The aim of this coursework is to evaluate the marketing strategy of a familiar product or service, making recommendations on whether the marketing mix should be changed in any way. For my assignment I am going to investigate a bowling organization. Below is a map of the bowling organizations near and in Newcastle Upon Tyne: http://www. multimap. com/map/browse.
cgi? client= public&X= 425000&Y= 575000&width= 700&height= 400&gride=&gridn=&srec= 0&coordsys= gb&db=&addr1=&addr2=&addr3=&pc=&advanced=&local=&localinfosel=&kw=&inmap=&table=&ovtype=&keepicon=&zm= 1&scale= 200000The bowling alley at the metrocentre has facilities such as; a diner, a restaurant, shops, amusements, bars and American pool. For one game of adult bowling they charge ï¿½5. 50. They have many promotions mostly better value offers aimed at all ages: birthday parties for children, teenagers with mega teen parties, students with unlimited bowling, bowling and a meal offer, etc, they also promote other business’ which are near to them such as laser quasar. The bowling alley in Whitley Bay has facilities such as; American pool, bars, amusements and a cafe. For one game of adult bowling they charge ï¿½4.
00. They don’t have as many promotions as the metrocentre but they do promote parties (like the metrocentre), American pool and ice skating (just like the metrocentre promotes business’ around it). The bowling alley at the Royal Quays has facilities such as; amusements, pool, bar and a dining area. For one game of adult bowling they charge ï¿½4. 45. They use many techniques for promoting their bowling but mostly better value offers like; unlimited bowling, a student deal, early bird and an hourly lane rate, they also do kids, teens and adult parties.
The bowling alley at Longbenton has facilities such as; amusements, a bar, American pool and a dining area. For one game of adult bowling they charge ï¿½4. 55. They use promotions offers such as; an early bird, Sunday night unlimited bowling, Monday its cheaper, wimpy offer and a family members offer. The bowling organization I have chosen to study is XS Superbowl in Longbenton.
The reason I have chosen to study this bowling alley is because I have been to XS Superbowl the most out of all four bowling alleys and I am curious to how XS Superbowl manages with the amount of competition from its competitors that it has. XS Superbowl started out 14 years ago. They then got took over by a company called namco since then they have increased through sales because of Namco’s gaming range through arcades. XS Superbowl has competitors which are mainly; the local cinema, JJB soccer dome, wet ‘ n’ wild, and other bowling alleys such as Megabowl and Starbowl. However, XS Superbowl tries to stay ahead of its competitors by catering for all family members through a bigger range of facilities and setting up special offers. To help me carry out my investigation on XS Superbowl’s marketing strategies and mix I will need the following information in the table below because the table will help me to identify what information I will need to complete this assignment, why I need it and how I will collect it.
Here is my action plan of how I will research XS Superbowl. What information do I need? Why do I need this? How can I collect it? General information about the bowling alleys in the areaTo find out the size of the business, how long it has existed. Company information/leaflets. Comparison of the bowling alleysTo find out about what the USP of each bowling alley is. Visit bowling alley, talk, internet, own knowledge.
Product life CycleHow popular the bowling alley is and what and why facilities need updating. Textbook, teacher, information from bowling alley staff. How the bowling alley promotes and advertisesTo find out how people find out about the bowling alley and why people may not be going to it. For example they might not know about it because of some lack of advertising in certain areas. Also to find out how the bowling alley promotes itself. Looking on the internet and looking through leaflets.
Looking inside XS Superbowl and asking them what methods they use. Prices charged by the bowling alleyTo find out what prices they charge to see if it’s the prices that attracted or make customers repel from XS Superbowl. Look at the prices on their price list and compare them with other bowling alleys. The locations of the bowling alleyTo find out where the business is and to see if the location may be why lots/not many people go to superbowl. To see if anything nearby could draw people away from the superbowl.
Collecting this will be done by viewing maps. Customer tastes and knowledge of the bowling alleysTo find out if the customers think anything should be improved and to gather their views on the bowling alley. This will be gathered through carrying out a questionnaire. To research into this bowling alley I will use primary and secondary research. Primary ResearchPrimary research means collecting information yourself and doing it firsthand.
Primary research is also known as field research. The benefits of using primary research are:* The business asks the questions it wants in any research. This means it can find out exactly the information required.* The information collected is up to date. The information needs to be up to date because the opinions of consumers do change so therefore the most accurate results come from primary research.
* The information can be designed in such a way that the information collected can be analyzed easily. The disadvantages of using primary research are:* It is time consuming* It is expensive* It needs a large sample size to be accurate. Primary research can be collected through surveys, consumer panels, testing or observing. An example of primary research is a questionnaire. This involves asking lots of questions such as closed questions which are questions that have a definite answer and open questions which are questions that have many possible answers.
For my investigation I am going to be using primary research which consists of designing a questionnaire that I will get 25 respondents to, a visit to actually observe the bowling alley, notes from that visit and questions that I will personally ask the staff at the bowling alley to collect precise findings. I have chosen to use these types for my research because the questionnaire will give me personal views straight from the consumers so it will help me to find out the consumers tastes and knowledge of the bowling alley this will help to decide if anything needs to be improved in the bowling alley. A visit to actually observe the bowling alley to look at it and record what people do and how they behave will help me to compare the bowling alley with others and it will help me to find out what the USP of the bowling alley is. The notes from observing the visit will help me to analyze in depth the bowling alleys promotions and how popular the bowling alley is. Asking the staff questions will help me to understand what and why products may need updating and it will also help me to have great knowledge of the bowling alley to help me evaluate the marketing strategy of the bowling alley.
QuestionnaireHere is the questionnaire below that I have designed to help me find out about the bowling alley. The purpose of the questionnaire will give me personal views straight from the consumers so it will help me to find out the consumers tastes and knowledge of the bowling alley this will help to decide if anything needs to be improved in the bowling alleyComplete questionnaire in black pen by taking the boxes and where appropriate circle. 1. Male or female? M/F (please circle)2. How old are you? 18 or under(Tick the box)19-3031-5050-6060+3. Where do you live? _______________________ (please state)3.
Have you ever been bowling? YES/ NO (please circle)4. Have you ever been to XS Superbowl in Longbenton? YES/ NO (please circle)If not, why? Too expensive Too far away Not aware of itOther____________________ (please state)5. If so how often? 1-2 times 3-4 times 4-5 times 5+ times6. What facilities did you use at XS Superbowl? (please circle- more than one if needed)* Bowling* Wimpy* Arcade* Bar* American pool7. What facility did you find to be the best? (please circle)* American pool* Wimpy* Arcade* Bar* Bowling8.
Do u think any of the following facilities needs to be improved?(Please circle)* American Pool* Wimpy* Arcade* Bar* BowlingPlease state why: Needs to be modernised needs cleaning poor customer serviceOther___________________9. Did you find the prices to be reasonable at XS Superbowl? (Please circle)YESNO10. What would you suggest the price could be for one game of bowling with shoe hire? Under ï¿½3. 00 ï¿½3. 01+11. Do u think that XS Superbowl is in a good location? YES/ NOIf NO, why? Too far away No TransportOther____________________________________12.
How did you find out about XS Superbowl with it being so far away? Promotions Advertisements Friends RelativesThank you for taking the time to complete this questionnaire. My primary research also consisted of asking the bowling alley staff questions. This will help me to understand what and why products may need updating and it will also help me to have great knowledge of the bowling alley to help me evaluate the marketing strategy of the bowling alley. Below are the questions I asked them: XS Bowling – Questions for visitSeaton Burn College1. Brief History of XS Superbowl* XS Superbowl started out 14 years ago, then they got took over by a company called ‘ Namco’ since then they had increased through sales because of Namco’s gaming range through arcades.
2. Does XS Superbowl have a USP (Unique selling point)?* XS superbowl has a unique selling point being a family entertainment service; they provide a service for every family member. 3. What are the specific marketing objectives of the Bowling alley?* The market objective is to become a household brand in the local areas. 4. How does the bowling alley promote itself?* The bowling alley uses devices such as; in house, radio, local newspaper, flyers and the internet.
5. What are the most effective methods of promotion? – How is the success measured?* The most effective promotional tool so far has been flyers inside newspapers. They use these because they can measure the target audience and compare this to our sales database. 6. Do they use any primary or secondary research? If so what do they do?* XS superbowl use secondary research to find out what other companies offer this because there is a lot of competition from new bowling alleys situated in different areas.
7. Who are the main competitors?* The main competitors are star bowl, Local cinema, JJB soccer dome, Wet ‘ n’ Wild and other local bowling alleys such as Megabowl and Ten Pin Bowling. 8. How does XS Superbowl try stay ahead of its competitors?* XS superbowl tries to stay ahead of starbowl by making a bigger range of facilities for every family member and setting up special offers. 9. Does the location of the bowling alley affect the number of customers?* The location does affect the number of customers because it is not on a bus route and it isn’t next to other big facilities like the starbowl is because the starbowl is next to things like: wet ‘ n’ wild, outdoor shopping centre and a soccer dome.
10. How do they decide the pricing strategy? What pricing strategies do they use?* Bowling, Bar and Vending- XS superbowls pricing strategy is based around the economic growth and targets set by their head office. If their bowling targets have increased by 3% the bowling prices will increase at that rate.* Wimpy- Wimpy is a franchise so they are restricted by their pricing structure. 11.
As well as standard bowling, what else does XS Superbowl offer? E. g. competitions, kids parties etc.* XS Superbowl also offers alongside bowling pool, arcades, group bookings, teen parties, bowl and bite and food and drink. 12.
Does the bowling alley have any partnerships with others organisations?* The partnerships are with wimpy, breweries, gaming companies just to name a few there are many more. Secondary ResearchSecondary research is also called desk research. It is where you use information that other people have collected through primary research. The benefits of using secondary research are:* It is cheaper than primary research (field research).* The data is easily found.* The data is instantly available.
The disadvantages of secondary research are:* It is not always relevant* It’s not specifically about the certain product/business that you are after.* It’s often out of date. I will be collecting secondary research through using websites, leaflets, textbooks, maps and newspaper adverts; they are all part of secondary research. Secondary research is important in evaluating the marketing strategy this is because it will help me to find out general information about the bowling alleys in the area to find out how big they are through using the internet. It will also help me to find out how the bowling alley promotes and advertises itself through the use of leaflets and newspaper adverts, this will help me to see maybe why not so many people are visiting the bowling alley this will help me to see what recommendations would help the business to improve. Looking at the price list and the location of the bowling alley on a map will help me to distinguish maybe what stops or welcomes people to XS Superbowl this will help me to see what the bowling alley needs to improve on in its marketing strategies.
The limitations of using this type of research are that the data maybe old and not up to date which will give me false results. The data could maybe be too vague and not precise which will be a big problem for decision making. The data also might not be as accurate as I hope. Primary research does not have that problem because it is done fist hand and by your own self, this means you can get straight to what you need to know and because you have done it yourself you know it is up to date and accurate. Primary and Secondary research will help me to investigate the marketing mix of XS Superbowl.
Marketing MixThe marketing mix is the combinations of factors which help the business sell a product. These are usually known as the four p’s- price, product, promotion and place. The marketing mix is so important because there is so much choice in the market and there are so many ways a customer can spend their money so the greater the competition the more businesses have to produce effective marketing. I will be looking carefully at each component and making recommendations to XS Superbowl of my findings. ProductThe first marketing component is the product.
This is what the firm must come up with that people will want to buy. It must fulfil the customer’s needs and wants. In this case the product of XS Superbowl is bowling aswell as the amusements, bar, wimpy and American pool. XS Superbowl tries to offer something for all tastes. This is the unique selling point (USP) of XS Superbowl; to be a family entertainment service; they provide a service for every family member.
However, XS Superbowl’s products life cycle is as follows:* Introduction- means that the product is put on sale for the first time.* Growth- means the sales and profitability gradually increase, until the product becomes well established in the market.* Maturity- means that the product has become well established in the market. Firms continue to advertise but less frequently.* Saturation- means there is no more room to expand the sales are at their peak.
Firms may try to use an extension strategy.* Decline- means the product becomes obsolete as rivals take over. This shows that XS Superbowl is ahead of most of its competitors except from the new starbowl that has just opened. The Megabowl and the ten pin bowling are fading out and look as though they are going to become obsolete. To try and get ahead of starbowl since XS Superbowl has reached maturity/saturation the firm should try an extension strategy.
This might include making changes to the design of XS Superbowl by putting in a ball bowl/soft play for children to play in like they suggested when we asked them about what they are going to do. They could also get rid of some of the pool tables and put more arcades on where they would make plenty of money. These would all help XS Superbowl get back into the product life cycle again by making new products and sticking to their unique selling point. This would help XS Superbowl to change its marketing mix which would try to get XS Superbowl ahead of its competitorsPriceThe next marketing component is price. The price of a product must be one that the customer thinks is good value for money. This is not the same as being cheap.
There are five different pricing methods. 1. Penetration pricing- is where a firm charges a very low price for a product that is new to get lots of people interested. Once the product has become established the firm will increase the price. 2.
Skimming- is the opposite of penetration pricing. Firms charge a high price to start off with this helps the product to become desirable to people with larger incomes the firm then lowers the price of the product when it has become firmly established. This then helps it to become a mass-market product. 3. Destroyer pricing- This is also known as predatory pricing.
Firms charge low prices that they know other firms can’t afford to do, then once they have driven their competitors out of the market they raise their prices. 4. Price discrimination- This is where firms charge different prices to different consumers for the same product. 5. Competition pricing- This is where firms charge similar prices to other firms. It happens when there is lots of choice and not much difference between the products.
6. Cost plus pricing- This is where a business looks at its total costs (fixed and variable) and they add the profit they wish to make. The firm then decides how much they want to make and they then set their prices to how much a customer will be willing to pay so that they make a profit, providing that they sell what they think they will sell. 7. Psychological pricing- This is where a business charges a price such as ï¿½19.
99, they do this to make the customer think that it is cheaper than what it actually is by not rounding it to a whole number. XS superbowls pricing strategy is based around the economic growth and targets set by their head office. If their bowling targets have increased by 3% the bowling prices will increase at that rate. Wimpy is a franchise so they are restricted by their pricing structure. PricesXS Superbowl- ï¿½4.
55 for one game of adult bowlingMegabowl -ï¿½5. 50 for one game of adult bowling. Starbowl -ï¿½4. 45 for one game of adult bowling. Ten pin bowling-ï¿½4. 00 for one game for adult bowling.
This shows the prices for each of the bowling alleys. The cheapest is ten pin bowling at whitley bay, this creates a link to where it is in the product life cycle it is in decline so they have lowered their prices for more sales. The most expensive bowling alley is Megabowl this is maybe because of its surroundings because it’s surrounded by many shops and services so lots of people will be drawn to it. Starbowl is not too expensive, it charges just slightly less than XS Superbowl, this maybe because it wants to attract lots of customers because it is new, this is an example of penetration pricing. XS Superbowl, does not charge particularly too much it charges just 10p more than starbowl does this is a clear example of competition pricing. However, starbowl must have created the competition because XS Superbowl has been around longer than Starbowl.
This links to the marketing strategy of Xs Superbowl it shows that it is doing well for its prices although it could charge slightly less then starbowl to create even more competition. However, it has excellent offers of children’s parties and group bookings so this should keep it ahead of its competitors. PromotionThe next marketing component is promotion. The product must be promoted so that the customers are aware that it does exist. XS Superbowl has found the most effective promotional tool so far has been flyers inside newspapers. They use these because they can measure the target audience and compare this to their sales database.
They also use special offers and TV advertisements too. The flyer advertisements are effective although they can get ignored and chucked in the bin as junk mail so the most effective method for XS Superbowl I would recommend are posters, this Is because many people drive past XS Superbowl because it is beside a busy road. I would also recommend more TV advertisements as XS Superbowl is in a difficult location for transport so for people to know that it exists TV advertisements would be the best this would contribute to the marketing mix of XS Superbowl greatly. Starbowl uses effective TV advertisements for it to get widely known that’s may be one of the reasons why it is doing so well. Megabowl is advertised on TV aswell and this is seen regular as the place it is in gets seen regular because many people shop near it.
Ten pin bowling at whitley bay doesn’t really have any promotions this may be why it is in decline in the product life cycle. If it had more promotions if would may be being doing slightly better than it is. Not as many people as there could be are going to XS Superbowl and this may be because of the lack of advertisements. Here are some of the ways XS Superbowl promotes itself; it is mostly through special offers: PlaceThe final marketing component is place. This means the product must be available in a place that the customer will find convenient. XS Superbowl is in an awkward location for public transport, this I think is one of the biggest factors that affects the business as a whole.
Below are the locations of all four bowling alleys: XS Superbowl has to be in the worst location because of the lack of public transport and nothing surrounds it for people to want to go up that way. Most people would either purchase their tickets online for the bowling alleys or they would purchase them over the telephone. The other bowling alleys have a great location but there are many problems for XS Superbowl that’s maybe where it loses money from. The only proper transport to this location is by car. This is goes with the unique selling point of XS Superbowl.
I would recommend that XS Superbowl keeps the family unique selling point in its marketing strategies because only families can really travel there because most families have cars and that’s the easiest way to get to XS Superbowl. INFORMATION RESOURCES ARE LISITED IN THE BIBLIOGRAPHY AT THE BACK OF THIS COURSEWORKReportIntroductionThe aim of this investigation was to evaluate the marketing strategy of the bowling alley, making recommendations on whether the marketing mix should be changed in any way. The information was collected through carrying out primary and secondary research. The primary research consisted of questionnaires, observations and talking to staff. The questionnaire took 25 personal views straight from the consumers to help find out the consumers tastes and knowledge of the bowling alley this will helped to decide if anything needed to be improved in the bowling alley. A visit to actually observe the bowling alley to look at it and record what people did and how they behaved helped to compare the bowling alley with others and it helped to find out what the USP of the bowling alley is.
The notes from observing the visit helped to analyze in depth the bowling alleys promotions and how popular the bowling alley is. Asking the staff questions helped to understand what and why products need updating and it also helped to have great knowledge of the bowling alley to help evaluate the marketing strategy of the bowling alley. The secondary research was important in evaluating the marketing strategy this was because it helped me to find out general information about the bowling alleys in the area to find out how big they are through using the internet. It also helped me to find out how the bowling alley promotes and advertises itself through the use of leaflets and TV advertisements, this helped to see maybe why or why not so many people are visiting the bowling alley this helped me to see what recommendations would help the business to improve. Looking at the price list and the location of the bowling alley on a map helped me to distinguish maybe what stops or welcomes people to XS Superbowl this helped me to see what the bowling alley needs to improve on in its marketing strategies. FindingsThese were the results of the questionnaire out of 25 people asked 20 people had been to XS Superbowl.
Question7- What facilities did you use at XS Superbowl in Longbenton?(Pick as many options as required)Bowling= 15 peopleWimpy= 5 peopleArcade= 8 peopleBar= 5 peopleAmerican pool= 4 peopleThis pie chart shows that bowling was mostly used at XS Superbowl and American pool was the least used. This pie chart relates to the marketing component – product. This shows that people mostly visit XS Superbowl for the bowling. This relates to the marketing strategies, it shows that people must be happy with the condition that the bowling alley is in and they are taking advantage of the special offers. This pie chart also clarifies that people like the promotions of the special offers because the special offers are mostly for bowling so the marketing strategy through the way the product is presented and also the promoting of the product has progressed well.
Question 8- Which facility did you find to be the best? Bowling= 14American pool= 1Wimpy = 0Arcade= 3Bar= 2This pie chart shows that bowling was found to be the best product at the XS Superbowl and that is probably because people use it the most and because of the many different types of special offers that are on offer. Also that is what XS Superbowl specialises in so that factor also has a lot to do with the fact that people think it is the best. The wimpy was the least favoured as it had no people who voted for it. Wimpy don’t seem to use promotion or be quite cheap in their foods this is may be the reason why they are the least favoured. The marketing strategy for this particularly needs to be improved. Question 9- Do you think any of the following facilities needs to be improved?(Pick as many options as required)Bowling= 1American Pool= 3Wimpy= 13Arcade= 0Bar= 9This pie chart shows that most people think that the wimpy should be improved.
This links in with the last pie chart because people did not think that was the best facility and not many are using the wimpy. This could be due to the cost in food as it is more than other fast food restaurants or there is no marketing strategy of promotions for the wimpy like special offers. The facility that least needs to be improved is the arcades, this is because Namco is a well know business because it Is promoted well and it is up to date keeping everyone of all ages entertained which is part of the USP for XS Superbowl. Question 10- Did you find the prices to be reasonable at XS Superbowl? This chart shows that most people have no problem with the prices that XS Superbowl charges. This means the marketing strategy for this area in the business has worked well and had a lot of thought put into it.
It also means the business as a whole is keeping up with its competitors. XS Superbowl can conclude from this chart that they price products correctly. Question 11- What would you suggest the price could be for one game for bowling with shoe hire? Although many people were happy with the prices that XS Superbowl charges people would still like the price lowered, this is in humans nature to want business’ to charge as little as possible for their products. That is where the whole aspect of competition comes in. Overall, people are satisfied with the price XS Superbowl charges. Question 12- Do you think that XS Superbowl is in a good location? This chart shows that most people do not think that XS Superbowl is in a good location.
This does not come as a surprise as XS Superbowl is not near any public transport and it does not have anything to surround it to attract people to the bowling alley. This is a big factor in the marketing mix because a business is supposed to put the product in a place where consumers would go to get the product. Unfortunately, it is in an awkward place that needs sorted out through another part of the marketing components. If not, why? This chart shows that most people have the problem of not being able to get to the bowling alley because of the lack of public transport, this plays a vital role in how many consumers go to XS Superbowl. This is what the popularity of the bowling alley relies on.
Also, it shows what type of people will being going to the bowling alley- families- this is where the USP comes in to contol. Question 13- How did you find out about XS Superbowl with it being so far away? Promotions= 1Advertisements= 1Friends= 10Relatives= 8This pie chart shows that most people have found out through their friends about the bowling alley. This shows that in the marketing mix a lot of work needs to be done on promotion to try and get more people to find out about the bowling alley; otherwise people are going to forget that it is there because with it being out of the way people won’t be able to see it. To keep it ahead of its competitors a lot of work needs to be put into promotion more than anything so the bowling alley can attract as much people as possible. SWOT AnalysisThe strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the bowling alleys marketing strategies are as follows:* Strengths-They have a core number of customers in the whitley bay area. They offer a lot of variation within the centre with pool and arcades as well as the bowling centre.
The pubwatch is also strength. Their promotions for through cinema vouchers and the family club have also proved to be a good strong point aswell as the better value offers.* Weaknesses- The weaknesses at XS Superbowl are: 1. There is no major bus route. 2. Wimpy is fast becoming a dying brand.
3. Youth culture is poor- puts off publicy good custom. 4. No other entertainment sites to support their service.* Opportunities-NAMCO as a business is expanding with four new sites opening within the past couple of months.
Negotiations to acquire metro land in the metrocentre are ongoing so there will be future opportunities if they are successful. Hoping to build a play area within the centre. NAMCO owns all the AWP’S and gaming in their sites and are looking to expand.* Threats- The threats at XS Superbowl are: 1. Local cinema. 2.
Brand new bowling alley STARBOWL opening. 3. JJB Soccer dome and Wet ‘ n’ Wild at the royal quays. 4. Other bowling alley sites- Megabowl and Ten Pin Bowling.
RecommendationsThere are many suggestions about how the bowling alley could improve. ProductThe bowling alley could improve through its product by making a ball pool or new soft play and take some of the bowling alleys out. This would emphasise the whole USP of the bowling alley and it would put the bowling alley up as some competition and it would succeed again through the product cycle graph. It could also get rid of some of the pool tables to make way for new arcades as they attract more customers than the pool tables do. The bowling alley could also get a new cafï¿½ fitted which would have people spending longer in the bowling alley and that means more profit. This would be an improvement to the marketing strategies.
Place/PromotionAs the bowling alley is not near any attractions, it has to be promoted more thoroughly and effectively. This could be done by putting more money into television advertisement and also put up posters along the road that the bowling alley is on so that cars driving past can read them. This could attract more customers as the bowling alley will get re-noticed. PriceThe bowling alley could set up more special offers tailored to the USP of families. This is better because families tend to have their own transport to get around so it would be better to advertise to them. This would be a big improvement in the marketing strategies because it will give the business a fresh start and reminding it of its objective/ USP- to be a family service.
ConclusionIn conclusion of this investigation, there are many ways XS Superbowl could get back into the product cycle through launching new things. The recommendations concluded from my investigation have come from evaluating and looking into depth into the marketing strategies of the marketing mix.