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The competitive environmental forces for San Antonio Zoo are largely from the local leisure industry. Notable competitors include Fiesta Texas, SeaWorld, and Doseum. However, the firm is in a relatively less competitive environment due to the nature of its operations. In this regard, the unique features of the zoo give it an upper hand in the sense that the experience package offered is not comparable to any other. Additionally, the notable animals such as the Asian Elephants are such a boost to the Zoo regarding uniqueness and keeping the able competitor at bay. The competitive environmental factors still impact the Zoo, and they include; the threat of entry, the threat of substitutes, the threat of the buyers and finally the threat of rivalry (Armstrong et al., 2015).
San Antonio Zoo’s threat of entry emanates from the other existing competitors’ expansion as well as new leisure industries developing. The expansion by its competitors may result in the introduction of species that are offered in the zoo. As a result, it will make the current visitors consider changing their places of enjoying leisure activities. New entrants also have a unique sense of competition in the sense that technology and other advancements may give them an upper hand regarding entry cost and subsequent operational cost. The implication of this will be cheap rates to view the animals as well as enjoying the ambiance in the zoo. However, entry into this industry is capital intensive and time-consuming hence it’s not a major competitive concern.
Substitutes are a real threat to the Zoo. The current competitors; Fiesta Texas, SeaWorld, and Doseum, are substitutes to San Antonio Zoo. As such the Zoo has to always aim at having its visitors contented with the experience that they receive to avoid being compared with a competitor, which will eventually result in a change of destination to the competitor. The other substitutes that affect the Zoo are leisure activities such as theatre that offer leisure experiences at the cost of what could have been spent on the zoo. Such substitutes can be countered by increasing awareness of the zoo and explaining the uniqueness of the experience in comparison to other leisure activities.
The buyers of San Antonio Zoo are the residents of the area and the tourists that pay a visit. Given that all the leisure industries target them, they pose a significant competition implication. A drop in their number means that the zoo may be forced to reduce the fees charged for various activities as a marketing strategy. However, this would also result in services being reduced putting the zoo at risk as a whole. As such, it is key to keep buyers motivated am always have a reason for coming back. Therefore, the buyers, in this case, visitors to the zoo can be kept by maintaining a relatively lower price of all the Zoo activities as well as increasing the traffic flow of tourists towards the zoo.
The last competitive environmental factor is the threat of rivalry. Competitors may gang up to reduce the earnings enjoyed by one player in the sector. This as such may cripple the operations of the firm in question. For the case of San Antonio Zoo, the rivalry may come from the competitors such as Fiesta Texas that may deliberately direct tourist traffic to their side. Additionally, offering discounts to the locals may equally be considered as a rivalry move to reduce the number of customers that San Antonio receives. Such threat can be neutralized by having laws and regulations that prevent such activities towards a player hence having a neutral playing ground.
Internal environment – Marketing goals and objective
San Antonio Zoo marketing goals and objectives are centered around its mission statement, which is to “inspire its community to love, engage with, act for and protect animals, and the places they live” (“San Antonio Zoo – About the San Antonio Zoo,” 2018). The marketing objectives are divided into two that is the short-term and the long term. Short term marketing goals and objectives are meant to be achieved in less than one year and their implications used to make other decisions as well as be renewed as a measure for the next season. The long-term goals and objectives, on the other hand, refer to the aspirations that will be met in a duration longer than one year. As such, San Antonio Zoo marketing goals and objectives aim to attain both current and future success.
The short-term goals are quite a number with all geared towards loving, engaging, acting and protecting the animals and the place they stay. Engaging is one of the key marketing goals. This is achieved through various platforms, which include the zoo’s website, social handles as well as one on one interactions. Through engagement, the zoo can sell its works to the people and eventually attract them to be active participants in supporting the animals and consequently the mission of the zoo as a whole. The other one is website traffic, which in short translates to the people who have an idea about the zoo and the animals at large. This, in essence, leads to more customers in the long run who will in turn aid in the survival of the zoo. The other short-term marketing objective is conversions in the sense that they are the actual numbers that visit the zoo (Tomczak, Reinecke, & Kuss, 2018). By answering this question, the marketing team can see if they are on the right track through an increase in people coming into the zoo or they are not through a decline. These short-term marketing goals and objectives then inform the long-term ones.
Long-term marketing goals and objectives are those that once attained, the business is considered to have hit success. Reputation is one major goal. San Antonio Zoo views this as the best milestone that it will ever achieve. Reputation is built on the day to day activities that the zoo offers. By letting the public have various events in the zoo such as learning lessons, and experience with animals, the reputation of the zoo keeps growing. Its attainment will occur when the general public associates the activities to the zoo. The other marketing objective is to name recognition in the sense that people will easily pick San Antonio Zoo as a leisure destination regardless of the circumstances (Stewart, 2016).
The short-term and long-term marketing goals and objectives are consistent with the external environment and recent trends in the customer environment. The economic growth and stability indicators show that zoo visits increased by a huge number over the last ten years and that it is with marketing objectives of growing traffic. Increase in visitors to the San Antonio website also goes a long way to impress the technological aspects of the external environment. The zoo’s reputation grows as a result of keen consideration of political, legal and regulatory aspects. The customer environment is dynamic, and the marketing goals and objectives have been tailored to take this into account. Use of the online platform is as such a massive milestone regarding consistency. Additionally, current customers prefer being engaged to get the information first hand and reinforce their experience.
Internal environment – Current and Anticipated Organizational Resources
San Antonio Zoo has a huge portfolio of resources at its disposal. Of importance though is the huge land and animal population that it has. They range from lions, jaguars, to giraffes. It has also employed over 432 workers directly. The workers include animal caretakers, tour guides, medical personnel as well as animals, security guards, and also office-based individuals including the finance and IT teams. Indirectly, 264 individuals rely on induced jobs. The financial resource that San Antonio Zoo supported as per the 2016 report was a whopping 85 million dollars. This was as a result of sales made by local business people. The jobs created and the overall impact of marketing that attracted over 1.5 million guests (Love, 2016). However, the direct resources at the disposal of the zoo are not sufficient due to the huge and complex needs of the animals it supports. This range from food, medication to research and other projects that go a long way in keeping the zoo up to date regarding what the market requires. The zoo, therefore, requires additional resources but still, it is adapting to other methods that will mitigate the gap created. Technology is meeting a key role concerning security, hence reducing the wage bill and freeing current and future financial resources for other projects.
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