You are on page 1of 22

CHAPTER-1: CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK OF THE “MARKETING STRATEGY”

1. Introduction

 The word strategy is widely used in terms of tactics and changing the working procedures
in accordance with the rival’s plans with an objective of winning the opponent’s
battlefield. At present, the word strategy is frequently used even in the management
science and particularly in the marketing, advertisement, campaign, market promotion,
production and distribution fields. Moreover, the word is also used in the humanities and
social science especially in the political science, sociology and development fields. With
the passes of time, the term has widened its uses in the several other fields.

 Greek word strategy actually refers to general that means art of general in the ordinary
sense. This terminology strategy is quite new in the management science hence it is
interpreted in differently by the various writers. In the very inception, this terminology
was entered in the military science that means what a chief of the army does to offset
actual or potential actions of competitors. Generally, this term strategy is frequently used
in the war for defeating the rivals in the battlefield. In the military science, the strategy is
generally the science and art of developing the nation’s armed strength to secure goals
prescribed by the leader of nation.

 It implies to actions that can be taken in the light and art but be marshalling of resources,
which provides the best opportunity for subsequent tactics. For this purpose, every
possible action can be implemented as the strategy for winning over the desired actions.
During designing processes, management can develop and design the strategies in the
different level viz. corporate, business and functional, which can be implemented in the
course of actions.

 To be more specific about the term, we can refer to other documents such as dictionary,
which uses this term strategy in referring to the army troops1.

1
Oxford Dictionary. (1992), Oxford University Press.UK.

-1-
 For example, military strategy is an art of moving or disposing the instruments of warfare
as to impose upon enemy in place, time and condition for fighting by oneself. Strategy
ends or yields to tactics when actual contact with enemy is made and desired objectives
are achieved through the timely measures.

 However, in management science, the term is used in different concept especially for the
combination of environments and organizational structures. What I want to actually prove
is that, in the management science, the term strategy is some how different than army
strategy as it is used as an interrelationship among different management requisites. We
will thoroughly analysis and make a final conclusion about the strategy in the proceeding
pages. For this purpose, we first of all have to review the definitions given by other
writers in the management strategic field.

 Strategy is a comprehensive master plan of the corporate house, which directs the way to
achieve missions, visions and objectives. It helps to maximize competitive advantages
and minimizes disadvantages.

 It is a pattern of actions for achieving the objectives and goals in accordance with the
requirements of the external and internal environment after successfully implementation
of the strategies. Hence, strategic management is concerned with making strategic
decisions about an organization’s future direction and implementation of these decisions.

 Strategic management, therefore, is a set of managerial analysis, decisions and actions


that determines the long run performance of an organization. It is an overall process of
the decisions and actions in formulation and implementation of strategic designed to
achieve the objectives of an organization.

 Alfred D. Candler defines: “Strategy is the determination of the basic long term goals
and objectives of an enterprise and the adoption of the course of action and the
allocation of resources necessary for carrying out these goals.”2
2
(Kajami A., (1992). Business Policy, Tata McGraw-Hill, India).

-2-
 However, Candler’s statement has made me curious about difference between strategy
and plan. Similarly, what I have observed in his statement is that he has focused only on
enterprise that is narrower used of the term. I am, however; totally agree with Mr.
Candler that the strategy is the adaptation of the course of action for the desired goals. I
cannot find a common ground with him that the strategy is the determination of long-term
goals. In my opinion, the strategy can also be carrying on in short term goals. Let’s say, if
we are going to attend some meetings, present seminar papers and dealing business, on
such circumstances, we can develop shorter strategy on our presentation, negotiation and
decisions that has been neglected in the definition given by Mr. Cnadler.

 Prof. Henry Green, Harvard University, who is also a contributor in development of the
business policy has interpreted as: “Strategy is the pattern of objectives, purpose or goals
and major policies and plans for achieving these goals, stated in such a way so as to
define what business the company is in or is to be and kind of company it is or is to be3.”

 The above statements are related with planning, business, objectives setting and business
policy only. In fact, the term has wider meaning and it can also be used in other several
fields such as economics, social science and so on. Hence, the definition is more specific
that is concentrated only in business. As Harvard business school is the best management
school in the world so that research team have analyzed and interpreted the term only in
pure technical sense of management and the business point of view.

 If we accept above definition, we have to make conclusion that the strategic management
is the subject related with adaptation of tactics in the management field. The tactics may
be related with the course of actions to be chosen for achieving the desired goals. The
above definition also highlights common future of management strategies as: a) unified
plan which ties all the parts of enterprise together; b) comparative plan which covers all
major aspects of enterprise; c) integrated plan which makes compatible with each other
and fits together well; and d) strategic advantages to the environment.

3
(Levinson, William A. (1988). The Way of Strategy. Tata McGraw-Hill. New Delhi. India.)

-3-
 However, some writers are not in a position to accept the above definitions so that they
have propounded their own definitions. Among these writers are Jauch and Glueck. They
have give emphasis on business, its nature, products, functions, market and objectives of
the firms in the business environment. According to them, the answers related with these
components are simply the strategy.

 Moreover, they have further interpreted the term strategy with the sports of a game.
According to them, before a team goes in to the field, effective coaches examine a
competitor’s past plans, strengths and weaknesses. Then they look at their own team’s
strength and weaknesses. The major objective is to win the game with a minimum of
injuries and resources. In my opinion, writers have given emphasis on the SWOT tool
that has been considered as the strategy.

 Johnson and Scholes define as: “strategy is the direction and scope of an organization
over long-term: which achieves advantage of the organization through its configuration
of resources within a changing environment to meet the needs of markets and to fulfill
stakeholders’ expectations4.”

 However, the above statement, in my personal opinion is vague in nature, which does not
specifically define its scope. Moreover, the term strategy is widely used in the day-to-day
real life whatever may be its definition in literature. Let us be more specific, nothing is in
name but it is in responsibilities. The thing is important due to its usage not by its name,
as function of rose will remain the same if its name were something else.

 On the other hand, strategy clearly designs market and its segments for which products
are new and channels through which these markets will be reached. The means by which
operation is to be financed will be specified as emphasis to be place on safety of capital.
Usually profit objectives will be stated in terms of earning per share, return on investment
or return on shareholders’ equity or combination of these.

4
Kazmi, A. (1992). Business Policy. Tata McGraw-Hill. India.

-4-
 Lastly, the size and kind of organization which is to be the medium of achievement will
be described. From these discussions and explanations, it is clear that the scope of
strategy is broader to include total management functions, which are related with the
determination of organizational objectives in the light of environmental variables and
determination of course of action and commitment to achieve such objectives.

 As conclusion, the strategic management is related with the plan of actions of a corporate
it is concerned with the total organization and its environments, formulating to adopt that
environments and assuring implementation of the strategic management in the corporate
houses. It is continuous process and related with objectives, goals, visions and mission of
the management. For this purpose, the organization has to seriously scan and examine the
possible opportunities, threats, weaknesses and strengths available at the environment.

 Generally the strategies are adopted by the corporate. The corporate level strategy is a
plan that deals with objectives of the company, allocation and coordination of resources.
The corporate level strategy is basically fit in three deferent priorities of the corporation,
which are stability, growth ad retrenchment. In this strategy, the top management plan,
directs, corporate level decision is to be value oriented, conceptual and less concrete.

 Another type of strategy is related with the business strategy that gives emphasize for an
improvement of the competitive position of organizations’ product and services. This
strategy addresses market segment and it is a comprehensive plan providing objectives
for business, allocation or resources among the functional areas and coordination between
them for marketing contribution for achievement of the corporate level objectives.

 Similarly, the corporate strategy applies to the whole enterprise while business strategy
defines the choice of product or service and market of individual businesses within the
firms. The business strategy has a relatively narrower implication as it determines how a
company will compete in a given business and position itself among the competitors. The
corporate strategy however defines the business in which a company focusing resources
to convert the distinct competence into competence into competitive advantage.

-5-
 Furthermore, functional strategy is the plan to manage marketing, finance, personnel,
research and development of the whole business. Responsibility of formulating functional
strategy lies with those who occupy the top of functional areas. The strategy is generally
guided by the overall strategic consideration and should be consistent with the framework
of the business strategy. However, the business organizations use all kinds of strategy
simultaneously. Each kind of strategy do support to another level of strategy so that the
strategy of different kinds are inter-related with each other.

 Prior to develop and implement the strategies, the top-level management has to plan it,
which is the process of deciding on objectives of the organization. And, it is also focuses
for allocation of resources, setting of the objectives and to alter the organization policy.

 For this purpose, the management has to carefully plan the strategies, taking the decisions
that may affect organization in totality in a long run. Generally the strategic planning in a
business is formulated in order to achieve the organizational objectives, for appraisal of
the environments to identify opportunities and threats of the business houses. It is carried
out for SWOT analysis of concerned organizations so that they can accordingly change
its course of action. For this, the managers have to be always conscious of the future
direction of the organization and to implement the strategies for the future5.

 The strategies in the management field, therefore, are the set of the managerial decisions
and actions that determines the long-term performance of the organization. The strategic
management is an overall process of the decisions and actions in order to formulate and
implement the desires, which are designed to achieve the organizational objectives.

 Development, implementation, follow up, monitoring and evaluation of these strategies


are continuous process which is dynamic with the external and internal environments that
play a crucial role. Management scans environments, formulates an appropriate measure,
implements them and finally evaluates and controls the total strategies.

5
(Phillip Kotler. (2004) Marketing Management, Prentice Hall. India).

-6-
 In order to develop the strategies, management has to thoroughly scan total environments,
which influence business outcomes. For this, management deals with the different factors
they play an active role and find out the SWOT in the management science.

 The environments in the business consist several internal and external factors such as
society, economic, competitors, technology, legal, political system, cultural norms and
values along with demographic, geographical and government. The management has to
regularly interact with these factors which affect the activities of the business and they
also related with the working situation that is important and relevant for the total output.

 The management to address environmental factors properly and develop the appropriate
remedies has to develop and design the strategies. Such situation is termed as strategy
formulation which is the development of the long range plans for the effective and
efficient management of the environmental opportunities and threats in the light of
corporate strengths and weaknesses.

 The formulation process include defining of the corporate mission, vision and statement
and specifying objectives, developing strategies and setting policy guidelines so that
corporate can overcome the reverse circumstances.

2. Importance of Strategic Management in the Business Organizations

 Strategic management is the formulation and implementation of the long-term plans and
carrying out the activities which may be expected to yield several benefits which is quit
important for adoption and success of the organizational environment. Various executives
create a number of reasons as to why an organization engages in strategic management6.

 Strategic management provides clear objectives and direction for employees. It points the
way for the employees to follow. Strategic management provides strong incentives for
employees and management to achieve objectives.
6
Phillip Kotler. (2004) Marketing Management, Prentice Hall. India.

-7-
 It serves as a basis for management evaluation control because top executive have a
unified opinion on strategic issues and actions. When the objectives are clearly spelled
out, these provide clear direction to persons in the organization who are responsible for
implementation of the various course of actions.

 Strategic management helps to cope up with changes. The survey results indicate that: a)
clearer sense of strategic vision for the firm; b) sharper focus on what is strategically
important; c) improved understanding of changing environment can be observed in the
variety of strategic management7.

 Strategic management allows an organization’s top executive to anticipate change and


provides direction and control for the organization. It also allows the organization to
innovate in time to take advantages of new opportunities in the environment and reduce
the risk. It ensures full exploitation of opportunities. The strategic management process
stimulates thinking about the future. It allows the organization to take action at an early
stage of new trend and consider the lead-time for effective management.

 Strategic management teaches to put the necessary resources in a way, which ensures
their maximum contribution to organizational objectives. It also teaches to CEOs to
become better decision maker, which is helpful to achieve effectiveness.

 It also improves corporate communication, the coordination, allocation of focuses on


business problems, not only in the sector of functional areas but also on business areas
such as marketing, finance etc. Due to all these reasons efficiency can be increased and
corporate success can be gained by an organization.

 Strategic management focuses on research, which is most essential for the growth and
diversification. It helps to carry out many researches, which are fruitful for the success of
business. It helps better understanding of authorities as well as responsibilities of
individuals and groups, which reduces the gap and overlaps the activities.
7
: www.prenhall.com/kotler.

-8-
3. Strategic Management in Nepal

 Strategic management is the most important and useful tool in the management field.
However, in the context of Nepalese management, it has been rarely used. Nepalese are
comparatively weak in management and administrative fields, which can be easily
observed in Nepalese bureaucratic sector. Nepal hardly spends any budget and resource
on the research and development. Consequently, our management styles are conventional
that is based on the chakri and chukli.

 The government employees lack motivation to implement an innovative idea in the


management since they have a kind of fear within that their ideas may be rejected by
seniors. On the other hand, the seniors are also not supportive to motivated employees
who initiate for new strategy in the day-to-day operation of the organizations.

 Consequently, Nepalese management hardly implements any strategies as tools and


techniques in corporate level. However, it does not mean that Nepalese managers lack
ideas about the strategies. They have sufficient idea, knowledge and skills as senior
personnel particularly in the Nepalese bureaucracy are highly educated and they have
multiple degrees obtained from abroad. But thy lack motivation and encouragement to
implement their innovative ideas in their respective jobs.

 However, the management in private sector is using modern tools and techniques in
several activities in their corporate houses. Similarly, the young generation who has
obtained an opportunity to study in the better universities is comparatively more talented
group. Unfortunately, the government is unable to attract them. If those youths were
managers in the government organizations, they could initiate in implementing modern
management tools and techniques as well as strategies to achieve desired goals.

 Moreover, we have to be optimistic with young generations who are also future managers
and they have abundance knowledge. When they take over the management, they will
implement strategic management in the Nepalese governmental or private organizations.

-9-
CHAPTER-2: CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE “TOURISM INDUSTRY”

1. Introduction

 Tourism is, obviously, related fore traveling which is naturally a human character. People
expect change that can be obtained from the travel. The basic concept of tourism
pleasure leisure was started from ancient time of human civilization even though people
cannot enjoy in a disturbed environment so peace is the vital requirement for tourism
promotion.

 Tourism is the movement of people from one place to another during leisure time for the
purpose of getting pleasure and that is a long lasting social, human, economic and
cultural fact. A tourist spends hours for favorable destination where they can emotionally,
mentally, economically, and psychologically feel inner satisfaction.

 Moreover, tourism includes various characteristics such as religion, painting, carving,


architecture, handicrafts, music and dance, literacy, tradition, language and other several
activities, which are related with the learning, enjoyment and adventures.

 "Tourism development meets the needs of present tourists and the host regions while
protecting and enhancing the opportunity for the future. It is envisaged as leading to
management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can
be fulfilled while maintaining the cultural integrity, essential ecological processes,
biological diversity and life support system” (World Tourism Organization-WTO)8.

 We have limited study regarding the tourism sector of Nepal particularly on the tourism
market promotion activities. A study was conducted and its findings were presented to
the ICA Business Forum by Prof. Dr. Devid Seddon, entitled “Sustainable Tourism in
Nepal”. According to his study, the tourism has significantly influenced to most of the
communities. The study explains that:
8
Birgit, L. (2002). A Tool to Alleviate Poverty in Nepal. CDAS. Kathmandu. Nepal.

- 10 -
 ….Tourism is a most complex system comprised of components viz. tourists, attractions,
service facilities, transportation and information. Tourism is a series of activities of the
people for the development of tourist movement. This is a practice of traveling for
recreation, pleasure or culture, exploration, promotion or encouragement of touring and
accommodation of tourists. Tourism is the world's largest industry in these days. This has
contributed in improving the economy of many countries including Nepal….

 ….Travel is a strong influence in the development of human potentials and a vital link in
the world communication. By visiting other lands, exchanging ideas and making new
friendship, we can help to build goodwill and peace full intercourse among all people….
(Former President Jimmy Carter, Speech in the Travel Agents Congress in USA). This
gives a high vision in the value system of world tourism to make it sustainable and
highlights the importance of tourism sector.

 Another joint research was carried out by Prof. Alberto Baroni, Dr. Anna Milvia Boselli,
Prof. Gianumberto Caravello, Dr. Cristina Bresoline, Dr. Federico Giacomin for National
Research Council, entitled “Tourist impact on environmental and anthropic matrix in the
Everest National Park-Nepal” that mainly focuses on socio-economic and environmental
aspects caused by the massive mobility of the tourist around Everest National Park.

 ….Over the last decades, we registered a profound socio-economic transformation in the


Nepal due to tourism sector connected with greater abandoning of traditional economy
such as agroforestal, mercantile, breeding, etc. totally to mass tourism and commerce
(expeditions, trekking, souvenirs, etc.). This has not only modified the economical
activities, but it has also, undermined local customs and social organization….

 ….Along all the main trekking routes, many dwellings have been converted into lodges,
and many small shops, often in front of hotels and lodges, have been opened. This has
produced wealth for local with property in these villages. Most of the local population
has been driven towards tourist activities, both at home and away with its strong
attraction of paid labor from the poorer areas….

- 11 -
 ….The results being a marked increase in building without any evident planning criteria
and marked increase in the level of education both among the male and female members
of the population, following a tradition of sexual equality However, the increase in
tourists has also produced negative effects in civil society and natural environment….

 ….Environmental degradation is being caused by overcrowded camping sites and lodges


and incorrect waste disposal, which, linked to the limited personal hygiene of both local
population and tourists, provoke health problems….

 ….Our observations of waters showed a certain degree of alteration in the hydrological


quality, above all in correspondence with greater anthropic pressure (villages, tourist
tracks, lodges, etc.), possibly caused by organic contamination presumably of faecal
origin. The qualitative recovery proved to be rapid because of the strong flow of water,
which provides rapid oxygenation….

 ….The situation is different for waters destinated for human use, although originally they
were probably uncontaminated, they all proved to run a high pollution risk, because of
the superficial nature of water used for such purpose. In fact, gathering points for water
(spring, piping, fountains) for human use are inevitably contaminated with bacteria….

 ….It was also noticed that the systems of collecting, distribution and conservation of
these waters was totally unsuitable for protecting them from eventual further and even
greater risks of microbiological contamination as public, domestic and personal hygienic
habits are insufficient to guarantee their protection…

 ….The effects of these inadequacies are in some way mitigated by the fact that water for
nutrition is nearly always boiled for a certain period (tea, soups, etc.). Moreover, the
tourist flux is influencing local customs and provoking social problems in traditional
societies and often pushing the young to urbanization and emigration9….

9
Research Paper: Tourist impact on environmental and anthropic matrix in the Everest National Park-Nepal

- 12 -
CHAPTER-3: TOURISM DEVELOPMENT “MARKETING STRATEGY ISSUES”

1. Introduction

The vital component in developing an effective Tourism Development Strategy is the resultant
marketing. Unlike classic product marketing criteria, when product is developed first
followed by the marketing strategy, this report is almost a reversal whereby the outputs of
the report have been determined as a consequence of marketing imperatives.

 Tourism Development Strategy has been ‘packaged’ into distinct destinations, each
containing specific marketing differentiation like image, branding and positioning. Each
destination is therefore a distinct product, which exhibits a clear and unambiguous
differentiation from the other.

 In addition, they not only contain the necessary image and positioning requirements, but
also cognitive attributes like specific product, which will facilitate destination marketing.

 The destinations, not only have the subjective attributes like image and sense of place,
but also destination product, that in effect ‘lands’ the would-be tourist. Therefore, the
marketing thrust that writes itself from the report, achieves the twin objectives of ‘selling
the place’ (image marketing) and ‘landing’ the tourist (destination marketing).

 Image marketing is promoting the ‘sense of place’ and destination marketing is selling
the product. The marketing can only be successful if it can sell the place and land the
tourist. In other words, a tourist can make a buying decision if s/he likes the place and
knows how to get there, where to stay, how much it cost, what to do and how to get10.

10
Phillip Kotler. (2004) Marketing Management, Prentice Hall. India; also see: www.prenhall.com/kotler

- 13 -
2. DEVELOPING THE MARKETING MODEL

2.1 Sense of Place + Product = Image

 The use of the term ‘image’ when applied to marketing a product is at best subjective.
Many may assert that image is something that is there, but cannot be felt, touched or
experienced. To feel, touch and experience an image it must possess a ‘sense of place’.

 An image is created as a consequence of marketing sense of place and product. It is


therefore unwise to create and then market an image. It is better to market a ‘sense of
place’ and associated product or destination attributes, which together create an image.

 For instance, a picture of the Mt Everest evokes a certain response (much like a thousand
other sites in the world) but coupled with hiking trails, bushman, paintings and cozy
hotels nestling in the foothills, a sense of place is created.

 The image of the Annanapurna standing to attention outside valley evokes a unique sense
of place from which words and feelings like pomp, ceremony, history and tradition are
evoked. While a product is most often tangible and able to be experienced, an image is
something virtual, perhaps submerged behind the product.

 As applied to the brand created for Nepal, ‘The Kingdom of Himalalya’; it can only
really work if the sense of place is bound in with the product. Thus creating the image.

 It is in this product offering, with its associated imagery, that we find a point of analysis.
The product must deliver the imagery associated with it.

 If it is the sense of place that is promoted, and to ensure there is no credibility gap, the
product must build on the sense of place in a tangible, easily assimilated way11.

11
Igal Ayal (1979). Marketing Expansion Strategies in Multinational Marketing. Journal of Marketing.pp86-97.

- 14 -
2.2 Branding + Positioning = Strategy

 Branding is now a commonly utilized marketing strategy. In its purest sense, it is used to
denote ownership and identity of the product, and should easily be associated with the
underlying imagery of the product, and its delivery or experience. Adding to this weight
of terminology come the terms ‘differentiation’ and ‘positioning’. Differentiation, which
implies uniqueness, helps us to ‘position’ a product away from direct competition.
Ultimately we brand products that are positioned for best differentiation. Branding,
therefore, is something that is done to a product to denote ownership, identity, and recall
and to drive equity but it is not the product.

 To arrive at a marketable product branding, the product, not the brand, must be subjected
to analysis to determine its differentiation and ultimate positioning. This cascade of
analysis, which ultimately results in a brand, is all well and good, but to be ultimately
successful, the brand must rest comfortably on the platform of reputation. Therefore the
ultimate success of a brand depends upon the reputation that the brand has. Reputation
goes beyond sense of place, image, positioning, differentiation, branding and product12.

2.3 Strategy + Image = Reputation

 Increasingly marketers, communications specialists and public relations practitioners are


concentrating on developing strong brand reputations to build equity and ownership.

 The “Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal” has been adopted as the brand for marketing our
nation internationally. While it is not the scope of this document to comment on the
efficacy of this brand (brands take a long time to build) we should concern ourselves with
tourism development strategy that delivers against the imperatives of the brand.

 The reputation of the Kingdom of Nepal therefore results from strong strategic branding
which contains the elements of strategic reputation management.

12
www.prenhall.com/kotler also see (www.abb.com)

- 15 -
 Nepal has a reputation onto which the brand is attached. In the past, we have not had
luxury of developing a brand/product from scratch. “The Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal”
brand has thus had to adopt the existing product package, which, in most instances, is at
best at variance, and at worst contradicts the brand.

 Adding to this, Nepal the product has a reputation, which has suffered at the hands of a
variety of largely uncontrollable internal and external factors, like political disturbance,
grime, violence, tardy infrastructure and no new tourism plant development.

 The tourism development strategy must result in a match between perceived needs of
tourists and communicate an appropriate image through product and sense of place
marketing. Branding is, wrapping this up, under a symbol of ownership, which together
with strategic interventions will result in building a strong brand reputation.

2.4 Reputation Management

The following reputation management is necessary for Nepal:

 Distinctiveness: a strong reputation will result when Nepal owns a distinctive and
attractive position/image in the minds of its publics.

 Focus: a strong reputation will result when Nepal and partners focus their attentions and
communications around a single core theme.

 Consistency: a strong reputation will result when Nepal and partners are consistent in
their marketing activities and communications to all its publics.

 Identity: a strong reputation will result when Nepal and all partners act in ways that are
consistent with espoused principles of identity.

 Transparency: strong reputations are built when organizations are transparent.

- 16 -
3 TOWARDS A MARKETING STRATEGY

3.1 The Power of Word of Mouth

 It has been established that a large number of international tourism to Nepal is associated
with the Verbal Friend’s Recommendation (VFR) market-influenced to a large degree by
word of mouth. Thus, it is upon recommendations of global residents that the bulk of the
international tourism market rests.

 Yet upon arrival, a significant percentage feel disappointed because they feel unsafe
(only few perceived their safety to be good, and only small group reporting their
impression of cleanliness as good). Getting the tourists, either as VFR’s or conference
delegates is only good if they return with positive feelings and give strong
recommendations. However, if they return with negative experiences or perceptions, their
word-of-mouth comments will severely affect reputation.

3.2 Countering Negative Perceptions

 Communication campaigns directed at the international market to overcome negative


perceptions of crime and violence will not work and could be counter productive by
alerting audiences to potential dangers that they did not know about.

3.3 Visibility vs Reputation

 The phrase ‘any publicity is good publicity’ can only be attributed to pop stars or
politicians. What audiences read in the media will not only shape their perceptions, but
will influence the reputation of Nepal through the image. Local newspapers have quoted
that value of international media coverage was worth millions. This may be true, but in
the absence of any media research, analysis and measurement, it can be argued that those
millions of advertisement generated by publicity, did not necessarily portray Nepal as per
the various marketing propositions.

- 17 -
 We may have had millions of media coverage, but at best it was neutral moving into
negative. Positive publicity can only be claimed if the coverage endorsed the attributes of
Nepal as a premier tourism destination and/or a viable place to invest.

 As a result of these conferences more people in the world may now know that Nepal
exist, and possibly where, but how do they perceive the region? Did the pictures of Moist
Conflict, sufferers of the poorest communities, coupled with street marches of political
activists promote the region as a holiday destination?

 These are factors that directly affect reputation, and irrespective of the creativity and
inventiveness associated with the marketing proposition, medium or long-term marketing
success may be difficult to attain if imperatives of reputation management are ignored.

 Real qualitative and quantitative research is required. Gut feeling, although sometimes
accurate, is not a measure, which can be tracked or benchmarked. Within any successful
long-term marketing and communications plan must come research, measurement and
evaluation against known goals.

3.4 Unique Situation Requires Unique Plan

 A marketing strategy for Nepal must be unique. There is no case study to follow and the
marketing proposition does not conform to the more widely known tenets of product
and/or corporate marketing. It therefore, must concentrate on building reputation and
image through promoting sense of place and product (destination).

 Each destination, which has been identified in the Tourism Development Strategy, must
market its unique sense of place within the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal brand on the
horizon. The product/destination within each area should be marketed in bike with the
sense of place, to ensure that together an image is developed which will draw tourists.
Because the various destinations offer different attractions and product-most directly or
indirectly associated with beach, a wider cross section of tourists will be attracted.

- 18 -
 This coupled with product on the ground, as suggested in the project analysis, will ensure
that the resultant marketing of sense of place and product will produce a positive image.
Each of the destinations can be subjected to close analysis to see that it delivers against
the criteria needed to demonstrate place and project/product/destination facilities.

 Once this analysis has been applied, each destination will be in a position to identify
those attributes, which best serve promotion of sense of place and product. What should
emerge are distinct destinations, each with their own sense of place and associated
product that together enhances the Kingdom Nepal brand.

 Remember that a positive image when applied to the principles of reputation building
forges a strong reputation. But image is not marketed; it is created as a result of the
simultaneously marketing sense of place and product.

3.5 Marketing Delivery Structure

 Each destination must have its own marketing plan that is implemented through the
creation of an intra-destination marketing. Internal marketing will be the responsibility of
each destination but external marketing (regional, national and international) will become
a joint effort under the umbrella of the intra-destination marketing. Internal marketing is
vital as it is through this mechanism that all participants, within each destination
understand and hold to the requirements of sense of place and appropriate product.

 Investment into specific projects, which conform to the dictates of the Kingdom brand
and sense of place, is best handled at the destination level, but with active participation
and networking through the intra-destination committee for possible funding, added value
and resources. This requires macro co-ordination by Tourism Nepal, as it would be too
costly for each sub-brand to ‘go it alone’. In this instance, the whole will be greater than
the sum of the parts. This structure should initiated and chaired by Nepal, and will ensure
cost effective delivery without expensive activity overlaps, confusion of messages and
duplication of efforts. It will also be the custodian of the Kingdom brand.

- 19 -
3.6 New and Traditional Marketing Techniques

 Traditional marketing techniques need to be reappraised. The tendency to stay with the
tried (tired) and tested methodologies is neither strategic nor cost effective in comparison
to ‘21st century’ solutions. Essentially the Tourism Development Strategy is marketing
orientated, as it assumes normal requirements of product, positioning, price etc. However,
the method of getting the message to market is reliant on using specific strategies.

a) Adopting 21st century communications techniques.


b) Ensuring physical presence at trade shows, exhibitions etc.
c) Facilitating direct interventions with tour operators and travel agents.

 The discussion surrounding need for reputation management introduces new marketing
paradigms specifically through the marketing of sense of place and product, which
creates the desired image. Likewise the techniques applied to the above need to be
reviewed. Exhibits at targeted trade fairs will always be good direct-to-trade promotion.
Moreover, advertising is too costly, and while there is a place for brochures/leaflets and
other print bound tools, a new avenue or perhaps highway, has opened.

3.7 Push vs Pull Marketing

 Internet technology and its premier function as a communication vehicle and information
purveyor, should not be confused with or negated by the dot com crash. Making money
on the Internet is different from using the Internet to communicate. The power of the
Internet is its ability to communicate to a mass global audience while adopting one-to-
one communication principles.

 The traditional communications methods of ‘pushing’ information via advertising to a


vast audience are too costly, wasteful, uncontrollable and relatively ineffective when
compared to attributes of one-on-one, or word of mouth communications. The Internet
provides the power of one-on-one communication through a mass medium.

- 20 -
3.8 Internet Users are also Tourists

 It is safe to assume that currently, and more so in the future, the high-income tourists
wishes to attract will have Internet capability. In fact, at present there are enough Internet
users within the core geographic regions of Western Europe and North America for them
to qualify as their own market segment.

 Increasingly people will be using the Internet to find information in the first instance and
then to book holidays. Increasingly the trend is towards using the Internet as
disseminator, source and reservoir of information. The more traditional marketing
methods of the advertising can then be effectively used to market the website, which is
purveyor and holder of all information.

3.9 Digital Distribution of Pictures and Words

 The cliché ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ is a cliché because it is so true,


especially in this instantaneous communications age, which requires imagery and sound
bites to attract attention in the media clutter.

 Sense of place can best be communicated by using pictures and some words, and product
with smaller pictures and more words. Greater use must be made of available digital
satellite and Internet technology. In this way, it is not only possible, but also simple and
cost effective to get high-resolution images into the computers of picture editors, input
editors and news editors in travel/tourism related publications and online newsrooms
throughout the word. This coupled with the distribution of expertly written editorial by
specialists in their fields: i.e. wildlife, wilderness, history, culture and heritage.

 All strategies will supply tourism-oriented publications with material that communicates
destinations’ unique sense of place to a worldwide audience. This ‘soft’ editorial can also
be distributed throughout the world via Internet technology and also online into specific
tourism related newsgroups and websites and, of course, loaded into ‘house’ websites.

- 21 -
 Added to this is the advent of customer relationship management technology, which
means that editorial, news, pictures and general information can be sent direct to the
client/customer/tour operator/travel agent’s computer. Each destination with its unique
sense of place, like wildlife and wilderness or history and heritage, will be able to use this
to communicate with a diverse tourism audience with specialist interest groupings13.

4. CONCLUSION

a) The identified destinations possess attributes for sense of place and product marketing.

b) Each destination displays clear marketing differentiation, each offering unique tourism
experiences resulting in less overlaps and confused messages.

c) A strong reputation results from good strategy and a positive image.

d) The focus of marketing strategy will be to embrace principles of reputation management.

 Marketing sense of place in conjunction with product directly to target audiences is the
emphasis of all communications. This will result in a positive image of each destination.
The marketing delivery system at destination and intra-destination level will engage three
layers namely: tourism marketing, internal marketing and investment marketing.

a) Each destination will form part of an intra-destination marketing committee with clear
and unambiguous lines of communication and areas of responsibility.

b) Marketing techniques must use combination of traditional and 21st century technologies.

c) A scientific research and media measurement structure should be incorporated at the


outset to the guide and direct strategy, benchmark objective criteria, measure reputation
index and demonstrate return on investment.

13
www.welcome.com.np

- 22 -