Words: 2364
Pages: 10

1. Introduction
Direct marketing is a vital part of many organisation's core business plan, consumer data, collected and held on in an information storage system, can steer a company's operational practice. (Tapp, 2008) A solid marketing strategy will use consumers and existing customers as a basis, and then critically examine the organisation from this angle to internal business. For this paper, Gap 360 Ltd has been selected as a case study. Gap 360 Ltd is a company which focuses on the gap year travel industry, their strategic aim is to become the leading brand in the UK gap year travel market. However, this aim cannot be achieved without thoroughly comprehending their position, relative to three environmental forces through a
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Consumers prefer to have a specialist company to plan their travel (IDM, 2013), and growing demand within the market, coupled with a relatively small market size, and has created fierce competition amongst companies. According to The Independent Newspaper (2012), the top five firms for gap year travel in the UK are Ripple Africa, i-to-i, Nonstop Ski & Snowboard, Raleigh International, and G Adventures. Although Gap 360 Ltd is a relative newcomer to the market, they aim to become the market leader by providing exemplary customer service. The company offers various packages for different experiences, namely; paid work abroad, adventure trips, volunteering, small group tours, and sports trips programme (IDM, 2013). In addition, Gap 360 Ltd offer travel to a varied array of destinations such as Australia, Thailand, South Africa, and so on. The good package design might boost the good financial performance, which estimate 2.5 million in 2013(IDM,2013).As a result of the competition and size of the market, Gap 360 Ltd must establish their unique brand within the market, and find every possible competitive edge.

The customer base of Gap 360 Ltd is an evolving beast. The gap year travel market have two hundred thousand travellers each year (IDM, 2013). 85% of these customers are aged 18-25, with the remaining 15% over 26. Despite its traditional role as an activity undertaken before or after university, nearly 50% of the market now are not in the university segment.