The festival offers an eclectic range in performers, mixing tribute acts to acoustic/rock to live Do's o highly hilarious comedy acts all held across a collection of 5 stages - main stage (open air), the bubble bus - a mix of open mimic, Do's and local talent, tractor disco stage - holding a whole host of talented Do's, the hidden hedge which is a secluded section at the back of the festival offering secret performances and ambient settings and also the campfire that offers attendees acoustic, chilled acoustic performances.
The festival also has a tradition of a fancy dress day on the Sunday, with previous themes such as 'Nations of the world' and 'Out of this World', hitting this year with the hem of 'Traditional Sports Day offering participants the chance to Join in on a house, vote for head boy and girl and partake in traditional sports day games. Starting the marketing strategy the organization need to go through a process known as MOST analysis (see source page 6), covering the companies, Mission, Objectives, Strategies and Tactics.
To complete this process the formation of clear vision and mission statements need to come to fruition, these statements will offer the organization unity in their general aims and objectives, giving a clear overall direction f the organization to keep in mind when preparing for the main event. The vision and mission statements offer separate yet similar objective for the organization, the mission statement gives a strong direction of a goal to be achieved by the company where the vision statement, offers an idea into the organizations values, as well as their aims.
Also the vision and mission statements offer consumers a 'pretty clear picture of how the organization functions' (Angelica. E. 2001). Mission Statement: To offer the local key target demographic of 16-28 the chance to be a part of the Blindfolds family by combining and forming strong relationships with local colleges to reach, the new and upgraded full capacity of 2,500. Vision Statement: We aim to offer attendees a relaxing and enjoyable weekend filled with a whole host of local and regional, unsigned and professional acts presenting the chance for a weekend filled with entertainment and opportunities.
Next the company need to consider their main aims and objectives this will give the organization clear goals that offer a clearer insight into the direction they want the event to take, this also gives the erector of the organization the chance to see how they can be achieved and delegate accordingly. Objectives: To fill the full audience capacity of 2,500 To network effectively with the surrounding colleges in the aim to provide benefits to not only the organization but the colleges and students alike. To give local and regional attendees the chance to enjoy live music and comedy acts as well as participate in games and fancy dress.
Once the objectives have been decided a plan of the broad strategies that can be put in place, each one considering the best quinine to attain the goal in the most productive and accelerated way. Strategies: Efficiently advertise to the intended target market. Build strong relationships with the surrounding colleges. Offer a diverse range in performances that will amuse the whole range of the attendees demographic. Following the decision of the strategies that will be put into place, tactics and practical actions need to be decided in order for the organization to understand how to go about then achieving their objectives.
Tactics: To advertise from the inside of colleges reaching the primary target demographic of dents aged 16-28 also keeping a strong media profile through social networks I. E. Backbone and Twitter. Also attempting to hit the target market of families by advertising heavily in the local newspapers as well as local theme park, Paulson Park and also the local zoo, Marcella Zoo, this marketing plan will target families who enjoy going out as a unit. Strong relationships will be gained by networking effectively with the local colleges, by keeping the communication between them as a high priority.
Also offering the colleges advertising benefits, such as logo exposure, on-site, and in he programmer. Offer a diverse range in performers from comedy, to acoustic, rock, folk, soul and tribute bands, as well as live Do's from house to drum and bass to debuted offering something for the diverse arrange of attendees. The festival will also offer a host of children's entertainment, covering face painting, Juggling and fire building workshops as well as magicians, family arts and crafts and lantern making, all held over the various sections of the festival.
After the strategic goal settings have been collaborated and decided on the next step in to do a strategic analysis which ill analyses the internal and external factors that will possibly effect the achievement in reaching the desired marketing objectives. The possible internal factors that could affect the successfulness of the festival can be analyses by taking into consideration the accomplishments and malfunctions of previous years. The external factors can be decided on by doing a PEST analysis, looking at the Political, Environmental, Social and Technological factors that could affect the festivals achievements.
Internal factors: Looking at the successfulness of the previous year's Blindfolds has been held, each ear the festival has progressed and grown in small stints, either by growing in optional capacity, adding stages and gaining bigger signed acts. Starting in 2001 as just a party for around 70 friends, organizers Mel and Paul Bliss had bands play, tractor rides and bonfires. As the second year reached the festival had improved in various areas, for example the stage had improved in size, stability and sound also the numbers grew to 200, still with no fencing or ticketing.
In 2004 the festival gained licensing but still didn't charge Just asked from donations from campers. However the allowing year ticketing was introduced Just to the campers, with an attendance of 700 the festival managed to raise EH, and then in 2006 ticketing was acquired from all attendees. The festival then fell into issues in 2008 when they were planning on a move to Maturely Park Bowl which would increase the optional capacity to 4,000 over quadrupling it from reaching the full capacity of the year before of Just less than 1000, as the tickets didn't sell as well as they hoped they had to cancel the festival.
Returning back to the original spot the next year, with the numbers for opacity showing that they struggled filling the bigger capacity and the festival over compensated their success in reaching a wider target market, but also showed the organizers not planning efficiently or well enough, how they were going to go about marketing to raise the attendance. However they showed good evaluation skills when the next year they went back to the original site still developing the festival but a slower progression by raising the attendance by Just 200 and introducing the Hidden Hedge.
From this it's easy to see that festival is progressing each year; however the organizers need to be realistic in achieving their aims and objectives. In 2011 the festival did eventually move, to vicarage farm raising the capacity to 1,200, the festival sold out and was an incredible success from this the festival is going to remain at this site for 2012 increasing the capacity to 2000. This is the largest percentage rise in capacity the festival is aiming to achieve, this is a more realistic aim however the festival organizers should bear in mind the catastrophe of 2008 and keeping their objective strategies a key reference and strong in mind.
Another internal risk is the SE of volunteers as they are not always reliable, Blindfolds offers opportunities for people to work a shift on the bar for 7 hours in return for a free entry to the festival, last year the organization had issues with money going missing off the bar due to the fact that they didn't have a till system but bum-bags for the money, which meant the company didn't have any control.
External Factors: Political: With there being no changes in any legislation or funding from the previous year, that would affect the festival in any direct manner, for example child protection isolation, local authority funding or events licensing, the festival doesn't need to make any direct changes due to political factors. Economic: With the decrease in disposable income over the last 2 years attendees ay consider the event as not being affordable, especially considering the raise in price from EWE for a weekend camping ticket to EWE.
With the primary audience being from 16-28 and the current unemployment status for this demographic being at a low point, there is always the possibility of ticket sales not being successful due to funds to purchase tickets. Social: With the festival being held the last weekend of June, the festival falls Just in between the end of exams; this could affect the attendance of college students. The lack of awareness of health and safety from the key demographic of 16-28 year olds means that there is the possibility for health and safety risks to occur.
Technological: Only having ticket sales online and the rate of development of the web and people having the ability of cheating the web means that there is a risk of the online ticket sales being defrauded causing a depletion in ticket sales. The rate of advance of genealogy can cause risk however the rate in advance of technology is more a positive for marketing for example providing 'near instantaneous communication systems and the development in rapid transportation' (Guru.
C. 2004). Part of the strategic analysis is to determine and assess the desired market segment, already quite clearly determined - families and 16-28 year olds, an assessment of these target markets need to be made in order to make sure that the marketing reaches them in the most effective and efficient way. Why do the market segments wish to engage with the event?
The target market segments are going to be hit more locally than regionally, aiming at local families, from the Southampton area who may not have the best facilities to enjoy the outdoors on a regular basis, as well as the family demographic having low levels of disposable income means that they would like to enjoy a professional festival offering weekend of camping and live music at a local and accessible venue. They also will attract young students who are very keen on the current trends in music and enjoy the festival experience, again at an easy and local site.
How many of ACH target demographic had attended the event the previous year? The year of 2011 around 900 students attended, around 200 members of attending families came followed by around 100 people who fell into the category of miscellaneous. With 3250 students attending the local Peter Synonyms Sixth Form College, 2600 students going to Barton Peril College and around 1500 attending Alton College there are many students who can be targeted to purchase the extra tickets that are available for 2012.
The next step in completing the marketing strategy is filling in a SOOT analysis see source 7) which will give the organization a clearer idea of their Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats of the organization and the marketing plan. Strengths: The strengths of the organization lie in its slow progression and development each year increasing in size, stage, capacity and acclaimed performers. Weaknesses: In the past the organization has had difficulty in remaining realistic to the objectives and aims, keeping a sensible timeshare and strong marketing plan, as seen in the cancellation of sass's festival.
Opportunities: With the expansion in capacity and diversity of acts the festival has the opportunity to ever grow and progress reaching a wider audience. Also the relationships with local colleges will give the festival a deeper insight into their target market and the consumer needs and wants, as well as opening a door way to marketing to a vast amount of key markets in a strong and efficient way. Threats: The weather poses a threat to the event as it is all open air especially the main stage, the festival does try and take this into consideration however the weather is never eradicable.
Also there is no way to ensure ticket sales for the event. Once the research and analysis of the market has been accomplished plans and strategies need to be decided giving the organization a clear idea of process that needs to be achieved, as well as a marketing mix (see source pages 3-4. ) Firstly social media websites need to be updated, not long after the previous festival, keeping the previous in the know about the next year, starting by having the ability to ask directly the consumers wants and needs for future events whilst the previous year is still throng in their thoughts.
Secondly a flyer and poster design (see source page 8) needs to be created, printed and handed out to the colleges, schools, community centers, local skate parks and other key areas that are designed to specifically host the same demographic our advertising is aimed to. At this moment in time the PR and Media plan needs to be put into action, ordering out press releases (see source page 1) and listings (see source page 2) to all local and county news papers, as well as local music magazines.
Also the organization need to make sure, as well, that the beset, social media profiles (Backbone and Twitter) and blobs are being updated regularly with snippets of climactic news, keeping the public aware of the progression of the festival as well as generating a buzz surrounding the build to the festival. Also contact with the local colleges need to be made offering them benefits in return for the ability use the relationship to the advantage of the festival.
For example, to advertise heavily within the colleges reaching a vast number of the primary demographic, also at the same time, through the colleges, offering certain opportunities to the students such as volunteering at the festival in return for free entry, selling tickets with different benefits depending on numbers sold or entering a battle of the bands aimed for Just college bands, where the winners will have a spot at the festival.
In return for this the festival will be able to offer the colleges the certain benefits, I. E. Logo exposure on-site and also a half page advertisement in the programs sold at the event, as well as promotion of volunteers through the colleges - by giving the volunteers hi-visibility Jackets that contain logos of all college artisans. The intended impacts of the marketing strategy should overall be very effective if achieved in the right amount of time, in the desired way.
This is due to the fact that aiming to advertise, involve and build relationships with the college, means that there is going to be a vast amount of the key demographic reached in not only a quick, and efficient way, but also in a way that makes them feel involved and that it's beneficial to them, this also ensures ticket sales as once ticket sellers have been engaged they will be required to sell tickets in order to receive the advantages. Please see enclosed marketing budget and marketing schedule (see source page 5).