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Homework answers / question archive / For over 25 years the Tasmanian Walking Company (TWC) has been marketing multi-day guided walks; enabling people of all backgrounds and fitness levels to experience some of the world's most iconic mountain and coastal scenery

For over 25 years the Tasmanian Walking Company (TWC) has been marketing multi-day guided walks; enabling people of all backgrounds and fitness levels to experience some of the world's most iconic mountain and coastal scenery


For over 25 years the Tasmanian Walking Company (TWC) has been marketing multi-day guided walks; enabling people of all backgrounds and fitness levels to experience some of the world's most iconic mountain and coastal scenery. The founder, Ken Latona, was a pioneer in establishing accommodation-based walks in Australia. Using his architectural expertise, he won the right to design and develop the Cradle Mountain huts on Tasmania's world-famous Overland Track. To this day, these remain the only private accommodation offering along the track. The Cradle Mountain Huts Walk has been enhanced and improved since its beginning some 30 years ago. The most challenging and longest (i.e. six days) of TWC's experiences, the walk takes guests into the heart of Tasmania's World Heritage listed Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. 


TWC's domestic customer profile comprises of mostly mature (i.e. 45-65 years of age) consumers living in urban areas and who are seeking a luxury, adventure, and nature-based experience. They tend to be retired professionals (e.g. doctors, lawyers) - in other words individuals with a high disposable income and willingness to pay for a guided nature walk, rather than undertaking the experience themselves. 


In addition to targeting high-income consumers in the Australian states of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, TWC target overseas tourists, and have successfully raised their profile (via international trade shows) in the United States, United Kingdom and Japan. Interestingly, although Chinese tourists rank Australian beaches, the Australian wildlife and Australian food and wine as their top three attractions (Tourism Australia, 2015), they are not currently a target market for TWC; possibly because they are less interested in consuming these experiences while undertaking a multi-day adventure walk. 


Once consumers decide on their walking experience, TWC use pre-walk communications and direct marketing to generate the sale and ensure their customers have all the necessary preparatory information. After their initial enquiry, customers are personally emailed an itinerary, 'gear list' and a link to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). TWC have also produced short videos (which are emailed or made available online) in which their guides explain the importance of certain equipment, such as proper hiking boots, thermals and gaiters. In most cases, guests will have four to five real time conversations with TWC prior to arriving for their walk. This approach enables TWC to fully understand the customer's needs, and in turn customers can ask questions and volunteer feedback. 


When customers arrive at the company's headquarters to commence their walking experience, they are personally greeted by the guides, and over coffee, go through a more hands-on induction process and final briefing. All guests are required to bring appropriate walking gear, which is subsequently checked by guides prior to departing for the walking experience. During these formalities, TWC guides are also getting to know the guests and establishing a positive dynamic amongst the group, which is never more than 10 people. 


Not surprisingly, guided multi-day walks that combine sustainable adventure travel and contemporary luxuries are not a product every tourist can afford (e.g. a TWC walk currently retails for approximately $3000 per person). TWC purposely avoid targeting mass markets with their product, as maintaining small groups and a feeling of exclusivity adds value to the consumer experience. Each walk is priced as a package inclusive of transport to and from the destination, accommodation, all meals and a personal guide. 


Through attending travel and tourism trade shows such as the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE), TWC are slowly building up their profile in international and overseas markets. In terms of marketing to the domestic market, TWC work closely with public relations specialists to attract the right type of journalists and media personalities on their guided walks. After immersing themselves in the experience, journalists produce stories about the TWC offering, which are published in print magazines, and online travel blogs. Importantly, TWC can then share these stories, visual imagery and testimonials via their own website and social media. 


In addition to utilising testimonials by others, TWC encourage their customers to share their own experiences (post-walk) via social media, in particular, photos they have taken. This type of promotion is a key part of TWC's advertising strategy, and helps to engage new and future customers in an online community. When TWC upload their own imagery and posts, they avoid using hard sales tactics and subtlety share content that is engaging and educational. They also ensure any of their company blog and social media posts are relevant according to the season, so that followers get an accurate idea of what to expect if they were to experience a certain walk at that time of the year. TWC also share high-quality educational videos on their Facebook page, so potential customers can learn about native Tasmanian wildlife. 


Sustainability is a key element of the TWC brand. Right from the beginning, the company have used environmentally sustainable practices and materials to build their guest accommodation, which is a perfect example of providing modest luxury experiences in the natural environment. The company also follows best practice track guidelines on all of their walks, which ensure customers and guides follow designated trails, remove all waste, and recycle wherever possible. 


Like any other small, eco-tourism business, TWC is subject to the same challenges of seasonality, external market trends, and competition. Yet, their clear focus on providing high-quality adventure experiences within the natural environment has provided them with a source of competitive advantage, which the owners are planning to grow in years to come.


Question 1


Discuss the core, actual and augmented product offerings the Tasmanian Walking Company is presenting to the consumers. Suggest additional actual and augmented product attributes that can add value to the Company's product offerings? Explain how the expanded marketing mix such as people, physical evidence, processes and partnership add value to the Company's product offerings? 




Discuss the integrated marketing communication strategies used by the Tasmanian Walking Company. Recommend advertising decisions to increase the sales of Tasmanian Walking Company Business. Explain and justify the recommended advertising decisions. 

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