Classic Airlines is ranked as the fifth largest airline globally with the net income of $10 million and $8.7 million operating revenue. Before 2008, the company recorded a net income of 71 billion and $8.5 billion operating revenue. However, evaluation of the company financial records reveals that Classic Airline recorded $61 million decrease in the net income within one year. Careful assessment of the company financial positions reveals that the company net revenues had declined because Classic Airline recorded a decline in customer participations due to the consistence rising in fuel and labor costs. Couple with rising in fuel costs, the outcome of aftermath of September 11, 2001 generally led to the decline in airline market.
Thus, Classic Airline was unable to attract more customers because both internal and external marketing programs that the company implemented failed to meet the stakeholders' expectations. Generally customers' comments include "wants quality service," "I don't need the perks, just get me there on time." "You should have your executives listen in on customer service calls sometime."(MKT 571 P. 5). The outcomes were the decline in sales and profitability. To address the problem, Classic Airline needs to come up with an effective marketing solution to boost sales and profitability. (University of Phoenix (2008).
Objective of this paper is to develop marketing solutions to address financial problems that the company is currently facing. The paper uses a nine-step problem solving model marketing solution scenario to address the current problem that the company is facing. (Hung, 2009).
Problem Solving Process
"Nine step problem-solve model is perhaps the most innovative method to address the organizational problem. The model assists in the application of knowledge, problem solving skills, and higher-order thinking and self-directed to address organizational problems." (Hung, 2009 P. 118).
A traditional problem solving process has nine steps:
1. Identifying the problem as well as setting solution objective,
2. Analyzing the situation
3. Identifying the key uncertainties,
4. Brainstorm for the solution by identifying the workable solution,
5. Collect data to analyze the alternatives,
6. Develop an plan for action and implementation,
7. Implement the plan,
8. Evaluation process to follow up how the decisions work out.
Issue & Opportunity Identification
Classic Airlines has been operating for more than 29 years and the company operates with fleet of more than 375 jets serving across more than 240 cities of 2,300 daily flights. The company is currently facing problems due to the escalation cost of operations and lack of innovation. Additionally, customers are not generally satisfied with the services they receive.
Moreover, "consumer confidence also appeared to be waning. By January 2005, Classic's declining Classic Rewards program measured a 19% decrease in the number of Classic Rewards members, and a 21% decrease in flights per remaining member. Loyal customers were jumping ship and the ones still aboard seemed to be flying less frequently -- or at least less frequently with Classic Airlines." (University of Phoenix, MKT 571 P. 571).
Although, management of Classic Airline understand that they are currently facing challenging problems, however, they have not yet figured out the strategy to correct the issues. It is very critical for the management to identify the strategies to address fundamental challenges facing the company.
It is very critical for the management to address challenges facing the Classic Airline. Presently, the company stock prices have declined. In December 2003, the company stock price was $33.20, however by December 2004, the company stock price declined to $28.93. (See Table 1). The whole issue general declined employee's morale.
Table 1: Classic Airline 2003 and 2004 Stock Price.
2003 Classic Airlines' Stock Price
2004 Classic Airlines' Stock Price
Source: (MKT, 2003, MKT, 2004).
Overview of the case reveals that the company is not putting high priority on the marketing plan. Typically, the company membership's classic rewards have been reduced by 20%. Recently, the management mandated a 15% cost reduction across all departments within the next 18 months and the new policy is serving as threats to the company marketing opportunities and has become challenges to the whole organization. (The Table 2 Classic Airline cost reduction goal). The environmental scanning will assist the company to achieve progress.
Table 2: Classic Airline Cost Reduction Goal
Cost Reduction Goals By Department
Quarterly Reduction to Meet 15% Reduction
Source; MKT (nd).
Stakeholder Perspectives and Ethical Dilemmas
Overview of the stakeholder's perspective reveals that customers are not happy with general situation within the company, and there is no unification of employees. Moreover, Classic Airline is facing stiff competitions with other airline companies. The management needs to formulate a strategic decision to address challenges facing the company. Classic Airline needs to enhance service quality through innovation, efficiency, and effective customer services. The company needs to employ an effective marketing strategy to enhance quality of services delivered.
Framing "the Right" Problem
Classic Airline needs to employ all the best strategies to achieve growth and profitability. The company must employ effective marketing tool to forecast future demand and market potentials by formulating an effective long-term marketing objectives. The paper identifies internal marketing as an effective tool to improve employee's morale. "Internal marketing' has been widely used by academics in portraying an emphasis on viewing employees as partners to an organization's efforts at achieving organizational success rather than as a cost." ( Doukakis, 2002 P. 87). The goal of internal marketing is to improve the attitude of employees and skills in order to enhance customer expectation.
"The underlying assumption of internal marketing is by viewing employees as the organization's most valuable asset and treating them as internal customers, the organization will gain a competitive advantage and achieve its objectives. At the heart of the internal marketing concept is the notion that employees represent an internal market within an organization." ( Doukakis, 2002 P. 87).
Classic Airline needs to employ internal marketing strategy which includes employee's training, and development, coaching and communication to enhance the company success. (Kerin, et al. 2006). More importantly, Classic Airline should use four Ps marketing framework to rise to the top. The 4 P's marketing mix includes Price, Product, Place and promotion strategies. The company could use the variables of 4 P's to achieve organizational goals. Typically, Classic Airline needs to offer a competitive pricing, improve on the quality of service delivered as well as enhancing effective CRM (customer relationship management). The company should also use innovative marketing strategies by implementing effective promotion. Above-mention strategies will assist Classic Airline to boost its profitability.
The ideal end state vision of Classic Airline is to become a leading airline company. The company could achieve this vision by making a positive change. Classic Airline could form marketing alliance with Skyway Airline and other top Latin American airline to boost the company marketing promotion. More importantly, Classic Airline should focus on a large geographical target market and should offer different incentives to attract large number of customers. The company must also form a cross-functional team to assist the unification of employees. The company should formulate new strategic goals in order to become more efficient airliner.
Identify the Alternatives
Success of any organizations is to create value for customer and meet customers' needs. A business will not be able to survive without customers. Evaluation of the business of Classic Airline reveals that the company has lost the customer's patronage in the last few years leading to a decline in the overall revenue and net profits. The company could achieve a competitive market advantages by implementing a strategic marketing process in order to create value and deliver excellent services to customers. The company should allocate resources to design a strategic marketing mix to reach the target market. The essence of marketing plan is to assist the company to forecast customer demand. Thus, Classic Airline should create a unified effort to develop a marketing program that would cover overall customer relationships and achieve company goals.
Evaluate the Alternatives
Classic Airline should invest significantly to achieve the company objectives. Using marketing tools, the company will be able to predict customer's behavior. In a contemporary business environment, marketing has become a strategic tool that organizations use to achieve competitive market advantages. The advance in technology could assist an organization to evaluate the success of marketing instantaneously. Classic Airline should evaluate different marketing alternatives and choose the best to assist the company to enjoy market…