In todays world of extreme competitive rivalry, tactical marketing decisions often turn out to be the essential distinguishing factors between industry leaders and the other market players. The proper marketing decisions used by organizations will be the reflections with their marketing mixture, i. e. 4 P's of marketing. Managing these guidelines, a marketing manager can emerge victorious conquering the many organizational exterior and inner marketing constraints. Formulation of innovative marketing plans to win over clients and hold on to old ones are carried out through proper implementation of the marketing combination (Klein, 2007). Qantas Airlines is the most significant airline company in Australia enjoying a major dominance in the local market. In addition, it carries a sizeable number of folks back and forth Australia. But, the recent years have witnessed a rise slowdown in Australia's hugely flourishing airlines industry, especially after the global financial meltdown. It has influenced Qantas' market too. A sharply growing market competition is also a matter of concern. This research will analyse its market, the prospective audience of the air travel and its own various marketing combine elements. Based on this initial study, the marketing blend would be paid a closer look and then, suggestions would be provided on bettering the mix. The purpose of the whole exercise is to help consolidate Qantas' position as the marketplace head (Onkvisit, 2008).
Qantas, the short form for "Queensland and North Place Aerial Services", is the oldest airline company in Australian and the second oldest on earth. Based out of Sydney, the Qantas currently operates near 5000 weekly flights across Australia, New Zealand, Africa, THE UNITED STATES, South America, Europe and Asia, soaring near to 50 global places. Nicknamed 'The soaring Kangaroo', it is the most significant Australian & global airlines and a charter person in the "One world Alliance". Qantas functions domestically under the brand name of QantasLink, which provides out 2000 plane tickets crisscrossing the Australian continent. The Qantas group also performs a low fare airline named Jetstar and Qantas Freight, controlling businesses related to air cargo. Its other well known subsidiary is Jetconnect. The business employs close to 35, 000 staff worldwide. Its total revenue for the current has been near $16 billion, with a net income of $250 million, which is smaller than its past year's statistics. The recent global financial turmoil has hampered the simple growth previously appreciated by Qantas; the current year has witnessed it coming back strongly to reaching near reclaiming its old financial position (Qantas Airways, 2012).
The main markets of Qantas contain the international and local passengers it carries to the many elements of Australia and the rest of the world. 80% of the people that Qantas' flies are between domestic destinations and the rest to international locations. The Australian airlines industry has an oligopolistic dynamics with relatively small numbers of players serving an enormous passenger market. You can find about 30 million twelve-monthly passengers travelling in and out of Australia every year. However, the market is characterized by cut-throat competition (Qantas Airways, 2011). Of the huge market, Qantas relishes a talk about of 20%. In 1978 it used to provide 42% of the marketplace and even just more than a decade previously, the figure was ranging near to 35%. Evidently, the semester has been appreciable. In this domain, its major rivals of Qantas are Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Cathay Pacific and Air China. Singapore Airlines is actually ranked second after Qantas to carry people in and out of Australia. Its market share has dipped from 10% to 9% within the last couple of years. Emirates Airlines rose from having a market share to fully capture near its 8% presently. Cathay Pacific is preserving a very sluggish but steady development rate with a current market show of 5%. The marketplace show of Air China generally fluctuates between 3% and 5%. All of those other market is dished up by many other international airlines like British Airways, KLM, Lufthansa, Malaysian Airlines, Air Asia etc. (Qantas Airways, 2012)
In the Australian local air travel market, QantasLink enjoys a gigantic 67% of the market share. The air travel almost has a monopoly over the marketplace. Around 60 local locations in Australia are serviced by QantasLink. Its major opponents are Virgin Australia, Skywest Airlines and Regional Express Airlines. As a whole, despite competition in the local market, the popularity of QantasLink is beyond questions (Qantas Airways, 2011).
The market segmentation of Qantas airlines can be referred to as complex, predicated on the fact that segments have varied needs, requirements and expectations. Behavioral segmentation is normally used by the flight for target market selection. Qantas positions its air travel services as the one that provides infinite comfort and the topmost quality world class service (Quantas is definitely ranked as one of the top airlines internationally). Safety is another aspect that makes focus. Additionally it is portrayed as a stylish air travel that the people would like to get associated with (Ansoff, 2007). The prospective people of Qantas are business travelers who are travelling in or outside Australia. That is further divided into boring travelers, convention travelers or crisis business travelers. Also, the leisure travelers are targeted by the air travel. Again, this gets divided into weekend vacationers and multiple destination travelers. The prospective audience of Qantas doesn't think twice to cover the luxuries provided by the airline. It has an extremely popular customer devotion program, known as Qantas Frequent Flier. It's the most top of its kind in Australia and has more than 9 million people. The programme is very effective towards sketching in repeated business travelers. For the leisure travelers, the airline flight arranging systems, in-flight services, the meals, allocation of car seats, additional assistance services, very high safety records etc. will be the attributes that become the determining factors (Freeman, 2010).
With a growing competitiveness in the air travel industry Qantas will pay enormous importance to product planning. Products are made to attract clients and retain the existing ones. Success is performed at an extremely high priority. The merchandise of Qantas include either passenger travelling accommodations in their airlines or freight storage containers.
Basically, Qantas offers high grade travelling arrangements. A range of flying preparations is provided by Qantas. First class, international business class, international economy, high quality economy. Various sorts of seating arrangements, in air travel services, foods and amenities are provided in each school. Domestic flights have independent business and market classes, with split in-flight traveler entertainment services (Paul, 2011).
Jetstar provides low cost flying arrangements
Qantas always tries to augment its products with better services. Journey information can be acquired online or received from the business via SMS.
The company will try to include up superior and more complex aircrafts to its fleet at regular intervals. In-flight entertainment has been given a boost with more assets in them
Provides its customers with best connecting flights throughout the world
It conducts one of the very most popular repeated flyer programs in the world
One of the topmost industry brands, used for appealing to millions of travellers. The company record, logo design and slogan distinguish it from its industry competitors.
Better monitoring systems for Qantas Freight
Better connecting airfare, safer storage containers, one of the quickest routes through the earth can be found (Hussey, 2012)
Qantas majorly uses 'cost plus margin' method of product pricing. Market segments with more needs prompts higher costs for Qantas. Competitive charges methods are also uses
Penetrative pricing is utilized for its low cost airlines
Fair refunding provides customer flexibility
Qantas provides price savings without portraying them as special discounts. This is to maintain the client price notion.
Qantas do offer low rates at new destinations
Frequent flyer program offers fantastic customer benefits (Proctor, 2000)
Advertisement - Television, radio, advertising on the internet, billboards, brochures, newspapers etc are used for the purposes of branding and product advertising. Direct marketing can be used to send across emails. Messages are custom-made according to each customer, to hit them at an individual level. This strategy has up to now been very successful. It has been a lot more effective than using mass media to send across mass communication announcements (Jackacki, 2001).
Sales promotions are used during low seasons
Direct selling is used for corporate customers
Social networking, personal blogs, email marketing are being used to get nearer to customers
PR activities, sponsorships of sports activities and event skill & entertainment related programs, engagement and sponsorship of various charitable programs etc (Healey, 2008)
Direct sales are conducted from Qantas counters at the airports
Qantas' own shops are used for solution sales
Internet is being used more increasingly. Company website and other travel stes are used to sell tickets
Telephone and mobile phones may be used to buy tickets
Travel providers (intermediaries) are used (Thompson, 2010)
Since enough time of its inception about a hundred years back, Qantas is definitely one of the leading top quality airlines on the globe. It has positioned amidst the topmost airlines in providing world-class products and services to its customers. The modern times, however, has observed Qantas sinking from the previous overall number 1 position to relatively lower rates (currently, 8th position internationally) and also in terms of profitability (Qantas airways, 2012). Within the newer years, with an increasing competition, the airlines about the world have targeted strongly on the product strategies. Impressive and creative products & services form the basis of success for each and every brand and for that reason, Qantas should stress more onto it (Ansoff, 2007). The numbers of vast body aircrafts are limited with Qantas, making them show up behind brands like Qatar and Emirates. Extensive bodied aircrafts provide improved comfort levels for every customer, along with an increase of privacy. With an increase of people travelling to worldwide vacation spots, the provided meals should be ideally customized for each customer, which Qantas has not been able to combine to their services till now (Freeman, 2010). The market class individuals have been recently complaining of getting deprived of the better services from in-flight team. There were problems arising related to baggage losses and trip delays to and from major world destinations. The aged customers often undergo during flights due to lack of proper health preparations (some flights lack the health safety precautions, as promoted). Qantas provides In-flight encounters in the form of movies, tv set programs, radio, CDs, music books, games etc. Cordless in air travel entertainment, internet browsing, mobile utilization, telecommunications etc. are also provided. Lack of internet or mobile interconnection midair has been reported and personalized demands like distinct kids entertainments or sound/video-on-demand is lacking (Paul, 2011). Numbers of journals are also limited in quantities. The ground services of Qantas are also criticized in the recent times as not living up to the amount of quality that the brand assures. The lounges at the major locations need partial or full revamping tin order to entice more customers and strengthen the brand. Despite being truly a charter person in the main one World Alliance, Qantas still has some lacking as far as joint services with other world renowned airlines is concerned. The connecting flights can be organized better this way. More numbers of locations may also be covered this way. There are a few routes which Qantas is serving to, despite insufficient proper demand and it ought to be corrected immediately. Qantas' low priced airline Jetstar has been positioned as a no-frills air travel but tending more towards a regular airline, which may also be really perplexing for customers, leading to getting rid of valuable customers/potential customers (Thompson, 2010). the simple yet high quality products expected at Jetstar often don't get delivered in the experience that it offers. Services to business customers should be made more intelligently. Queues at terminals, airfare delays, luggage loss and better quality aircrafts are the aspects which should be paid immediate attention to. The factor of 'certainty', great customer relationship, consistency in company emails and transparency recently associated with Qantas is missing and steps should be adopted to fix these areas (Damsch, 2010). Qantas' rates strategies should be searched deeply into. The recent global financial turmoil has harmed the airlines market all around the globe. Every organization is wanting to entice more numbers of customers to earn much needed income. The recent financial losses of Qantas are the result of these two factors. A good quite strong brand image cannot command word the premium prices that Qantas charges. Customers are deciding on airlines which are lesser listed and even low priced. Qantas should pay attention to building a very strong brand and lowering prices (preserving a lower profit margin) and portray them as customer benefits (recurrent flyer) & offers and not as discounts (discounts tarnish brand image). Even in the markets with huge requirements, the prices should be held competitive. This might not only nullify the probability of other airlines entering into the consumer Factor Set, but also intrigue customers from lower price segments to see Qantas (Hussey, 2012). Penetrative costing had not been used very often by Qantas in the past plus some of the growing market segments have been lost doing this, but it should be used now. Price skimming is becoming more difficult in the current years and therefore penetration charges along with strong brand image is a more preferable way for Qantas. The company should be more cautious about investing in campaigns as its recent 'Re-positioning' advertising campaign of Qantas as 'Heart of the Australians' have been criticized as a throw away of money and a vain exercise. Internet is a low-cost medium and it offers yet not been used to the fullest by Qantas. Presence of internet ads in strategic partners' sites or in the particular sites frequented by target people, are not adequate enough. Pop-up advertisements/ pop-down / rich content /display ads are little in number. Its blog is not attractive and lacks customer response. Its Facebook site has been rapped as impersonal and mechanical, with the business being tagged as a 'dying octopus' (Jackacki, 2001). Qantas television set ads are tossed blindly at the public instead of just at the prospective audience. Enough billboards are not being used at tactical locations and magazine ads aren't enough in amounts & not striking target audience properly. Sales promotion should be used through the entire year and direct marketing used more regularly than now. More powerful PR activities should be pursued along with sponsoring appropriate situations (Fifield, 2012). BTL activities like expositions, conventions, exhibitions, tourism fairs etc aren't went to in good volumes. Qantas direct selling counters tend to be seen to obtain long queues at the airport with the services being slow rather than customer-friendly. The retail outlets of Qantas do definitely not have atmosphere to make customers comfortable, with a shortage in amounts of experts present. Internet sales give maximum income as the expenses involved are the minimum amount, but Qantas model does not promote internet sales as required. Internet travel sites aren't used enthusiastically for providing tickets and there were many incidences of travel companies not pushing the Qantas tickets to their own customers. Telephone-sales have also slowed up in the recent times (Handlechner, 2008).
Revamped branding plan to create more robust brands. Quality services should be meshed up with branding to maintain old customers and gain new ones.
At least 25 new Airbus and Boeing wide bodied aircrafts needed to provide customers with quality and with more repeated services. Customers would enjoy more personal privacy.
Lesser numbers of seating in each row. Maximum pushback and leg-space. Bigger washrooms
Customization of airplane meals as per customer need.
Consistency in service standards in every class
Luggage loss should be helped bring down to the very least (Jones and Hill, 2009)
Flight delays should be zero
Excellent on-board health arrangements. Top class disability assistance (e. g. allowing service dogs in traveler cabins). Medical services to treat any disaster in midair. Elderly and the pregnant ladies should get special care. Infants and young travelers need special attendance
Faster and smarter online and mobile check ins
Strategic alliances with an increase of One World associates to crate unbroken networks across the world (already has with English Airways and planning with Emirates)
Build up more in-flight entertainment options and entertainment system (like Oryx). Continuous mobile, internet, vitality outlet services. Training video / audio on demand services required. Special entertainment programs for children. Just released movies (maybe on the very same day) necessary to be added in movie list. Latest and popular tv set programming also needs to be included. Awards can be offered for answering question related to in-flight films. More variety in newspaper selection should be shown (Ulph, 2011)
Premium lounges should be revamped at Hong Kong, LA and Singapore
Better, more complex coverage of the South North american sky
Focus on producing countries, especially BRIC countries, with penetration pricing
Frequent flyer needs to accumulate more customer benefits (highest flyer special benefit, top quality cabins fetching double points, bonus silver or silver coins, epiQure kick off etc. ). quality service with benefits soon add up to brand loyalty
Jetstar should be placed as no-frills. The very best of no-frills, low priced services should be provided
Qantas needs to build up a brandname stronger than ever before to get back old glory (Ansoff, 2007)
Adoption of penetration prices strategy for receiving back again the lost customers and gaining new ones. The developing countries can be easily penetrated with Qantas' renowned brand, quality service and costs strategy
Loss leader rates in very determined, low demand markets
Multi-unit pricing specially crafted for corporations
Market skimming should be cut down and limited by high demand markets
Prestige costing for very high demand segment (Paul, 2011).
Strong, well thought out, branding exercise through chosen TV ads targeted particularly the concentrate on segments (Healey, 2008)
Huge stress on internet ads on travel and business related sites and other popular sites the websites visited by market (Yahoo, Yahoo etc. ). Pop-up/down advertisings, flash ads, rich content ads should be put whenever you can. Posters and ads in the sites of strategic partners
Social networking revamp needed. Web page should be informal, customer-friendly and attractive, prompting customer participation. Online community should be build through sites like Facebook and Tweets. Exchange of views, getting across company fun & lesser known facts through these websites. Latest happenings in companies should be declared through these. Personal blogs should be more informal and working with air travel related topics and become a tool to get customers.
Billboards needed at more proper locations (Jackacki, 2001)
Email marketing and publication sending should get a lift.
Stronger PR activities
Event sponsorships and contribution in expos, conventions, fairs etc
Direct sales counters with better and faster customer-services
Retail outlets should have better ambience, design and colors
Internet sales should be paid the most importance to. Discount rates, bonus items, memberships for internet sales.
Popular travel sites should be associated with for higher sales
Travel real estate agents should be offered awards and rewards for driving Qantas sales
Telephone sales should be paid importance to (Freeman, 2010)
Direct retailing to corporations