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Direct and Digital Marketing12


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Gap360 is a UK private company situated in Tunbridge Wells, Kent,which offers travel destination to youngstudents and non students at affordable charges and it is fullyindependent. It was formed in 2011 by three individuals or directorswith a vast experience in travelling industry. The travellingopportunities ranges from activities involved in holiday adventure,voluntary work in conservation and wildlife in various societies,earn income through teaching, earning of fresh skills and travellingall over the world or a gap year and these activities are covered inmore than 50 countries in the world though the numbers of countriesare rising every year (Keckley &amp Underwood, 2008).Gap 360 Limited has been in operation for nearly three years. Theadventure travelling has been successfully welcomed by youngtravelers and the key option is to increase marketing (Connell,2007).

Thereare a number of factor which impacts negatively on the operation ofthe company to be a leading UK market and various recommendationshave been put in place.

Inthe UK, students travel during the period within winding the form sixand joining university and the period after completing university.Gap 360 did a research and found out that nearly 50% of the customersare those who haven’t gone to school or no longer in university ordidn’t attend university. Majority of gap travelers plans theirtravel and some are assisted by various travelling companies. Recentsurvey shows there are approximately 80 travelling companies and thisposes a competition challenge to Gap 360. The dwindling economy hasforced most travelers to opt for activities which earn them incomelike teaching and casual work and reducing time of travel for thosetravelling for those not involved in work. Key events like world cupdon’t affect the gap year travel but is affected immensely by thepolitical unrest if it impacts on air travel.

Gap360 provides the following services to their customers: travel andadvise on arrangements provide date flexibility, accommodationdestined place and the itinerary. In addition, it offers workopportunity, booking of adventures and provision of volunteeropportunities. It is flexible and any alteration can be communicatedto the company through and email and telephone.


Thefollowing segment provides details associated with marketing in Gap360 Ltd. It shows the sales, projections and revenue generated.

Gap360 has instigated efforts to become the leader in gap year travelthrough customer satisfaction, increasing customers, increasingdestination and trip types by December 2014. It also requiresincreasing bookings to approximately 2500 by December 2014 includingthe repeat bookings to ten percent of total bookings since theremight be reduced trips.

Thesale forecasts aids in establishing long term relationship withcustomers by providing quality services. The intention is to targetyoung students. These young individuals have enough money and time tospend in adventures while working or volunteering.

Theactivities are planned taking into consideration the wealthyadventurers in mind. After that, marketing strategy will beimplemented which is mainly geared to rich adults and the youngindividuals with little money to get adventure in a less costlymanner. A research will be carried out to identify the targetedgroups.

Themethods for reaching the customers will be influenced by the outcomesof marketing research (Spiller&amp Baier, 2010).Gap 360 will probably use both direct and digital methods ofmarketing like magazines, newsletters, direct mail or web sitepublicity and promotions. In addition, brochures will be made inlarge quantities to be given to customers through the agency. Fromthe beginning, the services will be implemented regionally then atnational levels. Later marketing will be distributed more globallybefore 2016.

Sincethe services are sometimes seasonal, the recurrent revenue willdepend upon the made trips on the stated activities from 2015-2016.It is recommended to promote and advertise off season services byperiodic customer connections mainly through newsletters andmagazines. The company will review future trips, analyze the previoustrips and come up with well designed articles.

Thesales will be incurred at the lowest prices. These sales will behighly discounted at a rate of 16%. These will be as a result ofcustomer in touch responding to the effort of communications. Alsothe Gap 360 will involve in direct selling.

Abudget of £300,000 was given for the year2014.Expenses for marketing have to becatered for since it will ensure advertisement goes on every month(Ryan, &amp Jones, 2009). The followingtable shows the budget breakdown for the year 2014.

2014 Marketing expenses budget





Printed requirements


Public relation


Sales promotion


Personal selling


Website re-designing


Boost of reservation


Management of account


Cloud hosting


Web tracking and analysis


Operations of website




Direct marketing




Marketing using meta search


Marketing by email


Use of online media


Managements of social media


Initiatives of achieving goals




Total Expenses



Adetailed activity plan for 2014 and initial recommendations for 2015and 2016

Activityplanfor 2014

Theactivities to be implemented and its timeline begin from January 2014to December 2014 as outlined below.

  • January 1 2014, all the activities are to be headed by the new director.

  • February 1 2014, establish two positions in sales to be headed by the marketing director and working with a team of eight employees.

  • By March 15 2014, administer to three employees the following three sections each dealing with the section 1. Research on clients and new products 2. Analyze current practices in the company 3. Establish customer service and is headed by the marketing director. It will be overseen by the director.

  • By April 2014, all the reports from the three members should be ready for presentation. Analyst will look at the recommendations.

  • By may 2014, formulate an information on client monitoring and customer services

  • By June 30 2014, implement recommendations by the analysts by the employees

  • By July 31 2014, make connections with new customers and the marketing manager is responsible

  • By august 31 2014, a strategic plan for a new strategies formulated headed by the business analysts

  • By September 30 2014, presentation of customer survey and contacting customers with issues to discuss and evaluate their heartfelt. The responsible person is the marketing manager

  • By October 2014, implement the customer satisfaction recommendations and the responsible person is the marketing manager.

  • By November 2014, implement advertisement and offering of a new product and the responsible person is the business analysts

  • By December 15, 2014, reporting of customer service outcomes and evaluation of the new strategies in the market. This is headed by the marketing manager.

  • By December 31 2014, establish again the functions and roles of the analyst team in the coming year

Initialrecommendations for 2015 and 2016 and test programme

Inorder to become a UK market leader the following recommendations areraised to improve its strengths and opportunities

  • Developing competent management employees by employing at least five competent employees

  • Good acquaintance of market trends by attracting the older and rich individuals.

  • Efficient contacts with clients though digital marketing

  • Well designed web site and contacts to clients which need to be monitored regularly and feedback and actions taken

  • Deep knowledge of digital marketing through training

  • Lowering the overheads due to dwindling economy by 30%.

  • Increasing the investment due to insufficient investment by introducing new products before 2016.

  • The earlier disaster led to loss of morale of staff and use of too many resources. This can be solved by increasing the publicity through digital marketing (Martin, 1995).

Inaddition, Gap 360 Company will use different models for marketing itsstrategies. The first thing is to use the internet in publicity(Tapp,2008).It has got a website and it has to be improved from time to time toavail enough necessary information to client especially youngindividuals (Stone&amp Jacobs, 2008).

Inaddition, Bartlett(1994) adds that, the useof magazine for advertising is generally used. Also administration ofbrochures is highly recommended whereby so far 40000 brochures havebeen developed (Bird,2007).This will poises the Gap 360 limited as the leader in travelling andadventure industry.

Whenbig customer base has been initiated, a system will be implementedwhereby the current customers are maintained with search for new ones(Harden&amp Heyman, 2009).According to Thomas&amp Housden (2010),the trial will be aided by use of direct mails to previous customersand provision of newsletters online to encourage them to chose Gap360 again in future trips.

Thestrategy used in marketing will endeavor to establish goodrelationship with customers and when the business improves,activities will be expanded since there is no maximum number of tripsmade by Gap 360. This will make it the leading company in theindustry (Sheehan,2010).

Gap360 will mainly target two types of individuals: the young studentsor individuals and the rich or high income earners. The youngindividuals who are mainly students have a lot of disposable moneyand come from rich families (Evans&amp Chon, 1989).Apart from academics they like pursuing outdoor activities. The richhave a lot of income and they are off work or during vacations, theylike enjoying themselves (Barsky,1995). The bookings from young students are projected to be 1000 booking by2015 and 200 by 2015 while the rich aree expected to reach 500.

Gap360 marketing mix will be composed of price charge, advertising,spread and customer base.

  • Pricing:&nbsp Gap 360 aims is to deliver quality services but not to get profit by charging high prices since price is insignificant due to the fact that it is directly proportional to the services administered (Alleman et al, 2010).

  • Spread:&nbspGap 360’s services are distributed throughout UK and the world.

  • Advertisements:&nbspthe best advertising will be through mails and magazines (Rapp, 2010).

  • Customer base:&nbspthis will be enhanced by creating happiness to the customers while in adventure in short term or long term to maintain loyalty (Diekmann, 2011).

Fromthe above test measures the Gap 360 intends toattract 2500 bookings by 2016 to surpass 1135 received in 2012 whereeach passenger paid 1000 pounds. popular trips were in Australia forwork trips and Thailand for adventure accounting to 15% of theaccumulative bookings. The bookings are mainly done through medialike telephones by provision of good lead.

Thefollowing table shows the age of customers in Gap 360 which areexpected to be targeted before 2016.



18 to mid 20’s


Late 20 to mid 30s


above 35


TheGAP 360 does promotions through digital media like in website. Inthis case, they receive 50000 visits per month whereby 30000 are newvisitors and have 200000 fan page members having to spend three andhalf minutes on average.

Medialike production of brochures is gotten from website or promotionactivities is used. This is being reviewed because some customershaven’t seen its usefulness while the same proportion of customershas deemed it necessary. Each brochure is of A4 size but plans areunderway to reduce it to A5 in order to reduce the cost of mailingfrom 80p to 30p.

Othermedia like face book, PPC, Twitter and GoogleAd Words are will be used also and is being managed regularly. Usesof SMS and mobile website have had little impact so it will be faced.

Gap360 has current 70000 lead heads and is increasing at the rate of3000 per month. The lead head provides the email address and isissued with a brochure if he or she needs. They are also able toaccess their information of travel from the online account.

Therole of Gap 360 Ltd marketing plan is to steer the organization inthe right direction by accounting of the following

  • Monthly and yearly revenue

  • Monthly and yearly expenses

  • Repetition of business

  • Satisfaction of customers

Tocontrol financial expenditure the following standards controls shouldbe adopted

  • A budget for analysis and research should be approximately 65% of the annual expenditure

  • The breakdown budget should be 30% for research study and analysis, 30% for customer satisfaction development models and 40% to new product initiation

  • Each responsible person should provide a clear breakdown of how expenditure was used and a report will be compiled by the manger in charge of marketing.

  • In case of any changes in budget the person responsible is the marketing manager and should report to the company director of any other reports.

  • The new product will be reviewed quarterly to ascertain if it’s profitable.

Gaps360 Ltd aims at diversifying its activities in different locations inthe world. It does this by fulfilling the following advantages andenjoyment accrued to travelers:

  • Selection of different trips

  • Locating the customers in their residence

  • Improving the customer satisfaction

  • Provision of competitive prices sat the market by providing high value services


TheGap 360 limited is doing very well in providing adventure services toyoung generation. It can do well in increasing its marketing toattract new clients and maintain the loyalty of the current customerbase (Ho&amp Wu, 1999).A detailed timeline framework needs to be implemented according tothe stipulated budget and this will enhance its service delivery. Thecritical dimension will be the satisfaction of customers.


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