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Extended Marketing Mix Essay

Launched on 3rd of October 2009 by the McLaren’s Group which has been a name with great passion towards improvement of motor sports in Sri Lanka, Speed Drome (Pvt) Ltd. is every Pro/Go-karter’s heaven on earth. Located amidst green pasture in close proximity to the parliament complex and Buddhadasa play ground in Battaramulla, Speedrome is a fully equipped and professionally fitted race track which includes 19 go-karts, computerized timing and scoring systems, professionally trained staff, designated spectator areas and air-conditioned VIP gallery, all for the sake of providing their customers with the best experience that they can offer. Go-karting may be Speed Drome’s main product but they haven’t stopped there as far as the entertainment aspect is concerned, with a sports bar and a luxurious lounge.

These two additional services are provided for customers to host parties or any corporate events. Speed Drome also has taken an initiative in providing a swimming pool to cater to discerning corporate executives and high profile lifestyles. As for the little kids, Speed Drome has taken the liberty of creating a kiddies race track as well. To put it simply, Speed Drome aims to be not only an attraction for Pro/Go-kart lovers everywhere but also to provide the entire family with leisure activities and entertainment. Speed Drome has gained much popularity ever since its launch, with an exhibition kart race in which the participation of Yoshitha Rajapaksa, Aravinda De Silva the former cricketer who is a keen fan of motor cars along with the lady racer S.A. Lakshika and Jackson Anthony were noted.

Karting championships such as “Speed Drome All Island Karting Championship Rounds 1-3 ” show off exactly what Speed Drome is all about as many professional formula one drivers take part in these competitions exhibiting the real skill involved in Go/Pro-karting, while attracting even more potential customers and leading to other karting championships. Finally the major plus point for Speed Drome is the fact that it is the one and only Go/Pro-Karting facility in Sri Lanka as yet and with its added assets Speed Drome’s future seems very fruitful with all the necessary standards being maintained.

The Extended Marketing mix
1. Product

In a service organization, the product is referred to the service being delivered to the consumer which is intangible, inseparable, variable and perishable. The speed Drome (Pvt) Ltd. (Appendix 1) offers a variety of services which can be explained in terms of entertainment, leisure and experience. Their main focus is on providing their customers with the experience of real Pro-Kart racing (Appendix 2) and in addition to that other entertainment and leisure services are also provided such as the Kiddies track, (Appendix 3) the sports bar (Appendix 4) and the swimming pool (Appendix 5) along with the Luxurious Lounge (Appendix 6).

The nature of the service in terms of:

Intangibility: True services are intangible. Therefore when you leave Speed Drome there is only one memory or the experience that remains, which is riding a pro-kart at the only available place in Sri Lanka. Some elements are tangible such as the karts used, the swim pool etc., but the core benefit of the purchase is not, and that is the sheer experience of riding a pro-kart and feeling its speed. Inseparability: The service provided by Speed Drome is inseparable as the physical presence of a customer is essential in this service. However, with the help of its physical resources the overall service takes place when only the consumer that is the person interested in riding a pro-kart meets the service provider.

Perishability: Karting or any other service provided by the company must be consumed when offered. It cannot be produced now for consumption at a later stage / time nor can they be held or stocked because the value of this service exists at the point when it is required. Variability: This service is highly variable because Speed Drome is the only service provider for kart racing in Sri Lanka currently. It has its very own standardized quality which cannot be competed with another form of entertainment service, as it provides a unique and an incomparable experience.

The above mentioned characteristics define the services they provide which attract youngsters and veteran drivers alike.

2. Price
Pricing is one of the most important marketing mix decisions and it is the only marketing mix variable that generates revenues. Speed Drome (Pvt) Ltd. is a profit and cost oriented organization.

Their main objectives are to:

* Maximize their profits,
* Achieve a target return on investment,
* Recover investment costs over a particular time period And to,
* Generate volume so as to drive down costs.

Speed Drome doesn’t pursue the status quo or sales oriented objectives as it is the only organization specializes in this certain industry in Sri Lanka. Due to the same reason Speed Drome follows the price skimming strategy. Their prices for all the services are relatively high (even though they don’t have competitors in the same industry) compared to the other entertainment forms in the market. This is due to the service quality, image and to prevent competitors enter the market easily.

The following are the current prices attached to the services being provided by Speed Drome:

* Pro-Karting/ Go-Karting (10 minutes) – Rs. 750
* Happy Hours Karting (every Tuesday 3pm-8pm) – Rs. 500
* Swimming pool charges (unlimited) per person – Rs. 450
* Membership Benefits:
* Membership free Rs.15000
* Rs. 750 tickets for Rs.500
* Kart trainer amount Rs.1500 for Rs.1000
* Members can use pool free, additional guest with members charged only Rs. 250 each
* 10% discount for corporate package with fully use of pool and entertainment area. Additionally the race fees, special event fees and training programme fees are charged.

3. Place

The place part of the marketing mix is where the customer receives the service or where the service is located. Speed Drome is Located in close proximity to the Parliament Complex and Bhuddhadasa Play Ground, in Battaramulla. It has situated itself around major cities such as Colombo, Rajagiriya, Nugegoda and Pitakotte which are all highly residential areas have all been thought out very carefully by Speed Drome management prior to construction. This is to boost their target market which is basically the upper class of community because although the cost for riding a Go-Kart (which is something very rare to do in Sri Lanka) seems reasonable as far as the cost for maintaining the Karts and equipment needed go, Unfortunately though for the majority of Sri Lankan’s the price to pay for such an experience is highly unreasonable.

The area in which the Arena (or facility) has been built on is extremely large and compliments the Track very well and to add to this the lush scenery surrounding the Speed Drome gives this track a unique feel to it. Speed Dome’s location has one more major benefit which is that it’s just a drive away not only from the cities surrounding it but also from other major cities in the district like Colombo and Dehiwala etc. Over all the decision to build Speed Drome where it is an extremely well thought and strategic move which has shown and is yet to keep bringing in results.

4. Promotion

Promotions have become a critical factor in the service marketing mix. Services are easy to be duplicated and hence it is generally the brand which sets a service apart from its counterpart. As mentioned under the topic ‘Place’ Speed Drome’s marketing mix carters to a selected segment, which is known as Niche marketing. Its service is all about providing entertainment for those who desire the ‘need for speed’. What better way to communicate about this sheer experience which can be gained at only one place in Sri Lanka other than promoting the service? The obvious competitive advantages Speed Drome possesses are:

* Service Differentiation

The only facility that provides karting experience in Sri Lanka.

* Image Differentiation

Karts which are only available at Speed Drome in Sri Lanka and the unique logo itself distinguish the service provided.

How Speed Drome gets through to the customer

The main objective of Speed Drome is to make the potential customers well aware about their new service. Hence the following methods are mainly used to promote their service-

* Weekly offered special karting hours

* ‘Happy Hours’ Every Tuesday from 3pm-8pm
(Rs.750 tickets at Rs.500)
(Appendix 7)

* Karting competitions
* Thank God its Race Day Competition (Appendix 8)
* All Island Karting Championship (Appendix 9,10)
* Exhibition kart races of celebrities (Appendix 11)

* Publications
* News Paper advertisements
Ex: Daily Mirror, Sunday Times, Sunday Observer
* Magazines
Ex: Things to do in Colombo, Esteem, Hi etc.

* Online Advertising
* Social network groups
Ex: The official Facebook Group with latest updates. Twitter etc.

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