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Competitors Analysis

Alton Towers became a theme park in 1980 and in 1990 it became part of the Tussauds Group. Alton Towers is a public limited company. This means that Alton Towers sell shares to the general public. There are advantages to this as this enables them to raise a large capital, which will be invested back into the park. This is the main reason why Drayton Manor finds it hard to compete with Alton Towers, – because Drayton cannot raise as much capital because it is a private limited company and only shares within the family.

Alton Towers has a high marketing budget of �5 million. This is more than twice the amount Drayton Manor spends on marketing. Alton Towers can afford to spend so much on marketing because it is a public limited company and raises capital through shares. Alton Towers advertises in a range of ways including television. Alton Towers advertises nationally whereas Drayton Manor advertises locally. Alton Tower chooses to advertise nationally and in a variety of ways (including Radio, Television, Internet etc) because its target audience is much greater than that of Drayton Manor (Drayton Manors targets people who live within a 50 mile radius). The result of Alton

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Towers doing this, is that their sales revenue will be much greater than Drayton Manor’s.

They also run special promotion especially during the off peak season. Place Alton Towers is situated in Staffordshire in 500 acres of land. Drayton Manor is situated in 250 acres of parkland. Alton Towers is twice the size of Drayton Manor and therefore has more space to have more rides and attractions. On the Alton Towers website, they have displayed a table showing the distances from main cities to Alton Towers.

As the above table shows Alton Towers is not very close to any of the main cities, the closest being Birmingham at 46 miles. People may not want to travel this far for a day trip to a theme park. Although Drayton Manor is far from places like Glasgow, London, Portsmouth, it does not expect visitors from these places, as it does not advertise in these areas. Drayton Manor advertises locally, so therefore only expect people who live locally to visit the park. This is good because people in the surrounding areas won’t feel as if they have to travel very far and might be more willingly to go to Drayton Manor rather than Alton Towers because its closer.

Alton Towers is accessible by car, rail and bus. Alton Towers does a special deal with Virgin trains and Travel West Midlands in which you can save money by buying a ticket for the bus/train and entry to the park and the bus takes you right to the gate. Travel West Midlands also does this with Drayton Manor. Alton Towers is closed to the motorway and a number of junctions. Drayton Manor is also close to the motorways. Therefore, in this aspect, both are easily accessible. Alton Towers targets a wider audience than Drayton Manor, it targets the whole of the UK, whereas Drayton Manor only targets a local audience within a 50 mile radius. So in conclusion, Drayton Manor would be easy to get to just because the target area is smaller and Drayton Manor only expects people to travel a distance of 50 miles, whereas Alton Towers expects people to travel from all of the UK.

When travelling to Alton Towers and Drayton by car, there are car parks in both theme parks. However, Drayton Manor car park is free and Alton Towers car park costs �3 per car, or �6 for a premium parking space. This gives Drayton Manor an advantage because customers make think that it more value for money and that Drayton Manor is providing free services. Compared to Drayton Manor’s prices, Alton Towers’ prices are quite expensive. I believe that Alton Towers charges more for their tickets because they have higher running cost because they have more rides. Consumers may chose to go Drayton Manor because it is a lot cheaper. Alton Towers uses premium pricing which may lead consumers to believe that Alton Towers has higher quality products and services. This may make more customers want to go to Alton Towers.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Alton Towers is more successful in the marketing mix than Drayton Manor. This is because they can raise more capital through shares so it is able to spend more on the products and advertising and Drayton Manor because of their limited finance due to the fact their a private limited company and can only sell shares to family members.

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