Marketing can be said to be the process that is responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying the requirements of consumer profitably. Thus it’s the process of analyzing, planning, implementing, coordinating, pricing, promotion and distribution of products, services and ideas designed to create and maintain beneficial exchange with target markets for the purpose of achieving organizational objectives. (Moutinho, 2000, p. 121)
The international hotel industry:
The hotel industry is said to be a service industry, as the society has changed both globally and locally most people who have shown to have dispensable income, free time and urge to explore new product inventions have proved to have more awareness and desire for service-oriented products such as the hotels. For example china, due to china’s huge population and the opening of the country’s border to international travel, very important and significant impact will be seen in the hotel industry word wide. Thus understanding is being needed for the products that are being marketed, along with his change.
The P’s of marketing:
Organizations have to decide on a combination of tools that meet their objective and in which they can use against the competitor. Since early 1960’s most organizations have been using the four tools of marketing mainly Price, Product, Promotion and Place. However use of these tools is very limiting while considering a service oriented industry such as a hotel since it does not completely reflect the complexity of the product.
Due to the limitations of the 4 ps of marketing mix, Booms and Bitner (1981) proposed a seven p of marketing mix that could counter the limitations. The 7 p’s included participants, physical evidence and process adding the 4 ps. Thus in the hotel industry the service characteristics need to be adversely incorporated in the approach to marketing.
Understanding those characteristics that make us individuals and try to recognize this in such a way that there is large enough market to successfully target is an important part of marketing process. Thus marketing segmentation is dividing the market into small sub units called segments or regions or divisions that are easier to handle since they have similar characteristics.
Product differentiation simply means distinguishing your products and services from those of your competitors and maki8ng them unique, anticipating that the guest will perceive greater utility, possibly better value or better resolution for their demands. (Lewis Chambers and Chacko, 1995)
Due to the fact that much of the products sold to guests by hotels are intangible, the differentiaon of a hotel’s product involves a process of making an intangible product tangible.
Understanding the factors guests are looking for:
Guests staying in a hotel have got different characteristics and so they demand different outcomes from their stay. Callan (1996) summarized a number of research projects that had been conducted and of particular interest is the finding that within many of those, the standard of housekeeping and cleanliness was rated as the most important in the selection of accommodation by guests. This further emphasizes the complexity of trying to segment or differentiate the hotel market.
Emotion and purchase indecision:
For an intangible product to be marketed successfully one has t develop an emotional relationship between the guest, and the hotel. Emotionally connected guests are more likely to return to a hotel according to a research by Barsky and Nash (2002, p. 39).
Internal marketing is influencing employees to be conscious of the customer, to have a marketing focus and be proactive in promoting sales. In the hotel industry the interrelationship between guest and the employees is important. it is in part the quality of this relationship in what is referred to as the service encounter that makes the sale. It’s a philosophy of managing personnel and a systematic way of enhancing and developing service culture.
Marketing research and intelligence:
It’s the process of collecting, analyzing and reporting information for marketing managers to us in decision making. It’s important in environmental scanning, competitive analysis and opportunity analysis. Thus the most important point here being to discover what problems and demands the guests have while at the same time investigate about competition.
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This is a summary chapter discussing marketing of the hotel product and the place marketing holds in the operation of the hotel industry.
Why is it not enough to try and sell the hotel product just as you would a box of nails or bolts? Identify why there may be a difference? Hotel industry being a service industry has its core components which are the guests, stakeholders, and employees. Thus marketing a hotel product requires an understanding of needs, wants, and demands of the potential and existing components. Thus the following explains why one cannot sell hotel products just as you would a box of nails or bolts.
Inability to Immediately Respond to Customer Requests:
In order to make quick decisions customers today have continued to show great willingness to shop their events by comparing multiple vendors and demanding fast, comprehensive information. As a result, hotels are competing to provide complete, accurate event reservation detail during the initial interaction. This information includes properties that meet customer requirements, sleeping room and function space availability, and property-specific pricing. thus creating a need for the service first to the customer.
Limited Access to Enterprise wide Inventory:
In the hotel industry, it is difficult to see property inventory across the enterprise from a national or regional sales office. Lack of effective, real-time access to property-specific inventory and pricing reduces the sales effectiveness.
Inability to Track or Share Information across the Enterprise:
Many hotels have a vague view of their customers. Mostly, each property in a brand operates through independent systems and customer touch points. Thus, there is limited synergy across company business units, leading to inefficiency in customer information, lack of coordination, and most importantly, an inability to maximize price from every customer.
Disjointed systems and manual processes found in most hotel industry hamper the ability to respond to sale opportunities. Effective support of sales and service processes for group events, the lead capture system and on-property sales and catering solution, as well as the revenue management, inventory management, contract generation, billing, and reporting applications all require seamless and effective coordination.
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What actions can you take to promote internal marketing among employees?
Internal marketing is a planned effort using a marketing-like approach directed at motivating employees, for implementing and integrating organizational strategies towards customer orientation.
Employees should be treated as customers.
This is because employees, like external consumers, also have needs and expectations The hotel must understand the expectations and needs of its employees and must be able to meet them, thus it can easily take care of the needs of the external customers’ in the market. So, consequently, the higher the degree of satisfaction of employees, the higher the possibility of having external customers satisfied.
Hotel industries provides all the benefits, programs and recognition to the staff, this is not what the senior management feels is right but what they are truly looking for. thus once you defined and determine what is right for them one finds that it is recognition that is all necessary and not about money or any other thing else, hence it is always the pat on the back, ‘the thank you’ that makes them feel the difference.
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Improving the organizational activities of the business:
Studies show that the concept and activities of internal marketing increases employee job satisfaction. This is because it looks at both employee's satisfaction as well as customer’s satisfaction. When employees are happy with company’s product, services and policies, they will take every care to make their customers happy.
Developing products and services:
A new internal product for engaging employees in customer relation should consist of changing from traditional reward systems. The core idea of total reward system compensation is that compensation is not just about money. The challenge, especially no-win a time of global economic crisis, is to develop creative reward packages to retain the best staff members and to engage them in a customer relation strategy that keeps people focused, thus constructing a new offer based on opportunities to contribute to customer relation and sustainability is a good alternative.
Having integrated marketing communications programs:
External customer are always influenced by the internal promise deliverers i.e. the employees, service personnel and others, thus internal marketing can help by working with human resources departments to identify the key elements in employee motivation, which includes training, improved communications programs and incentives, hence promoting internal marketing among employees.
What actions can you take to control the presence of discount pricing on hotels.com type website?
One of the worst things that a hotel can ever do is to teach people to expect discounts when their inventory has not been controlled from the outside. Hence this can lead to a business seriously losing out business to its competitors hence can lead to running out of profits.
Internet Engines View:
can assist hotel industry by helping them monitor their online presence on top search engines and seeing their page and position for their most important keywords, and by monitoring main URLs as well as regional sites. Tracking their campaign performance so as to take immediate action to ensure optimal results helping them to, be alerted on hotel trademark infringements.
Online Travel Agents and Travel Meta Search View:
hotels should always seek it’s hotel's placement against the competitors on third-party, meta search sites, and hotel social networks get a very comprehensive view of how online shoppers and potential guests see them as an industry..
Customer Reviews View: Hotels should determine the average score between them and their competitors on multiple hotel consumer-generated content sites e.g. trip advisor and travel post. Thus they should Even drill down into consumer ratings to see the last five reviews posted thus they focus away from the price, and allows the hotel to sell the product in a way which is appropriate to the particular establishment hence controlling the presence of discount pricing.
Search engine optimization:
Deciding to hire a Search engine optimization for the hotel industry is a powerful decision that can potentially improve your site and save on discount pricing, thus one can also risk damage to your site and reputation if not careful enough. It’s always advisable to research the potential advantages as well as the damage that an irresponsible Search Engine Optimization can do to your site, thus leading to a controlled discount pricing on their sites.
Determine individual site content needs and structure:
One can approach this task in following two recommended ways are: Formal methodSurvey your stakeholders and users to determine what they want to see in the site. Follow this process if especially when creating a hotel industry site, with multiple audiences coming to it for different needs. Careful planning and review to ensure that all audiences can come to the site, find what they need, contribute appropriately, and continue with their work is needed. Informal methodbegins with a rough organization for the site, and from there, let it evolve based on user needs and feedback, hence such a site will be a good control of discount within the website.