According to the classified list of marketing communication instruments and media, P&O Cruises is belonging to the one-to-one and interactive cells. It is one which with personal selling, telemarketing, e-mail to person, consultancy, and conversation. (Raaij, 1998) Not only is a one-to-one communication website, the internet of P&O Cruises’ also a many-to-many communication one. For someone who clicks on “Focus on” and gets into “Cruise Connections” on the website of P;O Cruises, he/she will meet up many like-mined cruisers.
It is an area for consumers to discuss, share information and experience, and provide problem solutions and give suggestions to each other (Raaij, 1998). The website of Cruise Connections are including My cruises (customer oriented), Messages (sharing information by customers themselves), On board Forum (comment and conversations to improve), Passengers (friends meeting), ships (links to ‘product’ again), Account (personalize), and Feedback (criticize and suggestion). This website offers the company information through these customers who join group and discuss on it.
Its also helps P;O Cruises find out its drawbacks in order to improve (Raaij, 1998). * Website Strength ; Weakness – P;O Cruises Strength Graphics: P;O Cruises use “thumbnail” for visitor when they are going to download images and screensaver from its website. The use of thumbnail helps visitor to see the smaller version of a picture first before wasting time on open larger version of picture (Joergensen, 2003). Speed: even P;O Cruises use lots of 360i?? panoramic tour on its website, the speed of them to show up are less than 10 second by 128KB.
Ten seconds is a long time to wait for users according to Procknow (1998). Interactivity: Gardner et al. (1999) found that more people would buy on-line if human interaction was possible. P;O Cruises not only sell on-line, it’s also a website with two-way communication. Through e-mail and mailing post, the company builds relationship with customer and makes their customer royal to the company. It’s also a website using FAQ and “Help” section to its customer. The use of FAQ and “Help” help the company reduce the personal costs on reply email to customers (Benzon, 1997 in Joergensen, 2003).
Links: P;O Cruises set a website with many useful links. Not only the links of agents help the company itself to sell tickets on-line, P;O Cruises finding needs for customers and to put on links what customers would love to know more. It might relate to weather, orchestra plays on cruises, agents’ information, and health advice and so on. Most importantly, these links are open destination in a new window to keep P&O Cruises’ home page in the back ground (Joergensen, 2003). On line security and trust: P;O Cruises is the website under consumer protection.
It using ATOL protected and is also a member of the Passenger Shipping association. It’s clearly states on the website under menu section, security for its customer and provides safe shopping condition (Fill, 2002). Weakness Update: The website of P&O Cruises is not up-to-date everyday. After Jan. 2004, customer still fined the 2003 brochure on its website. The page of news press is stop at 31,10,2003. For the marketing communication, it is important that the relevant information is available, up-to-date and accessible at the place and time consumers need it.
That is because marketing communication obtains a more service-oriented rather than a persuasive role (Raaij, 1998). Consistency and user-friendly design: A site map P&O Cruises has made the first-time users easy to find the information they want. As a search index provides help for the user, P&O Cruises needs to create a search index for user to get information they want easily (Joergensen, 2003). the using of roll-over to show the content on the menu list will make more user-friendly to visitor. * Customization
Visitor who would like to discuss and know more friends about P&O Cruises, they could go to “Cruise Connections”. When they are newcomers to this web page, they have to register first. Leaving personal information on the website is require; it helps P&O Cruise build customer details into database and understand more about its customers. When submission has done, P&O Cruises would send an auto-respond e-mail to confirm the user’s name and password. If someone who has register, he could sigh in as his/her homepage and with his preference cruises information in.
Conclusions: The twenty-first century market-place will be dominated by interactivity brought about by IT which will drive electronic commerce. Now, we are moving from a market-place dominated by the marketer to one dominated by the consumers. (Schultz, 1998) it’s the age of “the end of the beginning” (Strauss, 2001). P&O Cruises owns a well-built website which is customer oriented and interactivity. Gardner et al. (1999) found that more and more people tend to shop on-line if human interaction is possible.
P&O Cruises is the one whose customers not only could buy tickets through websites, but also its system and creation of links help the company get free advertising from other websites and sell its P&O Cruises tickets. It’s marvelous for the website comprises various communication tools and targeted to its customers. Although the website is functional and interactive to visitors, it should broaden its website by strengthening the design of consistency and user-friendly. At last, it’s not simple for consumers to differentiate that P&O Cruises is not belonging to Peninsula and Oriental steam Navigation Company.
Even though it was demerged into Carnival public limited company, the actual product of it is not clear. P&O Cruises should not just concern about its brand, but needs to be clarified to the public. P&O Cruises is entering the mass market (Kotler, 2002). It makes the company not just “cruises” business (sea business), it’s a business which including “navigation” in the air. P;O Cruise has created a maturity website to promote itself successful, and it helps them sailing into a new journey.
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