Located in Sydney since 1977; Mitosis offers variety of Japan-related pre- planned tour packages, ski packages, rail pass, and accommodation. However, the major aspect of Mitosis’s service lies on its flexibility and expertise in terms of building a personalized itinerary for individual and family who plan to travel to Japan (Mitosis Travel 2014). The travel agency industry- where Mitosis operates in- has been dramatically changed due to the significant rise of online tourism (Digit et al. 2006).
The advancement of Internet has resulted in a rapid rise of direct bookings and reservations aided by the invention of specialist software and GAS sites (Bergen-seers et al. 2006). Consequently, this phenomenon gave rise to the significance of electronic-marketing (E-marketing) for travel agencies around the world. With a clear E-Marketing plan, any travel agent- including Mitosis- can better integrates Internet into their traditional business method. Hence, the purpose of this report is to establish an E-Marketing plan for Mitosis which focused on Japan as the primary travel destinations.
Situation Analysis Environmental Analysis With regards to legal environment, the major issues that arose for online travel retailer is the closure of licensing and Travel Compensation Fund (ETC) requirement as of mid to late 2015. (Australian Consumer Law 2014). ETC was first established to protect Australian consumers if a licensed travel agent either becomes insolvent or unable to financially reimburse customer when transaction failed. Overtime, ETC is no longer effective due to the increasing number of customers who book their travel with online overseas agents (Orr 2012).
Consequently, Australian online travel agent was disadvantaged due to their liability of paying regulatory ETC cost, which is not E Marketing Plan By fistfight because without the burden of ETC cost, Mitosis can allocate the money to other causes that can improve its competitiveness among overseas travel agent. In relation to technological environment, social media, such as Faceable, Mainstream, and Twitter, has become a phenomenon that’s hard to be missed.
Social media is now incorporated into how customer’s research and book their holiday right into their on- going engagement during and after the holiday (Online 2014). Research showed that 70% of travelers are updating their Faceable account while still on vacation. Another important factor is the usage shift from desktop device into non-desktop device such as tablets and smartened. Studies showed that 40% of online traffic related to travel activities, now comes from non-desktop device (Gonzalez 2013).
Both factors bring major opportunity to Mitosis as social media brings significant benefits with low cost requirement. Meanwhile, non-desktop device can significantly increase customer’s accessibility of Mitosis’s E-Marketing effort. With regards to market related factor, research in 2013 showed that the number of people shifting into online travel websites has doubled from sass’s figure. However, this figure only represents 14% of the 21,000 people surveyed. In fact, 50% still prefer to consult with a traditional travel agent when booking overseas travel (Wallace 2013).
Hence, this factor is a major threat as Mitosis specializes in outbound travel to Japan. Another important factor is the increasing popularity of Japan as a destination for Australian travelers. In 2014, the number of Australian travelers in Japan has increased by 18. 5% from sass’s figures (Major 2014). Consequently, this is a major opportunity for Mitosis to increase their sales and profitability. In terms of competitive environment, Mitosis is facing competition from other online travel agencies that specialized in arranging travel to Japan.
In particular, those competitors are JET Australia and Travel Japan by HIS. While both of their websites are well designed, direct online booking is not available for customers. Thus, there’s an opportunity for Mitosis to enjoy the benefits of being the first mover among those two travel agent, in utilizing website as an E- Commerce platform. Furthermore, Mitosis also faced competition from leading general travel agent, such as Flight Center and Expedite. Upon observation, both competitors offer more limited Japanese merchandise selection in comparison to Mitosis.
Most of its merchandise is limited to only Tokyo and Osaka, which are the two biggest cities in Japan. Since Mitosis offer wider selection of merchandise by also incorporating smaller Japanese cities into their tour, accommodation, and flight offers; this factor can be perceived as a major opportunity. SOOT Analysis The SOOT analysis is presented in the table form below. All opportunity and threats listed are identified through the environmental analysis. Strength Weakness Opportunity Threats Specialization & expertise on arranging travel to Japan.
Lack of expertise in integrating internet to their brick and mortar store Utilization of E-Marketing strategy Preference of consumer to consult with traditional travel agent when booking overseas travel 2 Travel accreditation as member of IOTA & JOTA Ineffective optimization of their website Increasing popularity of Japan as a destination for Australian travelers 3 Strong customer service culture Lack of reputation & recognition in online travel agent sector Abolishment of licensing and ETC requirement, which increased competitiveness among overseas travel agent 4 Strong relationship with Japanese-related travel supplier Be the first mover in utilizing E-commerce platform among other travel agent that specialized in Japan 5 Limited Japanese- related selection of merchandise in general travel agent (only Ochs in big cities) It should be noted that Opportunity could only be achieved if Mitosis succeed to overcome Weakness . Moreover, by achieving Opportunity 4, then Weakness is automatically overcome.
Hence, Mitosis need to build an expertise in integrating Internet into their brick and mortar store by either working with an E-Marketing Consultant or through training and development effort in this area. In addition, Strengths can also be used to take advantage of Opportunity. As travel licenses will be no longer required to be displayed in the weeping, some customers might be assistant to make a transaction. As Mitosis has two accreditations under their name, it might help to reduce customer’s perceived risk since it’s credibility is validated. E- Marketing Strategic Plan Segmentation and Targeting In terms of geographic segmentation, the target market of this E-Marketing plan is Australian citizen with no specific state, city and region due to the wide reach of Internet.
While for demographic segmentation, the target market is upper middle class individual and decision maker in family or group of friends with no specific gender and ethnicity target. In particular, we are targeting both late generation X and from 1965 to 1980 while generation Y consist of people who was born from 1980 to 1995 (Elliot et al. 2010). While generation Y seemed to be a lot more tech sax. N. Y than generation X, research showed that there were more late generation X classified as “digital adults” based on their online engagement, sophistication, and habits (Harebell 2010). As of cryptographic segmentation, the target of this E-Marketing plan is an individual or decision maker in a family or group of friends who belongs to the experiences and achievers group in the VAL’S framework.
Experiences are heavy users of packaged and electronic media and like to spend time socializing (Elliot et al. 2010). Thus, experiences are avid users of social media to inform their friends the various events in their life (Bremen 2012). Meanwhile, achievers primarily delve in functional Internet activities including conducting online travel booking. Moreover, achievers often use social media to paint a “perfect life” (Bremen 2012). In terms of behavioral segmentation, the benefit sought by target market is primarily convenience. They seek to be presented with complete information and various alternatives of traveling to Japan in one single place, where they can book their choice whenever and wherever they are.
In terms of usage, our target market is both new and returning customer, who predominantly uses tablet, PC, or smartened to do their online activities. In overall, this E-Marketing plan applied a niche marketing strategy by engaging a concentrated marketing approach in one segment with heavy focus on Japan as the primary travel destinations and strong service culture. Differentiation This E-Marketing plan strives to achieve service differentiation and site atmospherics differentiation. As customer service has been a strong point of Mitosis’s brick and mortar store, it will be easier to transfer such customer service culture into their E- Marketing effort.
With site atmospheric differentiation, Mitosis are required to develop a web or social media page that is user friendly, aesthetically pleasing, and provide appropriate content (Strauss and Frost 2014). These two differential points will significantly help to increase Mitosis’s awareness, recognition and credibility in the online travel sectors. Positioning Mitosis aim to position themselves as specialized expert in all aspects of traveling to Japan with strong dedication to customer satisfaction through its service culture and well-designed Internet platform. With strong dedication to customer satisfaction, Mitosis offer fast and reliable response on electronic customer queries and booking process. E-Marketing Objective The objectives of this E-Marketing plan are established within a time frame of two years (2015-2017).
In particular, the objectives are to: (1) increase the awareness and recognition of Mitosis in the online travel sector through increasing the number of website visitors by 12%, (2) online sales accounts for 20% of total sales (brick and rotor *web), (3) maintain customer satisfaction by achieving a sentiment of feedback into 6:1 (positive: negative), and (4) maintain a minimum online operating profit levels of 13%. E-Marketing Strategy In terms of product strategies, this E-Marketing plan involves an improvement or revisions of existing product strategy. Hence, it involves the minimization and improvement of Mitosis’s current Website by utilizing it as an e-commerce platform and accommodation). This improvement strategy is necessary as Mitosis’s current website is neutralized. Currently, it only serves as an online brochure rather than a LOL to capitalize the online tourism opportunity.
The website will also be revamped to be aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate as Mitosis’s current website lack those two qualities. Moreover, this website should also be designed to accommodate both desktop and non-desktop users as it might requires slight changes in layout design. In terms of branding, this strategy will utilize the current E-Marketing brand and Internet domain name to avoid alienation of existing brick and mortar customer. Moreover, since Mitosis aim to differentiate themselves by their exceptional service, inline chat bots will be installed within the website so that customer can communicate with Mitosis’s staff in real time.
With regards to pricing strategy, this E- Marketing involves the utilization of dynamic pricing strategy, particularly segmented pricing where Mitosis will sell their goods and service at two or more different prices based on segment differentiation (Strauss and Frost 2014). By applying this strategy, consumer who booked their accommodation within 2 months before the actual date will be quoted a full price. On the other hand, consumer who book earlier will be quoted with 10% discount. Promotional pricing strategy will also be applied to encourage first purchase and close a sale. Through this strategy, customers are encouraged to book their travel within a period of time to get a special price for it.
Through the integration of Internet in Mitosis’s business model, a direct distribution model will be applied in the distribution strategy. Mitosis will sell directly to consumers through its Website, which act as an E-commerce platform. As a result, the website serves transactional functions, where it will be use to facilitate contact with buyers and processing transaction. The merchandise sold (e. Flight ticket) and booking confirmation will be delivered in an electronic form through the utilization of email. In terms of marketing communication/ promotion strategy, website is not the only platform that will be utilized. Social media will be incorporated as a low cost platform to increase awareness and engagement of target market.
Specifically, a Faceable page and Twitter account would be created so that consumer can research information, validate the credibility of Mitosis, raise queries, and post their comment or feedback. Not only aiding as a platform for communication with customers, these social media also helps to build and strengthen the positioning of Mitosis. Mainstream account should also be created, as it is an effective platform to attract and lure potential customers by posting beautiful photos of Japan. Hence, Mainstream help to promote Japan as a tourism destination and also help to raise awareness of any promotional pricing that Mitosis have at a particular period of time.
In addition, part of the marketing strategy is to also create a blob within Mitosis’s website. This blob will be used to provide tips, advice, and guidance regarding traveling to various cities in Japan. For example, the blob could post a guide on the do’s and don’t regarding Japanese dining etiquette and table manner or a guide on the best cheap restaurants in Japan. In overall, the post should be fun, light hearted and more importantly entice customers. By doing so, Mitosis can also create engagement with customers, which would hopefully result in brand loyalty. As the online travel sector is highly competitive, it is important for Mitosis to get to the top of Google search Marketing plan.
Through Google Towards, the link of Mitosis’s website will be displayed at the top page when target market search relevant keyword or when they roused websites with themes related to planning or arranging holiday trip to Japan (Google 2014). Another benefit of Google Towards relies on its pay-per-click system, which can abolish the risk of wasting money on ineffective promotional effort. In fact, Google Toward also offered the option to set maximum cost per day, which can help to control promotional expenses. As part of customer relationship management, Mitosis could use database marketing to send relevant and persuasive communication at target market. This is possible by requiring customers to create an account before they are able to book. Hence, the information stored can be used to build a record of its needs, preferences and interest (Strauss and Frost 2014).