Tourism industry has been one of the world’s major industries, and large scale of tourism industries have created a fierce competitive environment among tourism organisations (Kotler, Bowen & Makens, 2014). For this reason, establishing marketing strategies and communicating desired messages to desired target customers has been important for a company in gainning competitive advantages (Kotler, Bowen & Makens, 2014). Dreamworld is a theme park that is located in the Gold Coast in Queensland, and Corroboree is one of the main attraction areas at Dreamworld. Dreamworld Corroboree provides interactive walk-through experience celebrating indigenous cultures and wildlife with its value proposition that exciting education (Ardent Leisure, 2016). The purpose of this paper is to provide recommendations for Dreamworld’s management team that enables Dreamworld mangers to gain competitive advantages, by identifying most effective promotional tool and communication tools through a field study of Corroboree to make Dreamworld managers achieve its aims that developing customer experience and boosting ticket sales. Thus, this report will identify the current operating situation of Dreamworld Corroboree first, by using SWOT analysis and site analysis, and then it will identify most appropriate promotional tool in order to provide recommendations.
1.1 Business Environment Analysis
Though SWOT analysis, the major environmental trends, opportunities and challenges facing Dreamworld Corroboree are identified. The major environmental trends of Dreamworld Corroboree is that visitation rate to the Gold Coast has been increased among international visitors, especially from China with highest rate of spending power. It is great opportunities for Dreamworld Corroboree to attract Chinese visitors as indigenous cultural and wildlife experiences has strong international appeal for tourists from Asian markets (Ardent Leisure, 2016). The major challenges of Corroboree is due to current poor economic condition of Australia. In addition, it makes threat against Corroboree that Paradise Country which is the main competitor of Corroboree that situated on the Gold Coast, providing similar products to Corroboree that farm stay and wild life experience.
2.0 Site Analysis: Delivering on the Dream
Dreamworld is a theme park which is located in the Gold Coast in Queensland. Dreamworld has been established by the Ardent Leisure Company, and Corroboree is one of the main attraction areas at Dreamworld. Dreamworld Corroboree offers various services and products to satisfy customer’s needs and wants, and the nature of the service offerings can be categorized into four levels: core products, facilitating products, supporting products and augmented products (Kotler, Bowen & Makens, 2014). Corroboree exists on the market to provide the core products, and the core product of Corroboree is cultural and wildlife experiences. Having a field trip analysis in Corroboree, the visitors of Corroboree tend to rely on physical evidence which is tangible product as the core product of Corroboree that cultural and wildlife experiences are intangible. According to Kotler, Bowen & Makens (2014), environment is a support element of an organization which helps in creating a specific atmosphere for customers. For example, the exterior walls which are designed similarly to rock face with both brown colors and aboriginal paintings could create the atmosphere more likely to be looked such like ancient times (refer to Figure 1). The signage which is a facilitating product enables visitors to easily access to the core product (Kotler, Bowen & Makens, 2014). According to the field trip in Corroboree, the signage for opening hours in front of the place in which each cultural and wildlife experiences are held help the visitors be aware of the accessible information to cultural and wildlife experiences (refer to Figure 2). Supporting product allows an organisation to gain competitive advantages, helping differentiate it from competitors (Kotler, Bowen & Makens, 2014). The exhibition hall which is one of the supporting products of Corroboree has been established to differentiate it from the main competitor ’Paradise Country’. According to the field trip in Corroboree, the exhibition room is one of the up-to-date style of physical facilities at Corroboree, and the interior of the exhibition hall are designed with digital signage showing information about the Gold Coast. As can be seen in Figure 3, these latest style of physical facility with the visible digital signage seems it could attract visitors well, especially kids and Asian visitors as it has such a mysterious atmosphere which makes the visitors become excited about gaining knowledge of Australian culture. Furthermore, interacting with indigenous interpretation officers is also one of the unique corroboree experiences. The visitors of Corroboree can view the award-winning Creation Story of the Gold Coast with stories that interpreting by the aboriginal employees at the exhibition hall. However, Corroboree also has a weakness in terms of cleanliness regarded to traffic line. According to the field trip in Corroboree, the space between the Corroboree restaurant and the Crocodile Feeding Show is overcrowded as both the visitors who are using the restaurant and the visitors who want to take a rest while experiencing Crocodile Feeding Show are staying in the same space. Thus, such a messy atmosphere could be created by a messy place. It is investigated by field trip analysis in Corroboree that the brand image of Corroboree are interactive, exciting, informative and natural. Thus, physical appearance in terms of the exterior appearance, employees, atmosphere and the signage communicate the Corroboree’s brand image to the existing customers well. However, the cleanliness does not support the image of Corroboree. The crowded atmosphere caused by cleanliness could make the participants become dissatisfied with the whole of Corroboree experience. All of this process of Corroboree experience are belonging to augmented products as the augmented product comprises the totality of features of a product (Kotler, Bowen & Makens, 2014).
2.1 Identification of Target market
In reference to the site analysis of Corroboree, the target customers of Corroboree has been selected. The primary target market is domestic either day-tripper or overnight visitors, more specifically, ‘Family with children under 15 and the household income ranges from 36,400 to 51,999 $ (Tourism Research Australia, 2013). They value family social interaction and togetherness such as having fun family life. This segment prefers participating in the family-oriented activities and outdoor activities which is suitable for their budget such as going to the beach, visiting the national park or zoo and theme park (Morgan, 2012). The secondary target market of Corroboree is Chinese visitors as visitation rate to the Gold Coast among Chinese has been showing at the highest level together with their spending power ($9.2 billion) (Tourism Research Australia, 2017).
3.0 Sales Promotional Tactic
The Primary target market is domestic either day-tripper or overnight visitors, especially from Queensland. Thus, re-visitation rate of the target market to Corroboree would be high due to the geographical conditions. Thus, it is recommended for Corroboree managers to use public relations as a sales promotional tool to communicate with both potential and existing target audiences. According to Culip, Center & Broom (2000), public relations is the practice to manage perceptions of brand image in order to attract desired potential customers and strengthen the loyalty of existing customers. Thus, the communication objective are designed to inform the target visitors about Corroboree experience, guiding the perception of brand images to a positive climate. It is important for a company to be consistent in designing message together with communication objective if the promotion is stressed on corporate image or corporate brand (Eagle & Kitchen, 2000). Therefore, the message content is designed to rationally and morally appeal to the target market with a theme that ‘Glorious Australian Heritage’. The message content of the theme can be interpreted in various aspects in accordance with its synonym. For example, the term of ‘Glorious’ could be interpreted as ‘enjoyable’, and it enables Corroboree to attract their target customers as the message content fit with the target customer’s value that having fun family life. Furthermore, the theme would help Dreamworld managers to build a favourable reputation from target audiences as it is enough for Dreamworld to show that they have a continued interest in development of community. According to Queensland Government Treasury (2008), Queensland households consisting of a couple family with one or more children had a higher rate of internet access (83.3%). Thus, it is recommended for Dreamworld managers to utilize social medial channels as it allows Corroboree to improve communication by disseminating the desired messages among target audiences. Buzz marketing is one of the important reason for using social media channels. Buzz marketing allows organizations to create opinion readers who spread the world about a company’s product and message, and word-of-mouth marketing can have a powerful impact on consumer behavior toward brand image (Kotler, Bowen & Makens, 2014). It is recommended for Corroboree mangers to select generic consumers who are famous bloggers among households as a message source because the personal words and recommendations of trusted friends, companions, and other consumers tend to be more credible than commercial sources (Kotler, Bowen & Makens, 2014).
The recommendations are provided on three aspects that the guest experience, sales and marketing to be improved.
- It is recommended for Dreamworld’s sales managers to establish product development which is one of the four alternative growth strategies in the Ansoff Matrix. The product development strategy involves providing improved existing products of a company to its existing customers (Watts, Cope & Hulme, 1998). Offering relaxation place to existing visitors allows Corroboree to improve their brand image, by making the visitors become satisfied with the quality of Corroboree experience as offering rest area could solve the problem which is associated with the cleanliness of Corroboree regarded to heavy traffic line. Corroboree could cope with the main competitor ‘Paradise Country’ which emphasize on relaxation atmosphere as a value proposition through offering rest area.
- It is recommended for Dreamworld’s sales managers to develop public relations as a sales promotional tool by using buzz marketing. According to Culip, Center & Broom (2000), public relations allows organizations to build mutually beneficial relationships with their publics that can lead to brand loyalty. Thus, the public relations by using buzz marketing allows Dreamworld Corroboree to increase ticket sales despite the current economic conditions of Australia are poor or despite Corroboree has a strong competitor as favorable brand image which is drawn from favorable reputation of publics would make target customers be loyal customers who are kind to spend more money at Corroboree.
- It is recommended for Dreamworld’s sales managers to establish market development which is one of the four alternative growth strategies in the Ansoff Matrix. According to Watts, Cope & Hulme (1998), market development involves providing existing products of a company to new markets. Thus, the market development strategy would help Corroboree to boost ticket sales as Corroboree experience has strong international appeal which could attract international visitors, especially Chinese who are showing at the top level of visitation rate and spending power.