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For this unit I will be looking at the marketing of an existing service. The service that I will investigate are the Virgin Trains service which is own by Virgin.

Extracts from this document...


Contents Page Pages 3 to 8 - E1 - Principal of market Pages 8 to 18 - E2 - Establishing customer need Page 18 - C3 - Reliability of data Pages 19 to 24 - E3 - Promotion Pages 24 to 26 - C2 - Marketing mix proposals Pages 27 to 28 - E4 - External influences Pages 28 to 33 - C1 - Links between external influences and marketing strategy Pages 34 to 37 - E5 - Presentation on one aspect Page 23 - Bibliography Unit 3 - Marketing For this unit I will be looking at the marketing of an existing service. The service that I will investigate are the Virgin Trains service which is own by Virgin. Virgin trains spawned from Richard Branson's multi-pronged entrepreneurial empire, following the privatisation of the railways. Despite some other companies running nationwide services, such as the economy fares of Silverlink, Virgin is by far the most comprehensive service, covering most areas of England, Wales and Scotland. Virgin is one of the best-known business names in Britain today. The Virgin Group of companies is lead by its founder, head and prime mover, Richard Branson. Over the years, the activities of Richard Branson have multiplied, many in conjunction with other major businesses. The Virgin Group has interests that include air travel, stores, financial services, music, rail travel, entertainment, cosmetics, cola and the Internet. Virgin is a private limited company, one of the most successful the UK has ever seen. In 1986, virgin became a plc to inject more capital to finance Branson plans for developing the businesses. But in 1988, due to not having complete control, Richard Branson bought back the business at 248 millions. E1 - Principal of market Marketing is a complete process within Virgin Trains which includes: * Finding out what the customer wants - this is called market research and involves finding out what types of service are wanted and what prices consumers are prepared to pay. ...read more.


There are three main elements, which are: 1. To use business-to-business techniques to send direct mail to corporate clients. This will include sending information packs to inform businesses about the first class carriages on Virgin Trains. 2. To contact existing customer from Virgin Trains database using outbound telemarketing to create a relationship 3. To create an awareness of the first class carriages on Virgin Trains by advertising to the business sector through business magazines and newspapers. TACTICS A number of communication tools have been considered to achieve the objectives and strategies. Business-to-Business Marketing Direct mail will be used to contact current and potential business clients to inform them of Virgin's new investment to improve the service. Direct marketing is a good tool to use to communicate difficult messages or those that need detailed explanations. According to Dibb et al (2002 p161), business-to-Business customers "are usually viewed as more rational and more likely to seek information about a product's feature and technical specifications." This suggests that detailed information about the first class carriage should be given to this clientele. Information packs will be sent to companies from two different databases. One-database hold records about all companies that have previously booked first class seats for business travel. The other database will be taken from business directories such as Kompass, which gives company details about the name, address, phone number and annual sales. This will allow Virgin Trains to develop potential lists of customers by area. Each information pack will include pictures, photographs, recent developments and new investments, and the benefits of travelling with Virgin Trains. Order forms with relative discounts for future travel purchases will also be included as an incentive for the customer. Outbound Telemarketing Having sent the information packs to companies, Virgin Trains will then follow this up with a telephone call to determine and speed up the response. Calls will only be made to those from existing database, as Tapp (2000, p285) ...read more.


For example, Television and radio is the easiest way of reaching a mass audience. However this form of media will not be used as the specific target audience is business travellers and Virgin do not want to reach such a large audience. Television will make it challenging to reach this target market. Also the production cost can be very high & so can airtime costs. Money It is essential to calculate the cost of implementing any communications plan. According to my secondary research, throughout 2002, Virgin Trains have spent the most on advertising within the transport industry. With a huge budget allowing them to spend 6.3m. Now I am going to show you a table showing the cost for the communication plan: SHOW OHP 'COST OF ADVERTISING' This column shows how much it would cost per thousand people. This next one shows the target audience that each medium should reach. The total cost is worked out by taking how much it would cost per thousand then multiplying it by the target audience, which would cost 4,000. Also Virgin Train will have to count the cost of using agency to produce information pack. The cost of agency will total 64,000. And finally the total Campaign Costs will come to 102,000. And Virgin Trains marketing communication campaign will run over twelve months. Conclusion In conclusion it can be seen it is feasible for Virgin Trains to target and attract the first class business traveller. As discussed there are many ways that Virgin Trains could adopt in order to target this segment. This communications plan proposes three main communication tools to be used that will have the best possible impact. Through communicating to this segment, Virgin Trains should be able to increase the level of business travellers using the service. The research conducted suggested that Virgin Trains are capable of such a campaign and have the finances. Thorough effective monitoring and control, this campaign will be successful and will enable them to achieve the objectives. ...read more.

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