The Key Drivers of the National Marine Aquarium: SWOT and PEST Analysis

PEST Analysis of National Marine Aquarium

The key drivers in the organization’s external environment can be analyzed by the use of PEST analysis tool. This stands for the various elements of the organizations external environment. These elements are represented by each of the letters in PEST (The Times 2011). They are: political, economic, socio-cultural and technological elements.

In terms of political influence, the organization is not government funded but is rather a charity. This means that it is not influenced by political elements. While interviewing visitors to the National Marine Aquarium, it was noted that most of the visitors are aware that the organization is a charity. However, if they didn’t know that the organization was a charity; most of them wouldn’t have visited it as frequently as they do. This indicates that government or political influence on an organization reduces client/customer loyalty.

The economic elements of National marine aquarium are basically based on donations. It is not a business oriented organization, but is a charitable organization. They receive its funding from donations and the money raised from admission fees go towards the conservation and research of marine life. This aspect makes the organization a non-profit making organization.

The socio-cultural influences are the major elements affecting National Marine Aquarium. The main purpose of the surveys conducted by the consultancy team was to determine the demographics of the people who visit the organization. From the surveys, it was found out that the people who visit National Marine Aquarium are from a variety of occupations and locations. The organization has managed to attract members of different ages and gender as well. The ability of the organization to attract members from different socio-cultural backgrounds indicates a strong external environment management.

Another element that we need to consider under the PEST analysis is Technological influences. The National Marine Aquarium has a recommendable spread of technologies and research activities as suggested by Guston (2000: 123-140). From the responses given by the marketing director of National Marine Aquarium, it is evident that the organization commits the proceeds from admission fees partly on research of marine life. There are also varying sizes of tanks carrying up to 2.5 million liters of water. These tanks are technologically designed to carry 400 different species of animals, which attracts more visitors to the site who pay more admission fees. The admission fees further goes to increased research, leading to increased level of technological advancement.

SWOT Analysis of National Marine Aquarium

The external and internal perspective of the organization can also be determined through the SWOT analysis. The analysis helps us to assess the opportunities and threats from outside the organization as well as the strengths and weaknesses from inside the organization (Jyothi, Babu & Krishna 2008: 706-712). Once the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are assessed, it becomes easy to position the organization in its rightful place regarding to its financial control and management, the marketing function and human resources policy.

A company or organization which has a strong marketing department can be able to deal with its competitors successfully and win sufficient number of customers (Menon et al 2000: 16-32). National Marine Aquarium has been able to perform its advertising function effectively and that has become its strength in dealing with competition and widening its customer base. The surveys carried out by the consultancy team indicate that the most visitors to the aquarium learnt about the aquarium through advertisements. The advertisement channels used are also effective. The surveys showed that most of the visitors saw the organization’s advertisements online and through the media. These channels are the widely accessed channels nowadays; hence most people are able to see the advertisements. This places the organization at a better position on the competitive market.

The national marine aquarium also has its own weaknesses, as observed in the survey carried out by the consultancy team. For instance, the use of donations as a source of funds and the use of admission fees on research makes the company to face financial problems at times. The company needs funds to run its day to day operations, to expand, to engage in charity work and to pay its employees. Relying on donations alone is not enough. If it were to receive funding from the government it could perhaps increase its financial base.

The organization also has quite a wide range of opportunities. It operates in four sections as identified by the consultancy team: Plymouth sound, British coasts, Atlantic Ocean and Blue planet. All these sections provide visitors with amazing scenery for their leisure and pleasure. Therefore, the organization has a large number of opportunities to expand and provide more services and earn more income through admission fees because more people will be motivated to visit.

Finally, there is a threat of competition facing the National Marine Aquarium. Some of the visitors interviewed admitted that they also visit other attraction sites such as the Paignton Zoo, the Living Coast, Briston Zoo and Newquay Zoo. However, the organizations strength in advertising has kept it at a better position than other attractions.

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