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Airbnb in Colombia: Marketing Plan.

AirBnb Marketing Case

Autores
Ulises Barrera
Leidy Alonso Len
Juan Rodriguez

Presented to:
Stephan Langdon

EICEA
INTERNATIONAL MARKETING
UNIVERSIDAD DE LA SABANA
CHA, CUNDINAMARCA
JUNE 2015

Airbnb in Colombia: Marketing Plan.

Executive Summary
In the following document it is explained the marketing procedures for the
company AirBnb in its efforts to enter the Colombian Market. This
document will discuss the environmental analysis and strategies as it will
develop the implementation plan and mechanisms of control.
This plan is a series of steps to connect and develop the Colombian market
of accommodation.

SITUATION ANALYSIS:
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Airbnb Company is an American company founded in 2008 in San
Francisco, California. It was established as a platform for developing a
community market in which people can publish, discover and reserve
incredible accommodations with unique properties throughout the world.
Actually, Airbnb has locations over 192 different countries, in more than
34000 cities.
The company business model involves charging a 3% fee to the host and a
fee around 6-12% to the guests. Its core business is lodging but the
company also offers complete solutions with travel and transportation
packages.
AirBnbs growth is outstanding in the industry the number of guests and
profits have been growing exponentially in the last few years, as it can be
seen in the following graphic:

Airbnb in Colombia: Marketing Plan.

Total guests reach a value of 25.000.000. Additionally, the company offers


an easy way of earning money by renting and showing personal spaces for
people of different countries.
Actually, Airbnb works in the following regions:

United States

Central America & Caribbean

Northern Europe

Western Europe

Northeast Asia

Australia & Oceania

Canada & Mexico

South America

Southern Europe

Eastern Europe

South & Southeast Asia

Rest of World

The most popular destinations of Airbnb are settled down in Europe


and Asia. Lately, the company has developed strong markets in cities
like Rio de Janeiro. With 21.000 properties in it, this city is the third
most successful destination after Paris and New York, showing that
South America is becoming a promising location for the Airbnb
community.

Among the most promising countries to grow in this continent is


Colombia. Its culture and authenticity is recalled as one of the most
particular ones in the world. This is reflected in a notorious
development of its travel and tourism market.

According to the EuroMonitor database, the rate of inbound trips has


been growing for the last years. For the report of 2013, Colombia
sees two million inbound trips, 6% growth compared to 2012.
Additionally, Tourism flows inbound is expected to increase by 7%
over the forecast period.

Colombia has been advancing rapidly in promoting the country as a


destination for foreign visitors by enhancing a very intense online
campaign through social media networks such as YouTube, Facebook
and twitter. According to proexport, in the last year there were more
than seven million visits on YouTube, with more than 46,000
comments on Facebook and more than two million Twitter accounts
impacted.

Colombia might be an attractive destination for AirBnb as they have


some slight similarities with markets where the models has worked
before. The firm considers that the attitude towards foreigners is a
key determinant.

As its shown in the Hofstede Map , Colombia shares many of the


characteristics that successful AirBnb countries have. This may be
one of the reasons why this country is one of the key elements in
AirBnb strategy.

For

2015,

Dane.org

estimates

that

in

Colombia

there

are

approximately 983.509 youngsters in Bogot, 1.680.161 in Antioquia


and 344407 in Magdalena, which are the most visited destinations in
Colombia by foreign people. This category, which is between 14-28
years old, is an age in which people tends to travel more and search
new adventures while expanding their social circles. The promising
growth of this population throughout the year goes straightly related
to the national interests of implementing the presence of an
organization like Airbnb.

Even though this country is quite different from the top destinations
chosen by people, it is a reality that the multiplicity of cultures and
the folklore of all the different ethnics in the country can provide
diversity in terms of locations, unique accommodations and the

opportunity

of

experiencing

very

contrastable

adventures

with

completely different environments inside the same country.

SWOT ANALYSIS:

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_____

External and Internal analysis.

External.

Political and legal: As its commercial custom to rent rooms and


weekend places in Colombia. It is highly unlikely that AirBnb will
encounter any legal problems in its establishment.

Economic factors: Colombian expenditure in Travel is increasing


due to factor as governmental advertising, a growing middle class
and more affordable airplane tickets. The potential market for this
service is expanding greatly.

Cultural factors: Airbnb has an important challenge to face a


growing potential market. Online travel and accommodation sales are
increasing

greatly.

Nonetheless

according

to

euromonitor

international even if the figures are growing most Colombians are still
using the online platforms as a way to research and obtain
information.

AirBnb most figure out a way around this because Colombians are
still making purchases offline, a great challenge for AirBnbs charge
policies and methods.

Technological factors: The technology support can be used as a


differentiator in its strategy in Colombia. Currently being the only

home rental service with an app, it can be used to further connect


con los sophisticate clients and technologically savvy customers.

Internal Analysis:

Competitors: In Colombia there exist some web based business that


provide services similar to those of AirBnb, some examples of these
competitors are:

http://www.fincascolombia.net/: Web service that allows you to rent

houses and apartments inside of Colombia.


http://www.turismoencasasyfincas.com.co/: Very simple website that
has a relatively short offering of houses around areas as Villavicencio,
Anapoima and Melgar.

Customers: The Colombian customer for this kind of service could


be divided into 2 categories:

Young students traveling on a budget.


Young technologically savvy adults who are looking for comfortable
location for getway weekends.

This customers will be detailed and further examined in the target


analysis.

Suppliers: For AirBnb the most important supplier are the hosts, the
ones leasing the properties. They provide the final service and
represent the brand. AirBnb must be extremely careful when allowing
people to list in their website.

The company has established a series of filters to make sure that the
host that represent the brand are the absolute best in the industry.

SWOT.

Strengths.

Strong, internationally recognized brand.


Word of Mouth created a rapid growth in accommodation offer.
Network effects especially effective in Colombia.
Variety of climates and diverse offerings in the country.
Solid online platform and user friendly.

Weaknesses.

Personnel with low training involved in touristic sector, few bilingual

speakers.
Inconsistent experience with guest.
Low brand recognition inside Colombia.

Opportunities.

Reductions in airplane and transportation tickets cost.


Possibility of developing new tourism segments within Colombia.
Many carnivals and cultural events all over the country.
Few real online competitors.

Threats.

High levels of informality in travel accommodation.


Low level of online traveling services usage.
Legislation Issues.
Competition coming from aggressive hotel and travel companies
virtual penetration efforts.

Strategic Focus:

AirBnb will develop a focus on differentiation, trying to stablish itself


as an online travel solution provider. With a user friendly interface,
and trying to promote a more inclusive traveling experience.

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

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_____

Goal for AirBnb in Colombia:

Increase revenues from accommodation fares in Colombian Market.


Increase the brand recognition inside of Colombia

General Objective:

Develop Colombia as a key destination in the Airbnb platform for


international and national travelers.

Specific Objectives:
Build brand recognition inside of Colombia.
Increase the offer of accommodation in key cities in the country.
Determine the principal strategies required to enter in the Colombian
market.
Overcome Legal Issues with the Colombian Government.
Increase hospitality standards.

MARKETING STRATEGY

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_____

Primary Target:

The primary target for AirBnb will be known as Sofia XD. This are
the Colombian early adopters in which the brand will trust to start
using the current offering of rooms.

Sofia XD:

Between 20 and 25 years old.


University student or internship employee.
Savvy user of different social media platforms such as Instagram,

Facebook, Vine.
Have income available from their parents.
Live in Colombian main cities.

Marketing Mix Sofia XD:

Product: The main product for this target will be an easy to access
online platform and app that allows her to obtain quick traveling
solutions that adapt to her life style.

Price: The price for this target is set to be the one that fits her need
better. With the possibility of filtering inside the application, she can
choose whatever works better for her.

Place: The distribution channels in this model are divided in 2:

Website: The website is the main application and the focus of the
company, it fully offers every possibility and service to the customer.

App: Mainly used to do research and consult prices, its also vital to
stay on top of mind of the customer.

Promotion: To maintain connection with this customer the company


will establish a focus on social network interaction and campaigns.

Secondary Target:

When entering Colombia AirBnb the second target will be the persons
that post their properties online, this potential host will be further
refered as Don Jorge.

Don Jorge Characteristics:

Between 30 and 50 years old


Owner of properties along tourism areas in Colombia.
His online social interactions are limited to Facebook.

Marketing Mix Don Jorge:

Product: The product for this target will be an access online social
platform where he could get exposure to the properties he owns.

Price: The price for this service will depend on the time he has inside
the platform and will vary between 6-12% of what he charges for the
property.

Place: The distribution channel for this particular target will be the
website, the main application and the focus of the company, it offers
the possibility to upload all the property the customer has.

Promotion: To maintain connection with this customer the company


will establish a focus on direct marketing and word of mouth.

MARKETING IMPLEMENTATION

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To develop the brand the marketing efforts will be focused and


divided by the platform they will be made in, this graph shows the
desired outcome for the marketing campaign:

Instagram:

AirBnb sill use this tool to show the potential customer what an
AirBnb experience could be. Through the developing of an tag on this
service (AirBnb Colombia) we will encourage user participation and
content marketing through 2 strategies:

Offering discounts in fares to a few selected travelers who have the


potential to cause ripple effects by sharing photos and contents of

their experiences.
Contacting Instagram influencers to promote the brand and the tag.

Facebook Ads:

The Facebook ads service allows the firm to develop specially


designed campaigns and show it to particular group of clients. With
this tool AirBnb longs to contact potential host to increase the
Colombian offer of accommodation.

Combining the creation of content and the user created experiences


the company will also invest in paid promotions to increase brand
awareness.

Twitter:

The company will take advantage of the benefits of life twitting. This
will be done with the intention of building a strong relationship with
the customers.

This interactions will also take into consideration the opportunity of


building a respectable brand, increasing feedback coming from
reviews and experiences.

YouTube:

AirBnb will also benefit from the creation of a variety of videos,


showing good experiences, reviews, breathtaking views. Building
confidence in the brand and what it represent.

Search Engine Optimization:

To increase traffic in the website and give exposure to the brand,


AirBnb will use SEO and specially google ads to build brand
recognition and move the firm to the top page when customers are
looking for houses and travel solutions.

Direct Marketing:

To contact directly with the people that have the properties a team
will be assembled and they will have the responsibility to visit daily
the location of our hosts and potential hosts, and offered them
packages and discounts for listing their products in the platform.

MARKETING IMPLEMENTATION

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