1. Identify and formulate the management decision problem based on the case.
Management decision problem is a broadly defined issue that combines the knowledge from other areas, in particular from marketing research, in order to facilitate managerial decision-making. The main problem faced by the TNZ management team is to identify the most appropriate strategies in branding and promotion of the New Zealand among tourists. TNZ also has to decide on the ways to reinforce the competitiveness of the New Zealand as a tourist destination, taking into consideration the highly competitive nature of the tourist business.
2. Formulate two relevant research questions that address the management decision problem and provide the rationale for your selection of the research questions.
The first question that should be asked by the managers relates to the identification of the perceived strengths and weaknesses of New Zealand for tourists. The answer to this question could significantly help TNZ managers to define appropriate strategies for developing New Zealand’s tourist industry further.
The second research question should analyze New Zealand’s rivals in the tourist industry. Research in this area can help managers to identify key success factors in the business, explore customer preferences and become more aware of the industry benchmarks and best practices. Therefore, in-depth research of the competitive environment can help TNZ managers to capitalize on the existing strategies and to develop own action plans that would offer unique value to the customers and could help to remain competitive in the overcrowded tourism industry.
3. For each of the research questions, formulate two research objectives that would guide the market research team to develop a suitable research design. Provide brief justifications for selection of the research questions where appropriate.
The first research question initially requires market segmentation that would help to identify the most promising customer market segments as well as to distinguish destination features that are valued by the potential clients of the New Zealand tourism industry. Once the segmentation is completed, marketers may proceed with identifying the most promising customer segments, which should become the target market for future managerial strategies and TNZ marketing campaigns. It is important to find the most appropriate segmentation criteria, because customer preferences in the identified target markets will serve as a foundation for the future business strategy. Secondly, market research teams should explore the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the New Zealand tourism industry, bearing in mind the previous segmentation and the identified target market. This exercise would help to find the features that TNZ should capitalize on in its strategy, as well as it would demonstrate the areas, where further improvements are necessary.
The second research question explores the competitive environment in the tourism industry. In this case, the first objective is to identify the destinations that are competing in the same industry segment and target the same travelers as New Zealand, thus posing a threat to the country’s tourism industry. The second step for the market research teams is to determine the strategies that are used by the competitors identified in the previous step, and the effect of these strategies on the demand for respective destinations. This exercise would help managers to understand what destination characteristics are especially valued by the travelers, and to explore the most successful industry strategies. The results of this research could help managers to decide what tactics to use in order to address target customers in the most effective way and to capitalize on own strengths, while overcoming weaknesses and diversifying from rival destinations.