The Marketing Mix
The marketing mix is another tool used by organisations. There are four main
parts of the marketing mix: product, price, place and promotion. These are
also known as ‘the four ps’. All of the things you have to get right are the
marketing mix and they have to work together – that is why they call it the
This is what the organisation provides for its customers. It is what they buy or
what they experience. What they buy are tangible goods or products. They
are things that can be taken away such as tennis rackets from a sports shop.
Mostly what the customer buys is intangible. You cannot take them away but
you can experience them like a ‘white-knuckle’ ride at a theme park. All of
these are part of the ‘product’. When looking at the product, there are a
number of things to think about to make sure it meets the needs of the
• product and service features
• brand name
• after sales service
• product life cycle
Product and Service Features
When people buy a product or service they are buying the product features.
When you go to a restaurant you don’t just buy the food because it is nutrition
and you need to eat to survive, you buy because you think about the taste,
how filling it will be, what it will look like, how quickly it will arrive. When you
buy a tennis racket you look at the colour, the style, how powerful shots will
be and how precise. When you buy a holiday you look at the weather, how
long it will take to get there, the reliability of the flight, the board basis of the
accommodation, the rating of the hotel, what is available in the room – will I
have a TV or fridge, will I have a sea view, will I have my own bathroom?
These are all the features of the product. It is what you look for when you are
describing the product.
The product features of leisure and tourism organisations vary because you have lots of different components. The product offered by an airline is very different from the product offered at a countryside park. Select a leisure and tourism organisation and describe its product features.
Remember that with marketing you have to get the right product to the right customer. Some of the things you included in your description may not be needed for some types of customer.
For each type of customer in the table below, describe the parts of the product designed to meet their needs.
Type of Visitor Product
Many leisure and tourism organisations are easily recognised because of the brand name they use eg McDonalds, Hilton, FILA, Charlie Chalks, Lunn Poly. If a customer recognises the brand name they associate that with quality or fashion and so are more likely to buy it. Often the brand name tells them something about the quality of the product for example if you want something quick to eat you know you can go into a McDonalds and it will be clean, there will be a certain standard of service. Once an organisation has a brand name then it can attract brand loyalty. Many people who go to McDonalds won’t go to Burger King and vice versa.
After Sales Service
This relates to how satisfied customers are with their product. If they are dissatisfied, how does the organisation deal with it? This can be about dealing with complaints or faulty goods. You will look at that in more detail in Unit 3: Customer Service in Travel and Tourism but it is important to
remember it is also about the organisations product. After sales service can also be about ensuring the customer leaves the organisation satisfied for example, a travel agent will ring customers when they come back from a holiday to find out if they enjoyed themselves. You can only do this though if you have the customers contact details. Many organisations do not have this information such a theme parks and attractions, some leisure centres, cinemas, sports venues.
Choose one of the following types of leisure facility and explain how they could offer an after sales service to its customers?
- football grounds
Product Life Cycle
There are many leisure and tourism products we use today that have been around for many years for example your local swimming pool or The Ulitmate
at Lightwater Valley. There are also leisure and tourism products that were available many years ago but aren’t there any more like wooden tennis rackets. There are also new products being developed like Xscape near Castleford. The product life cycle is a term used to show the different stages in the life of a product. Those that are new, those that are well established and those that are in decline. There are six stages to the product life cycle: • development • introduction • growth • maturity • saturation • decline
It is thought that most products go through each of these stages and this process can be shown as a diagram
Draw the product life cycle diagram for the following leisure products.
When a product is in the decline stage, the marketing activities focus on giving it an update or revamp. If you look at somewhere like Alton Towers or Blackpool Pleasure Beach you can see that they introduce a new ride each year or every other year. This is how they try to stop the decline of their product. An organisation may also use other aspects of the marketing mix to extend the life of the product for example reduce the price or advertise more.
This is the term used to describe what a customer pays for a product and • the actual selling price service. It includes
• any credit terms • profitability
Actual Selling Price
Customers will only by a product if they think they are getting value for money. They may be happy to pay more than ?25 to go to a Disney theme park but be unhappy to spend five pounds to visit a museum. In their mind they have to think that it is worth it. It is important therefore to set a selling price that people are prepared to pay.
? One attraction in the North East is Beamish. What is the price of going
to Beamish? ? Compare this with the price of other attractions.
? What other things do you have to pay for at Beamish? Give examples
of the prices charged for some of these extra facilities.
? Compare these prices with the costs of similar products and services
you can buy elsewhere.
Most leisure and tourism organisations aim to make a profit. This means that they have to cover all costs with the money they receive from customers. Costs include things like paying staff wages, electric and gas bills, buying in stock and paying for advertising or the development of new products. They have to know what their costs are so they can set a price that customers are prepared to pay but that will also cover their costs and give them a profit. Organisations also have to look at how much a competitor is charging for the same or a similar product when they decide on their selling price.
This part of the marketing mix is about many things. It is about
? Location – where it is located, how easy it is to get there (accessibility)
? Access – when is it open, are their special access facilities for people
with special needs ? Distribution channels – how can you buy the product or service
provided or buy tickets for the attraction.
Choose an attraction in the North East. Explain the different ways that you can get there.
Where can you buy tickets to get into the attraction?
What are the opening times?
What special access facilities are provided?
This is about how you let people know about what you have available. There are many different ways you can go about this:
? Direct marketing
? Pubic relations
? Personal selling
? Sales promotions
Write a short description of each technique in the appropriate space above.
Leisure and tourism organisations use lots of different promotional
techniques. Give an example of one leisure and tourism organisation that
uses the technique. You can have a different organisation for each technique.
Describe how they use the technique.
Technique Example Leisure and How Used
There are many reasons why organisations choose different techniques. It
will depend on their target market, where their market is located, what they
enjoy doing (do they like reading magazines, watching TV etc) how much
money they have to spend, how much time they have. Each technique has
advantages and disadvantages.
Complete the table below identifying the advantages and disadvantages of
each type of promotional technique.
Technique Advantages Disadvantages
As well as deciding on the technique, the organisation has to think about the
materials they could use. Some examples are:
? Brochures and leaflets
? Merchandising materials
? Press releases
? Internet sites
Choose a leisure and tourism organisation that you have visited. Create and
produce an item of promotional material for that organisation aimed at a target
market of 14-18 year olds. Make sure the choice and level of language that
you use meets the needs of the target market(s).
Now produce an item of promotional material for the same organisation but a
different target market. This time choose a target market of over 55s.
When you produce your promotional material you have to make sure it is effective – you have to make sure it will work. Will more people buy your
product, will more people attend your event. There are many ways you can use to see if your material is effective but one of the most common is the principle of AIDA. This stands for
Write a short description of what you would expect to see in a promotional material for each point of AIDA under the headings above.
Choose two different types of promotional material used by leisure and tourism organisations. Evaluate their effectiveness using the AIDA principle.