Lonely Planet Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 08:25:56
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Lonely Planet is leisure-and-travel publishing company established by Tony and Maureen Wheeler after their unique and astounding trip from Europe to Australia by land passing through the continent of Asia. Tony and Maureen decided on the trip for their honeymoon after they met and married one year later. Although their goal was challenged by various difficulties primarily fueled by their lack of funds for travel expenses, they focused their time and effort in obtaining necessary resources from family and friends.

Their efforts paid off as they were able to raise enough money for their trip and they were successfully able to reach their destination. Their travel experiences motivated them to write a book about their travels from London to Australia which they called Across Asia on the Cheap. They published the book with the least expectations of making money out of it but in one weeks time, they were able to sell 1,500 copies. (Company History)

The success of the company reached greater heights as to date the publishing company was able to sell sixty million books and their sales increase twenty percent or more each year. Estimated figures of the total revenue obtained by Lonely Planet each year amounts to $50 million. The companys success is largely attributed to the sizeable coverage of the companys presence all over the world. Lonely Planet operates in various countries around the world such as the United Kingdom, the United States, France, and Australia.

Various titles are being published regularly translated in approximately seventeen languages, while the company continues to hire over 150 experienced and competent authors, who are highly knowledgeable about general travel issues and concerns, in more than twenty countries around the world. Although Lonely Planet is a publishing company, it chose to engage in other business ventures that are entirely related to the industry of leisure and travel. Some of the services offered by Lonely Planer include phone cards to facilitate communication locally or overseas, reservation services for hotels and hostels, and connections to flight bookings.

The company also chose to adapt to current trends in the market scene which is extremely reliant on technology by establishing an online web site and making Lonely Planet services accessible through the World Wide Web and by partnering with telecommunications companies to provide mobile services to its consumers. The online web site alone hosts more than two hundred thousands registered users who are given the opportunity to interact online and pass on travel pictures for information and entertainment.

The structure of Lonely Planet seems to be designed masterfully as it has enjoyed success over the years despite various competitors who are involved in the leisure and travel industry. However, reviewing the specific processes and operations implemented by Lonely Planet reveals some issues or problems that pose challenges to the company such as the overlapping roles of book publications and the availability of information online, and how the company maximizes available technological services to their advantage.

The remainder of the text will look into these issues, determining marketing channel conflicts and cannibalization issues, available technological opportunities for Lonely Planet to improve and develop its services, and other recommendations that might help the company maximize available assets and resources. The various marketing channels that Lonely Planet implements to advertise or promote its products and services are designed, executed, and managed differently that they overlap or conflict with each other resulting to problems and difficulties that the company should resolve in order to avoid let downs or failures.

The two main marketing channels utilized by Lonely Planet are its book publications of numerous titles made available in international countries and translated in a variety of languages, and its web site which offers access to various services as well as photographs and information submitted by its registered users, and such. Lonely Planet acknowledges that majority of its profit is obtained from book sales. However, the problem is that the books being put together follow a long process before its publication that makes the contents outdated after its publications.

On the other hand, information available through the Internet is more current as they are easily shared and accessed by users. This sets the conflict between the primary marketing channels of Lonely Planet such that although book sales is the companys major source of income, it is unable to improve or develop the publishing process in order to come up with books that are up-to-date, able to compete with current online material. Online materials and resources cannibalize book sales since it poses risks and threats to the financial position of the company.

This consequently establishes the inclination of clients to resort to online material than book sales affecting the profit of Lonely Planet. Another unforeseen result of this situation is its effect to the interest and motivation of authors to contribute to the books published by Lonely Planet. Since more clients resort to online content, they might offer their knowledge and information for online clients, working as independent authors rather than exclusive contributors of Lonely Planet.

To resolve this conflict, Lonely Planet must learn to maximize technology to their advantage by focusing on adding value or appeal to published books since it is, after all, the life and blood of the company, so to speak, and speeding up the process of completing travel guides is impossible due to the amount of time needed by authors and researchers to experience various trips or travels and write them for the Lonely Planet books.

It would be difficult to capitalize on online materials and resources since the company needs to conduct market research and thorough planning in order to successfully launch an online portal for knowledge and information that are available in their books.

Therefore, aside from the yearly revision of popular titles for the publication of current materials, Lonely Planet should utilize its resources to add more value to their books making it more appealing to consumers by adding a complementary video footage or coverage of the travel and other experiences that travelers might encounter such as the application for visas and passports, the utilization of maps and guides, communication tips, and such.

Since the company cannot jeopardize the content of the books being published just to release travel guides that are timely but poor in quality, it should instead capitalize on products or services that will increase the clients satisfaction of the books despite their late publications. This will be realized by teaming up with authors and other individuals who are willing to make video footages of their encounters as a means to teach the books readers. The packaging of the books will then include a CD or DVD companion.

This will not only allow the continuous publication of books but also maintain the pleasure and motivation of authors to work for the company for regular income. Another solution is to capitalize on the presence of technology that is the World Wide Web. Lonely Planet could focus more on publishing content and materials over the Internet in exchange of payment. Despite the continuous publication of popular books subjected to yearly revisions, Lonely Planet could publish timely content over the Internet but not in the form of a book.

The company could choose to present materials bit by bit after the content is completed in the form of a regularly updated blog, but for a fee. In this way, the company will be able to compete with other online organizations that are able to publish up to date information and still obtain profit in the process. In this case, Lonely Planet should be able to allow in house writers and international authors to upload information real time to the particular blog in order to provide recent updates that registered users might access.

Aside from the Internet as a means to facilitate Lonely Planets connections with its clients, the company may take advantage of other wireless devices that clients may use for their convenience. For instance, Lonely Planet could establish partnership with technology developers in coming up with a mobile device that is hooked with a GPS, a travel map, and access to services provided by Lonely Planet.

The custom-made device should be structured to be travelers personal assistant such or travel guide, such that it acts as a mobile device, an internet browsing tool for purchasing phone cards, reserving rooms and flights directly from the online server of Lonely Planet, a map with GPS, a language translator equipped with foreign language dictionary softwares, and entertainment services for music and videos, wherein the videos added to the book sales may be uploaded for mobility and convenience, and such.

In addition, Lonely Planet could invest in a Customer Service System wherein travelers are able to contact experienced travelers such as the in house writers and authors whenever and wherever they are once they need help during their travels. This particular service may be made available over the Internet as well as through the traveling device aforementioned. In addition, Lonely Planet should consider the needs and concerns of travelers when it comes to mobility and convenience in terms of the utilization of books during travel which are bulky and heavy.

It should be able to offer electronic books or audio books that are made available not only for the technological device proposed above but also for other common devices such as ordinary mobile phones, PDAs, iPods, and such. In this case, individuals who are used to traveling light will be able to access the books through their technological devices without being inconvenienced in the process. These plans are slightly complicated as they are structured through the use of technology.

The major problems or difficulties that Lonely Planet might experience have something to do with the need to shell out much of the resources for the development of the device and other IT services, the training of staff for the utilization of the devices, the resources for the CD or DVD companion to the book, and the marketing strategies for the advertising and promotion of new products and services.

In addition, Lonely Planet should work on studying how the implementation of technological plans will be processed since it is complicated and it needs to be reviewed well before being launched in order to avoid the onset of risks and threats to facilitate organizational success effortlessly.

References Company History. (2008). Retrieved December 13, 2008, from Lonely Planet Publications. Website: http://www. lonelyplanet. com/about/

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