Marketing Research and Marketing Assignment Report

Executive Summary

The traffic village website will provide information on the real village that is still under construction. The traffic village is a project of the Abu Dhabi Police. We conducted a market survey and found that parents are in favour of the traffic village. They are in agreement with the major objective of the village, which is to train children aged between 3 and 12 years on responsible driving. We will use a penetration pricing strategy to increase our market share.

All marketing initiatives associated with the website will be free of charge, with the exception of buying Facebook advertisements, which will cost us 2.5 USD per day. The cost per customer for the first year will be 7.6 USD. In the first year, we will allocate 28.88% of our profits to marketing campaigns. We will virtualise all our storage facilities and servers to reduce on energy consumption.

Objectives of the Research

The intended objective of the Traffic Village site is to disseminate information about the real village to people of all ages and from all places. The major objective of the site is to provide information on traffic rules and regulation to the new generation of Abu Dhabi residents and future drivers.

The target population are the children aged between 3 and 12 years. The website will provide information aimed at promoting road safety interactive activities between children and their parents. It will also contain such learning tools as educational videos, stories, and games. The educational tools are targeted at children within the abovementioned age bracket.

Market Survey

According to Puleston (2011), market surveys are important in the promotion of any product or service in the market. The surveys are used to determine the perceptions, preferences, tastes, fashions, and feelings of customers in the target market. Companies use the findings from a market survey to design their products and services before introducing them in the market. There are several strategies through which surveys are conducted. They are conducted through emails, over the phone, online, or in person.

To determine the effectiveness of the Traffic Village and the website we are designing, we conducted a survey in Abu Dhabi, which is the target market. The survey used a total of 15 informants. All the informants were parents in the city. The main aim of the survey was to ascertain the opinions of the parents with regard to the state of road safety in the city. The survey was also aimed at determining whether or not the parents support the initiative of training young children on the need for road safety.

The questionnaire used in the survey was divided into two parts, part A and part B. The first part was used to gather information on general knowledge about driving among parents. The second section of the questionnaire was used to determine the age at which parents feel that children should begin driving. The set of questions that were used in the survey are shown in appendix 1.

Research Findings

The findings made in the study are presented below for each of the two sections:

General Information on Driving

Question 1: Do you drive a car?

Thirteen of the respondents indicated that they drive a car, while two do not drive. Cars are, therefore, an important means of transport in Abu Dhabi.

Question 2: Are you aware of the police ‘Black Point System Rules’?

Four respondents knew what “Black Point System Rules” were, while the rest did not know. To this end, it is concluded that there is widespread ignorance with regard to police traffic rules and road safety in the city.

Question 3: Have you ever experienced a car accident while driving?

All the respondents had experienced an accident at some time in the past as they were driving. Some of them sustained major injuries from the accidents, while others escaped unscathed. The rate of automobile accidents in the city is high.

Question 4: Do you agree that accidents occur because drivers are careless?

75% of the respondents pointed out that careless driving is a major cause of automobile accidents.

Question 5: Are you in favour of stringent penalties and fines for violation of driving rules?

95% of the parents agreed that there is need for stringent driving rules in Abu Dhabi.

Question 6: Do you agree that driving skills should be learnt at a tender age?

Fourteen out of the 15 informants agreed that it is necessary to teach children how to drive safely.

Question 7: Would you like to enrol your children in a driving school at a young age?

Fourteen parents agreed that children should join a driving school at a young age.

Question 8: Do you agree that it is better to learn driving at a young age than at old age?

14 out of 15 parents agreed that it is not wise to delay driving lessons until adulthood.

The findings of this marketing survey are very crucial to the traffic village. The findings point out that parents agree on the need for a traffic village, which aims at teaching children how to drive safely and responsibly at a young age. The findings are summarised in the figure below:

Results for Part A: General Information on Driving

Figure 1: Results for Part A: General Information on Driving

Appropriate Age for Driving

Concerning the right age to begin driving, six parents were in favour of 3 to 5 years age bracket, while four felt that 6 to 8 years was the appropriate age to begin driving lessons. The findings are summarised below:

Results for Part B: Appropriate Age for Driving

Figure 2: Results for Part B: Appropriate Age for Driving

Business Definition

The traffic village website is the tool that will be used to represent an online presence for the Abu Dhabi traffic village, which is being created by the city’s police department. By coming up with the village, the police department aims at reducing the number of caused by avoidable road accidents in the United Arab Emirates. A case in point is the number of accidents reported in 2011 in the emirates.

A total of 6,700 road accidents were reported during this period. 2,280 of these accidents were recorded in Abu Dhabi, claiming 334 lives. In the same year, the road violations in Abu Dhabi accounted for 46.4 per cent of all road violations in the country. In light of this sad reality, there is need to put in place effective programs that aimed at bringing back sanity on the roads. The traffic village’s website will introduce the traffic village that the Abu Dhabi Police are putting in place.

The website will become the major tool of communication in the village. The site will sell and promote the village’s strategy and disseminate safety information to the public. The site will be very useful in launching the village, especially for those who may not have the opportunity to attend the launch in person. It will provide everyone with the information they are interested in concerning the traffic village. The target geographical market for the site is Abu Dhabi and its districts.

Our main competitor is Kidzania in Dubai. Kidzania is a series of entertainment joints targeted at city families. The centres are currently located in 11 cities. The facilities in these centres allow children aged between 4 and 16 years to actively participate in a hypothetical adult world.

The children participate in this hypothetical world by working and earning Kidzo currency. Each Kidzania is designed like a real city with buildings, theatres, shops, and vehicles. The main themes in Kidzania include entertainment and role playing, while the main theme of the traffic village is road safety (Kidzania, 2012).

The main competitor analysed above is a chain of Mexican entertainment centres with branches all over the world. However, the traffic village is an inherently Abu Dhabi project that aims at promoting road safety and responsibility in the city.

The traffic village’s website is mainly concerned with training kids on how to use safety tools and kits. It also trains them on how they should respond in case of accidents or incidents on the road, at home, in malls, and in school. The major aim and theme of Kidzania is to train and prepare children for adulthood through entertainment and role-playing. On the other hand, our aim is to teach kids how to live safely, now and in the future.

Because of the theme difference between the two concepts, Kidzania customers will have much to learn from the traffic village. In the future, the traffic village will become more competitive by working in collaboration with other partners who share the same objective. Such partners include, among others, children television channels, the Ministry of Health, and the Roads and Transport Authority. The website will ensure that all the activities carried out in the village and by the partners are easily accessed by interested parties.

At the beginning, all the services offered by the website will be free of charge. After the launch of the real village, however, sources of income will include subscriptions, online ticketing, membership charges, and newsletter fees.

Currently, Kidzonia partners with such organisations as banks, restaurant, hospitals, and airlines. The centre relies more on one-day ticketing. The traffic village’s pricing website will aim at encouraging repeat visits by reducing the costs for subsequent visits and lowering the prices for the customers who stay for long in the site.

The promotional techniques between Kidzania and the traffic village are almost similar. We will promote the village through social media, mainly from the website. The social sites that will be used include YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. We will also promote the village through city tours and school visits. Currently, Kidzania is using all the above-mentioned methods apart from the school visits.

Customer Profile

As aforementioned, the traffic village website will target children aged between 3 and 12 years. The children will be the site’s major customers. However, it is expected that most of these children will be brought to the traffic village by their parents. Furthermore, in spite of the fact that the website is aimed at drawing the attention of the children, young adults and parents are the most likely people to use the internet. In this regard, we expect that parents will access the information online and bring their children to the village.

However, to directly bring the information to our target customers, we will use a number of alternative initiatives. Most of the children falling within the age bracket mentioned above attend madrasas in the city. As such, we will collaborate with religious leaders and madrasa teachers to inform them about the website and about the village.

We will also reach out to children from all the elementary schools in Abu Dhabi. In the schools, we will work together with teachers in classes. The children will be trained on how to use the internet and the social media, as well as receive training on general road safety. We will consult the city Municipality to allow us inform children and the general public of the traffic village and website at various recreation parks and gardens.

The first on the program is the Al Mushrif Children’s Garden, which is located in Al Mushrif District, opposite the UAE National Theatre. Other parks that will be included in our program include the Capital Gardens, Al Nahyan Garden, the Khalidiya Garden, Khalifa Park, and the Al Khaldiah Kids Park. We will also place advertisements on national televisions. We will try and make sure that the adverts are aired during Saturday morning kids’ shows and in the evenings during meals.

The message communicated through the traffic village is very unique. The unique nature of the message is the main reason why we expect the traffic village’s website to be received positively by the clients. There are other organisations in Abu Dhabi working hard to reduce the number of road accidents in the city. A good example is the concerted effort between the Abu Dhabi Traffic Department, Ministry of Interior, the Emirates Traffic Society, and the Abu Dhabi Police Department.

The organisations have come together to increase public awareness with regard to the need for road safety. However, such conventional campaigns have not taken advantage of the growing online community in Abu Dhabi. The traffic village’s website has a unique opportunity of using the growing interest in technology in the city to teach children the need for road safety.

After the traffic village and the website are launched, we will conduct market surveys after every six months to determine how the market is responding to the service. The periodic market surveys will also help the management to identify customer needs that are not met by the village and the website.

At the end of every survey, our technical team will implement changes on the site to ensure that it reflects the needs of children in the city. In efforts to continually improve the site, we will ensure that the information presented there remains current and up-to-date. We will also make sure that the site is always informative and entertaining to the target market.

To remain effective and relevant in the market, we will avoid posting information about the village only. Efforts will be made to expand the scope of the information presented there. We will continue gathering information about the entire industry and beyond so that the children and adults visiting the site will have a reason to come back. In addition to reaching out to children in elementary school and in high school, we will have a section on the website aimed at ensuring that the road safety message remains fresh in the minds of adults.

Such information is important because the needs and learning processes between adults and children are quite different. Furthermore, keeping adults informed about road safety statistics and other such information ensures they are in a better position to mentor and teach their young ones the need for road safety and responsibility

Marketing Objectives and Strategies

In this section, we will provide information touching on the marketing objectives and strategies we have adopted. The 4Ps analysis will be provided in this section.

The 4Ps Analysis of the Website and the Village

Product

The current system, which is dubbed “My First License – I Know My Road Rules” is facing a number of challenges. One of the challenges is that it has a limited capability to create awareness on the need for safe driving. The new website will be designed to bring together all the information touching on driving and safety on an easy-to-use interface. In the plan, the website may appear to be a different project from the traffic village.

However, it is important to note that the site is simply an online extension of the real village. The “virtual” traffic village will be a media centre that champions the objectives of the Abu Dhabi Police Department. The objective of the department is to enhance safety on the city’s roads through the development of a “real” traffic village.

When the plan was being drafted, the Abu Dhabi Police Department was not aware of the creation of the website. The site will provide a social media interaction platform where information from both the developers and the consumers will be collected and shared. The information will be tailored to the needs of the city’s residents. By the time the traffic village is launched, the site will contain 4 to 5 pages.

Price

As already indicated in this marketing plan, the services offered through the website will be free before the launch of the traffic village. However, we will make efforts to generate income from the site after the village is launched. We will use a penetration pricing strategy.

According to Ellickson, Misra & Nair (2012), a penetration pricing strategy sets prices below the average level in the market. The aim is to help the new product or service gain acceptance from consumers. As the site gains ground in the market, the prices of the services and products will slowly be increased to attain the current market price.

We will use the strategy given that our major aim is not pursuit of immediate returns. On the contrary, our aim is to increase sales volumes and our market share. We expect that by using the strategy, we will enhance the speed of the adoption and diffusion of our products and services, which will culminate in fast market penetration.

By using this approach, we will deny our competitors the chance to respond in real-time. It is also expected that by using such a strategy, it will be possible to create goodwill among early adopters, who will spread the information further in the market. The strategy will also enhance our efficiency given that from the beginning, we will be able to effectively address the issue of cost reduction and cost control pressures. It will be an important competition barrier that will keep new entrants at bay.

As the site becomes progressively commercialised, we expect to achieve a favourable stock turnover. The favourable stock turnover will go a long way in supporting the value chain. The main challenge in using the penetration pricing strategy is that it is quite hard to increase prices later on (Ellickson et al., 2012). However, we will focus on progressively adding value to the product before increasing the prices.

Promotion

We will use various avenues to promote the virtual traffic village. One of the main strategies we will adopt is the use of social network advertising channels. Social networking will make it possible for us to exploit consumer demographics in the creation of our adverts.

To begin with, we will use indirect advertising by creating an official Facebook page and a YouTube channel. We will also have a Twitter account. The next step will be direct advertising on Facebook. At this juncture, we will start purchasing adverts. The direct approach will allow us to target our information to the residents of Abu Dhabi.

The use of paid media on Facebook will also enable us to determine the exact message we want to convey to our target market. In addition, purchasing Facebook adverts will help us to determine the social graphs of our fans on Facebook. We will exploit the network of friends on Facebook and other social sites to promote our product. For example, after providing incentive information to our fans, we expect them to share it with their friends on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites.

We will also post our articles in various article directories, such as www.EzineArticles.com, www.ValuableContent.com, www.GoArticles.com, www.Article99.com, www.eHow.com, www.ArticleDashBoard.com, and www.EasyArticles.com.

Because we are working on a penetration pricing strategy and our costs have to be as low as possible, we will also use free online classifieds to reach out to our target market. The main online classified that will be used in the promotion campaign is www.craiglist.com. We will also use search engine optimization (SEO) to draw traffic from consumers searching the web on Google, MSN, and Yahoo.

Place

As already mentioned in this paper, the real village is situated in Abu Dhabi. The website is a representation of the traffic village. Consumers will be able to access the site from any place in the world and at any time of the day. The suggested official website will be www.thetrafficvillage.com. The site will be fully integrated and easy to navigate given that the target audience is children aged between 3 and 12 years. The shopping cart will be located one click from the homepage and two clicks from our blog.

The process of checking out after making a purchase will also be simplified because there will be an attendant ready to assist anyone who is making a purchase at any given time. The attendant will be trained on how to address the needs of experienced shoppers, as well as those of shoppers without online shopping experience. The aim of this is to make sure that all potential shoppers, regardless of their level of experience, feel appreciated and needed in the site.

Many e-commerce customers end up not making a purchase because they cannot find what they are looking for. The site will be designed to accommodate those customers with a wide experience in online shopping and those who have never interacted with an e-commerce site.

To enhance the visibility of all the products and services offered at the site, we will ensure that all the photos and videos posted on the site are of high quality. It is noted that the quality of the videos and pictures posted on a given site determines how consumers rate that particular site. For example, a site with grainy pictures and low resolution videos is not rated highly. On the other hand, consumers are attracted to sites with high quality videos and pictures, which are more stimulating (visually) than poor quality media.

We will make efforts to ensure that consumers regard us highly by using high quality videos and pictures. However, it is important to note that high quality videos may be too heavy to use on such websites. As such, they will require high speed internet, which the customer may be unable to access.

Marketing Objectives, Marketing Strategies, and the Budget

There are five requirements that should be met in launching the traffic village’s site. All the requirements call for a small initial financial outlay. The resources needed include a computer (available), a technical expert (available), research work (requires time), consultation (available), and design (intellectual capital).

However, marketing the site, as well as the products and services offered at the real traffic village, will cost money. Nonetheless, the modes of promotion that we have opted for in marketing the site are relatively inexpensive. For instance, opening and running a Facebook page is free.

The same goes for the opening and running of a Twitter account and a YouTube channel. Posting articles on article directories and on craiglist.com is also free. We will come up with our own articles to use in Search Engine Optimization. However, we will have to incur the cost of purchasing a domain name, web hosting, and direct Facebook advertising, where we are required to buy adverts.

There are two ways to advertise on Facebook. The first one is referred to as CPM, which stands for Cost Per 1000 Impressions. The second one is CPC, which refers to Cost Per Click. Different marketers prefer different strategies for a number of reasons.

The major considerations made in selecting the strategy to use include, among others, the costs associated with the strategy, the nature of the marketing campaign, the target audience, as well as the major objective of the marketing campaign. For example, the needs of a promotion campaign for beauty soap are different from the needs of a book advert.

Out of the two strategies analysed above, most marketers prefer the second one, which is CPC. The major reason why it is preferred over CPM is that it is relatively cheap. CPM is used for the purpose of increasing brand awareness, but our objective in marketing is to achieve conversions, leads, and sales.

As such, we will use CPC. It will be appropriate because we will only pay for the number of clicks on the website and our corresponding Facebook page. Facebook allows for advertisers to choose how much they want to spend each day, the minimum being 1 USD. We will advertise on Facebook at a cost of 2.5 USD each day. The cost of advertising will be 912 USD per year.

It is important to bear in mind that we may not achieve voluminous sales in the first year. As such, the cost of advertising on Facebook is reasonable. In the first year, we expect to achieve sales of at least 4,200 USD from 120 customers. In this regard, the estimated cost per customer will be 7.6 USD. The cost is expected to drop to 3.8 USD in the second year as the number of customers increase. In the first year, 28.88% of the profits will be allocated to marketing. The budget for the first year is presented in appendix 2.

Environmental Effect

The department consuming more energy than others in a given organisation is facilities and information communication. The virtual village will be based online. According to an article posted on CNN.com by Farrah (2009), each search on Google releases an average of 20milligrams of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Downloading media, which includes such activities as listening to online radio, streaming videos, and chatting with friends, have a direct impact on energy consumption. Every search on the internet engages an energy consuming server. To address this challenge, we will virtualise all our servers and storage systems to cut our energy consumption by half.

Implementation Timeline

The table on appendix 3 illustrates how the project will be implemented. It is a Gantt chart showing the expected activities and their timeframe.

References

Ellickson, P., Misra, S., & Nair, H. (2012). Repositioning dynamics and pricing strategy. Journal of Marketing Research (JMR), 49(6), 750-772. doi:10.1509/jmr.11.0068.

Farrah, L. (2009). Greening the internet: How much CO2 does this article produce? Retrieved from http://edition.cnn.com/2009/TECH/science/07/10/green.internet.CO2/

Kidzania, (2012). What is Kidzania. Retrieved from https://dubai.kidzania.com/en-ae/pages/what-is-kidzania

Puleston, J. (2011). Improving online surveys. International Journal of Market Research, 53(4), 557-560. doi:10.2501/IJMR-53-4-557-562.

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