Question: Write on Marketing in bus travel industry.
The bus travel industry has grown tremendously over the last three decades. This has been propagated by computer technological advancements that have dominated in all sectors of the global economy. In the dynamic world that is changing and evolving every second of every day, it is essential to be aware and up to date to remain viable and competitive in the market. The bus sector and the delivery of services offered had also advanced and digitalized to cope with the customer demands and ensure their continued satisfaction. Therefore, to make the company plans and strategies, to penetrate the market and claim a substantive market share, the services offered should match the digital world. Buses serve different customers differently depending on their gender, age, marital status and social class (Pojani, Dorina, Stead, & Dominic, 2017). Therefore, all these factors must be harmonized to ensure satisfaction to all categories of people. The top trends in the bus travel industry are online bus booking, website management of customers, and specialization and provision of support services.
Top Trends in the bus travel Industry include the following:
1. Online bus booking:
The world is made of a digital generation; a group that operates on efficiency and effective delivery of services. People are very busy with their careers and chasing after their dreams and hence they have little or no time to move from one booking office to another, looking for vacant seats. So, the online option is a better option. People can book for bus services at their location provided they can be able to access the internet. As opposed to some years back where the travel arrangements were made a few days or a few weeks earlier, with online booking services, one can book for bus services even one hour earlier and be guaranteed of the service. The bus service providers have invested heavily in ICT (Information Communication and Technology) where they ensure that their website is functional and up to date to make online booking more convenient and reliable (HUNTER-ZAWORSKI & M, 2012). All in all, online booking is taking over from the localized booking services.
2. Website management of customers:
Online booking has little customer - service provider interactions and hence bus providers have developed a forum where they can directly engage their customers. The companies have invested so much in the customer care services and inquiries response personnel to ensure that their clients are attended to as if they were right there with them. The websites have forums, for example, instant messaging platforms and chat rooms where the customers can interact directly with their service providers (Hanafizadeh, Behboudi, & IGI Global., 2012). The clients can ask any question which gets answered in a matter of seconds. Through these forums, the bus service companies can attract and retain their customers by establishing an atmosphere of trust and reliability.
3. Specialization and provision of “support services:
Bus companies have specialized and customized their services to suit a particular category of people. Different bus companies have divided their buses into categories for example, buses for young, educated and couples, while having others for the elderly and young children. Customer satisfaction has been improving and the needs of a particular group are met maximally. For example, buses for young people have been equipped with power plugs and provision of free Wi-Fi (Nebraska Department of Roads, 2014). This has helped in attracting the young people in working away from their homes and feel that they still possess their digital nature. Besides, some busses provide free water, juice or beverage to their customers, particularly where the passengers are traveling for long distances. Provision of these extra services has increased the customer satisfaction, thus establishing a long time business relationship. The most important emerging issue is the massive online advertisement.
4. Massive online advertisement:
Most of the passengers who use the bus services are active internet users (American Academy of Advertising, 2017). Therefore, the bus service providers have used this as an opportunity to advertise and publicize their service directly to their target market. The social media has been the primary channel to which the companies are promoting their services. The web is now the largest market where people can buy their goods and their services globally. The customer's search for the best freight services from the internet and a wide range of choices appear before them to choose from. Therefore, the customers can gauge the services offered by different service providers and select the one that suits them best. With this trend, the bus providers are improving their services daily to ensure that they win the customers to choose their services (Hanafizadeh & Behboudi, 2012).. However, even with the increase and betterment of services, the rates charged by the bus companies are almost stagnant due to the forces of demand and supply in this competitive market.
The current trends in the bus travel industry are dynamic, and hence the bus service providers need to make strategic marketing policies to survive in the market. All the businesses are going the digital way ensuring accuracy in advertising and service delivery. These trends have changed the market, thus giving the customers a smooth ride in the booking activities and also in the actual transport service. The online method of controlling all the aspects of the business has forced the service providers to accord the customer's satisfactory services (Grigg, 2010). For a company to cope with this market, the organization must start improving the online platforms for them to remain competitive. Specialization has been utilized in other industries, but its establishment in the bus industry shows that if most bus companies adopt this trend, buses will be described according to the people they ferry. All in all, if a business borrows all these trends, the customers will be able to conveniently access these services, improving their satisfaction and that consequently increases its chances of growth and survival in the market.
American Academy of Advertising. (2017). Current issues and research in advertising. Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising, n.a.
Grigg, N. S. (2010). Infrastructure Finance: The Business of Infrastructure for a Sustainable Future. Retrieved from wiley: https://www.wiley.com/en-us/Infrastructure+Finance%3A+The+Business+of+Infrastructure+for+a+Sustainable+Future-p-9780470481783
Hanafizadeh, P., & Behboudi, M. (2012). Online Advertising and Promotion: Modern Technologies for Marketing.
HUNTER-ZAWORSKI, & M, K. (2012). CIVIL AND CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING . O R E G O N S T A T E U N I V E R S I T Y; College of Engineering, 1-25.
Nebraska Department of Roads. (2014). Assessment of Intercity Bus Services in Nebraska. UNO Center for Public Affairs Research, 1-30.
Pojani, Dorina, Stead, & Dominic. (2017). The Urban Transport Crisis in Emerging Economies.
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