The goal of our group was to relate marketing mix framework and its uses in the hospitality industry. The main objective in this task is to explain why marketing mix is important in hospitality. So we tried to apply marketing mix strategy in this specific area, using all the main elements of marketing mix and other specific especially for the hospitality industry elements: such as product/service offer, location (place), price, distribution, marketing communications, physical environment, process and people.
The flow of work in our presentation included:
Analyse application of marketing mix in the hospitality business, which comprises eight factors;
Identify the importance of marketing mix in the hospitality industry;
Discover how all element work on practice. For this purpose there was an existing example of integrating marketing mix strategy used – Premier Inn competitive concept.
Substantial amount of research shows that factors related to marketing mix play integral role in the organization’s development through the use of customer-focussed strategies. Successful example of implementation of marketing mix strategy (Premier Inn concept) has been analyzed in our research as an attempt to find out which benefits hospitality organisations might get from focusing their strategies on marketing mix. This possible outcome serves as a reason that makes the research interesting, important and relevant.
With regards to relationship between marketing mix and hospitality, the research identifies a number of factors that initiate or support each stage in the process of creating marketing mix strategy for hospitality organisation.
The methodology used in collecting and analyzing research material is content analysis. The purpose of this research was to relate existing marketing mix concept to the Hospitality industry. Marketing mix is very important in the hospitality industry, as in any other business, as it is one of main strategies in marketing plan. Managers develop marketing mix decisions to achieve agreed marketing objectives. All related marketing strategies are very important, because they are designed to win competition (market positioning) and contact customers (target market segments), increase sales. Personally, I believe that marketing mix makes any product or service consistent and professional. Without integrated marketing strategy, applying all marketing mix within the concept, hospitality business will not be able to operate successfully. Marketing mix elements are essential tools to influence demand on a hotel, food or any other hospitality market.
There was a big research made in relation to this subject. That is why I can confidently say, that learned a lot from this presentation preparation. Marketing mix subject was not new, but its applications and uses in the hospitality industry have been critically evaluated by me for the first time.
How marketers work to influence demand before, during and after the service encounter was another interesting and new aspect. This concept is proposed in the book of David Bowie and Francis Buttle “Hospitality Marketing”, which was really helpful for our presentation.
The marketing mix is a core concept in hospitality marketing. Each element of the marketing mix is consistent with all the other elements. Those hospitality companies that do not provide a consistent marketing offer confuse customers by sending out mixed messages. For example, luxury hotel can not be successfully situated in a ‘down-market’ or located far from the centre (for instance, the Dorchester is on the Park lane). Cheap restaurant can not successfully sell a gourmet cooking or vine.
In hospitality industry we have to give consideration to producing three marketing mixes, because of inseparability and perishability of hospitality products (services). In hospitality industry marketers are faced with generating of pre-encounter, encounter and post-encounter marketing mixes. The elements of the mix may be different on each stage of the service.
Pre-encounter marketing mix happens before the customer meet (encounter) the service provide. They are such marketing communications as advertising, selling, price lists and brochures. They all influence customer expectations, pre-encounter marketing mix is always about the customer expectations. Second, the encounter marketing mix happens at the point of sale. Marketers purpose during this stage is to avoid producing customer dissatisfaction. The third marketing mix, post-encounter mix, designed to influence customers after their service experience. This is a stage of creating long-term relationship with the client. Different part of the eight-element marketing mix are important at each of the stages. For example, on the last post-encounter stage we can use only marketing communications and process. We can not use location or product this moment.
Strategies and tactics need to be developed for each element of the marketing mix. There can also be a choice of different marketing strategies that can achieve the same objective of the marketing mix strategy.
Brands are central to the marketing of multi-unit hospitality businesses. Premier Inn management created a new competitor concept. They developed branded concepts, blend the elements of the marketing mix and provide target customers with a better brand offer than their competitors. They Properties that failed the brand standard’s inspections were de-branded. So Properties that failed the brand standard’s inspections were de-branded.
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Such element as price turned up for me to be the most challenging area of this subject. It was quite complicated to follow the strategy of the company and understand how Premier Inn used one single price strategy for the brand. They have no discounts, but at the same moment they have lots of different packages, offering different benefits for the customers. It was difficult to reveal this fine line between price and marketing strategy in general. But after some research it becomes clear how important are budget decision within the organisation, they can not be underestimated and have to be done in cooperation of marketers with finance department.
My personal role within the team was to create strategy, goals and objectives for our research. I was a team-leader, so from the first day of our research there was a clear structure and plan of work presented by me. Tasks were allocated for each member of a group with the respect to one main goal – to evaluate marketing mix specification and importance in the hospitality industry. My individual task included:
analysis of marketing mix in general and its application in the hospitality industry;
research and revealing of clear example of the marketing mix strategy on practice;
Evaluation of three marketing mixes in the hospitality business.
All other members have done the analysis of some particular elements of marketing mix, their application in hospitality and on the practice (Premier Inn marketing mix application and competitor concept). Collected by them information, research and analysis of allocated elements were collected by me, as a group-leader, generated, integrated, presented. After this conclusion was done
We had a limited time-frame. So it was not enough time to sit together and speak about the subject. So this limitation did not give us an opportunity to discuss the problem inside the group.
Another challenge for me personally was specification of a team-work by itself. After allocation of tasks I expected all members of the group to meat deadline, and prepare their task in advance. It would give me opportunity to correct and analyse their job better. But as we all different, have different level of motivation and opportunities, not everybody had their tasks prepared on time.
The other challenge and excuse for us was that we also had another presentation, which had to be ready the same week, just one day before marketing. It was difficult, but such a pressure summons people’s skills and opportunities for better performance. So overall performance of a group, when preparing presentation, could be estimated as successful.
Personally, I believe it was a very valued experience of the team work for me. I have an experience in preparation of many presentations individually. That is why it was challenging and useful for me.
We can not avoid team-work, because it is very important on any work place. Teamwork is the co-operative effort by a group of people to achieve a common goal. Achievement is usually measured by some kind of performance indicator (for example, customer satisfaction, sales growth). From my point of view groups have to be combined according to the skills and opportunities of the group-members, so people can make equal contribution.
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Teamwork can only be improved when the group change their behaviour so that performance improves. I made many conclusions from this group-work that will improve my self-development. I am a kind of individualist, who likes than everything is done on time. That is why often it is easier for me to prepare individual tasks and make any research. But I have to work on it. So I can suggest this improvement for myself: to listen other people carefully and do not use any pressure.
As a result of the research the conclusion can be proposed:
Each element of the marketing is consistent with all the other elements;
Marketing mix is very important in Hospitality Industry;
Success of marketing plan and marketing strategy depends on marketing mix application;
Marketing mix in Hospitality is based on classic marketing mix, but is specific.
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