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The Case:
Hurricane Island Outward Bound School

I/ Executive summary

Hurricane Island Outward Bound is going to be profitable for the first time in its history because of a rapid growing demand and a better management. Management has lead to the idea of marketing in order to increase attendance by teenager, corporate executives and people in need.
With the launch of theprofessional Development Program, with improved marketing strategies, and structures changes in the program, HIOB is expecting to become consistently profitable while benefiting to the society.

II/ Situation Analysis

A. Markets and current marketing strategies

Composition of the current target market segment:
- Special programs (veterans, youths with disabilities, juvenile delinquents,substance abusers)
- Public courses: students between 14 and 19 years old

A recently new segment of the market has been discovered for executives and managers. PDP has been successful in the past.
The company’s goal is to increase growth and reach financial stability with a focus on maintaining its leadership within National and reduce seasonality effects. Its mission is to provide safe,challenging educational experiences in a wilderness frame, carefully structured to improve self-esteem, self-reliance, concern for others, and care for the environment. Profit is not the only objective of this firm.

Let’s take a look at the currents marketing strategies:
Financially speaking, the company is based on charity and fundraising. Concerning the communication strategy, it’s in realitymore publicity than big advertising campaign. The marketing tactic established in 1980 was based on group presentations by staff/faculty volunteers at others school when requested. Other strategies included direct mail marketing in which the school course catalog along with national’s course catalog. Later in 1986, HIOB created 4 strategic initiatives:

1) Segmenting markets: 14-19 year olds innorth-eastern
2) Developing new pricing strategies, targeted direct mail to headmasters of public and private high schools, telemarketing towards prospective students that have shown an interest; and sales calls to major corporations to enrol in PDP. These efforts have been more or less successful.

B. Performance

Market trends: there were an increasing number of public course for students,while executives were interested in programs to improve teamwork, leadership, communication, stress management and goal setting. People were becoming more aware of the environment and interested in self-improvement.

Sales history: HIOB has had a steady growth in sales in both public and special program courses but has also incurred additional costs

Profitability history: HIOB hashistorically been unprofitable. It has never broken even on an operating basis and has relied on contributions to make up the operating deficits. Recent data shows that HIOB is on track to possibly be positive for the first time in 1986.

III/ Opportunities and threats of the sector

A. Challenges or threats to future marketing activities
- Entrance of new and more efficient competitors, which coulddrive HIOB to loose market share.
- Reversal in consumer behavioural trends. Consumers could stop engaging in outdoor summer activities, opting for work, vacation, and school instead.
- Risk of outside funding and donations drying up. HIOB relies too much on donations…
- Risk of substitutable product: for instance sport simulation accessible thanks to the new technologies improvement.
- Set ofnorms and new rules to check for those kinds of activities: the improvement and refurbishment of all the facilities in order to respect the law implies a consequent financial envelop.

B. Opportunity
- PDP offers a profitable market, unexplored by the company, up to now. It could provide higher margins and also a regulation of the seasonal activity.
- Development of new services and products....
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