The Market Department who are a team that works for London Dungeons in order to ensure that the firms brand identities are maintained through the use of communication
They do this by creating brand awareness and identified their target market that are, and potential market and the use of visual representation of the brand i.e. London Dungeons Logo.
For London Dungeons their target market is family entertainment.
On a regular basis their marketing department will put a marketing plan together, which covers the Marketing Mix - The 4P's
Product: Although without exception a new attraction launched yearly, for example hey have embarked on the life of 'Jack the Ripper'. So the department launches communication focus on that including the general communication about that rest of the entertainment firm.
Pricing: Their pricing structure reflects on targeted number of visitors. The marketing department review their achievement of budgeted objectives. They do this by evaluating London Dungeons effective use of their pricing strategy and their finance department. This is important to the marketing department to predict in advance of sales that is important to the company so the increase of usage of discounting as this is a more efficient way to produce tickets.
Promotion: Promotion of the firm occurs in number of different communication channels. This year's communications for London Dungeons have continued in the use of Advertising to focus on their new attractions, Judgement Day Boat Ride to Hell.
Television: In 2003 the firm advertised focused on their new attraction 'The Plague'. This years TV advertisement is determined on 'Judgement Day'. This seasonal advertisement is extremely useful in getting simple and uncomplicated messages to majority of the population all over Europe in more effective way in communicating its new attraction visually and audibly to the viewers. Therefore everyone has an opportunity to see the advertisement. However the firm has considered the drawbacks of:
* Very expensive because of the creative production of the advert.
* TV advertisements tend to be extremely expensive, particularly at peak times.
* The people of high income and well-educated may not represent the rest of the population.
* From secondary research it indicates that viewers' attention wanders during advertising breaks.
* Short exposure time
* Difficult to narrow target audience segments
Internet: London Dungeon uses Internet because it's a high visual impact, and interactive so that the end user can interact with the feature of London Dungeons provided
* Having an Electronic Booking System so that consumers can purchase tickets online (On-line Tickets)
* Deadly Diary London - Where it informs the reader of the new attraction. This year they introduce the new opening Easter attraction; Traitor; Boat Ride to Hell. How they inform of the up coming events in order to keep the people up-to-date of London Dungeon events
* Interactive Dungeons experience where the user can interact with the features of London Dungeon
* Information is available about the location of London Dungeons, contact numbers, admission prices, and description of the events of the day
* Hot Links that enables the user to surf to other sites other than the Dungeons web site
* Email Links ([email protected]) to contact for confirmation or to send any other enquires.
They use their official web site to create interests and desire to motivate them to visit the firms' new attractions. How web sites are advertised globally so anyone with access to the Internet can interact. Their web page address is www.thedungeons.com where thy can find it easily through a search engine (I.e. Goggle UK). The wed site main creative idea is all based on around medieval times of London.
London Dungeons uses the Internet because of the following factors:
* Delivers lengthy, complex messages
* Cost Effective
* No Additional cost for reaching globally
The Drawbacks of the use of Internet for London Dungeons are:
* Limited research available
* Limited to growing audience
* Quality of the uses of images by London Dungeons that varies
* Audience Limited to Internet: Users interested in the company or its service it provides
The company uses press release that are short on a single page (as shown in the appendix). Using clear, simple language and avoids any jargon and how it grabs the readers attention by the use of sub headings: 'It's like Getting Lost in a Nightmare' and it states major facts such as key dates of new attraction features being released. They communicate their press releases through the Internet. However the weakness of the press releases is that it does not include the names and phone number of London Dungeons who can be contacted to verify the story.
Leaflets: London Dungeons use this mainly in Central London and is not expensive and can be mass-produced in so little amount of time for the company
Point-of-sale displays: London Dungeons has employees are dressed in medieval clothing outside the firm where to grabs the attention it's potential customers. This is an effective, informative and well positioned point-of-sale. Therefore this results in significant portion of potential customers to purchase from promotion. So this is an important part of the promotional activity for London Dungeons.
Billboards: This are also not used by London Dungeons because they are eye catching but not being moveable and might not reach target market because London itself is a busy location where public wont have time to stop and look at the billboard
Types of advertising that the company don't use or don't use more efficiently
Radio: Where London Dungeons they consider in not often using radio because it to be less effective on target market by the lack of visual effects and that it can't convey complex messages. Through the use of o the service that they provide cannot be demonstrated.
There other types advertising such as, newspapers, cinema, trade fair, and exhibition where's it's expensive or don't have enough resources to comply in communicating to the public. Or how it might be a negative image among certain groups, or can carry only short and simple messages or audience may only view massages briefly.
Overall advertising for London Dungeon that it allows them to have a good image and assist them in building their brand awareness. It also is an effective ways for the company in reaching a wide range audience especially through the Internet. Repetition of their brand and product positioning helps them to build customer trust. The drawback of advertising for London Dungeons are that competitors might use advertising more effectively then them and how advertising is impersonal which it cant answer all of customers question.
Sale Promotions: This is used to boost up sales of their services/products and to increase Public relation (PR) by doing the following sales promotion:
Prize Draws: By encouraging the viewer to registering and how they are automatically entered prize draw to win a prize. This year the winner wins a free ticket to the Dungeons for some spine-tingling fun this Halloween. They do the prize draw monthly and again they do this through the Internet. They refer this campaign as 'the worst campaign.
Temporary price reduction: The Company uses price discounting that is a discount to the selling price of the service/product by if there are groups made up of 15 and more people they would receive preferential rates. This allows increasing sales from price promotion, which is at an expense in loss in profit so they use it with care.
Overall this stimulates quick increase sales by the use of prize draws, price promotion. This is a good short-term tactical tool used by the business. However if they use this over a long-term period, than customers will get use to the effect and not only that but too much use of sales promotion may damage the brand images especially the use of point-of-sale displays.
Public Relations: The business does not entirely focuses on profitability but tries to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between the company and it's public.
They identify their relevant public through market research or encourage potential viewers to register on their web sites in order to gain primary data of their like, dislikes, and attitudes towards their services/products provided. That's how London Dungeons are influence by the opinions of those by the public to:
* Reinforce favourable opinions
* Transforming perhaps neutral opinions into positive ones
* Changing or neutralising hostile opinions
They do this by carrying out, prize draws and monthly polls on their web site. For London Dungeons it's difficult to measure whether the key message have been communicated to the target public (family entertainment). This is quietly a costly process that involves research. They do this by conducting market research through the use of questionnaires (primary research as shown in the appendix). Using the precise format to deliver the quality of information that London Dungeon requires improving customer satisfaction. The firms main measure of effectiveness concentrates on the process of public relations to measure the number of enquires received in response to specific relation efforts.
The company uses PR because it's a cheap way of reaching many customers by carrying out Internet polls on their web site to achieve publicity. The drawback is that the risk of losing control because they cannot always control what other people choose and feel towards the services/products that London Dungeon provides.
Branding: The Company encourages its sales by creating a brand that differentiates them from their competitors. They increase the level of power of their brand by selling their own label products i.e. pens, key rings, and tee shirts with the London Dungeon Logo. London Dungeon brand emphasises the organisation quality. Through branding their selling products it can be used for advertising to increase sales. So this is worth a great deal of money to the company and that the brand should be held in high values.
Merchandising: This is an important part of the promotional mix of the company in product presentation such as display. How London Dungeons makes the exterior display more innovative that makes it attractive and differentiates from it rivals. The control of their image and presentation assists the company in promoting their brand. Catching consumer's eyes based on the history of London scary and daring and at the same time entertaining. Having more effective displays promotes the service to potential customers and presents their products to be viewed by them more effectively. The advantage of packaging is that it adds value to their service/products
Packaging: London Dungeon packages its services/products by presenting itself to public for the beneficial of the public. They package their branded products that contain their brand logo on the product and the package itself that also can be used for advertising. So this enhances the image of the cooperation and increases the number of visitors.
Direct Marketing: London Dungeon uses direct marketing to interact directly between them and its public especially through the use of the Internet. How this get through to customers in a cost effective way. Using the Internet because it's a cost effective way and uses of internet polls to gain first-hand knowledge of the individuals' opinions, likes, dislike, and what motivates them. So if direct marketing not used efficiently it can lead to an unnecessary wastage in the company's resources
Joint Promotion: London Dungeons promotes its brand and corporate image by joining promotions with other firms but not efficiently as Madame Tussauds. They have joint promotion with Queen of the Damned, Coco Cola, Horrible History, Black Night which these are all hot links on their web sites (as shown in appendix) and how the other businesses promotions advertise London Dungeons brand and image and at the same time staying ahead of competitors
Analysis of Marketing Promotional Strategies of Madame Tussaud:
In creating a marketing department for Madame Tussaud their plan is to expand and meet the needs and requirements of their visitors and their potential visitors. By improving the accuracy, consistency and level of details of information relating to visitor profile, admission, and marketing scheme through the use of promotion. How this assists them in targeting admission while increasing and maintaining customer satisfaction.
Product: The business markets their winning product in 1997 for the leading paid for London attraction. The company's' marketing department becomes more prominent by the increasing numbers of customers. Not just being a British product but for visitors overseas, to encourage them to visit the company so not only marketing it to UK but to the top five markets. How the company promotes their product uniquely differentiating from its competitors and through the use of different types of promotions to become well known.
Pricing: This is a delicate issue to their marketing mix, which the company considers the following factors when developing their appropriate pricing strategies:
> What prices are their rivals charging?
> How the customers are affected by currency exchange rates and Inflation?
> Are the company likely to increase overhead
> What customers will pay while at the same time in their eyes it good value for money? If not why?
Considering this factors how it will allow the firm to stay ahead of their competitors in the market. Also if inflation increases they have to consider increase their price. But at the same time would visitors pay and them seeing it as its value for money.
Promotion: Promotion is all about Madame Tussaud communicating with its customers.
Advertising: The firm uses these in a diverse way communicating to inform, persuade, and remind vary target markets. Advertising is deigned to state the 'new face' of Madame Tussaud. They communicate in a simple language that is visually impacting and their message appeals to all. They considered that majority of the business from overseas so the advertising campaign has to be simple therefore messages can be communicated to viewers finding it easy to understand from. How different type of media is used because different visitors have different interest that reflects on the diversity of the product offered. Their media is highly concentrated in London where it's based itself to make the utmost impact at the point of decision of visitors. The company advertisements are trying to communicate that they can get you close to famous people and experience a licensed intrusion into their world. They use their company brand in form of a logo so be to assist them in communicating their brand
The marketing department uses slogans to communicate their brand, and in 1998 they communicated their brand is 'who will you have a close encounter with'
Number of types of media used by the company:
Television: They advertise their newest attraction on digital TV on Channel: Nicktoons at 8:00am mainly because that's when children tend to watch to watch cartoons and maybe the time where it's low cost for exposure at day time. TV is used because it reaches to everyone and generates attention.
Transport Posters & Bus Sides: These are used mostly in London where it's the heart of the business and this has a high impact on point of decision and the advantage of using posters that it's attractive and eye catching by the use of colours and creative possibilities however audience might view message briefly and that it can only carry only short simple messages.
Internet: They use their web site (www.madame-tussauds.co.uk) for viewer to interact with Madame Tussaud and can directly link to purchasing tickets online and plan their events in advance. The layout of the web site reflects on the 21st Century communicating in an understandable and structured way.
Direct Mail: The Company uses this on a large scale in sending mails to visitors' geographical areas because 70% of their customers come to visit from overseas. They use this because they can deliver lengthy, complex messages and could be used for future references. Where there are no competing ads and that it assists Madam Tussaud in measuring and monitoring their performance easily. The drawbacks are that might be pictured as junk mail and tends to have a low response rate.
Leaflets: The Company uses this to inform visitors about up coming new attractions and these are leaflets are used because they are cheap to produce. Where Madame Tussauds distributes the leaflets where there are thousands of people in a busy (in the heart of Greater London). However leaflets are not very effective way in informing the public because it might be targeted at the wrong target market. Where some people might not won't to be interrupted or don't have time to waste especially in London but on the other hand it may grab the attention of tourists.
Exhibition & Trade Fairs: The Company uses this because it gives opportunities to the marketing department to target appropriate part of trade and industry i.e. travel industry. This is done annually so that they can communicate first-hand knowledge of new product development and pricing structured efficiently. How trade presses allow Madame Tussaud to increase visitor levels and also attract potential clients by boasting it status as being London's' no.1 attraction.
Radio: This uses company assists them to target geographically and also used for public relations purposes in informing the listener (e.g. celebrity on air). The drawback for using this is that they cannot convey difficult messages
The other type of media i.e. give-aways, magazines, billboards, and cinema not used because where they lacks in visual effects or cannot convey complex messages and how theses might be expensive to communicate more effectively. Or the possibility that the marketing department don't have enough resources to uses these type of media tools. Overall it reduces the company overheads in not using less effective media tools. And also allows them to concentrate on their current and consistent use of their existing media tools
Overall advertising attempt to create demand for their goods/services and promotes their brand image of Madame Tussaud to increase market share in their existing market and stay ahead of competitors
Sales Promotion: Sales promotions are used to communicate the company's brand to a wider audience and to increase the level of number of customers in off peak times. Their promotion usually takes the form of 'plus kids go FREE to Madame Tussaud' that has to be used before the valid offer ends that encourages them to come and visit until the offer end. By doing this it aids them in being more competitive with their rivals. The company does this through an agency called Mercier Gray Communications to meet the company's specific objectives. Majority of their promotion are aimed at the domestic audience and the company uses geodemographic segmentation to target different sections of consumers (e.g. Families, Tourists, Children, and different areas in a 2 hour travel time etc) more efficiently. Profitable promotions have included in Spider Man 2, CoCo Pops and the Sun Newspaper.
Public Relations: Again Madame Tussaud uses various in-house and agency used to maintain public relations for The London Division in the UK. They use major media to inform and create desire and interest through celebrity unveiling, TV, and radio so these used helps them in developing positive PR between Madame Tussaud and its public.
Branding: Madame Tussaud positions its branded services/products in the market that differentiates them from their competitors and is their unique selling point. From branding its services/products giving it value and how the brand reflects on the image to gain consumer confidence and used to motivate them in their buying their services/products provided.
Direct Marketing: Madame Tussauds uses direct mail to send mail to potential customers located in different geographical regions. Therefore encouraging the public to visit the company and can identify their potential visitors in different geographical areas.
Merchandising: This is used efficiently by Madame Tussauds because they have information available showing the map of Madame Tussauds and guiding them around the company. Also uses at its status of being London no.1 attraction at the point of decision effectively to encourage and motive the public.
Comparison of London Dungeons & Madame Tussaud Promotional Mix Analysis
Both companies decided to take a more effective approach to marketing its services/products and invested in creating marketing departments. Where their main objective is to expand and to help them to market penetrate, market development, product development effectively in a way that also meets the needs and requirements of the visitors. The companies use different promotion mix's' to help them to achieve their different objectives. The companies use advertising to communicate with the public in the prime media i.e. television, posters, press releases. Madame Tussauds communicates through TV and the Internet as its prime media whereas London Dungeon uses point-of-sale and the Internet to attract customers and its potential customers.
They both use the Internet as its prime media but have different approach. London Dungeons uses the theme of dungeons bringing the darkest chapters of history screaming and often laughing hysterically into the 21st Century and web site having the theme of death, disaster, and evil deeds but at the same time entertaining them. And the web site can be communicated in another language (Dutch) whereas Madame Tussauds don't offer this feature. But Madame Tussauds have the 21st century approach by using effective and attractive colours and is structured well making it easy to use and easier to book online. Overall the most structured and easy to navigate layout of the web site is Madame Tussauds web site. Their advertising campaigns intend to persuade and to inform consumers their unique existence.