Demographic segmentation is one of the most popular bases for segmenting customer groups. Businesspeople or business travelers are one of the customers that Marriott focus the most. People who work in business industry can't avoid travelling around the world for business purposes. So Marriott have few brands such as Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites are for businesspeople. Fairfield Inn & Suites hotel amenities have free Wi-Fi in public spaces and have business centers or lobby PC with internet and printing capabilities that help you stay productive. Other than that, room features have free high-speed internet access, have guest rooms with well-lit work area, and have separate living, working, and sleeping areas. (Anon., n.d.) Besides, SpringHill Suites by Marriott have style and space and beautifully priced. Hotel amenities such as free Wi-Fi in the lobby, complimentary newspapers in the lobby, business center with printing and faxing service and meeting rooms. Businesspeople are mostly heavy users of technology so room features in the suite hotel have high-speed internet access, iPod docks in every suite, flexible workspaces, large and well-lit desk with ergonomic chair and two phone lines with data port and voice mail. (Anon., n.d.)
If you offered a job which is at oversea for about 6 months or a year, Residence Inn or TownePlace Suites by Marriott are your best choice to stay at. Both of these brands by Marriott are designed for longer stays. Other than Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites, Marriott have another brand called Marriott Executive Apartments. Marriott Executive Apartments is preferred by international business travelers for long stays. There are amenities and services to enjoy during your stay such as fully-furnished apartments, gourmet kitchens, versatile floor plans, 24-hour security, grocery delivery & laundry service, fitness & recreation, business services and housekeeping. Marriott Executive Apartments provides the services and amenities you enjoy at home and expect on your travels. (Anon., n.d.)
Furthermore, many families will at least once a year bring their kids for vacation. Marriott Vacation Club is a resort that whole family will enjoy their vacation. The resort amenities such as swimming pools and whirlpool spas, fitness center, children's play area, access to golf and spa can be enjoy by the adults and children. The villa features such as fully-equipped kitchen, separate living and dining areas, master bath with whirlpool or large soaking tub, TVs, DVD player, balcony and porch and many more. Marriott Vacation Club is a place for vacation experiences for the entire family. (Anon., n.d.)
Marriott have few luxury hotels brand such as JW Marriott, Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, The Ritz-Carlton and The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club. This few brands are mostly for luxury travelers. JW Marriott provides the luxury that customer deserve. There are professional staff is available at any hour to ensure customer receive the personal and warm service. Customer can enjoy distinctive lounges and restaurants offering exceptional dining experiences. Customer can have the most delightful dining experiences at JW Marriott luxury hotels with those memorable meals start with wholesome ingredients picked locally, prepared expertly and served graciously. There are recipes and dishes that can't find any other places except JW Marriott luxury hotels. (Anon., n.d.) Moreover, Renaissance Hotels by Marriott provide the lifestyle that customer enjoy. Renaissance Hotels have RLife LIVE that brings music and have thrilling live shows. Renaissance Hotels introduced Navigators at each hotel to help guests discover local food, wine and culture. The brand also opened hotels around the world such as in Sweden, Thailand and China helping travelers satisfy their appetite for adventure.
Behavioral segmentation divides consumers into groups based on their knowledge, uses and responses to a product or service. For example, consumers can be grouped accordingly to occasions or life events such as graduations. Getting married or have a wedding can be considered as life events. Marriott have wedding services that you can plan your wedding with Marriott. Marriott will handle the finest of details, from the arrangement of the tables and the menus that are served to the final farewells and the lasting memories. Marriott have these full services that you can just relax and enjoy while preparing for the wedding and during the wedding day. Customers have options to have their wedding whether in Marriott Hotels & Resorts, JW Marriott or Renaissance Hotels. Different hotel brands have their different specialty. (Anon., n.d.)
Marriott using Differentiated Targeting Strategy
For most businesses, the general strategy to be profitable would be able to control the market once by capturing a large portion of their targeted market by providing products or services sought out by most people. However, this may not always be the case as some marketers prefer not to choose a large audience but instead, seek to find smaller segments of a target market to enter which could reap more profit. Targeting strategies are selected by marketers after evaluating the attractiveness of their product or services, the current size of the market, the growth potential of the market, their company's brand objectives and the availability of organizational resources.
Marriott targeted business traveller
From the case study, "Marriott: Getting Down to Business with Business Travellers", it can be observed that, Marriott's targeted market is mostly business travellers and that Marriott is using the differentiated strategy. The differentiated strategy is used by separating the segments into smaller parts and a unique product or service is tailored to each segment. The flagship Marriott brand stands for full service which its hotels are equipped with restaurants, meeting rooms, fitness centres and other outstanding facilities. This service is tailored for the business travellers with average expenditures in their minds. Marriott does not only cater for that segment alone, but caters for more exclusive clientele as well. JW Marriott brand is the more upscale version of Marriott hotels and the Ritz-Carlton brand which is known for top-quality service. Besides these two hotels, the Edition is a chain of stylish, luxury hotels. These three are tailored for business travellers who are willing to spend significantly more to enjoy Marriott's hotel services.
Marriott care about customer budget
On the other hand, Marriott also caters for the more cost constrained business travellers who seek other aims. TownePlace Suites are mid-priced suite hotels for customers who plan on extended stay away from home and the Fairfield Inn & Suites are for businesspeople seeking valued-priced accommodations. These two suites are tailored for "budget" oriented business travellers. Looking beyond the expenditure matter, Marriott also targets based on the individuals personalities that gravitate towards the Marriott brands. For the "achievers" segment, Marriott hotel stated that "Marriott is about productivity and performance" to cater for business travellers who feel driven to get a lot done in a short time.
Marriott provide more completed facilities
In addition, Marriott also looked into the reason as to why businesspeople visit their hotels. For example, businesspeople who travel often and see a suite hotel as a place to spread out, feel refreshed and take a break from the stress of being on the road preferred the SpringHill Suites. Specifically for the more tech savvy business travellers, Marriott had equipped many of its meeting rooms with latest in recording and communications technology. Furthermore, it partnered with AT&T and Cisco to offer "virtual meeting" capabilities in its Marriott, JW Marriott and Renaissance Hotels. Moreover, Marriott is also beginning to target the ever growing 'green' market to cater for the market segment who care about the environment. According to the case study, Marriott had developed prototype green hotels for several of its brand and is planning to build hundreds of green hotels within the next decade.
In a nutshell, Marriott is using the differentiated strategy to target different segments of the market by providing variety of unique hotel services, features and attributes to cater for a specific segment as listed above.
Marriott's Green Hotels
What is GREEN Hotel? "Green" hotels can be consider as environmentally friendly properties that take the initiative and carry out practices and programs to save water, save energy and reduce waste. In this few years, the concept of going green is getting more and more popular and event such as Earth Hour almost around the world adopted it since 2008. The environment around us is getting more polluted and discomforting. From this problem, it influences people to be greener than ever. The demand for a healthier environment is getting high and any company that is producing green products is getting great feedbacks. People are willing to invest more just to be greener. Many hotels now are following the trend by building green hotels. Hotel companies such as Marriott, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt, Starwood Hotels, and Best Western.
LEED certified Marriott Hotels
For more than 20 years, Marriott has been actively involved in energy conservation. Marriott has been an ENERGY STAR partner for 6 consecutive years. ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environment Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy help to save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products. (Anon., n.d.) Marriott headquarters has maintained Energy Star ratings of 77 out of 100 since 2007. A score of 75 or higher than that indicates top performance. Since 2007, the electricity consumption at Marriott headquarters has dropped by an accumulated of 9.04%. (Anon., n.d.) Other than that, Marriott International's 30 years old Headquarters building awarded LEED-Existing Building Gold status. What is LEED? Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a third-party certification program. It consist a series of rating systems for design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. (Anon., n.d.) This is to ensure the buildings are environmentally compatible, provide a good work environment. Marriott have nearly 90 hotels across all brands that are LEED certified or registered by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). In the year 2012, Marriott became the first hotel company with five brands including Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites and TownPlace Suites to earn the LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. (Anon., n.d.) Marriott International ranks seventh on the Sunday Times "Best Green Companies" list and has received a lot of awards for its commitment to the environment. (Elizabeth Caminiti, 2010)
Marriott Saves Green by Going Green
What did Marriott green hotels do to save water, save energy and reduce waste? The hotels have replaced light bulbs with fluorescent lighting, recycling 75% of the waste created, bathtub replaced with showers which use less water, installed 400,000 low-flow showerheads and toilets, recycling bin in the lobby and the hotel room clearly marked, "Room-ready" towels that eliminate the initial wash cycle and save an estimated 7.5 million gallons of water annually, 24 million key cards made of 50% recycled material and 29 million pens made of 74% recycled material. (Anon., n.d.) Besides, they upgraded the heating and air conditioning in the hotels, installed motion sensor throughout the building so light don't burn when no one's around, switch cleaning crew to daytime hour so it's light out during at night, get paper plate switch to real dishware and all the surfaces outside the hotels are white so it reflects 80% of the sunlight that reduces the heat island effect. In addition, Marriott have nearly 45 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations available and ready to be use at several of its hotels. Guests at these hotels can now charge their electric vehicles using the "Level 2" charging stations. Moreover, Marriott giving employees with hybrid vehicles and parking space in front of the building to encourage others to drive green. (Marriott, 2010)
In conclusion, I agree Marriott should reposition its hotel brands as being environmentally friendly. By building green hotels, Marriott get to reduce operating costs, reduction of green house emissions, healthier workplaces for employees and can save energy, save water and reduce waste.
Specific Types of Data in Marriott's Customer Database for Segmentation Purposes.
For segmentation purposes, Marriott have specific data in its customer database. Demographic data consist of age, gender, income, occupation, religion, generation and origin. Data such as income, occupation and origins are important data that Marriott must have in their customer database so that they can analyze majority of their customers are from upper class, middle class or lower class society and are their customer normally local or tourists. These will be needed by Marriott to devise numerous effective marketing strategies to target a specific segment respectively. For example, for occupation data, if most of their customers are business associates, they might as well prepare meeting rooms or convention centre to attract more business people thus increasing their revenues. By doing that, they should include photos of types of rooms provided, floor plans of meeting rooms and reserve space for their convenience of choosing which room will be best suited for their needs. They will also need web-based calculators to determine how large a meeting space they'll need and estimate the costs. With these facilities, Marriott will definitely be most company's favorite.
By tracking individual preferences, Marriott can serve its customers even better. This data can be use for values segmentation that considers what customers prefer and what motivates customer's response to marketing activities. By knowing what its customers prefer, Marriott can target different types of segments using their different types of hotel services which are available in their chain of hotels. For example, Marriott should list down all the facilities provided by the hotel in their database so that customers are well informed on what they can enjoy from the hotel. With this informative database, customers will be more eager to pick Marriott as their first choice.
Besides that, what customers purchased when they stay at Marriott's hotels are data for behavioral segmentation purposes. This segmentation allocates consumers into groups based on their uses or responses to a product or service. Firms can divide a market according to some features of consumer behavior towards the hotel services that Marriott has to offer. They may be classified into heavy users, moderate users, light users and nonusers. With this data, Marriott will be able to ascertain the right marketing plan to cater for the different types of users based on their consumer behavioral characteristics and Marriott will know what products or services they need to focus on when their customers frequently purchase a product when they stay at Marriott's hotels.
How long do customers stay when they come to Marriott, how long before their next visit and how often they come back to Marriott are also data which are needed in its customer database. This data can be used in the needs segmentation purpose where consumers are assigned into groups, based on their current and desired level of interaction with a particular market category. With knowledge of the average number of days a customer stay, the time before their next visit and how often they revisit; Marriott can devise marketing strategies to effectively target this target market.
In addition, data such as customers' personality characteristics and their lifestyles although difficult to obtain and measure, should also be included in customer database for psychographic segmentation purposes. This segmentation divides buyers into different groups based on lifestyle, class or personality characteristics. Consumers who share similar lifestyles, interests often have the same wants/needs in the products or services they purchase. When Marriott knows their customers personalities and lifestyles, product or service development can be improved. At the same time, Marriott can also determine which specific advertising media to use when targeting different segments of the market. When identifying which type of media should be used to advertise Marriott, they should attach some photos of their rooms including the pricing for it. This will attract more customers, especially the new customers who would like to try Marriott's services. As evidence, Marriott has implemented Group Pricing Optimizer (GPO) that helps to recommend optimal price and negotiating range to different types of segmented groups. This has helped to boost its sales process as well as their customer's. (Interfaces, 2010)