Foundations of Marketing

by Jonathan Groucutt

Chapter 3: Segmentation, Targeting & Positioning

The Seminar Room

Pan European

For years cruise vacations were often deemed the domain of either the rich and famous or the retired. Since the 1990s many of the cruise lines (operating within an ever-competitive market) have sought to widen their customer base. Hence, an expansion that includes a range of cruise vacations from mass-market family oriented to niche adventure. The UK cruise market alone is currently worth an estimated UK £1.4 billion.

The cruise line P&O (a strategic business unit of the US-based Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise-line operator) is tapping into this expanding market by offering three segmented and targeted cruise ‘experiences’. Philip Price, P&O Cruise’s Head of Brand Marketing stated: ‘Rather than have one-size-fits-all cruises on every ship but with different destinations, we’re making the experience a destination in its own right.’
  • Contemporary: This is aimed at the 40–50 year old market. The objective is to target individuals who are new to cruise vacations. These are people who are perhaps not sure of what to really expect. Therefore they will be offered relaxed informal vacations with the opportunity to be engaged in a variety of onboard activity workshops. Two ships will feature – Arcadia and Oceania.
  • Original or Authentic: This is aimed at the 50–60 year old market that seeks a more typically British-centred cruise vacation. Two ships will feature –Aurora and Oriana.
  • Traditional: This is aimed at the company’s core market, those aged 60 and over who are regular experienced cruise vacationers. This will feature one ship the Artemis and include formal dining as she sails to a variety of locations including the Amazon region.
Sources: Stokes, B. (2005) Analysis: P&O aims for a swell of holidaymakers. Marketing Week. 29 September. p11. Marketing Week (2005) P&O Cruises shifts its focus to provide targeted ‘experiences’. Marketing Week. 29 September p:8. Additional material from P&O and the Carnival Corporation.