Tourer Marketing Bureau Analysis Case Study

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Tourer Marketing Bureau Case Study Analysis

The Touring Marketing Bureau Case Study

Situational analysis

The organization which benefited from the PR company's services was the Touring Promotional Association (TPA). The latter encompassed nine UK-based enterprises which manufactured caravans, a product category which had become a sort of 'rara avis' within the framework of the British touristic landscape, in 1996. Thus, caravan owners were perceived as old-fashioned and eccentric individuals who despite coming of age wanted to look young and trendy. The result of the negative perception was a sharp decrease in sales. Hence, if 1989 brought a total volume of sales of 36,500, 1996 reported a total volume of 20,400. Some of the major reasons that generated the significant decline were the difficulties experienced by the economy of the 1990s, the wide range of alternatives that tourists had for spending their holidays, and the unfavorable image that was being attributed to touring caravans (Gregory, 2002).

Being confronted with such disheartening circumstances, the nine UK manufactures decided to unify their efforts for defeating the negative light that was hanging over caravanning. Therefore, they created TPA and resorted to a PR consultancy firm - BRAHM in order to ensure their survival and success on the market (Gregory, 2002).

Yet, before asking for external advice, TPA carried out its own research for identifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (Gregory, 2002).

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Among the major strong points, TPA discovered: the freedom to choose whatever location or time of the year; the possibility of having conditions similar to those from home; the chance to reiterate traditional family values because of a holiday which brought together parents and children within an intimate, warm framework; the possibility of carrying pets and special equipment needed for different sports or hobbies (bikes, skis, surf boards, boats etc.); the image of caravanners as trustworthy, cheerful, sociable people, always ready to help their comrades when these find themselves at a loss.

TOPIC: Case Study on Tourer Marketing Bureau Case Study Analysis Assignment

However, TPA also found several weak points like: the difficulties that owners encountered when storing and maintaining caravans; the negative impact exerted on the environment; the old and traditional design that projected its echoes onto the owners' image; the British weather and the not too attractive sites provided to caravanners; the caravans' fragility in terms of security; the more expensive and difficult trips to Europe and so forth.

The main opportunities that TPA found were: the need for a chic design that would express a distinct, modern life style, the desire to spent unforgettable holidays at low costs and the resurrection of traditional family values reuniting members under the same roof for enjoying spare time together.

Among the various threats detected by TPA, the most prominent were the generous range of low cost holidays, the modifications undertaken by British mentalities which had come to favor short breaks and farmhouse holidays, the reticence of new customers towards touring and the incapacity of sites to cope with the large number of tourists at peak periods.

The conclusions above were also backed up by BRAHM's focus group discussions which revealed that caravanners continued to be devoted to the concept but sold their caravans because of not being able to maneuver them anymore, individuals with anti-caravan attitudes considered such experience to be a stigma and a way of remaining tributary to the old times, while persons having neutral attitudes confessed they were pleasantly surprised by the comfortable and modern interiors (Gregory, 2002).

2. The strategic approach of the campaign

Resorting to an analogy between PR campaigns and battles, one could say that strategy is the general thinking aimed at achieving the major goal, i.e. defeating the enemy. In other words, strategy is an overall plan whose profile is dictated by an essential objective (Cutlip, Center & Broom, 1994).

In TPA's case, the 'light at the end of the tunnel' consisted of turning caravan manufacturing into a profitable business. Therefore, the strategy considered to be appropriate under such circumstances was the repositioning of the touring activity.

The strategy's kernel was highlighted by the slogan "Enjoy the Freedom" which focused on both the idea of independent life style and the concept of having fun. Moreover, these two were possible in the context of the elegant and comfortable interiors that the new caravans took pride in. Additionally, BRAHM suggested that the Touring Promotional Association should rebrand itself and become the Touring Marketing Bureau as the latter name sounded modern and fresh to the targeted public (Gregory, 2002).

Evaluating this approach from the perspective of Grunig and Hunt's PR models (Newsom, Turk & Kruckeberg, 2004) - the press agentry/publicity model, public information model, two-way asymmetric model and two-way symmetric model, one could say that TMB mainly adopted the asymmetric pattern. One of the most prominent proofs backing up the statement above is the focus that the company set on human nature in order to discover the most appropriate persuasive methods. Thus, it resorted to applied research for detecting the main motives which hindered the targeted public from enthusiastically embracing a touring holiday. Hence, a primordial part was assigned to the feedback received from potential customers.

The two-way communication concept is also obvious when analyzing the slogan and the new brand recommended by BRAHM. Thus, the tagline's focus on clients is conspicuous due to the verb enjoy while the brand's invitation to dialogue is clearly highlighted by the noun bureau. Hence, instead of being perceived as an esoteric association, the organization is seen as a promoter of the 'open gates' policy which looks forward to welcoming its clients aboard.

Given the importance of feedback and the two-way communication, one may wonder why the TMB isn't framed within the two-way symmetric model. The answer is simple. Even though the organization is highly interested in potential customers' opinions, its major aim is persuasion. Thus, it is not the mutual understanding purpose which prevails, but the attitudinal changing one. Consequently, the initiator and the main beneficiary of this procedure is the TMB. Undoubtedly, customers receive several advantages like improved comfort or lower prices but these are only secondary to the ones received by the organization.

In conclusion, the two-way asymmetric model is the "real world approach" which is always preferred to the symmetric pattern that is considered to be "idealistic and impossible to implement" (Newsom, Turk & Kruckeberg, 2004).

3. The program objectives

According to Hendrix (2004), objectives are essential to any PR campaign as they represent the aims which precede and guide the program. Consequently, they are a preliminary stage which plays a vital role because it shapes the entire PR trajectory.

The hierarchy identified by the author above mentioned comprises three types of objectives: informational, attitudinal, and behavioral.

The first type consists of building awareness by conveying information with regard to special events, new products or new features added to old products, the advantages of using a certain product, the benefits that can be obtained and so forth. Thus, this level of the hierarchy targets the rational coordinate of the human nature.

The second type of objective (attitudinal) addresses the consumers' feelings and tries to develop a new attitude or to change an old one. This stage aims at inducing an emotional relationship between the client and the product, thus representing the 'sensibility' part of the 'sense and sensibility' pattern.

The category which closes the triad - behavioral objectives, refers to changing an existing behavior or creating a new one. This level implies actions like buying a new product; choosing a competitor's product over the brand to which a consumer is loyal, visiting a certain store, trying a product etc.

In conclusion, Hendrix (2004) defines the objectives of a PR campaign as the impacts that this should have on the audience. If one takes a close look at the hierarchy, he/she can state that this corresponds to the pattern identified by Severin which encompasses three steps - cognitive, affective, and conative (Newsom, Turk & Kruckeberg, 2004). These follow the learn-feel-do sequence which is also endorsed by Hendrix's informational, attitudinal and behavioral objectives.

Returning to the TMB's case, one could assert that BRAHM used a combination of the three goals above.

Firstly, it addressed the cognitive coordinate by making people aware of the improvements and advantages boasted by the new TMB caravans. In this context, it provided information especially with regard to the comfortable and modern interiors.

Secondly, BRAHM focused on attitudinal change. Thus, it tried to deconstruct the negative perception by introducing the idea of independence and by putting a great emphasis on the design turned into the emblem of a sophisticated, refined lifestyle. Hence, the company brought benefits rather than utility or functionality into the lime light.

Thirdly, the PR campaign also targeted the behavioral coordinate as it strived to bring potential customers to dealerships and, implicitly, to make them buy the TMB caravans.

In conclusion, BRAHM opted for a mix of objectives. Yet, the most important segment was the attitudinal one as this was the main responsible for the sharp decrease in sales. Consequently, if TMB hadn't made… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Tourer Marketing Bureau Analysis.  (2007, April 26).  Retrieved December 5, 2021, from

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"Tourer Marketing Bureau Analysis."  26 April 2007.  Web.  5 December 2021. <>.

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"Tourer Marketing Bureau Analysis."  April 26, 2007.  Accessed December 5, 2021.