In 1927 J. William Marriot and his wife Alice opened a root beer in Washington, which nowadays is one of the largest and most powerful brand in hospitality industry. The Marriot has nearly 3800 hotels and restaurants in United States and in 73 other countries in the world.
Task 1- Situation Analysis
Marriott Group of Hotels within Travel and Tourism Industry
A Marriott group of hotels is partnership with International Tourism Partnership. It is an organization with companies having a membership of companies within the travel and tourism industry. The aim of International Tourism Partnership is to provide the ability and knowledge for the development of practical solutions for a responsible business. The founding member of International Tourism Partnership is Marriott. It has contributed towards the 'sustainable hotel sitting and design guide' development and sponsorship. World Travel & Tourism Council is supported and endorsed by Marriott. The hospitality industry promotes the travel and tourism industry where it facilitates the tourists by providing various hospitality services to them which improvises the touring time (Hutt & Speh 2012, 34).
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Marriott groups of hotels also facilitate its members and customers by providing them quality services and the touring sites and destinations. The travel and tourism industry is promoted by the Marriott groups of hotels if the country's economic country is boosting and there are many tourists visiting the country time to time. Accommodations, food services, recreations and attractions are provided by the Marriott Groups of Hotels which is a subsector of travel and tourism industry. Therefore, the Marriott Groups of Hotels plays a major part in promoting the travel and tourism industry with provision of quality services in terms of food, accommodation, recreational activities, attraction, and tourist guides. Marriott Groups of Hotels are located in important locations worldwide where there is more potential and chances of tourists' attraction sites and places and more tourists pouring in on annual basis.
1.2 Main stakeholders and their interests
Stakeholders of Marriott group of hotels play an important role in driving the success and shaping the sustainability strategy. The main stakeholders are associates, customers, communities, shareholders, associations, supply chain, owners and franchises, nongovernmental organizations and government. The interests of associates are to create programs such as Cultural Appreciation Day, Marriott Jobs & Careers, Takecare wellness program, Living the Gold Standards, Associate Appreciation Week and other related activities. The interests of communities are to get involved in the community engagement programs, fundraising, volunteering, disaster relief and in-kind donations. The interests of shareholders comprise of analyst meetings, annual report, conference calls, carbon disclosure, sustainability reporting and annual shareholder meetings. The interests of associations are workshops, research, board memberships, working groups, partnerships, advisors and lobbying (Butcher 2009, 1).
The interests of supply chain are supply chain screening, local supplier capacity building, strategic partnerships, supplier diversity programs, engagement workshops and sustainable procurement programs. The interests of owners and franchises are sustainable hotel development and economic development. The nongovernmental organizations have interest on the working groups, strategic partnerships on global issues, executive committees, advocacy for Reduced Emissions from deforestation and Degradation (REDD) projects. The interests of Government are regulatory fillings, briefings, pilot projects, research, lobbying, meetings and advocacy. The main areas where the stakeholders collaborate are the improving the associate health with Take care, greening the furniture, fixtures and equipment global supply chain, engaging associates by 'Living Our Core Values', addressing global recruitment through social media gaming- 'My Marriott Hotel', collaborating with the industry to address human trafficking, responding to customers with industry standard for carbon measurement, advocating for the new golden age of travel and sourcing sustainable seafood through 'FutureFish (Brier 2012, 1)'.
1.3 PESTLE analysis
1.3.1 Political factors - Marriott Hotels do not discriminate its employees on the basis of gender, orientation, ethnicity, religion at the time of hiring. The Marriott Hotels and its government support the tourism industry. It especially focuses on the working environmental conditions related to physical and psychological factors. The main group discussion focuses on making travelling easy for customers, stability of political environment, and payment of taxes in return (Kotler 2009, 43).
1.3.2 Economical factors - Marriott hotels require providing an image of affordability to its customers because economic crises are common now. The image of Marriott Hotels and its goodwill is strong so when the economy is expected to recover, Marriott Hotels will boost back as luxurious hotels. The cost of employment is high along with high taxation in different countries. The group discussion focuses on the interest rates for loans, employee benefits, GDP, inflation and other employee related factors (Naresh 2012, 34).
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1.3.3 Socio-cultural factors - Marriott Hotels is required to focus on the eco-friendly activities, recycling, and green issues and to avoid wastage. It also includes the elderly population in countries which like to spend on hotels, leisure and travelling.
1.3.4 Technological factors - The facilities and services provided by the Marriott Hotels must be luxurious and up-to-date according to the latest technologies. The latest technologies comprise of payments of bills via cell phones, functional and easy-to-use websites and free, accessible, fast Wi-Fi.
1.3.5 Legal Factors - As Marriott Hotels is located in various countries, developed and non-developed; therefore, it is important for the Marriott Hotels to follow all the legal activities and laws abiding by that particular country.
1.3.6 Environmental Factors - Marriott Groups of Hotels tries to involve its activities in the security and sustainability of the environment of the countries it is located in (Brier 2012, 1).
1.4 Marketing Issues
Companies with a highly localized zone of influence, are facing a tough competitive situation at the level of marketing that can be summarized in five major chains and factors related. Every time we have a competitive advantage is harder and takes less time. The market is very transparent, so know the competition is easy and also copies the good start, it makes our products or services increasingly look more like those of the competition, and good ideas are cloned with quickly.
If products and services are equivalent to those of the competition, how I can do to make me choose? Well being closer to your customers, i.e., with more outlets, with a broader sales network and greater visibility, but opening outlets is becoming more expensive, have a wide network of trade also and have high visibility in the market resulting in significant investments in communication and image. Therefore marketing costs have skyrocketed (Naresh 2012, 34).
Exponentially with increasing marketing costs, the amount becomes a figure that is necessary to monitor and analyze from the point of view of investment, i.e., we need to measure the Return on Investment (ROI), but that's really complicated you can find in traditional media. How I made â€‹â€‹X a specific ad sales in a concrete fence, how much I reported the newspaper advertisement of our company that appeared last month? What was most effective, the notice published on Wednesday or Thursday? What was the best, the newspaper A or B? These are all unanswered questions, and in times of crisis, we do not know whether an investment will be profitable or not, generally took the decision not to invest, to ensure that these resources are not lost.
What brings this problem? Not only the difficulty of designing multiple marketing strategies, different for each segment, but find marketing media and allowing public turn to as concrete and specific. When I insert my ad on a billboard, all who pass through it can see it, but not all of them interest me. The result is more costs, lower price, and shrinking margin.
Companies with a local acting largely already know the benefits they receive from the implementation of promotional, advertising, etc, but very few actually designing a comprehensive and coordinated Local Marketing, which creates the true synergies between actions and thus allow those companies that do, have a competitive advantage over time.
Only through coordinated efforts between supplier and retailer, can generate sufficient capabilities to perform powerful actions resources Local Marketing, e.g. VAR must rely on the operators to benefit from their brand image and reputation, and these in turn must trust the outlets so they adapt their actions micro zone.
Actions such as mailing, telemarketing, e-mail marketing, or some purely promotional, have the great advantage of allowing very precise measurements of the return on investment and therefore the appropriateness of use. The Local Marketing, to put in the hands of the retail outlets, the development and adaptation of business strategy, benefits from a very important qualitative understanding of the micro-zone of influence, and can concentrate optimizing investment actions. The billboard will continue watching everyone pass ahead, but they all live, work or are walking next to where we sell our products and the Local Marketing has tools to put names to the communication (mail by example), which together with a greater understanding and closer to the customer becomes the key to success (Reid & Bojanic, 2009, 1). Especially all of these factors allow:
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Differentiate ourselves from our competitors next.
Create synergies in the distribution channel.
To maximize business investment
More visibility to our customers and prospects.
Task 2- Marketing Report
2.0 Current Marketing Strategy
Marriott Hotels focus on the social media marketing strategy. Twitter is heavily used by Marriott where the customer issues are resolved and customers' issues are shared. Marriott Hotels in each country focuses on its marketing strategies depending on the culture and customs of that country. Marriott Hotels usually go for the approach: "one size fits all" conducting marketing operations wherever it is located. The major marketing activities consisted of marketing, advertising, branding across an international level. With more competition and changes in customer's demands, Marriott Hotels adopted customization strategy. To fulfill the diverse marketing needs, support to Marriott's properties and brands was required. Marriott Hotels created distinction in its marketing approach by building customized materials and marketing. For their properties on global scale, they developed a portal with the partnership of Pica9 and Excella Consulting. It was an automated marketing portal to make the marketing materials customization in quick, cost-effective and easy way (Taylor 2010, 1).
This portal also allowed the managers to view brand strategies, download marketing templates, share materials and creation of customization marketing collateral. With the implementation of latest technologies, Marriott Hotels have been able to update its marketing strategies offering various branding strategies for different targeted audiences. The latest technological applications have allowed the hotel management to create positive customized piece, supported in different languages. Marriott Hotels is also focusing on social media strategies for unique branding and positioning to look for new research destinations, lodging options and travelling plans. Brand Works, another application used by Marriott Hotels, have also improvised the ways of information sharing and collaboration among the corporate teams and global locations. This also allows the marketing management of Marriott to activate its brand according to the location and customers (Naresh 2012, 34).
2.1 Segmentation, Targeting and Position strategies (STP)
Segmentation refers to division of customers according to various needs, demands, purchasing power and expectations. Marriott Hotels provide its customers with hosting services. The strategies developed by Marriott Hotels must be same to cater all segments but must be flexible also so that the management is allowed to change the strategies according to the demands of various consumers. First segment is form of the group of customers who have the demand of having a comfortable stay with reasonable expectations. The second segment comprises of extremely rich customers who demand exclusive suites, private portions, beautiful views and exquisite foods. Third segments comprises of consumers belonging to local communities. They are usually the inhabitants living in the vicinity of the hotel who do not look for accommodations; instead they look fro other services provided by the hotel. Fourth type of segments is those customers who need customized services. They have their own particular requirements and desires (Kotler 2009, 43).
For targeting the market segments, Marriott Hotels did follow a certain criteria through which the target markets were identified. The criteria included measurable, accessible, substantial, actionable and identifiable. The target markets of Marriott Hotel geographic locations, personal characteristics, demographic characteristics. The potential and current customers of Marriott are distributed among two major groups. First, is the group of local community which require services related to the weddings, baptisms, business meetings and other related events. The second group are identified according to the geographic establishments which form the travelers and tourists whether national or international citizens. They mainly require the services of accommodation. As per the personal features, the customers are divided into age, lifestyle and income (Hutt & Speh 2012, 34).
The target consumers are targeted and the required services are positioned according to the features and characteristics of each segment. Such as, for the business meetings, the professionals and business people will be targeted. Therefore, the services must be positioned and placed facilitating the business meetings. For the tourists and travelers, the services of Marriott hotel must be positioned according to the demands of the location and sites. The location of Marriott Hotels must be near tourists' sites.
2.2 Main products and services
Check in service
Hospitality Management Company
The main products and services offered by Marriott group of hotels are the hotel groups, resorts, hotels, and hospitality Management Company and boutique hotels. Accommodation, F&B and leisure services are major products from Marriott hotels. The main brands offered by Marriott hotels are full-service lodging, select-service lodging, extended-stay lodging, timeshare and Great Americas Park.
For the Marriott group of hotels the main product is in the form of service. The different services offered by the company, tangible or intangible, form the product of Marriott hotels. The core service is the lodging element along with the room, valet, reception, restaurant and auxiliary services.
The core service of Marriott hotels is to stay in the market by providing the lodging services. For the core services to be utilized by the customers, additional services are also required. The supporting services may include the check-in services and facilitating services. The facilitating services are the services required by the customers so that they can easily use and consume the core product. The supporting services, unlike the facilitating services, do not support the core service but instead they increase the value and create differentiation in the core service from the services offered by the competitors. The facilitating services are mandatory and hold more importance than supporting services (Capon & Hulbert 2007, 37).
The augmentation of the service constitute of the three basic characteristics which are consumer participation, accessibility of the service and the interaction with the service organization. The augmentation of the services has to be combined with the core product.
2.3 Pricing strategies
The pricing strategies of Marriott Hotels comprises of the strategy to sell the right product to the right consumer and the right time with the right price. The pricing strategy includes a few guiding principles for the Marriott hotel management and its related properties. These guidelines are proper benchmark rate positioning, rational pricing, single image inventory, appropriate discount rates and routine performance tracking. The pricing strategy of Marriott hotels is done in the way that the management can earn revenues.
Marriott hotel realizes their full potential when deciding the final prices for their customers. The pricing strategy is set that it earns the maximum revenue for the company along with maintaining the brand image. Pricing strategy determines the purchase and sales orders and set their prices. The pricing strategy of Marriott Hotels is mainly based on the fixed amount, promotion or sales campaign, quantity break, price prevailing on entry, specific vendor quote, combination of multiple order or lines and shipment or invoice date. The management of Marriott hotels prevent pricing errors by automating the setup of pricing and maintenance. Marriott hotel determines the pricing policy by estimating the demand curve and the possible quantities of products/services sold within each possible price. It is estimated how at different levels of output, different costs are estimated. It is also possible for Marriott hotels to cut or raise their standard prices depending on the situations. Marriott hotels' pricing strategy is flexible to change the duration and understand the intent of competitors and change (Butcher 2009, 1).
2.4 Promotion mix
With the technological advancements, a Marriott hotel does its brand promotion through internet. Marriott hotels have developed its own site with an extensive, detailed and clear view about the management: its products and services. The website facilitates the customers to book online and retrieve any related information. The focus and priority of Marriott hotels is to retain the existing customers. The existing customers pave way for the promotion campaigns by the company. The promotion strategy is mostly targeted to the mass communication through trade publications, print ads and through internet. The cost effective means of communication for the current and potential clients is done through direct mail campaigns. This helps the company build long-term relationships with its local community and helps the Marriott hotels to generate high level of corporate activity (marriott.com).
With the promotion mix, the public relation activities play an important role. Promotion mix comprises of advertising, public relations and direct marketing. The promotion strategy of Marriott Hotels is targeted to its customers mostly through the internet, various advertisements, and branding. The Brand Works helps Marriott hotels to publish its offers and deals to the individual property sites, corporate and brand sites. This enables Marriott hotels to realize what tools must be activated within each brand and to what audience and how to deliver the customer with a better experience along with assurance of consistency, value and marketing data. The advertisements are used for attraction and reminder purposes. The promotion mix is used for the purpose of communication with the customers. The promotion mix increases the awareness of the services offerings by Marriott hotel. Globally, Marriott hotel utilizes the promotion mix to increase the number of customers and attract them (Kotler 2009, 43).
2.5 Distribution strategy
Marriott hotels go about their distribution channels via the connection with central reservation system by leveraging the electronic distribution channels. This supports the Marriott hotel operations. Marriott's central reservation system is simply connected to the Direct Connect for External Channels. In the current and new markets, Marriott hotel is facing growth because of the enhancements in the inventory distribution infrastructure. The additional capabilities enable Marriott hotel to increase its speed into the market and lower its overall costs. It is important for Marriott hotels to choose the channel mix whether they want direct channels or third party channels. Every option has different set of benefits and costs.
Marriott hotel requires choosing the distribution channel which favors the streams of revenues and paves way for the sustainable growth. It is of utmost importance for Marriott hotels to provide its customers with the right price and so that their operations can earn profits. It is important to identify the correct approach for pricing, monitor the productions, and benchmark the results. In Marriott hotels, the distribution channels are both direct and indirect. The business, through indirect channels, is conducted through online third parties, wholesalers and travel agencies. The direct distribution channels of Marriott hotels have to be competitive and strong. The distribution channels via the third parties also form the part of overall revenue of Marriott and for the provision of leisure and business customers. Overall, the distribution channel plays a very important role in the profitability contributions and business mix.
2.6 Extended Marketing Mix
Figure 1 - Marriot Extended Marketing mix (field work)
The extended marketing mix comprising process, physical evidence and people comes from the product, price and promotion, which aims to facilitate the final customer. The extended marketing mix is typically more suitable in services sector. Therefore, Marriott hotel focuses on the 7P's inclusive of process, physical evidence and people. This helps Marriott hotels to focus on their sales and marketing mix in more detail (Butcher 2009, 1).
Process of Marriott hotel defines how and where the customers will reach the hotel. It also determines what added value is provided to the customers by the Marriott hotel. Process explains to the Marriott management how the customer relationships can be developed and interactive experience can be provided. The process of Marriott is facilitated by e-commerce. Marriott hotel follows the process marketing mix and continuously interacts and transacts with its customers. Marriott management creates the value promotion and delivery along with educating and supporting its customers about Marriott hotel on continuous basis.
Physical evidence determines for the Marriott management the potential customers. It determines the image, goodwill and perception of Marriott according to the views of customers. The presentation is inclusive of physical evidence. It includes the collateral support, physical environment and packaging. For the services provision by Marriott hotel, the services and intangible product can be presented to the final customers as a good image and strong brand.
People involve the Marriott hotel management and the customers. Also, it includes employees, press, general public, partners, shareholders and the analysts. The stakeholders of Marriott hotel are the people in the marketing mix. Through people marketing mix, customers have a direct experience of the Marriott hotel (Hutt & Speh 2012, 34).
Task 3- Market Research
Marketing research process is a systematic enquiry related to the Marriott hotels. It has generally a standardized pattern, which can be changed according to the requirements of the company. Managers need to feel comfortable making decisions in a changing environment, and to engage systematically functional strategies and operating decisions with strategic senior.
Step 1: Identification and definition of the problem
The first step is to identify and define the problem by the Marriott hotels. The statement of problem cannot be identified without marketing research. The problem must be explained at the start of the marketing process because the solution to the problem will be costly for the Marriott hotels. The techniques have to determine and information must be collected. The information at this stage can be collected through preliminary investigation which includes pilot studies, experience, and secondary data. The main problem identified by Marriot hotel management is to increase the number of customers along with catering the needs and changing demands of various customers worldwide. This makes the Marriott management have a challenge of catering various demands where they are required to make their services flexible to fulfill the changing demands. The fact that marketing is linked to a changing environment that is continually offering new challenges for companies, requires that both the tasks to be performed by the marketing and the importance attached to each of them are different, in a process continuous adaptation (Brier 2012, 1).
Since the problems faced by companies evolve over time, the answers to these offers, adapt continuously in an attempt to find new solutions .The crisis, with its implications for economic figures sales without the possibility of gaining market at the expense of competitors economically profitable due to the high costs of these operations.
Step 2: statement of research objectives
The objectives must be formally stated for the Marriott hotels for the removal and correction of the identified problem. The objectives can be written as hypothesis, statement or research questions. The objectives can be qualitative and quantitative. This will clearly indicate the Marriott management and the researcher of what objectives are required to be fulfilled according to the problems identified in the former stage. The main research objectives for Marriott management will be the evaluation of customers' requirements and demands, the changes customers' demand with changes in time and technology, the new services required by the customers or the improvement in old services and the ways on how to fulfill the demands and requirements of customers (source:- www.marriott.com).
Step3: Designing the Research Study
This step includes the development of research design. It is a research plan which specifies and highlights the particulars for the procedure of collection and analysis the required information. This step develops the basic framework for the research plan of action. The data must be collected fully abiding to the objectives built. The researcher must decide which kinds of sources of information is required, the method for data collecting, methodology for the sample, timings of the research and its costs. The research study of Marriott management must be related to the primary search.
Step 4: Planning the Sample
The research is responsible to involve procedures in the sample with the use of sample size or population. This step is important for the researcher where it is essential to identify the target population required to be sampled, target population, the actual number of sample size and the units of the sample must be selected. The sample must include only those customers which are special and regular customers who often avail the services for Marriott hotels (Butcher 2009, 1).
Step 5: Data Collection
For the solution driven for population, it is require gathering and collecting the facts and data. It is important to determine the methods for marketing research for the data collection. Primary data will be gathered on empirical research through various tools such as surveys, questionnaires, interviews. Secondary data will be collected through government publications, books, articles and company publications. The sources can be internal where the internal data of company is required such as accounting data of Marriott hotels or the company's salesmen's reports. The external sources are outside the company. The data of Marriott hotels must be collected through focus groups and surveys. The data collection method be chosen such that huge number of customers can be queried in short span of time and with cost effectiveness.
Step 6: Data Processing and Analysis
The collected data is required to be turned into such form where it can be processed and analyzed. This will help the researcher and those requiring the research to identify and define the problem. The data processing starts with data edition and coding of data. The collected data is inspected which is known editing. It is done in the form of consistency in classification, legibility and omission. The responses of data collected have to be changed into tabular or graphical forms so that they can be shaped into meaningful categories. Codes mean data storage media where the data is categorizing, recording and transferring. Computer and manual tabulation is facilitated with the help of coding. The data processing must be done according to the rules and regulations of the Marriott hotels (Capon & Hulbert 2007, 37).
Step 7: Formulating Conclusion, Preparing and processing the report
The final step of marketing research is to interpret the information and draw out conclusions for managerial decision making. The research findings must be effectively and clearly communicated where it is required to complicate the statements related to the research methods and technical aspects. The research design, statistical analysis is not important for the Marriott management. Rather, the concrete findings are important for the solution of problems is essential for Marriott management. The presentation by the researcher must be made useful, understandable and technically accurate. The final data will be presented by the researcher to the Marriott hotel management with the help of latest technology and latest data evaluation techniques.
It is important for the Marriott hotels to identify the internal and secondary data. Focus groups and surveys were used for those travelers who stayed at extended nights in the hotel. It is important for the Marriott hotels to identify the internal and secondary data. Focus groups and surveys were used for those travelers who stayed at extended nights in the hotel. There is a huge potential for the increase in customers whose changes may change. Marriott needs to increase and improve its position to capture customer and their business. The Marriott management is successful in marketing research for the development of segmentation strategy to attract various customers with the provision of various options, services and products. The diverse offerings provided by Marriott have appealed to wide number of customers and have made Marriott win great business. For the marketing success in future, Marriott is hugely dependent on the continued reliance on marketing research (Hutt & Speh 2012, 34).
Task 4- sustainability and corporate social responsibility
The corporate social responsibility of Marriott hotels includes three main sectors which includes business values, environment and society. The business values include the travel and tourism industry. It is very important for the global economic development. Marriott hotels must establish its business to increase the business values for customers with the increase of partnership and amalgamation. Marriott hotel management and its franchise operations establish the basic fundamental business values for the basic framework of ethical behavior and integrity. The environment of Marriott hotel is the vision of corporate responsibility within the hospitality industry to create a positive economic opportunities worldwide. The society of Marriott hotels is committed to the social blending of corporate financial contributions with the volunteer services around the world. Marriott hotels participate in career opportunities, children's health, and provision of food and shelter for the workplace and support of education within the hospitality industry (Kotler 2009, 43).
The Marriott hotels amalgamate with the stakeholders for the departments and executives for the fulfillment of management responsibilities. The stakeholders group must be continuously communicated for the development of focus areas for the community engagement with the aim of serving the community. Marriott hotel management's corporate social responsibility is achieved with the corporate financial contributions with the volunteer service and in-kind giving. The aim of Marriott hotel is to make the worldwide community strong. The management of Marriott hotels work with various charitable organizations around the world. The commitment for the preserve of environment has been done by Marriott hotel management since 25 years.
All Marriott associates are responsible for maintaining the standards legal, ethical and social issues outlined in this Code of Business Conduct. The Code of Business Conduct applies to commercial operations hotels and businesses bearing the mark of the company all Marriott business units, offices Marriott, departments and majority-owned subsidiaries. Managers responsible for supervising other associates are particular responsibility to ensure that partners understand charge expectations contained in this Code of Business Conduct. One of the main objectives, in addition to compliance with environmental regulations is the reduction of operating costs (energy consumption, water). In addition, the ability to stand out from the competition and capture new customers, especially foreign incites many brands to establish charters (Hutt & Speh 2012, 34).
Another point not to be overlooked by the hotel is that corporate customers are more likely to be preferred for consistency with their sustainable development strategy, accommodation structures whose actions are consistent with responsible approach. This is particularly the case for seminars or during event operations. Marriott respects the privacy of members who report violations potential Code of Conduct and a policy of "no retaliation" to partners who report a concern, honestly and good faith (Butcher 2009, 1).