In order to reach its goal of becoming the Pacific Northwest's premiere adventure travel agency, ATI will adopt the following strategy:
The value proposition of ATI's services comes from ATI's experience with and love of adventure sports. ATI's employees are confident in their ability to meet the needs of their customers because they share the customers' enthusiasm for the activities ATI offers. ATI's confidence and ability translates into confidence for the consumer and a starting point towards developing long-term relationships and trust.
ATI's competitive edge is its focus, passion, and experience. ATI seeks to promote and provide access to adventure sports and travel. ATI provides a differentiated offering with the management experience, capital, and commitment to make it work.
ATI adheres to the theory that the goal of business is to create and keep customers. Its marketing strategy will reflect this goal as it builds its reputation in the Woodville area. Though ATI operates in the travel industry, it provides much more than travel. ATI provides adventure and freedom. Many of ATI's customers spend 50 weeks of the year in an office. ATI offers people the ability to get away and remember how much they love the challenge and excitement of an athletic endeavor. ATI will promote the benefits of adventure travel. These benefits include better health, excitement, personal growth, ear-to-ear grins, and a whole lot of fun.
During ATI's first year of operation it will hold a grand opening and will organize and sponsor several athletic events. Events will include an off-road triathlon, 10k race and 5k fun run, and a mountain bike race. ATI will provide various travel packages and other items as prizes. All ATI employees belong to local athletic clubs and will, through interaction with other members, promote ATI's services. During the grand opening and other events, ATI will provide literature with information about the trips and activities. Negotiations with area health clubs have begun and additional promotions will likely occur through these strategic alliances. Specialty, rather than large national publications, will serve as media vehicles for ATI advertising. Local radio stations will also be used. Personal selling will also occur, though phone solicitation will be limited. ATI plans to occasionally station sales personnel in locations around Woodville such as shopping malls. ATI's goal is to develop personal familiarity between its employees and the community.
ATI's distribution strategy will focus on the target market in the Woodville area to whom it will sell directly. Secondarily, ATI seeks to establish distribution capability on the World Wide Web. Doing so will improve ATI's ability to establish a national reputation.
Customers will be reached through traditional marketing communication methods. Information has been located detailing profiles of both hard and soft adventure travelers, where they live, work, what they do, etc. Research suggests that many of our target customers, and travelers in general, are Internet savvy and many adventure travelers purchase over the Internet or buy through travel agents. As such, the Internet will serve as an appropriate and effective medium of communication. ATI will target the primary customer group initially. This group has been defined as persons who have purchased or are likely to purchase an adventure vacation. In addition to the Internet, methods by which we will communicate with customers will depend on the results of our marketing research. ATI will likely use trade or special interest magazines, mailing lists and direct mail, and personal selling. Initially, service will be introduced regionally. Sales will be extended into the national and global markets within a few years of operation. We hope to promote out of season services through frequent customer contact and through our own publication, most likely a monthly newsletter.
For individual and corporate clients who wish to participate in adventure travel, ATI is the premier adventure travel agency in the Pacific Northwest. ATI's experience with and enthusiasm for adventure travel is displayed in the exceptional service, value, and advice it provides for the customer.
Much of ATI's pricing is determined by market standards. ATI will attempt to maintain margins of 10% on all airline travel. Margins on all other products and services vary depending upon the provider but are expected to average 20%. ATI will make every effort to maintain a competitive pricing policy. However, as ATI builds its reputation as the premier provider of adventure travel, it expects to earn the ability to charge a premium for its services.
ATI will sell the benefits of the services it offers and the activities it promotes. ATI sells the freedom that is part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle. The benefits of that lifestyle are many. People need to be reminded occasionally that there is more to life than building bigger barns. ATI can provide clients with all of the arrangements they can think of and likely many they would not have thought of. Our concern is not to maximize profits on any individual sale but to satisfy the customer. Doing so will reduce costs and increase profits in the long run. It is less expensive to maintain a relationship than it is to develop a new one. At ATI we believe in the benefits of the activities we promote, and we are confident that we can satisfy the desires of the seasoned adventure traveler and the newcomer alike.
Sales projections are detailed in the Yearly Sales Total chart.
Detailed projections are located in the Total Sales by Month table in the appendix. ATI expects sales to be slow in the first quarter of operation. Sales growth is estimated at 20% annually through year three of operation.
Strategic alliances for promotion have been developed with Body Works Health Club, Woodville Whitewater, The Great Wall climbing gym, and several area retailers. Alliances with adventure trip providers in several U.S. states and foreign countries have also been established.
ATI's important milestones are detailed in the following table. The milestones reflect ATI's philosophy that it is important for a company to set goals. Goals determine strategy and tactics, and help to maintain corporate focus. The milestones can be seen as progress points and will be used as a way to measure ATI's success in reaching its goals.