Research paper: Developing an Integrated Marketing Communication plan for AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth’s website is properly developed. It allows the customers to use it to search the information about the club, to book the tickers and use other services for the customers. The website may be found at the following address: www.afcb.co.uk. It should be indicated that AFC Bournemouth’s website suggests its users a very efficient website that is easy to use, with the modern pleasant design in bright red colours and nice user interface.

AFC Bournemouth’s website has the following sections: Home, News, Match, Team, Tickets Club, Community, Commercial, Shopping & Auctions, Mobile Services, Betting, Prizes & Games, Preview, Business Finder, Club Partners, Matchday Hospitality, Mascot & Twelfth Man Packages, Advertising, Sponsorship, In2Win Lottery, Matchday Draw, Matchday Gallery, AFC Business, and Commercial Events & Activities.

The website provides the opportunity to book the tickets. The website is a comfortable and easy tool for the audience interested in sport. No obvious weak places in AFC Bournemouth’s website could be found at the present moment, therefore it may be concluded that there is no need to make a website’s redesign. It has to be said that website’s functionally doesn’t require substantial improvements, but some changes in branding may be recommended. For example, it may look more bright and attractive and demonstrated more AFC Bournemouth’s character. The team’s colours were already used in the website’s design with a focus on red. The red colour points on the energy, dynamism, and movement.

As an interesting additional option of improving the productivity of AFC Bournemouth’s website and overall online presence, the use the microsites as an extension of the company’s major brand website may be suggested. These microsites may have the same or different URL, in order to suggest the website version in a few languages for the international fans of the football club and also more detailed information about the team, etc.

The target audience of AFC Bournemouth could be easily covered through online brand’s presence. Online audience is very important for AFC Bournemouth that is why any opportunity to attract it and to build knowledge and loyalty should be used. The trend is that many people are shopping from their homes; the key to gaining these home customers is the means of communication into the home available to marketers for displaying their goods (including football tickets). Another interesting and promising option for the interaction with the target audience may be the creation of the microsites for the different customers’ competitions that may be held by the AFC Bournemouth. (Steinbock, 2000, p.45)

The major emphasis in AFC Bournemouth’s digital activities could be made on social media, context advertising and brand’s website. The choice of online marketing tools therefore will include the banner advertising, context advertising, cooperation with bloggers and social media.

It should be noted that the people with higher than average income usually aren’t interested in the participation the internet audience researches and therefore their share in the certain website audience is hard to assess. The choice of websites for the digital marketing campaign may be based on the general media indexes of the websites such as a monthly number of visitors, unique visitors, frequency of visits and also on the affinity index which characterizes the level of correspondence of the site audience to the target audience of the product.

It is known the target audience of AFC Bournemouth are mostly males and many of them are mobile and are fond of communication, and often use the latest applications. The websites that are definitely popular among the TA include the various sport websites, news portals and online media such as newspapers and magazines, sport and male fashion blogs, and also social media.

The use of context advertising will allow AFC Bournemouth to target specifically those internet users who are interested in football tickets purchase and sport events. The decision of the textual advertising appearance to the certain user will be made by automated systems based on the content displayed to the user. There is no doubt that the digital advertising should be planned carefully to achieve maximum media effectiveness and build a sufficient knowledge of the offers and general advantages for the football club.

The mobile marketing is an innovative tool that may help to advertise AFC Bournemouth brand but it should be used very carefully. The Advertiser should be very selective in order to make this platform work. It already uses mobile applications and it is doing it smartly. The major requirement to the mobile applications is of course their high quality and the correspondence to the target audience.

It’s considered especially innovative approach because specialists of the digital advertising market indicate that smartphone interaction will be soon enhanced and optimized to match to the behavioural characteristics of the target audience.

Creatively implemented usage of the email marketing opportunity among the other digital marketing approaches may be appropriate and even very suitable in the case of the online sales of the football tickets by AFC Bournemouth. Clearly, purchase of the football tickets requires some time for consideration before the actual action but it is not that substantial, comparing to other products.

Social media methods directly related to the web site. Social media allows to use it much more creatively than any other media and attracting the attention of the target audience immediately and also to distribute it further to other users without the support of the company itself. The official participation of the brand on Facebook allows incorporating there the brand design elements and thus the brand visuals of the football club will be the same for all of its digital media platforms.

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