This report analyses the current situation of Action Challenge and determines a beneficial solution that may help overcome any problems the company may face. The report begins with a situational analysis of the company using the SWOT framework. This framework analyses the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats the company may be facing. It also utilizes the PESTEL framework to evaluate the political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal factors influencing the company. Based on this analysis, two main problems facing the company were identified. The first is the loss of clients following the Covid-19 pandemic, and the other is the increase in competition in the adventure tourism sector in Europe. Three solutions are then proposed to alleviate these problems. They include digital marketing, conducting competitive analysis, and consumer intelligence. By utilizing a SAF matrix, digital marketing is determined to be the most suitable, acceptable, and feasible case of action. The report then goes on to expound on the process Action Challenge can use to conduct digital marketing. Using a Gantt chart, the process is laid out and divided into time-bound objectives. The report also analyses the risks that accompany this process. They include the risk of harmful exposure and risk in the utilization of resources as well as cybersecurity. The report also conducts an analysis of stakeholders by identifying them and dividing them into groups. Finally, the report lays out a budget Action challenge to implement the digital marketing strategy.
Action Challenge is a London-based business that offers its clients outdoor adventures all over the world. Their clients include individuals, couples, groups, and corporations that have an interest in adventure tourism. They offer their clients adventures all over the world (Action Challenge, 2022). This report has conducted a situational analysis of the organization using the SWOT framework to analyze the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The analysis has also utilized the PESTEL framework to look at external factors affecting the company. From this analysis, the two main problems affecting the company have been identified. Three proposals have been laid out to tackle this problem, and by using the SAF matrix, the most suitable solution has been identified. The report goes on to lay out a detailed plan of action that Action Challenge can undertake by utilizing a Gantt chart to lay out the process, and the time it will take to accomplish the project. A risk assessment has also been conducted to determine the risks that may accompany the project and outlines measures to mitigate these risks. Finally, the report proposes a budget for the implementation of the proposed solution.
This situational analysis uses the SWOT and PESTEL methods to internally and externally analyze Action Challenge. This report will utilize the PESTEL framework to analyze the external factors that may affect Action Challenge as a business. As illustrated by Issa & Issa (2014), it will include political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal factors. The situational analysis will also utilize the SWOT framework to gauge the internal position of the company. The framework will analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that Action Challenge is experiencing and may experience in the future (Gurl, 2017).
One of the main strengths that Action Challenge has as a company is its Overseas Challenges. These challenges offer customers an opportunity to visit different areas and undertake various activities as a group. They offer a vacation-style setting where their customers are able to undertake their special activities. These activities include the Bhutan Druk path trek, climbing Mt Toubkal in Morocco, and climbing the highest active volcano in the world, Cotopaxi, in Ecuador, among others (Action Challenge, 2022). These trips offer amazing adventures for individuals and groups. The participants are also accompanied by an excellent logistics team that offers pre-trip support.
One of the main weaknesses that Action Challenge has experienced as an organization is the decline in business due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Since the onset of the pandemic, many of its potential clients have been asked to remain indoors so as to protect themselves from the disease (Peterborough, 2022). Since the activities offered by the organization are outdoor activities, the organization experience a decline in clients. Additionally, the pandemic resulted in strict travel restrictions. Therefore, Action Challenge was forced to pause on all its overseas challenges, resulting in a loss of revenue. Although the pandemic restrictions are slowly being lifted, Action Challenge will take some time to regain the same amount of business as before.
Since the restrictions accompanying the Covid-19 pandemic are being lifted, more and more people are looking forward to undertaking outdoor activities that they were not previously allowed to partake in (Castle, 2022). This would offer Action Challenge a huge opportunity in terms of potential clients. Additionally, with travel restrictions being lifted, the organization can advertise the outdoor activities they offer abroad, and this would help them attract clients from all over the globe. Additionally, a report by Research Dive (2020) indicates that the global adventure tourism market is expected to grow in the coming years with an average 15 percent compound annual growth rate from 2020 to 2027. Fortunately, Europe is bound to experience the highest market share in this growth. This will consequently mean an increase in revenue for Action Challenge in years to come.
One of the biggest threats that Action Challenge may experience is stiff competition in the adventure tourism market. Currently, the organization faces competition from companies such as Earth’s Edge, Charity Challenge, Discover Adventure, Alpine Adventures Travel, and The Mountain (ZoomInfo, 2022). Although none of these companies have a market share as big as that of Action Challenge, the expected growth in the adventure tourism market may see the competition attracting more clients and going head to head with Action Challenge for the market share. Additionally, with these many competitors, the customer bargaining power is bound to increase, resulting in Action Challenge’s dropping prices to attract customers.
Since Action Challenge is a company that operates around the world, it should be conscious of the political climate in the countries they visit. The organization should consider the political stability of the host country as they plan the Overseas Challenges so as not to put their clients in harm’s way due to political tension. In their home country, the United Kingdom, the organization experiences political stability, and the political calm positively influence their business. However, Belsie (2019) points out that with the recent calls for Brexit, and the exit of Britain from the European Union, there is an air of uncertainty as to the outcomes of this decision. It is not clear how Action Challenge operations in other European countries may be affected.
Action Challenge’s home country, the United Kingdom, is economically stable, with the country recording one of the best GDPs in the world. However, due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the country has been experiencing a hard time, with the country’s GDP falling by 0.3 percent and the nation’s currency falling by 1.1 percent (Wearden, 2022). With fears of a recession hitting the markets, the current economic crisis experienced by the United Kingdom and the rest of the world may negatively affect Action Challenge’s business interests in the country. A decrease in the country’s gross domestic product will consequently mean a decrease in disposable income. This means that residents will not have enough money to engage in luxury activities such as adventure tourism. This will result in a decrease in revenue for the organization.
Action Challenge offers its activities to destinations around the world. This means that the organization gets to interact with people from different cultures and social circles. In order to smoothly navigate this different cultural setting, the organization needs to conduct a cultural analysis of its destination countries so as not to offend or be at loggerheads with the host country residents. The organization can utilize Hofstede’s cultural dimensions to conduct this analysis. According to Hofstede (2009), Hofstede’s cultural dimensions analyze the culture according to six dimensions. According to the International Business Degree Guide (2015), Action Challenge’s home country, the United Kingdom, is one of the largest consumer markets as it has a high employment rate which contributes to a substantial disposable income. The population of the country is also highly educated. This means that the people of the United Kingdom do have the resources and knowledge to engage in adventure tourism, which benefits Action Challenge.
The advent of technology has made the globe easily accessible and communication around the world much simpler. This is good news for an organization such as Action Challenge as it offers some of its services abroad. Technological advancements in transport have made it easier for the organization to offer its services around the globe. It can easily transport its clients to various destinations around the world. Additionally, the advancement in communication has made it easier for the company to communicate with the people abroad and coordinate these activities from the organization’s home country. The popularity of Social media has also made it easier for the company to market itself to people around the world.
Action Challenge offers its clients outdoor activities, so they are affected by the weather. Their home country, the United Kingdom, is famous for its bad weather conditions, with many tourists preferring to visit during its excellent summers (International Tourism, 2022). This means that the organization experiences the most revenue during the Summer period. The organization is subject to various environmental standards to be maintained in the country and enforceable by law. Action Challenge has to remain mindful of pollution and practice recycling not only in their home country but also in the destination countries. They also have to be conscious of their carbon footprint during their adventures.
Since the organization operates in the United Kingdom, they are bound by the Employment Act of 1996, which protects its employees’ rights and fair treatment (Kahn, 2010). This means they have to abide by the nation’s standard of minimum wage, sick pay, holiday pay, and maternity and paternity leave, among others. The organization also has to abide by the Equality Act of 2010, which prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on race, gender, disability, and sexuality (Hepple, 2010). The organization also has to follow the legal mandates in the countries that they take their clients to visit. Therefore, the organization has to research beforehand to avoid breaking any laws in the destination country.
As indicated in the analyses conducted above, Action Challenges faces two main problems. The first is the impact that Covid-19 has had on the clientele of the organization. Due to the pandemic, residents of the United Kingdom were requested to remain indoors to prevent the virus’s spread. This resulted in a decline in domestic tourist activities in the country, which affected companies in the adventure tourism sector, such as Action Challenge. Restrictions in travel in the country also meant that the organization had to pause its international challenges, which resulted in a loss of clientele. Additionally, the number of tourists coming from abroad reduced dramatically, reducing clients for the company.
The other main problem that Action Challenge is facing is a rise in competition. The projected rise in the adventure tourism industry’s revenue has attracted several new players in the sector operating within Europe. These new competitors have attracted clients who are in need of adventure tourism services. The increase in competitors has also caused an increase in Customer bargaining power, resulting in Action Challenge having to reduce prices and improve the quality of its services, which will incur costs. Therefore, Action Challenge must take measures to stay ahead of the competition.
One of the measures that Action Challenge can undertake to alleviate the problems it is experiencing is to invest in various digital marketing strategies. As indicated in the situational analysis, Action Challenge can utilize the recent advancements in technology by utilizing digital marketing. Digital marketing involves using the internet and other technologies to promote its services. One of the strategies that Action Challenge can utilize in digital marketing is Search Engine Optimization. Search Engine Optimization would help Action Challenge improve the visibility of its website on search engines such as Google. A study by Expedia indicates that 69% of travellers look up their destinations on a search engine (Gigante, 2022). Therefore, investing in Search Engine Optimization would help the organization attract customers through organic searches. Social media marketing is another strategy the organization would utilize to promote its Digital marketing. This involves using social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter, among others, to promote their services. Action Challenge can use Videos, photos, blogs, and V-logs to advertise its services on these platforms. Additionally, they would utilize tools such as Google AdSense to target specific demographics using their ads (Soegoto & Semesta, 2018). The organization can also utilize influencer marketing to attract new clients on these social media platforms. Influencer marketing involves using influencers with a large audience on Social media platforms to market their services. A study by Influencer Marketing hub indicated that 90 percent of respondents recognized influencer marketing as one of the most effective strategies of digital marketing (Geyser, 2022). Action Challenge can therefore partner with Travel influencers such as Paul Steele and Simon Reeve to market their services on Social Media platforms.
The competitive analysis involves conducting research on competitors in order to learn their services and business practices. This strategy would help Action Challenge create better business strategies and gain a market share in the adventure tourism market. Aaker (1989) points out that the process should involve learning whom the competitors are, figuring out the services they offer, their sales tactics, pricing, and any promotions they may offer. Action Challenge would also need to learn the level of engagement of the competitors’ content and figure out how they promote their content on different platforms. Action Challenge can then perform a SWOT analysis on the competition in order to get a clear picture of their position in the market. Conducting competitive analysis would help the organization find ways in which they can make their services unique from those offered by their competitors. They can use this analysis to determine the strategies the competition uses to attract customers. Action Challenge can better these strategies to stay ahead of the competition. Additionally, they can learn the weaknesses of their competition and learn of opportunities in the market they can take advantage of. According to Llyod (2021), Continuously conducting this analysis would also offer Action Challenge a point of reference from which they can measure its growth. With the increase in competition experienced in the adventure tourism sector in Europe, conducting competitive analysis would help Action Challenge stay ahead of the competition and also help them gain clients.
Consumer Intelligence involves gathering information on the target customer and market and interpreting this information to understand consumer preferences. This analysis is conducted using quantitative methods that utilize data, statistics, and analytics, as well as qualitative methods such as consumer surveys and focus groups (Competitive Analytics, 2022). Conducting customer intelligence can aid Action Challenge in gaining insight into customer experience in the adventure tourism market of Europe. This analysis would involve researching consumer behavior, customer relationship management, consumer demographics, psychographics, market trend analysis, and supply and demand analysis. Zhang, Dixit & Friedmann (2010) point out that gaining consumer intelligence would help Action Challenge boost their existing customers’ loyalty and establish a relatable persona to their target customer. It would also help the company learn the preferences of its target customers, and they can then align their business strategies with said preferences. This would go a long way to attracting new clients and improving the efficiency of its sales strategies. In addition to attracting customers, customer intelligence would also help Action Challenge stay ahead of the competition and give them control of the market share of the adventure tourism market in Europe.
The SAF matrix is a criterion that is used to assess different options by analyzing their suitability, acceptability, and feasibility. For a particular strategy to be successful, it has to satisfy these criteria. This makes the SAF strategy an excellent way to weigh various options.
Suitability indicates whether a proposed strategy will help the company accomplish its goals and objectives and help the organization tackle the problems the company is facing. Based on the possibilities proposed above, digital marketing is the most suitable strategy to help Action Challenge alleviate the problems it is experiencing. According to Zivkovic (2022), fifty-three million people in the United Kingdom actively use social media, with the average United Kingdom user spending 110 minutes daily on social media. This means that conducting digital marketing would be excellent for reaching target customers in the country and attracting new clients. Although conducting consumer intelligence and competitive analysis may help the business in the long run, they are less suitable for attracting clients and staying ahead of the competition.
Acceptability measures stakeholders’ return, risk, and reaction to a particular strategy. Digital marketing is the most acceptable strategy among the proposed options as it guarantees returns. Digital marketing is bound to attract the most clients to Action Challenge. Digital marketing also offers the least amount of risk as the organization has already put aside some resources that will go into marketing. Conducting competitive analysis and researching consumer intelligence is not guaranteed to bring about returns, making them risky strategies; therefore, they are less acceptable.
Feasibility measures whether Action Challenge has the resources, the aptitude, and the ability to implement the proposed strategies. The digital marketing strategy is the most feasible as Action Challenge already has a website through which customers can access information about the organization on search engines. Action Challenge also has Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages and a YouTube channel. Since the organization already has money for marketing in its budget, it will be more feasible to incorporate these resources into the social media platforms and the website. Conducting competitive analysis and consumer intelligence will require starting from scratch and dedicating additional resources to undertaking the research. This makes these two strategies less feasible.
According to the SAF analysis conducted above, conducting digital marketing s considered the most suitable, acceptable, and feasible cause of action. The aims and objectives of this proposed strategy are to utilize digital marketing to attract clients as well as stay ahead of the competition by gaining the majority market share. This plan of action would increase the recognition and awareness of the Action Challenge brand to online users across the globe. With the popularity of social media among the organization’s target group, Action Challenge is bound to reap the most benefits from conducting its marketing online. This plan of action would enable the organization to recover the clientele it lost during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The organization can ramp up its digital marketing through three strategies. The first is Search Engine Optimization of the company website so as to improve its reachability and visibility on search engines (Pohjanen, 2019). Most people use organic search engines to find information online; therefore, Search Engine Optimization would make the company website more accessible to users during an organic search. The other strategy, Action Challenge, would utilize Social Media marketing. According to Evans, Bratton & McKee (2021), this would involve consistently posting engaging content on its social media platforms to attract new followers and convert them into active clients. Additionally, the organization can engage in Influencer marketing, whereby the organization partners up with influencers in the travel and tourism niche in order to market the activities they offer using the influencer. A detailed plan of action on how to establish these strategies is laid down below.
Plan of Action
A Gantt Chart is a tool that assists in the planning and scheduling tasks in project management. Kumar (2005) affirms that a Gantt chart is essential as it helps keep a project on track and easily observe progress at each stage. A Gantt Chart on how Action Challenge can accomplish its digital Marketing objectives can be found in Appendix 4.
Action Challenge must undertake three main strategies to conduct digital marketing. The first is Search engine optimization of the company website. This would entail undertaking five tasks as laid out in the appendix. The process would start on the 1st of July and end on the 25th of the same month. The second strategy would be social media marketing. The process would also comprise five processes that would begin on the 21st of July and end on the 27th of August. The third strategy would be engaging in influencer marketing. This process would also entail five steps, from researching influencers to reaching out to them, and finally, end on the 17th of September with an analysis of the progress of this strategy. The three strategies will be conducted hand in hand on different start days so as to ensure maximum productivity and for the company to gain the rewards of this strategy as soon as possible. Action Challenge must abide by the days set out in the Gantt chart so that they can complete the project in a timely manner.
Every project that an organization undertakes comes with some form of risk. In order to mitigate the negative effects of these risks, it is important to identify them beforehand and be prepared for the likelihood that things eventually get ugly. Risk assessment is a process by which Action Challenge can identify risks that accompany the plan to conduct digital marketing and implement control measures to do away with these risks or minimize their impact on the company. This report lays out some risks that may accompany this process, and in Appendix 5, the risks have been ranked according to their probability of occurring and their degree of severity.
One of the risks that Action Challenge may encounter is the risk of harmful exposure and defamation. This risk comes with even the most basic social media accounts, but when the account is linked to a business, this can come with some negative consequences. A single mistake such as an insensitive and discriminatory client can lead to Action Challenge having a bad reputation. The chance that certain content may offend a group of people is high these days, and conducting damage control in these situations can be difficult. As illustrated by Saldanha et al. (2022), Bad publicity may lead to the organization being “canceled,” thereby losing clients. Action Challenge needs to liaise with public relations to ensure that the content they post on their platforms does not offend anyone.
Another risk the organization may face is in the utilization of the services. These mostly come with Search Engine Optimization. Over the years, the rules of Search engine optimization, especially in the leading search engine, Google, have constantly changed. Failure to abide by the rules of Google’s algorithm will make this process mute as it will not generate the desired results (Lievonen, 2013). Google has a strict criterion when it comes to ranking websites based on search engine optimization. Action Challenge must, therefore, stay informed of any changes to this criterion if they are to reap benefits from this process.
Another risk the organization should be aware of is cybersecurity. The hacking of social media accounts is common today; therefore, the organization needs to remain vigilant. A report released by Norton showed that at least 14 percent of social media users had experienced unauthorized access to their social media accounts (Flynn, 2021). Hackers with malintent can take over the company’s social media accounts and post content that would lead to a bad reputation for the organization. Therefore, Action Challenge needs to take measures to ensure that its platforms, as well as its website, are secure.
Stakeholder analysis involves identifying all the internal people and teams whom the project will involve and those that will be affected by the project. Elias & Cavana (2000) ascertain that it is important to identify these people before the project begins and to group them according to their level of participation and influence on the project. This will allow Action Challenge to figure out the best way to involve them in the project ad to communicate with them throughout the project.
The first step of stakeholder analysis is to identify who the stakeholders are. In the Digital marketing project of Action Challenge, the internal stakeholders will include the directors, the commercial manager, the project managers, the customer managers, and the challenge coordinators. The external stakeholders will be the customers, suppliers, influencers, and donors to their charities. After identifying the stakeholders, the second step is to group and prioritize them. This is illustrated by Appendix 7. The high-power high-interest stakeholders are the most important. They include the commercial manager and project manager. The high-power, low-interest stakeholders, are lower within the organization but have little interest in the project. They include the directors and the customer managers. The low-power and high-interest stakeholders need to be kept informed on the progress of the project. They include the influencers. The low-power and low-interest stakeholders need to be kept in the loop, but communication should be kept to the minimum. These would include the suppliers.
The project budget is used to estimate the total cost of the project. Having a budget will help Action Challenge prevent unnecessary costs and allocate funds strictly according to the project’s needs. The table below illustrates Action Challenge’s costs in digital marketing.
|Budget Category||Budget Amount (£)||Actual Expense||Percentage spent(%)|
|Hire an SEO agency for the optimization of the website||10,000||
|Software and Tools||13,000|
Table 1. Action Challenge budget for digital marketing
Based on the situational analysis conducted using the SWOT and PESTEL frameworks, the main problems identified that face Action Challenge is the loss of clients due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the increase in competition in the adventure tourism market in Europe. Three possible solutions, namely digital marketing, conducting competitive analysis, and consumer intelligence, were proposed to mitigate these problems. Based on a SAF matrix, digital marketing proved to be the most suitable, acceptable, and feasible. The process of implementing this process was then laid out using a Gantt chart that showed the organization’s objectives and the time it would take to accomplish these objectives. Various risks that may arise were identified in a risk assessment, and measures to mitigate these risks were proposed. Various stakeholders were also analyzed, with the stakeholders being griped based on their power and interest. Finally, a budget was proposed to implement the digital marketing project. Based on the report, digital marketing will go a long way to helping Action Challenge attract new clients and stay ahead of the competition.
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Appendix 1: SWOT framework
|Overseas Challenges||The Covid-19 pandemic|
|Easing of Covid-19 restrictions
Growth in the adventure tourism sector
|Increase in competition
Increase in customer bargaining power
Appendix 2: PESTEL Framework
|Political||Political stability within the home country
Political instability in destination countries
|Economic||The Russia-Ukraine conflict
Declining UK GDP
|Social||Cultural differences in destination countries
Literacy among UK residents
High employment rates in the UK
|Technological||Advancement in the transportation industry
Advancement in communication
|Environmental||Proper waste disposal/recycling
Reducing Carbon footprint
|Legal||Employment Act of 1996
Equality Act of 2010
Appendix 3: SAF Matrix
|SAF Matrix||Digital Marketing||Competitive analysis||Consumer Intelligence|
Appendix 4: Gantt Chart
Appendix 5: Risk Assessment
|Risk of bad exposure||Low||High|
|Risk of the utilization of services||High||Medium|
Appendix 6: Stakeholder Analysis