that is needed (Chen 1996). The main competitor for Hunter Valley is Barossa Valley Wineries that are located in South Australia and are only 56 km North East towards Adelaide (PR Newswire 2003). The Barossa Valley has a mosaic vineyards, attractive town and overlooking church points. In 2001-2002 Barossa Valley has produced Chardonnay and Shiraz Valley and are both award winning E&E and Ebenezer range of wines that are made (PR Newswire 2003). The Barossa Valley provides a range of wine for the wine lovers with Barossa’s classic flavor of intense fruit flavours (PR Newswire 2003). The Barossa Valley has about 2500 visits for their company. It can be competition towards Hunter Valley due to the location that is within Australia, therefore visitors from all around Australia would choose between the Hunter Valley and Barossa Valley (South Australia 2016). The amount of time and type of transport such as car or planes to get to both destinations are very alike. Hence, having visitors to think about which destinations they would choose (South Australia 2016). The Barossa also has similar ways that the Hunter Valley provide and that is a romantic getaway for the visitors such as 15 rooms terraces and spacious suites as well restaurants for their dinners (South Australia 2016). The activities such as hot-air balloon are also provided by Barossa Valley (South Australia 2016). To gain a competitive advantage, Hunter Valley should create more variety of their programs for couples, families and friends. The company should also focus more on advertising for Hunter Valley on their programs in order to attract the visitors from all around Australia.
6. Communication Channels
The competition in tourism industry is ferocious (Narasimhan, 1988). In creating this marketing campaign, the writer has chosen a few different and particular communication channels in order to promote Hunter Valley towards the target market and increase visitation to the region. Social medias, tourist websites, travel brochures and travel blogs will be utilised to achieve and to reach wider market (Sakshi, 2017). Various and sizeable media advertisements are also part of this communication channels such as billboards and magazines. The direct marketing channels that can be done are through websites such as winecountry.com or visitnsw.com which are able to provide the potential target market with comprehensive information about what the Hunter Valley has to offer as a tourist destination (Dominici, 2009). We will use famous magazines like the Australian Traveller and International Traveller to communicate the beauties and charms of Hunter region to customers domestically and internationally. Through the magazines we will be able to create meaningful connections since these two magazines are also widely read across the country.
How the Internet marketing has grown and evolved during the past decade has also transformed how we can use the technology and online marketing to our advantages. Online marketing is becoming a increasingly preferred method of destination marketing since internet is widely-used by all age groups. The young adults are also our target market and we understand that we can win them over using technology (Dominici, 2009). Young people are very familiar with smart devices and their increasing usage of them means that promoting Hunter Valley through social medias like Facebook page and Instagram accounts will result in elevated interest and increased visitation to the region. The social media like Instagram will definitely provide visual representations of the charms of Hunter Valley. Social media is a worldwide cost saving method of promoting which enables individuals to yield and sharing data (Höpken, Gretzel and Law, 2009). At the present time, social media marketing is one of the most adjustable ways to promote our destination and we also have to utilise the Hunter Valley website where the visitors can extract information about the area (Sakshi, 2017). Through facebook, we can establish a page in which the visitors will be able to learn about detailed information and get updated continuously, along with the reviews about Hunter Valley. Since advertising induces desire of the customers to purchase product and become more interested in the products being offered (Grigaliunaite & Pileliene 2016). All these methods of advertising will be launched immediately and will be going on for 12 month period from September 2017 to September 2018 in order to make a comparison of the total number of visitor during that time to the previous year’s total visitors.
7. Campaign Evaluation
As estimating an overall financial benefits from succeeding the promotional campaign of Hunter Valley is difficult to do, management may be wise to look at figures such as the number of visitors after the campaign has been launched in comparison to the number of visitors before the campaign and find out if there is any increase or improvement from that perspective (Samu, 2009 ; Knight, 2005). The activities of social media accounts, which are Facebook account and Instagram, can also become parameters in evaluating the success of the campaign. The statistics or figures regarding the number of visitors and demographic will be obtained from Cessnock City and Hunter Valley Visitor Information Centre and be monitored for the next 12 month period of the campaign, from then any increase, decrease or stagnancy will be recorded. Comparison of the figures and proper monitoring of the campaign enables management to measure the success of the marketing campaign and find out if Hunter Valley has succeed in gaining competitive advantage against its competitors (Damore, 2003; Samu, 1999). To be regarded as a success, the campaign has to at least improve and increase the number of visitation by 25%, since this increase will prove that there is a raise in destination awareness and prove that the campaign is effective in capturing the target market. With increased awareness and increased visitation are the primary objectives of the campaign along with improved image of the region, meaning that the reviews and feedbacks from visitors on social media must be analyses and taken into account (Sakshi, 2017).
8. Promotional Budget
Budget is essential in the marketing campaign (Stewart, 1996). This marketing campaign has to create a budget in regard to the promotional activities that need to be implemented for the campaign to be successful. The advertising budget on these activities is quite restricted since the Hunter Valley council does not provide massive marketing funds for the campaign. Since Hunter Valley already has its own established website on winecountry.com and Cessnock.nsw.gov.au, it only needs to have a regular maintenance cost at $1000 for every 3 months, which add up at $4,000 for the next 12 months. The advertisement on Australian Traveller and International Traveller magazine will be done over a half of a page every month with the pictures of iconic Hunter Valley will cost $2,000 per insertion (Australian Traveller, 2017), so with advertisement on two magazines the cost will come up at $48,000. For the social media accounts, we may need to hire few staffs to manage these accounts professionally, so training will be given for the staffs for a week in case of them being unfamiliar with handling the social media accounts. The training will cost $1,000 for a week. The total promotional activities cost is $ 53,000.
To sum it up, this promotional campaign targets couples, families and friends that are from Australia, to choose Hunter Valley as their destination. The communication objectives such as awareness and knowledge will portray what is needed when choosing the communication channels, which are billboards, magazines and social media. The main competitor which is Barossa Valley are explained with the similarities to Hunter Valley and what can Hunter valley do to compete and interact more visitors towards them. Campaign evaluation that evaluates the statistics, budget and the growth of campaign will be discussed. The promotional budget will also be explained by creating a budget and maintaining the finance for the campaign.
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