Marketing plan is an important part of any industry to flourish, increase its goodwill and higher the clientele to increase the profits. In a hotel and tourism industry marketing is an important tool that helps to increase the quality of the business and sets strategies for its development and as a resultant it increases the financial strength of the industry. Hotel industry is considered as the biggest sub-sector of the tourism industry; it is a direct beneficiary of the tourism sector and grows proportionately to the growth of it (Brotherton, 2003).
RogerSmith hotel is a 250 room family run hotel situated in New York downtown Manhattan that uses social media to make it accessible to guests. It spread its brand name in digital media through social media platform to become popular in New York City. This strategy was done to reach maximum target market and attract a huge number of prospect people.Social media helped and allowed channelizing that was considered important by Roger Smith as it has a “people first” approach. It is a boutique hotel, offering wifi, internet enabled booking with promotional offers and has won 2015 Social Responsibility Award in US.
The market structure analysis helps to evaluate key data, information about a firm’s competitive environment, position in the industry, customer development, product development leading to market development (Go & Pine, 2008). It helps to establish the value drivers which allows to setup metrics that will provide improved terms and increased valuations for the firm. This assessment can be done by doing SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis for understanding what RogerSmith hotel offers. This is an audit of the operations, marketing that defines the capability of the brand. This serves as a threshold point for the RogerSmith hotel to understand the journey plan to improve in order to reach the ‘desired state’. The hotel leadership and management together with the employees need to understand their contribution towards making the brand a success.
PESTLE analysis of the organisation and know the advantages and disadvantages of the company. This helps in knowing where the brand and the organisation is currently standing in the market and the weaknesses it needs to overcome (Francesco & Gold, 2007). The US elections are on the way shows that political risk factor will be low, but the republican/democrat ideology may have change in industry or sector. The US economic slowdown has been a wary signal which it needs to ponder as consumer spending will be conservative and restricted. Hotel industry a sub-sector of the tourism industry; is dependent on the business sentiments. Hotel industry has to perform various tasks in order to connect and use promotional tactics to attract the people all around, for this it has to use promotional strategies, marketing skills, know its customers and plan according to the needs of the customers and make its efforts known to them. Socially the sector can benefit from the friends, relatives, business colleagues who can bring in additional business, and repeat footfalls as hotel guests. Legally the compliance for operations and HR laws has been adhered to avoid litigation. However, Bowie & Buttle (2007) added that the customer disputes need special attention that has a direct outcome on the hotel brand name. Technology is an enabler and also a great tool for customer interaction making it convenient. The above tool allows understanding of the current market structure, the players at macro level whose direct and indirect association affects the hospitality business and aids in understanding the trend of the market structure.
Market structure contains the price/value that has real value and perceived value components. So the RogerSmith hotel value is ‘right service at right time’ for all customer segments needs evaluation with customer’s viewpoints that will help to improve the service. Designing the service delivery process which emanates from the vision and mission of the hotel helps to align those components and the pricing paradigm. The price which the customer pays is therefore a measure of the value component which the customer receives (Harrison, 2003). The comparison of the offerings made against the price charged should lead to sellers. This for RogerSmith hotel will be the total number of hotels in a zipcode in New York City, their tariffs, total customer base and service offerings. The aggregate of total number of sellers in the hospitality sector in New York City is the next step to understand the competition intensity. Roger Smith hotel is a good hotel with adequate brand reputation that has too many competitors in NY City.
In order to understand operations and delivery, the regulations and compliance needs listing for maintaining the minimum requirement criteria. This has labour laws that is applicable for the employees in the Roger Smith hotel, the establishment of the premises which is approved and authorised by NY police, NY fire department The market structure also needs assessment of the technologies involved currently, cost of implementation and the range of advantages or value adds it can perform.
The buyer’s perspectives about the RogerSmith hotel perception will be surveyed to understand how customers perceive (segmenting them) against the competition. Thus these components allow the market structure dimensions to align the RogerSmith hotel value that needs to be repositioned as per industry trends visible in NewYork City.
Figure 2: Market Structure Analysis
It is necessary for a company to assess the market and the competitors on a periodic basis so as to review their own standing in the market. The competitor analysis should be able to evaluate the strategy of the competitor and predict responses that are competitor moves. Changes in the industry key parameters like RevPAR, occupancy rates, economic condition of the US, that are important guidance for the hotel industry, employment rates, business outlook (Hooley et al. 2008). Applying Porter’s Industry analysis tools, the Five forces analyses the type of forces which are acting on the firm.
The Porters five force analysis shows if the hotel industry is capable of withstanding the challenges and barriers in the external environment that affects the capabilities of an organisation to exist in the competitive environment.
Entry of new entrants: [LOW]
This is a boutique hotel and niche, with family converting in the property into a hotel group. The industry has dominance is that of the popularly established hotels such as Hilton, Shangri La etc. which are the internationally acknowledged hotels. This makes the entry of new hotel(s) and offering a very competitive service with affordable rates extremely difficult. The establishment cost will be over USD 22-50million to gain entry into an already established industry in NY as there will be additional cost overruns.
Bargaining power of customers: [HIGH]
The hotel industry is a highly competitive environment the bargaining power of the customer is more with the advent of internet (Knowles, 2007). The rates and availability is knowledge driven and accordingly shapes the customer expectation set. There is range of numerous competitors available in the NY market presents a greater challenge. So demographics, availability of services, and other factors is dependant for a hotel to thrive (Kotler et al. 2006). Hence, if in a particular place if the number of hotels is high that have same services and quality then the bargaining power of the customers will also be high.
Threat Substitutes: [MEDIUM]
Threat of substitutes in the hotel business as there are home stays, B&B (bed and breakfast), service apartments in NY that are changing the landscape of this hospitality business. Establishments such as cottage, B&B(bread and breakfast) and inn provide similar or standard services to the customer in reasonable price. There has been a sharp increase in the popularity of these substitutes in the last decade as the investor to invest huge capital required for the establishment and maintenance of high budget hotels. Hence presence of close substitutes makes the market more competitive and reduces profitability of renowned hotels. RIVALRY: [HIGH]
The rivalry relates to the direct competition the RogerSmith hotel is facing that has revenues as competition, customer base in the given zipcode. It has competition therefore translates to the occupancy in any given day as it directly relates to the revenues (Buhalis, 2008). CRM is effective along with social media that enables two way communications about the offers, and criticisms of services.
The competitor analysis also requires doing a marketing audit before instantiating a change management plan in its operations.
The marketing mix deploys the components like product/service, price, promotion and place to maximise the effect on the target market (consumer segment) (Hyde, 2006).
Product: The product for RogerSmith hotel is the hotel stay for a specified amount of time, which is a service offering. The product is positioned in the mind of the customers, though the basic amenities at a price point are being evaluated.
Price: The dynamic pricing of RogerSmith hotel for any given date is a new concept that is ecommerce enabled. The aggregate demand of rooms in a given day and its supply influences the prices up and down making it dynamic.
Promotion: The offers on the self booking done online are discounted while the loyalty bonus and complementary stays are customary gestures which are seasonal for the RogerSmith hotel.
Place: The place is the hotel itself as it is location in Manhattan is bound to attract, business travellers, casual vacationers, from US and abroad.
There is process, the manner in which RogerSmith hotel offers the service to the guests that is an integrated internal mix of functions comprising of HRM, finance, IT, marketing which makes the service creation possible. The people are the employees who make it the service creation a reality and can do differentiation in the service creation process (Kotorov, 2006). Physical evidence is the brand existence in the particular location which is Manhattan in NY.
In order to compete with the competitors RogerSmith hotel the management needs to drive the ‘as is’ KPIs key performance indicators to be linked to the PMS (performance management systems). This is a vital step to change the culture and embrace change in the service standards. The quality of service needs to be defined in terms of time taken to produce and evaluated by the customer receiving it making it a 360degree approach (Olsen, 2004). The change in customer centric processes in operationalising the hotel needs a unified binding approach which can be value driven. The use of McKinsey 7S is beneficial for the hotel, as
The values mentioned in vision, can be propagated into a systems approach, for each staff at various organisational hierarchy levels. Their style of functioning will reflect in their skills which is an element of the corporate business strategy.
Thus, market structure and competitor analysis are very important in a business plan. Going forward, there can be CRM to keep the tab on the customer base, analyse it for finding trends. Internal marketing with the employees as spokespersons will enable to engage the customer form a bond on emotional plane (Kotorov, 2006). This will help the customers to engage with the service elements, the RogerSmith hotel staff in order to drive the steady occupancy levels. The plan to promote during lean season and undercut the price in the peak season can compensate the RogerSmith hotel revenues. The overall plan of service audits of RogerSmith hotel, market audits therefore will be spread over three months in order to bring in a gradual change in operations in order to boost the marketing functions.
Bowie, D. & Buttle, F. (2007) Hospitality Marketing: An Introduction. 5th ed. Oxford: Elsevier.
Brotherton, B. (2003) International Hospitality Industry. 5th ed. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Francesco, A. M. & Gold, B. A. (2007) International Organisational Behaviour. 4th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Go, F.M. & Pine, R. (2008) Globalisation Strategy in the Hotel Industry. 5th ed. London: Routledge.
Harrison, J. (2003) Strategic Management of Resources & Relationships: Concepts & Cases, New York: Wiley.
Hooley, G. J., Saunders, J.A. & Piercy, N.F. (2008) Marketing Strategy & Competitive Positioning. 3rd ed. Harlow: Financial Times Prentice Hall.
Knowles, T. (2007) Corporate Strategy for Hospitality. 6th ed. Harlow: Longman.
Kotler, P., Bowen, J. & Makens, J. (2006) Marketing for Hospitality and Tourism. (International Edition). 4th ed. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Buhalis, D. (2008). Strategic use of information technologies in the tourism industry, Tourism Management, 19(5), 409-421.
Hyde, K. F. (2006). Contemporary Information Search Strategies of Destination-Naïve International Vacationers. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 21(2/3), 63-76.
Kotorov, R. (2006) Customer relationship management: strategic lessons and future directions. Business Process Management Journal, 9(5), 566-571.
Olsen, M. D. (2004) Literature in Strategic Management in the Hospitality Industry. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 23, 411-424.
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