Evaluation of Swan’s Ice Arena’s situation. What Should David Swan Do?
David’s problem can be addressed by performing a marketing analysis that focuses on the identification and understanding of customer’s needs to identify new opportunities. To structure such analysis, David should undertake a market segmentation analysis to define possible target markets. According to the case study, David’s objectives are falling short of expectation due disappointing sales to a targeted market segment of teenagers and young adult couples; while David has executed acceptable initiatives, it is not surprising to see his struggle given that he is pivoting his decisions based on a couple of demographics characteristics of his clients: a) Age (young adults vs. children) and b) Social status (families vs. young couples) and not their needs.
To being, David should further commit to the objective of Swan’s Ice Arena. The actions portrayed on the case study reveal a somewhat conservative approach to fully commit to a segmentation product market strategy; for example, allowing 8-14 year old kids at Friday and Saturday evening sessions (8 pm – 10 pm) hinders the atmosphere that would attract dating couples and older customers. Acknowledging the fact that more than a quarter of his customers appear to be under 13 years old at the evening sessions, he could potentially change the schedule to 9:00 pm to Midnight and age-restrict the arena to people 14 and older. As mentioned in the text book, sometimes managers should decide whether to serve customers you don’t want to serve, in this case, given the late night schedule, David should clearly reserve this time for older patrons and restrict the access to younger children.