Launching a new product or service is a process. Its success entirely depends on the reception it gets on the market. It is important to know that the new dance school will be entirely a service-based industry and the advertisement campaign will be based on different elements as will be discussed in this paper.
Dance School services and brand name
Before defining the service and brand name of the dance school, it is important to know the definition of services, scope of services, stages of development and characteristic.
Services can be defined as separately identifiable, essentially intangible activities that provide the satisfaction of a want and they are not necessarily tied to the sale of a product or another service. To produce a service may or may not require the use of tangible goods. However, when such use is required, there is no transfer of the title (permanent ownership) to these tangible goods.
The above definition includes the services, which are sold by people, business firms and professional firms to earn profits. The list may include domestic Services like cleaning, movie-viewing, accommodation provided by hotel owners, transport services provided by public transporters, repair services, management, financial, or investment services and many others.
Other examples include recreation, private education, communication, insurance and financial, medical and other related services such as dental services and so on. The list of firms undertaking service business is endless. The dance school will focus on the private education of dancing in form of private dance lessons, group classes and practice dances.
Services pass through three distinct economic growth stages. The focus of this advertising campaign will be the third stage. At the third stage of economic development, marketing of services reflects the tertiary level of economic development.
When we refer to marketing of services, our discussion is largely based on the commercial activities, which go on during this third stage. However, it should be noted that to a small extent, marketing services could take place during the first and the second stages of economic development. There is nothing such a dividing line that exists.
Services have unique characteristics that affect marketing programs for service markets. These characteristics are so important that marketers must consider them while they establish their marketing programs. They have to be different from those made for physical products. The services are usually intangible, perishable, inseparable and heterogeneous.
Services are essentially intangible. Therefore, a customer cannot be given a sample to taste, feel, smell, see or hear before he or she has purchased it. For this reason, we must sell benefits of services and not features or services in the promotional programs. This means that instead of emphasizing the service itself, emphasis must be on the benefits from the service.
Benefits come in various forms. For example, an insurance company sells service benefits such as payment of a child’s college expenses or a retirement income of some good amount or income per month. A telephone company may also sell to the business users the benefits of making long-distance calls to reduce selling and inventory costs.
In the majority of cases, services cannot be separated from the people selling them. Some services are created and dispensed simultaneously. For example, dentists create and dispense their services at the same time. Barbers, on the other hand, create the services of a haircut and dispense it at the same time. The same applies to the services of doctors, motor mechanics in repair work and various other groups of people.
The buyers have to receive the service directly from the producer or seller and not through some intermediaries in many cases. The campaign programmes have to relate to this direct selling as the only possible channel of distribution. A seller’s service cannot be marketed in many other markets per day.
A dentist can also treat only some patients per day. However, an exception to the inseparability may occur in a situation where the service is sold by a representative of the creator-seller. Examples include a travel agent, an insurance broker, a rental agent, and many more (Lears 40).
Services are perishable because they cannot be stored. Examples of perishable services include the idle mechanics in a garage, empty seats in a stadium during a game, in a cinema when a show is going on, or in a plane. Furthermore, there are seasonal market fluctuations. For example, some golf courses remain unused during winter in some countries or in this case, the dance school remains closed during holidays.
Some exceptions to the generalization regarding perishability and storage of services are given below. Telephone companies can sometimes lower rates at night and weekends.
This is done to avoid perishability or fluctuating demand. For idle plants, marketing executives may look for new uses of equipment in order to avoid the fluctuations and in transport services, the consumers can be encouraged to use the non-peak hours period.
The final characteristic of services is heterogeneity. Services are heterogeneous because it is impossible for the individual sellers to standardize the output. Each ‘unit’ of the service is different from other ‘units’ of the same seller. It is also difficult to standardize the output of different sellers in the same service industry.
For example, an airline cannot give the same quality service on each flight. It is difficult to judge the quality of a service. For example, repair work done by a mechanic on different vehicles can never be the same. Nobody can forecast the quality of a service before purchasing it. If you pay a ticket to watch a football game, in the end, one would find that it was according to your expectation. It may also have surpassed one’s expectations or better than what you had anticipated. It may also be below your expectations.
The advertising campaign of the dance school will pay particular attention to the service planning stage of the marketing programme. Consistency of quality must be adhered to all the time and this is despite the problems that we might come across.
In light of the above knowledge about service, the dance school will focus on the following service lines, which can be defined in the following way.
- Private dance classes – these classes will be offered to students with desire for personalized attention from instructors.
- The group dance classes – they will be offered to students with interest in partner dancing.
- Practice dance classes – these classes will be offered to students with already acquired dance skills.
The function of the services we offer in the three distinct service lines will be as follows. In the private lessons, we will offer incredible one-on-one practical as well as theoretical classes that will give the students value for their money. Personalized attention from instructors will give the students exciting experience in order for them to connect with the instructor’s movement that will enable quick learning and progress in dancing (Siegel 27).
Group classes will offer both beginner and advanced students experience in dancing and body movement that will allow connection with different partners. Students will be able to learn the dance movement from each other in different ways. Confidence in this form of dancing will improved rotation of partners and intense practice.
Practice dances, which is the third service we will offer, will give students an opportunity to practice and perfect the dances already learned in class within the same surrounding with students doing the same dance. This will be a better preparation for the dance competition, which will be offered every academic year. Such competitions normally have exciting rewards to exemplary students.
The brand name of the dance school will be referred to as ‘Unique Dance School’ as we will offer the most interesting, explicit and unique experiences to students who enroll. This is something that is not offered by the various other dance schools available.
Unique Dance School performed a SWOT analysis before the campaign. In view of the analysis, the dance curricula will provide incredible opportunities for students to be able to solve diverse dancing problem and enhance effective decision making in terms of their dance performances to better comprehend all the artistic processes, dance elements and concepts (Meekums 35).
Dance school target market
A market simply means people or organizations with needs and wants to satisfy. They have money to spend in satisfying their needs and wants by buying benefits of products and services. They must have the willingness to spend their money in buying the satisfying benefits.
For example, many people need and want transportation service and they are usually willing to pay for it. However, they are in a large group. Some of them want low-cost and efficient transportation. Others want luxury and privacy. A firm can satisfy all groups with different needs. This is done through the market segmentation strategy.
A target market refers to a group of people or organizations selected by a firm, which directs a marketing programme to the group. In a new company, management uses research methods to identify the markets and in an old company, the management routinely studies changes in the characteristics of its target markets and alternative markets.
The firm may choose a single market segment as its target for marketing operations or more segments for the same purpose. Selection of the target markets segments is done based on opportunities. A firm must forecast demand or anticipate sales in its target market segment in order to access, analyze and evaluate its opportunities. The demand or anticipated sales forecasting results are used to decide whether the company’s target markets should be pursued or whether alternatives should be identified.
Market segmentation usually reveals whether or not there are opportunities for the firm. After adopting a segmentation strategy, a company can take one of four approaches. The first one includes the market customization strategy. In market customization strategy, each consumer is treated as a unique customer. Companies marketing industrial (business) products popularly use the strategy. It is extensively used for consumer goods. For example, firms that market tailor-made goods such as furniture, dresses and suits may use them. They all practice market atomization.
Differentiated Marketing Strategy in identifying the target market of Unique Dance School can be effective. This refers to a multi-market segmentation in which a company directs its marketing programmes to several marketing segments. This is done by variations in the marketing mix.
For example, in each market segment you can have different products, different prices, different promotional activities and different distribution facilities. Thus, the dance school will engage in different marketing activities by offering its course programmes at different educational levels.
When a firm differentiates products, it has a chance to increase its total sales. This is in the total or aggregate market. This happens because the firm focuses on several market-segments as its mixes are being directed towards many people.
Concentrated marketing strategy can be advantageous to the dance school especially in terms of offering private classes. This approach is called concentrated marketing strategy because the marketers endeavor to serve a single market-segment. For example, the manufacturers of BMW cars and Mercedes-Benz cater for the affluent consumers in different countries.
Having looked at the marketing strategy, the identification of a unique market segment has become easier. However, it is important to note the key features of market segmentation before defining the target market of Unique Dance School. These include aspects like its definition, benefits to the dance school, criteria for segmentation and methods for segmentation.
We talk about market segmentation when the total market for a product is broken down into several sub-markets (different markets) and when each sub-market has homogeneous characteristics in its essential aspects.
Marketing segmentation is customer-oriented. A company will first identify the needs of the consumers within a proposed sub-market or segment before it plans, develops, prices and delivers goods and services to satisfy such needs in the market segment and make profits.
The total market for most products is heterogeneous and cannot be considered as one homogeneous market. It does not have a single uniform entity. It has sub-markets, which are significantly different from one another. It is easily broken down into sections known as segments.
Benefits of Market Segmentation to the Unique Dance School will include the advertising media being used more effectively. This is especially if the company develops different promotion messages intended for each market segment. Market demands can be well satisfied by designing suitable products for each segment. It is possible for small firms with little resources to survive and compete in one or two segments. It will be too difficult for them to compete in the total market.
Criteria for Market Segmentation will include measurable and accessible data for consumer. They should also be able to access through the existing distribution channels. Each market segment needs to be large enough to be profitable and segmentation to be according to the ultimate consumers and industrial users (McFall 70).
Each market segment has its own unique requirements because it is homogeneous. Hence, it needs a different mix of the marketing resources. Market segments vary from one market to another in various ways. It can be in terms of age where people in different age groups appreciate different fashions or types of clothes. The marketing strategy for one age group (a segment) will be different from that of the other age groups.
This applies in the general population – which includes the size of the total population being considered together with age, sex, family lifestyle and family life cycle. These are useful factors to be considered in market segmentation. The marketers must consider these factors before they make their decisions on advertising, distribution of products, market research and other marketing activities in each market segment. This formed the base in which Unique Dance School identified its target market.
In terms of grouping, it is essential for the marketers to know the various groups making up their markets. Religious, cultural, racial and social groups must be identified. The marketers must consider nationalities, education, occupations, personality, attitudes and product benefits that are desired by the target market. The grouping is useful for firms because they sell products such as clothes, shoes, cars, toys for babies and many more. Each group can form a distinct market segment within a region or a country.
In terms of income, the size of disposable income (net income after deductions) is important for the marketers who have to determine the quality of the service to be offered. This would also determine how many lines or models their companies should market. The question of money to spend is answered by the size of the income. In identifying the target market for the private dance service, this aspect was considered.
Therefore, the target market of Unique Dance School will comprise of teenagers with a passion for dancing. This can be identified from the population during the campaign. This will be the general target market. In terms of specific target market in line with the service offerings, the rich and the elite groups will be targeted for private dance classes and the middle class for group classes.
The Unique service we promise to offer and the quality of our programs will be the motivating factor for the target market to join the school. The flexibility of our program and the level of commitment will enhance the response of target market during the promotional campaign.
The Advertising campaign – making Unique Dance School known
The recommended starting point for a service industry marketer is similar to the one for a physical product. Analysis of customer behavior, motives and reasons for purchasing must be made and the objectives of buyers must be known.
In most cases, everything that applies to tangible products will be relevant to services. The product planning, price decisions, channels of distribution and promotional activity are the same, except for a few modifications designed to reflect the nature of the service to be marketed.
However, it must be noted that the task of developing an integrated marketing communication mix in a service industry is a serious challenge to the marketing executives.
The advertising campaign of Unique Dance School will follow certain stages including service-planning process, pricing decisions, channel of distribution and promotional decisions.
Service planning process -The demand for service comes because of a standard of living in a nation’s economic development. In service, marketing segmentation and product differentiation are skilfully combined to form a single package. For example, an airline offers first class and economy class services in one flight.
In the same manner, the Unique Dance School offers private dance, group dance and practice dance as a single package. New services, improvement of existing services, elimination of unwanted or unprofitable services are all key factors in service planning and development.
The campaign team will use the following systematic procedures in developing the advertising programmes. The first one is by knowing all features about the service to be offered. These include the private dance class, the group dance and the practice dance. The second one is by determining the length and breadth of the service mix to be offered. Lastly, the decision of the service attributes will be made. This may be by branding or offering guarantees.
If the service firm wants to increase its total volume, reduce the seasonal fluctuations or cater for changing buyer patterns, the firm can expand or contract the service mix, change current services and trade up or down its service.
Pricing Decisions – The basic methods of pricing for tangible products are applicable for services. Car rental agencies give quantity discounts and their daily rates are cheaper if you agree to rent the car for a week or a month at any given period. Insurance companies also give cash discounts if their customers pay premiums annually or quarterly instead of monthly. Doctors and management consultants use variable (price policies).
Hotel and building owners, on the other hand, offer different services (such as one bedroom, two bedrooms, suites) and seasonal discounts for hotel accommodation. Unique Dance School will use the same strategy in the advertising campaign to show how suitable the rates are to students who join the school.
However, the price will be based on the elasticity of demand, i.e. High price should be charged whenever the demand is low as well as the intensity of demand, the cost of producing the service and the existing competition.
Channels of Distribution – Traditionally services have been distributed directly from the producer/creator to the consumer. There have been no intermediaries because the services cannot be separated from the sellers (services are created and marketed simultaneously).
Public utilities, medical care, repair service, etc. can be given as examples of direct distribution from the producer to the consumer. The sellers personalise their services and receive feedback from their customers. Unique Dance School will employ this strategy by having it own team to conduct the campaign, people with knowledge of the service it will offer.
Sometimes one intermediary agent may be used. For example, this may apply in the marketing of securities, travel arrangements, entertainment or house rentals. Dealers may be trained in the production of a service and then be franchised to sell it. If need be, Unique Dance School will outsource representative to sell their service for them.
Promotional Decisions – This represents how Unique Dance School will deliver the message and the kind of media it will use. This is done mainly through advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, public relations and publicity as it is done in the case of promotion for tangible products. However, emphasis is on personal selling and advertising, which are used more effectively than the other aspects of promotion. It is expected that the two will also play a major role in promotional activities for Unique Dance School.
It is easy to sell something that the buyers can see, smell, feel or something that can be demonstrated. Services are not in this category of products. Point of purchase displays are impossible but the benefits of using the service can be effectively advertised or explained through personal selling.
The main media for conducting the advertising campaign will be through newspapers, radios and television (Kaiser 300). For many years, advertising has been used for covering many service fields such as recreation, entertainment, travel, sports, housing, household operation, transport and insurance. It is expected that Unique Dance School will be able to reap a lot of benefit from the same.
The main objectives of the promotional programme in a service firm should have three components. The first one is that it should portray the benefits of the service in an appealing manner. Secondly, it should differentiate the service benefits from those of the competitors. Thirdly, it should build the firm’s good reputation. The reputation of the firm becomes very essential because of the intangible nature of the service being offered. We expect that Unique Dance Group will realize all the benefits after the advertising campaign.
The specific mix of advertising, personal selling, sales promotion and public relations will be the core integrated marketing communication mix that Unique Dance School will select to pursue its advertising campaign. Apart from the integrated marketing communication mix that Unique Dance School will use, three other elements of service will be utilized. This includes the people. The importance of employees as an element in the marketing mix is particularly evident in the service industries.
If you have been offered poor service in a shop or restaurant, you may not be willing to go there again. Research has shown that there is an identifiable relationship between low staff turnover and repeat purchases.
Managing front-line workers such as the cabin crew – who are the lowest in the organizational hierarchy but whose behavior has most effect on customers – is an important task for senior management. It involves corporate culture, job design and motivational issues. People issues include appearance, attitude, commitment, behavior, professionalism, skills, numbers and discretion. To enhance the success of the campaign, Unique Dance School aims at adopting people as an element.
Regulatory issues in starting the dance school
Regulatory issues are not a major concern when starting a dance school. There are few restrictions discussed and include the following. Dancing instructors will require having at least two years teaching experience in order to be accredited by the international dance association. Only specialist franchises are an exception to this requirement (Wernick 38).
There is also the need for public liability insurance, which is normally mandatory for most business. This will cover Unique Dance School against accidents or injuries that may occur to either the instructor or students during dancing classes. However, this can be easier to obtain since it is a member of Imperial Society of Teachers of dancing.
Public performance license (PPL) will also be required as it grants the Unique Dance School permission to play music during various dancing sessions or classes. Normally, most of the venues that people hire especially for practical dances normally require this license.
Unique Dance School will also need to do a health and safety assessment before launching. Instructors will undergo a basic first aid training course. Since we will also teach students who are below 18 years, Unique Dance School will need to ensure all instructors working with this age group acquire intermittent Criminal Records Bureau checks.
Since Unique Dance School will start as a sole trading entity, it will have to comply with all the legal requirements of a sole trader and comply with the relevant tax implications. The added advantage that Unique Dance School has is that no prior certification will be required.
Perfect competition does not exist in service marketing because of the heterogeneous nature of services. Most services are highly differentiated because of the difficulty in standardisation. To have complete market information is not possible and there are geographical limits for offering services.
There are small numbers of sellers and freedom of entry is hampered by the heavy capital requirement for producing certain services like transport and medical care. This will also apply to Unique Dance School. For the above reasons, the private seller just establishes a price. However, it must be reasonable and approved by a government or regulatory agency.
Case Study of a Successful Media Campaign
‘Let’s Motor’ campaign of BMW is a perfect example. The company begun by mounting MINIs on SUVs in twenty-two cities. It created integrated strategy with a unique brand personality at every consumer ‘touch point’. The campaign was a huge success. It led to the increase of awareness from 2 percent to 53 percent of the United States consumers. The result was that MINI sales improved by 80 percent as compared to the original projections.
The success of the ‘let’s Motor’ promotional campaign was due to the use of the correct marketing communication mix as described below.
Advertising – this reaches large and geographically dispersed audiences. This is often done at high frequencies. Although the total costs are high, the cost of exposure is relatively low. Consumers perceive advertised goods as more legitimate as it builds the company brand image. The overall result indicated an increase in short-term sales (Johnson 55).
Personal Selling also proved to be the most effective tool for building buyers’ preferences, convictions and actions. Personal interaction allows for feedback and adjustments. Sales force represents a long-term commitment with excellent results although it might be a very expensive promotional tool (Graydon 60).
Sales Promotions made use of a variety of formats in this campaign. They include premiums, coupons and contests. This did attract attention, offered strong purchase incentives, dramatized offers and stimulated quick response. It had great results although they were short lived and ineffective at building long-term brand preferences.
Direct marketing was involved. It included various forms including telephone marketing, direct mail, online marketing and many more. It recorded success in this campaign due to four distinctive characteristics. They include nonpublic, Immediate, Customized and Interactive. This tool is normally well suited to high target marketing efforts (Cook 35).
The success of Unique School advertising campaign depended on the key aspects and understanding of advertising elements. Advertising has certain distinctive qualities including public presentation, which means advertising is a highly public mode of communication that suggests a standardized offering to the customers. Pervasiveness applies in advertising. Advertising is pervasive as it permits the seller to repeat a message many times.
There is amplified Expressiveness. Advertising provides opportunities for dramatizing the company and its products through the artful use of print, sound and color. In developing an advertising program, marketing managers must make five major decisions. They include the advertising objectives, budget, message to communicate, the media to use and the effectiveness of the advertising campaign.
In view of the above, Unique Dance School advertising campaign will require the recruiting of a number of students from the different target group considering the level of advertising campaign to be conducted. However, Unique Dance School will do a continuous marketing to increase the level of awareness in the public. This will be in line with the advertising objective, which is to inform, persuade and remind people of the services that the school offers.
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