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Cunard Line Ltd.: Managing Integrated Marketing Communications Case Solution
Cunard is a renowned name of cruise and steamship business. It has been using different marketing techniques to create a sustainable and effective message for the company and its services. It has used the concept of integrated marketing communications to integrate different marketing techniques. This has allowed the organization to create a positive brand image about the company in the minds of the customers. At the same time, it has also been successful in creating successful brand positioning in relation to the competition in the marketplace. However, Cunard faces numerous challenges as well. In the prevailing difficult economic conditions, it has brought changes in its marketing strategy in order to find a balance between strategic and tactical objectives of the company. Strategic objectives exist in the shape of creation of sustainable brand image whereas tactical objectives exist in the shape of creating short term sales. However, organization can achieve both of these objectives through using the right mix of marketing tools.
Following questions are answered in this case study solution
In light of the difficult economic and competitive conditions, should Cunard use a more “sale-oriented” format with more emphasis on price for its tactical advertising?
In better economic times would your judgement differ regarding the above?
What is your recommendation to Cunard regarding the balance in the focus of marketing communications between the overall Cunard identity and image, and the identity and image of the individual ships?
Which marketing communications elements do you believe should receive greater/lesser emphasis by Cunard? Why? Specifically, what about the role of direct marketing?
What are the implications of the success of the “one-day sale” for Cunard?
What effects do you expect the impending organizational change to have on marketing communications at Cunard?
How would you prioritize and address the challenges facing Leslie at the close of the case?
Case Analysis for Cunard Line Ltd.: Managing Integrated Marketing Communications
1. In light of the difficult economic and competitive conditions, should Cunard use a more “sale-oriented” format with more emphasis on price for its tactical advertising?
In the light of poor economic condition and high competitive pressures, it is imperative for Cunard to pursue an effective marketing strategy. This strategy should not only stall the increasing competitive pressure, but should also not be a financial burden for the organization in the difficult economic condition prevailing in the external environment. It is, therefore, recommended that Cunard should opt for more sales-orientated with special emphasis on tactical advertising. The sales-orientated aspect will manifest in the shape of direct marketing, where the sales team of the organization will approach previous customers identified by the organizational database. As the company will be profiling the customers, it will also allow the sales force team to be better equipped to deal with the needs of the customers. In addition to this, tactical advertising will imply the use of effective newspaper and direct mail effort. This will allow the organization to provide customers with more price-orientated offers. Due to the economic recession currently prevailing, this offer will be more than effective to attract customers to use Cunard’s services. However, this could only be possible through the development of integrated marketing communications. This is due to the fact that integrated marketing communications make use of different marketing and advertising techniques in most effective manner. Nevertheless, it is important to note that during current economic conditions, it is important to give more weight to tactical messages in place of strategic messages in order to attract more price-conscious customers.
2. In better economic times would your judgement differ regarding the above?
In better economic conditions, it is important for the organization to find the right balance between strategic and tactical advertising. For instance, it is necessary in normal economic conditions to communicate aspects other than price to the customers. This is important to create a sustainable brand image and identity in the minds of the customers. Similarly, it is also important to effectively position the brand of Cunard in relation to the competition. Therefore, in normal economic times, the company should advertise in such a manner, which will allow customers to get the feel and look of the services offered by the company. This can only be done through extensive use of graphics and other visuals. Here, the focus of the organization is to attract the customers irrespective of the price. In other words, in normal economic times, the marketing strategy of the organization should not be constrained by price. Nevertheless, it does not mean that Cunard does not take into account the importance of price and cost of services in the selection of the customers. Resultantly, it is imperative for the organization to advertise in such a manner, which will also deal with the price sensitivity of the customers. Hence, the use of integrated marketing communication effort is also needed in normal times. Integrated marketing communications will allow the organization to send a holistic message to the customers, which will answer their every question about the nature of the services provided by Cunard. Only through this, Cunard will be successful in attracting customers to use their services.
3. What is your recommendation to Cunard regarding the balance in the focus of marketing communications between the overall Cunard identity and image, and the identity and image of the individual ships?
The selection regarding the choice of Cunard brand and the identity of the individual ships depends on the marketing objectives of the customers. In order to create a sustainable customer base, which fulfils organization’s long-term objectives, it is imperative to focus on the brand identity of the customers. This will allow the organization to create a strong brand image in the minds of the customers. Moreover, this will allow development of positive associations with the brand image. It will also allow the company to forestall the competitive pressures in the market. On the other hand, by focusing on the identity of individual ships, the organization aims to achieve the short term objective of attracting the customers to use Cunard services. Similarly, this will also be quite effective in generating short term sales for the organization. This strategy is effective in attracting new customers, which are not aware with the brand and services of Cunard. As it can be seen that both marketing efforts are essential for the organization as it fulfils two different but interrelated objectives of the organization. Therefore, it is important for the organization to find a balance in the marketing communication for both types of advertisement instead of focusing on just single one. Therefore, it is recommended for Cunard, that it should start with greater focus on the identity of the individual ships. This will allow the organization to generate considerable sales for the company by attracting new customers. But, later on, it could shift its focus on the brand image and identity of Cunard in order to create long lasting and sustainable customer base and loyalty.
4. Which marketing communications elements do you believe should receive greater/lesser emphasis by Cunard? Why? Specifically, what about the role of direct marketing?
Cunard made use of different marketing communication techniques in order to attract customers to the company. It used newspaper advertising, magazine advertising and direct mail marketing. All of these techniques were used to target different segments of the target market of the company. As, the demographics of each segment of the target market were different, it was necessary to use different marketing technique to attract them to use the company’s services. Magazine advertising was to create a positive and sustainable image of Cunard and its services. Therefore, magazine advertising was used to achieve the organization’s strategic objectives of creating brand loyalty in the target market. Similarly, the brochures were used to provide comprehensive information about the products and services of the customers. Newspaper advertising was used for tactical purpose of generating short term sales for the company. On the other hand, direct marketing was to create both sales and long term loyalty for the company. It is due to reason that customers targeted by direct mailing effort were profiled by the company carefully. Likewise, the mailing package sent to these customers contained information according to the needs and preferences of the customers. Moreover, it also gave the customers feeling of exclusivity by the company. In the light of the results obtained by different marketing techniques, it is important for the organization to extensively use direct marketing. This will allow the organization to increase its penetration in the target market. In a similar manner, it will also allow the organization to achieve both strategic c and tactical objectives at the same time.
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