Marriott Hotel is an international and worldwide operator dealing with franchising of hotels and facilities in related lodges which is located in the United States. Marriott’s is continuously increasing its presence in developing countries such as India and China driven by the gradual growth of international tourism in these regions. The organization has adopted the marketing concept leading to its success in the hospitality industry by catering to guests needs as a priority. It has installed distinct multi channel and multi brand central reservation systems among other technological enhancements to serve customers from different cultural languages. In general, there is stiff competition in the hotel industry with different facilities offering the same product. A hotel depends primarily on consumers and the number of it attracts, in that increase will lead to more revenue vise versa. Therefore, a hotel has to diversify and take into consideration their strategies and capabilities to meet the target needs of their customers better than their competitors.
Hospitality Concept of Marketing
Marriott had pioneered the establishment in the concept of creating a brand name for a hotel that is global. The concept has gained momentum and its competitors have adopted proactive strategies to promoting the concept and companies. Marriott’s major rivals include Starwood and Hyatt. The marketing concept details organization effectiveness to creating products and services that suit customers need and having a diversity compared to its competitors (Ward, 1994).Guests’ needs in a hotel are the priority by catering to their specific needs through communication and support. The reservations department handles this critical role of handling guests when they make their reservations. They guests from different backgrounds are treated and given services is a major determinant of repeat customers or new customers. The approach of using internet reservation channels is an essential strategy over the traditional modes and can give a competition advantage over threats of rivals. Therefore, in developing a marketing
concept, Marriott’s must take into consideration by focusing on customers needs through product development which can be vacations, leisure travel, food and beverage service by addressing them professionally. The marketing concept will also entail other important constituents like market segments, size and needs; the marketing mix production and sales concept. Customers’ needs must be factored in into the marketing concept of the hospitality market as customers are the first priority. Market research is also important to identify the specific demands of customers and others that might require customization to fit their preferences. It will also analyze the competition in the market environment, the products and services offered so that a hotel can plan its strategies based on the trends in the market and better satisfy their customers (Marriott, 1997).
The Marketing Mix and the Product Life Cycle
Marketing mix in a hotel is an important factor to be considered by its management because they are crucial to the satisfaction of a customer. The mix entails various components that can be directed towards the hotels marketing strategies encompassed in the marketing concept. The four P’s are predominant in the marketing mix and Marriott’s has adopted this concept through place; where it has hotels in many countries like Thailand, USA, Argentina and several others. Location in different places like airports and highways gives Marriott a wide attraction of clientele of different target groups. Promotion takes form in several dimensions by promoting the brand name of the hotel through the internet and also relaying information for customers through its clarifying and extensive site. This has consequences on the promotion campaigns through re-attracting Marriott’s customers and new ones. The core product of Marriott’s is the rooms in their hotels (Aaker, 1999). They offer products having their own theme and style but with the same concept and specified to various places and target groups. Marriott’s uses the same concept but in different ways to attract different people and customers. The different hotels have the following brands; Marriott Hotels and Resorts, Renaissance Hotels, Marriott Vacation Club, Fairfield inn to name a few. Price is an important aspect because different brands attract different people. The price perceived by customers is related to the satisfaction fulfillment given by the product or service. Therefore, price influences spending patterns of customers thus crucial to a hotel to evaluate its price versus quality ratio.
The product life cycle presents a challenge to hotels to continuously assess their product effectiveness and performance in the market scene. Products or services used in the hotel facilities, leisure packages, business and family packages should all be assessed since their inception into the market by monitoring their growth, customer acceptance through the different stages in the cycle. Offering specific room rates and offers can drive return revenues in a hotel. Marriott’s needs to evaluate the different challenges its brands are facing in the product life cycle at the different stages of product development, introduction, growth, and decline.
The Marketing Plan
Marriot’s is committed to global diversity to provide services that are above and beyond its customer’s experience. This strategy and concept has become its blueprint in its marketing plan to match the needs of the customers to the various products and services and provide the best possible experience for their guests during their stays in the hotel. The company is global having three thousand properties in sixty eight different territories and countries by franchising hotels under different brands. Marriott’s marketing plan will entail research in the industry to gather critical information and experiences to better generate marketing strategies that would be effective through application of customer care and integrity. This market evaluation is important as it will also address competitions, Marriott’s interests, and marketplace segment in the daily hotel operations. The four P’s are also essential to evaluate in relation to customer service, market prospects, industry environmental conditions, and product and service development. Profit potentials can also be determined through the marketing plan. Cost leadership and product differentiation has been integrated at Marriott’s which offers different brands either luxurious or moderate to fit various clients’ needs (LaMonica, 1996). Standard packages in service and products provide a more variety to the different atmospheres created by the different products offered by Marriott’s. Other parameters must be included in the marketing plan like the marketing concept, product lifecycle and focus strategies that are important to guide a hotel’s marketing plan. The Hotel’s entry and foundation in the market place plays a major role in its marketing plan by detailing its goals, marketing objectives and the necessary factors to consider while implementing its marketing plan processes. Marriott’s marketing strategies are geared towards the plan of maintaining it’s tradition of cherished service through the hotel brands to elevate guests’ stays, thus accomplishing its overall marketing objectives.
Competition and the Marketing Environment
Guests in a hotel enjoy the general convenience of food and beverage outlets and frequently choose a famous brand of a premise where they get their most satisfaction. The increase of customer awareness in different brands forces the competition for hotels to grow in providing diversified food and beverage facilities and improved services. This aspect is among the many marketing environment forces of competition that affect a hotel’s strategies and marketing plans. This plans and concepts are put to test in these competitive environments. The competitive forces can either be internal or external to the company. Marriott’s conducts several operations and franchises of hotels and related lodgings organizations. Management of the different hotels have an overall effect in the brand and themes that Marriott has created, therefore a flaw or mistake inside the chains like not observing product standards, can be detrimental to the associated brand image formed. Marriott’s (Dibb, 1996). The hotels competitive environment is characterized by major hospitality players like the Intercontinental, Hilton and distribution food chains having diverse products. Marriott’s pioneering of the global market concept and franchising has also been met with rivalry from companies like Starwood and Hyatt. Therefore to remain afloat, it has to consider the macro and micro approach to marketing strategies, level of competition in the market segments, economic factors and new technologies that play in the competition environment. The hotel has to consider its selected target market segments, design and improvement of facilities, positioning services in the piloting of new market ventures in the various demographics. Different types of publics inevitably affect Marriott’s level of competition to facilitating services to different consumer categories. Customers’ disposable incomes, professions, attitudes, sex, age and influences and opinions from others affect their decisions in purchasing services or products associated with a specific brand name. Overall the hotel’s marketing objectives, internal and external forces must be harmonized to create and implement the optimum marketing plan and strategy.
Understanding Organizational Customers
Marriott’s has taken its provision of customer experience very serious by innovating and becoming a quality service provider to its guests. Understanding organizational and customers’ spending patterns is crucial to developing those products that will be customized to their specific
needs. Customers have different perceptions of product to its price versus quality ratio influenced from different sectors like commercial enterprises, governments or nonprofit organizations coupled by the status of the gusts, education, personality and attitudes. Observing environmental factors like culture and customs, economic developments, technological changes, competitive forces or politics that influence their spending behaviors and consequently the overall performance of the hotel. Marriott’s success is primarily due to its innovation to new and developing markets and meeting its customer’s expectations in the competitive market segment (Karen, 2003). Understanding its organizational customers with their preferred needs ensures they answer to the needs of travelers by a providing a comfortable stay away from home and simultaneously enhance its brand name. Good guest relationships have to be integrated into the organizational structure, marketing strategies that will ensure Marriott’s customers constantly receive the best value for their money and also influence new customer targets to greater improve their competitive advantage. The various situational factors that influence the behaviors of customers and attitudes towards a certain brand, service or product should be evaluated by an organization to shape those unexpected situational factors that influence their decision buying process to the hotel’s advantage. Guest satisfaction in itself is a marketing strategy that will give a high customer expectation towards products or services and influencing those around them to partake of those services. The hotel should be able to match its customer expectations, price and performance to better deliver.
Advertising, Merchandising, and Public Relations
An organization’s marketing concept has to integrate the above factors in its efforts to promote its products and services in the competitive market environment. Effective advertising is crucial to capture the imagination of target customers and direct those attitudes and desires to the products and services provided. A brand name status is crucial in the market environment as it stands for a marketing strategy with customers or guests preferring to certain facilities and the perceived expectations of service. Advertising is a tool which can be used to market a hotel services and Marriott has taken its advertising to the internet (Cervellon, 2000). Cost factors must be observed when initiating advertisements through the different mediums to pass the most optimum message to the target customers and make a significant impact.
Public relations in a hotel have a major significance on how it relates to its external environment and also handling guests’ queries and needs. Marriott’s has been able to develop an online multi-channel system where it can communicate with their guests and meet their needs. Effective public relations will employ cost effective strategies to promote the hotels products and services using persuasive elements through appropriate media channels and providing important and detailed information to its customers and the broader public in different demographics. Publicity through media has more effect and involves minimal expenses and also need to be integrated within the marketing strategies to provide the optimum returns.
Merchandising of hotels products entails the design, development of product and services that the organization wants to fashion to attract its clients. Marriott’s has taken to franchising of the different lodging facilities found around the globe by providing different themes, atmospheres that are geared to providing customer expectations. Franchising has enabled Marriott’s to cater to different and specific guest needs in its operations.
Differentiation, Segmentation, and Target Marketing
Marriott’s has undertaken its segmentation through the fifteen brand segments in its market portfolio. The brand segments target several different customers in various market segments to satisfy the specific needs those customers expect in those facilities. Market segmentation has enabled Marriott’s to anticipate it’s guests needs and determining specific products and services suited to those particular clients (Kunz, 2005). The segments enable the hotel to align its market strategies by considering the geographic factors, population layout, and demographics in gender, income, occupations, education and family life cycles.
Marriott’s target marketing strategies have been enhanced in its several categories of segmentation through the various brands. Each different brand satisfies travelers’ who have various needs like fine restaurants, upscale amenities, meeting rooms or athletic facilities. The
different flagships of Marriott’s brands support the overall target segmentation by the hotel. The various facilities like Courtyard by Marriott, Renaissance Hotels, Fairfield Inn and several others form the core brands that serve customer needs in the various target market segments.
Product differentiation can be observed in the different franchised operations and lodgings that Marriott has taken under its wings. Marriott’s believes that the differentiation of its brands will serve customers from the base level of service to levels of comfort and luxury. Its plan to introduce the boutique style hotel facilities will add to their differentiation strategies and keep more advantage in the competitive hospitality environment.
The Pricing Decision
A guests’ perceived pricing of a product is an important factor that will either influence him or her to purchase that product or service. Customer satisfaction is a priority in many hotels to guarantee expectations and perceived product or service performance matches the price.
Performance of a product with less expectation will disappoint guests, while the performance matches the expectations will satisfy the client, moreover if performance exceeds expectations the guests will be more than gratified (Baker, 2009). The price versus quality ratio is a key factor in the hospitality industry. Hotels not considering this factor usually lose out on clients who tale those important dining coins to another establishment. Price-end strategies can be utilized by hotels that signal quality or value. Marriott’s lodging facilities may utilize the direct relationship between pricing strategies and room rates. The organization has plans to overhaul and sweep its transient pricing so that it can bring parity to all its distribution channels. New pricing strategies will be applied to Marriott brands in the effort to provide customers the best room rates versus the price. This strategy will be integrated into its multi-channel online reservation systems to cater to guest reservations. Marriott’s has undertaken the move from fixed rates and embrace more dynamic pricing to suit the different market conditions to facilitate effective forecasting and budgeting potential for cost savings.
Marriott’s success in marketing concepts and strategies has been through satisfaction of their customers by the experience in their different brands. Their concept of making the guest comfortable in their lodging facilities has led to the creation of an international brand name. The company has employed its marketing mix strategy globally in a unique way through the different locations of their franchised hotels and attracting different customers. Promotion has been undertaken through the internet to maximize the number of potential guest stays in their hotels. Marriott’s core products are the room facilities in the different hotels which have different styles. The brands have the same concept, but fashioned in different ways to work in the different places to attract different customers. Their advantage lies in factoring their clients in all levels. Although, the hospitality industry is faced with dynamic competition and threats in the marketplace, strategies have to be developed to assess and evaluate an organizations objectives and aims in the implementation of its marketing concept and strategies.
Aaker, D. (1999). The Lure of Global Branding. Harvard Business Review
Baker, R. J. (2009). Pricing on purpose: How to implement value pricing in your firm. Journal of Accountancy.
Binkley, C. & Jon, B. (1997). Marriott to Buy Renaissance Hotel Group. Wall Street Journal.
Cervellon, M. & Dube, L. (2000). Standardisation versus cultural adaptation in food advertising:
insights from a two-culture market. International Journal of Advertising
Dibb, S., & Simkin, L. (1996). The Market Segmentation Workbook: Target Marketing for
Marketing Managers. London: Routledge.
Karen, P. & Injazz, J. C. (2003). Understanding customer relationship management: People, processes and technology. Business Process Management Journal.
Kunz, G. I. (2005). Merchandising: Theory, Principles and Practice. Fairchild Books. New York.
LaMonica, P. R. (1996) Old Gold: Why Marriott International Is Catering to the Geriatric Set. Fin ancial World
Marriott, J. W. Jr., & Kathi A. B. (1997).The Spirit to Serve: The Marriott Way. HarperBusiness.
Ward, J. (1994). Marriott: The Sequel. Financial World.
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