Marketing and communication plan for Bournemouth

Essay, 2007

34 Pages, Grade: 2


Table of Contents

1 Introduction

2 The marketing plan
2.1 Current market
2.2 Environmental Analysis
2.3 Objectives
2.4 Marketing Strategy
2.4.1 Differential Advantage
2.5 Strategy

3 102.3 2CR FM

4 World of learning
4.1 The conference product
4.2 Budget
4.3 Control

5 Methodology
5.1 Findings and justification of chosen approach

6 References

7 Bibliography

8 Appendices

1 Introduction

A marketing plan for the conference destination Bournemouth is going to be developed, as it is „considered among the cities which are viewed as most attractive to hold a conference“ (The Conference People, 2006).

The marketing of particularly conferences should be undertaken because of the various positive impacts of the conference (please see Appendix 1) and because of the fact that delegates spend more than leisure guests (Lawson, 2000; McCabe, 2000; Ladkin and Spiller 2000; Mintel, 2006).

2 The marketing plan

The framework of Doyle (2002) will serve the author to develop a distinctive marketing plan. It will be adapted and altered to meet the most important criteria.

2.1 Current market

This section analyses how well Bournemouth’s conference sector is performing now.

In general Bournemouth’s conference market is healthy (Gregory, 2006). Bournemouth’s seaside location and the weather as well as its nature and sightseeing attractions contribute to the attractiveness of the city. The BIC “is widely considered to be one of the best conference centres in terms of facilities and quality service“ (The Conference People, 2006). The BIC had 78 conference and exhibitions from Jan - Dec 06 and is forecasting 86 for 2007 (Stainer, 2007).

In the Conference and Incentive Travel Magazine 2005/2006 one page was used for the destination; in 2006/2007 two pages were devoted to Bournemouth. The author observed that in 2006 only hotels and the purpose built convention centre were listed, in 2007 one unusual venue was mentioned.

The BICB has recognised that one has to work against the reputation of Bournemouth as a city of retired people. Furthermore the destination also wants to go for the corporate market (Gregory, 2006). The next hall for the BIC is already planned as it became too small for conferences accompanied with large exhibitions. Furthermore the website is going to be redesigned.

The following destinations were identified as the main competitors of Bournemouth: Brighton, Cardiff, Torquay and Harrogate, as they are in the south of the UK (except Harrogate) and seaside towns with a long conference tradition aiming for associations as the target clientele. A comparison of the competitors can be found in Appendix 2.

The author tried to estimate the marketing budget over the last five years and the year 2007. As there was a refurbishment in June 2004 for the BIC of £ 18 million this figure is used as a guideline.

Table 1 – past, current and future budget

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As in 2007 a refurbishment of the Pavillion theatre is planned the new gains will be invested again.

With regards to the marketing there is a three phase marketing of the BIC: the

“bigger magnet advertising campaign”. The BIC is present at leading trades shows as for example the CONFEX. (Saunders, 2005: 44; BIC 657 response, 2007)

In general Bournemouth’s conference situation is satisfactory. However the destination still has to work on more presence in the media and not just good facilities.

2.2 Environmental Analysis

The current performance is determined by environmental changes affecting the market. The PESTEL Analysis in Appendix 6 shows that these macro environmental factors are hardly able to be influenced by the business.

Micro-environmental changes are more specific to the market in which the business operates. Venues have to keep up to date with the recent changes, e.g. the online registration. In short term, costs are very high for new technical equipment, but in long term more beneficial.

The sustainable orientation for conferences has increased. In the recent years more recyclable paper was utilised or completely replaced by technology.

The future of conference destinations look bright as there will always be the need for conferences despite advances in videoconferencing. This is supported by Rogers 2003.

The opportunities for the future are explored with the help of a SWOT analysis in appendix 3, as well as in the Ansoff matrix in appendix 7.

Threats and weaknesses have to be diminished by constant monitoring of the business environment, control of budget figures and key players. Furthermore feedback sections on the internet help to research the customer’s satisfaction degree.

2.3 Objectives

Two types of objectives were considered: marketing and financial goals. Table 2 includes the tactics how the specific goal is going to be reached.

Table 2 - Objectives

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2.4 Marketing Strategy

The destination Bournemouth is going to aim for a completely new target market: students. This target group is characterised in table 3.

Table 3 - Customer profile

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Source: primary research (section 3.1)

Positioning is a vital element of a communication plan as supported by Davidson & Rogers (2006). One approach is positioning by product benefits. The aim is to develop a positive image emphasising the benefit for the consumer e.g. preparation for business life later, broadening knowledge or delivering experiences and to create and increase interest in conferences in long-term.

2.4.1 Differential Advantage

The competitors of Bournemouth are described in appendix 2. Without targeting students, a perceptual map with the two criteria - tourism flair and age of the delegate -would look as in appendix 8. It shows no competitive advantage of Bournemouth which is supported through the primary research (section 3.1.). Appendix 9 shows the differential advantage Bournemouth would reach through the new strategy. This would support the objective to diminish the reputation of a city of retired people and bring young people into business. The only challenge is to receive their interest for conferences.

2.5 Strategy

It is task of the BICB to project an image of the destination into various target markets (McCabe, 2000). The logo of the BIC simply represents the sea, the sun and the beach. The strategy will need to develop a further association with this logo: young delegates. Therefore the logo needs to be changed to make it a more appealing brand for young delegates.

Afterwards a brand image is developed. Bournemouth has already a political image. This was only perceived by one student. Therefore the help of general media communication in local magazines and local radio helps to increase this awareness. Advertising is crucial to develop a brand identity (Calver, 2007): People from 17-24 listen to the radio 10,8 hours a day (Rajar, 2007). The radio stations chosen for advertisement are Fire 107,6 FM and 102.3 3CR FM as their target audience are young people.

Table 4 – Radio stations to reach the target group

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Sources: 102.3 2CR FM; Fire 107,6FM

Table 5 – Magazines and newspapers to reach the target group

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Source: Daily Echo magazine, Newspaper Marketing Agency

Sales promotion takes place through web links of the BIC or conference pages of Bournemouth.

The target group is going to be reached by magazines and through presence of the destination on exhibitions and trade shows.

Table 6 - Advertisement in magazines

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Sources: citimagazine; Dorset business; CIM; World of learning

Table 7 – Presence at exhibitions

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Sources: Jefferson County, The careerfair 06, world of learning

The job fairs have been chosen to draw the attention to the fact that conferences for the youth exist. Furthermore many young people are reached. In addition during the open days of the University and on the web site the option can be promoted.

Attracting big conferences like the Labour Party in 2003 as well as the annual conference for the Conservative Party in 2006 is the best publicity Bournemouth can get as this ensures international coverage. With this possibility the new target group can be mentioned and promoted.

Brand associations springs from:

- marketing actions (advertising, general media communications)
- product characteristics (name, logo, slogan)
- press, opinion leaders, word of mouth information

(Davidson & Rogers, 2006)

As it can be seen all three elements are covered in the presented marketing strategy.

The idea is to attract this target group in off peak conference seasons as e.g. a week before the summer vacation to meet the marketing goal of Bournemouth, which is to increase the contribution of conferences to the town.

John Hopwood, programme leader for the BA in Event Management told the Conference & Incentive Travel magazine (January 2006) that one goes away from above the line marketing. Therefore the selection of below the line marketing by stimulating and influencing the buyer behaviour through brand development is the right way.


Excerpt out of 34 pages


Marketing and communication plan for Bournemouth
Bournemouth University
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
File size
601 KB
Marketing, Bournemouth, marketing plan, communication plan
Quote paper
Janine Paul (Author), 2007, Marketing and communication plan for Bournemouth, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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