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The Case:

Hurricane Island Outwoard Bound School

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Deadline date: 26TH April 2010

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 driven the idea of marketing in order to increase attendance by teenager, corporate executivesand people in need.
With the launch of Professional Development Program, better marketing strategies, and program structure changes, HIOB is expecting to become consistently profitable while benefiting society.

II/ Situation Analysis

A. Markets and current marketing strategies

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

A recently new segment of the market has been discovered which is comprised of executives and managers. PDP has been successful.
The company’s goal is to continue growth and attain financial stability with a focus to maintain its leadership within National and reduce seasonality effects. Its mission isto 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 company.

Let’s take a look at the currents marketing strategies:
Financially speaking, the company is based on charity and fundraising. Concerning the communicationstrategy, it’s in reality more publicity than big advertising campaign. The marketing tactic instigated in 1980 was 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: 14-19year olds in north-eastern
2) Developing new pricing strategy
3) Changing course mix
4) Assigning financial aid dollars to low demand areas

HIOB used new tactics such as using direct sales recruiter to give presentations at schools, groups, associations and businesses; targeted direct mail to principals of public and private high schools, telemarketing towards prospective students that haveexpressed interest; and sales calls to major corporations to enrol in PDP. These efforts have been somewhat successful.

B. Performance

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

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

Profitability history: HIOB has historically 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 topossibly breakeven 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 could drive HIOB to loose market share.
- Reversal in consumer behavioural trends. Consumers could stop engaging in outdoor summer activities, opting for work, vacation, and schoolinstead.
- 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 of norms and new rules to check for those kind of activities: it could ask a lot of money to improve and refresh all the facilities to respect the law…

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