The action plan for the marketing plan takes a couple of key steps. The first is going to be to determine the marketing targets -- likely the established targets of Australia, New Zealand and Japan, along with the new targets in Greater China and Southeast Asia.
The second step of the action plan is to ensure that all of the resources are in place. This includes human resources -- Chinese and Japanese speakers included -- and a marketing coordinator. The latter position may be a paid position, but most likely all other marketing positions will be done on a volunteer basis due to budget constraints. The third step will be to set the budget, which will be based primarily on an accounting of existing funds.
The fourth step will be to design and write the marketing. The fifth step will be to make the necessary contacts. This will include media where we hope to advertise, and tourism agencies with whom we hope to partner and design packages. The sixth step will be to execute the various plans. The final step will be to monitor the success of the plans.
7.0 Marketing Budget
The marketing budget will be dictated by the amount of funds that the Marathon has available. There may be some assistance from our sponsors with respect to in-kind donations. For example, the Gold Coast Bulletin may provide free advertising space and promotional articles; as may 90.9FM or any other media sponsor.
For radio advertising, in addition to in-kind sponsorship from 90.9 FM, we will also need to advertise in the Brisbane market and other key Australian cities. Among key marathon demographics, 2 Day in Sydney holds a strong position, Fox FM is the leader in Melbourne and in Brisbane three stations have high listenership -- B105, 97.3FM and 4 MMM (Nielsen, 2010). Television viewership can be measured as well. Seven, Nine and Ten have the largest viewership in each of the major markets (OzTAM, 2010). NBN (Nine) is already a sponsor and is likely to be a source of in-kind sponsorship.
For paid advertising, the costs would be estimated as follows. For leading radio stations, the cost is $8 CPM. Share figures do not hint at total listenership, however, making cost estimation difficult. For free-to-air television, the cost is $15 CPM, so for one ad to appear on the Nine network, with 4.391 million viewers, the cost would be $65,865. This is probably too high for the Marathon. The cost for pay TV is $8 CPM so for example an ad running on Fox Sports News (with 784,000 viewers), the ad would cost $6,272. Production of television ads, however, and the fact that they need to saturated to have a significant impact, means that they are prohibitively expensive. The NewsSpace website does not give newspaper ad rates. Other forms of media will not be used.
Our target market is widely diffused and largely aware of our event (domestically, anyway). Thus, blanket mass media advertising is unlikely to be cost effective as few of the viewers/readers/listeners will subsequently sign up for the marathon. Promotion needs to be far more targeted, with mass promotion only in local media, and through our sponsors to save costs. The international advertising will be focused on running and outdoor magazines, websites and other finely targeted media. When the budget is received from head office, the degree of intensity in this marketing can be determined.
8.0 Monitoring and Evaluation
The objective of this program is to increase participation from key regions. Monitoring the effectiveness of our advertising then is dependent on matching the number and dollar value of signups from a given region with the advertising expenditure in that area. This is particularly true of our new Chinese-language promotion. Our success will be evaluated on the basis of revenue per area divided by costs per area (roughly, return on investment for each geography). This will allow us to better target our 2011 campaign.
Gold Coast Airport Marathon website, various pages. (2010). Retrieved April 10, 2010 from http://www.goldcoastmarathon.com.au
AIMS website, various pages. (2010). Association of International Marathons and Distance Races. Retrieved April 10, 2010 from http://www.aimsworldrunning.org/statistics/World%27s_Largest_Marathons.html#2009
Nielsen radio survey. (2010). Nielsen.au.com. Retrieved April 10, 2010 from http://www.au.nielsen.com/site/documents/Metro110.pdf