Marketing Strategy for Hotel Hilton
Marketing strategy is a term used to describe the process of evaluating every facet of a business to establish its position in the market (Hill 2013, p. 3). Through marketing strategy, organizations can focus and make the best use of their available resources to increase sales and outpace their rivals. Effective marketing strategy commences with the determination of the goals by which businesses project their target (Fifield 2012, p. 105). This calls for the involvement of all departments in an organization to make it easy for the achievement of efficiency.
Ferrell and Hartline (2014, p. 1) state that organizations should have effective marketing strategies and plan to survive in the currently competitive economy. The effective marketing strategies enable businesses to enhance their products to meet the needs of their customers better. Hence, business managements must ensure their marketing strategies are customer-oriented and align with their organizational internal and external environments. This is because the main aim of companies in developing a marketing strategy is linking with customers (Paley 2007, p. 18).
Moreover, marketing strategy defines the approaches through which business firms intend to satisfy the needs and demands of their clients (Rosenbloom 2013, p. 26). It also establishes and upholds connection with other stakeholders, like partners in the supply chain, shareholders, and employees. According to West, Ford, and Ibrahim (2015, p. 8), marketing strategy details the organizational plan in utilizing its strengths and capabilities to match the market needs and requirements. Therefore, an organization must develop the bigger picture of its position in the market to remain viable and have a practical competitive advantage.
Stasch (2010, p. 16) elucidates that effective marketing strategy is a foundation for developing a definite action plan for the expansion of sales volume and revenue flow into a business. The action plans should have clear objectives and outline approaches of executing them. Examples of marketing strategies could include enhancement of the business customer loyalty, introducing new offers to loyal and existing customers, reaching out to new clients, and business innovation (McLeish 2011, p. 14). These strategies enable a company to gain a greater penetration into the market and for increased profits.
Hotel Hilton is a global chain of hotels comprising of numerous luxurious hotels, resorts and choice service hotels (Hombach 2010, p. 26). The hotels offer a broad range of services to customers from different market segments and pride themselves on a long history of operation since the founding in 1919 by Conrad Hilton (Groucutt, Foryth, and Leadley 2004, p. 416). Over the years, the Hiltons have been a leading and widely recognized brand of hotels around the globe. Their emphasis on marketing its business and travel offers has made them become a preferred destination for travelers hence gaining a top spot globally (Hombach 2010, p. 27).
Similarly, Hotel Hilton operates with numerous branches in the main cities all over the world. Their continued development has also seen them embrace partnerships with relevant market players such as airlines, car rental business organizations and other hospitality companies (Hombach 2010, p. 27). It is worth noting that the hotels operate with a customer-driven focus to get a cutting edge in the global market. Hence, it is imperative that they develop an effective marketing strategy to enable them maintain top global position and stay ahead of their rivals.
The goal of this proposal is to develop effective marketing strategies for the Hiltons so as to gain greater penetration in the global hotel industry. This will ensure their continued survival and operation without which they will lose their grip in the global hotel business.
Companies work with goals to guide their everyday operational activities and quantify and establish their impacts to the surrounding as they progress towards their projected target (Saha 2009, p. 20). Also, objectives are the platforms for evaluating performance and attainment of the organizational goals hence the specific objectives of the proposal are:
- To establish the effectiveness of the marketing strategies currently in use by the Hiltons.
- To develop a strategy for the Hilton Hotels, that aligns them with the internal and external environments and ensures a better link with customers.
iii. To come up with a policy recommendation on how to improve their services for full customer satisfaction and differentiate them from other internationally established hotels like the Marriot and Starwood Hotels.
- To develop an effective marketing plan of action which the Hiltons can adopt to help them outpace their competitors in the global hotel and hospitality industry.
- To come up with a better pricing method that augers well with the price and product strategy in the United Kingdom and other places while ensuring more sales increment.
- To re-invent a marketing strategy for the Hilton Hotels through which they can reach out and maintain new customers.
The justification for marketing strategies is indisputable as it helps establish continued links between businesses and clients (Ferrell and Hartline 2014, p. 10). With strategic marketing, the Hiltons can maintain their reputation and position in the global hotel industry. Therefore, the rationale of this research proposal includes but not limited to the following. First, the proposal spells the approaches through which the Hilton Hotels can build enduring relationships with clients and guarantee their continued existence since customers are the life-blood of any business (Business Case Studies 2017, p. 1).
For companies to achieve customer loyalty, they must ensure customer satisfaction to make them feel better. Shen and Huang (2011, p. 435) assert that consumers can reject business products and services if it cannot adequately meet their needs and opt to try other alternative sources of which may the perceived competitors. Hence, the proposal will enable the Hiltons to formulate a broad range of survey methods to determine and cater to the specific needs of customers in various age groups to ensure the Hotels do not lose esteemed clients to rivals.
Moreover, the proposal will enable the Hilton Hotels to collect accurate data on the market conditions and analyze them accordingly so as to better their future operations. This will make it easier to deeply infiltrate every segment of the hotel industry and widen their market share. Deep infiltration into the market can involve establishing a system which tracks every activity and progress in the market and gathers sufficient information concerning the market. The analysis of such data is likely to lead to making appropriate recommendations for improving customer satisfaction hence more sales (Shen and Huang 2011, p. 436).
The proposal will also make it easy to investigate and establish the exact nature of the demand and supply in the market. The hotel industry is closely related to the travel and tourism sector in which the knowledge of the market needs and supply is very fundamental to the role of strategic marketing (Morgan and Ranchhod 2010, p. 12). Therefore, the proposal will guide the management of the Hilton Hotels in their decision-making process concerning what to offer to their esteemed clients and how to price them. However, caution must be taken as miscalculated approaches may result in hugely losing customers to competitors.
Most importantly, the proposal lays out a good strategy for targeting visitors who arrive in the United Kingdom. This offers the advantage of increasing the generated revenues from the services available to such visitors. Getting the right target rests on how the Hilton Hotels package their services for their customers. Hence the proposal is likely to provide a guide through which they can develop products and services that will offer customers an excellent experience. It is worth noting that here that a positive feeling of clients dramatically influences their buying behavior and cause them spend more which is even a plus for the Hiltons (Murray 2013, p. 72).
Theoretical basis involves analyzing the basic concepts relating to marketing strategies. Hence, the section presents the 4Ps of marketing (marketing mix) and their effectiveness as marketing strategies for the Hilton Hotels. The 4Ps include price, product, promotion and place and they define means of introducing a new product or service in the market (Kirkland 2009, p. 1). This section will also present SWOT and PESTEL analyses for the Hilton Hotels.
Analysis of the 4Ps of Marketing
The 4Ps of marketing, commonly known as marketing mix is the entirety of what Hilton Hotels can provide for the satisfaction of their trusted customers and any other potential client. Marketing mix, therefore, refers to the defined variables that businesses utilize in pursuing their anticipated level of sales in a particular market (Kumar 2010, p. 46). It brings together available business tools for achieving the response that a company desires from the target market about its operational objectives. It blends all marketing efforts and summarizes them into four key ingredients i.e. price, product, promotion, and place (Kirkland 2009, p. 1).
Product: Product Development, Brand Effect
The product is the most fundamental aspect of developing an effective marketing strategy the Hiltons as it entails what they can offer to meet the needs of their customers. As Kumar (2010, p. 47) states, the manner in which Hilton Hotels develop and package their products ought to create an effect that will keep their customers coming. The result does not necessarily mean the array of the product feature but how their benefits suffice the needs of their clients. One strategy of inducing the feeling into customers is delivering high-quality standards and going further to communicate it to the clients (Rawaswamy and Namakumari 2013, p. 145).
Price: Pricing Strategy, Price Adjustments
The value that the Hiltons attach to their services must match with the perception of customers who need to feel that they receive what is worth their money (Kumar 2010, p. 47). As the Hilton Hotels look to retain their repo with the highest class and top quality services, their marketing researchers and strategists should formulate policies for best pricing to widen their market share. In other words, the pricing strategy of the Hiltons should be accompanied with necessary adjustments to ensure mutual exclusivity between them and their customers i.e. as their customers benefit, the Hotels also gain.
Promotion: AD Publicity, Sales Promotion
Promotion is a communication tool that informs the target audience of the business products and services (Kumar 2010, p. 47). Promotional strategies include advertising and publicity, giving coupons, and constantly reminding through phones and emails to customers with the aim of making the Hiltons outstanding in the crowd. Also, technology provides an integrated marketing communication (IMC) which the Hiltons can consider as a promotion tool. The IMC makes it easy to combine all marketing communication equipment and ensure they transmit robust and convincing messages which will market Hilton hotels to the target customers (Dogra and Ghuman 2010, p. 83).
Place and Distribution: Distributor, Cost Apportionments, Benefit Distribution
Place depicts the point where customers get the services and products a business offers whereas distribution is the means of spreading the services in the market for customers to buy (Dogra and Ghuman 2010, p. 83). Hilton Hotels offer globally luxurious services to the delight, experience and destination of the travelers. Hence their market researchers should demonstrate in their marketing strategies how they want the services of Hilton to manifest in the hotel industry and institute a cost-effective exchange with the clients. The Hotel’s strategic location is also carefully selected to raise the customer’s experience, and this increases their chances of getting as many customers as possible in the UK.
A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis is an appropriate marketing tool for the Hiltons going by the constant changes in the hotel business. The changes result from increasing travel uncertainties, high hotel chain operational costs and copious shifts in travel booking as the current web tools significantly outpace the old-style travel agencies (Ivanova, Ivanov, and Magnini 2016, p. 61). A look at the SWOT analysis of Hilton Hotels reveals the following:
Hilton Hotels enjoy a vast experience and coverage of the hotel business due to its long history of services and numerous worldwide branches operating under sturdy and management of CEO and President Nassetta Christophe (Dudovskiy 2016, p. 1). The hotels have well-established customer and employee retention schedules, highly recognized brands and real technological integration hence an improved service customization levels making the Hiltons a pioneer for other hotel chains in embracing technology.
Despite the milestone strengths, the Hiltons rely heavily on the American markets and have poor flexibility due to their vast size leading to management problems. Also, various government policies across the globe are a hindrance to the hotels. The Hiltons have highly recognized brands, yet their share of the global market is very limited (Dudovskiy 2016, p. 1).
Moreover, the Hiltons can focus on further research and development to better their performance and services in the global markets. Also, they still have more potential in the globally emerging markets for hotel businesses. Furthermore, enhanced the use of technology and digitalization as well as innovating their customer services can go a long way pushing them to higher operational standards (Ivanova, Ivanov, and Magnini 2016, p. 62).
The threats facing the Hiltons include acts of terrorism, political turbulences in some countries and stiff competition from other well-established hotels like the Marriott. Also, loss of core competencies and workforce coupled with unfavorable economic shifts are a threat to the growth of the Hiltons (Ivanova, Ivanov, and Magnini 2016, p. 62).
PESTEL are the external political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal factors which impact businesses.
The success of any industry depends on political stability. Political factors directly impact on the Hilton Hotels as they have to align with the current global political developments (O’Fallon and Rutherford 2011, p. 462). Also, political issues leverage the number of business travelers and tourists who are the most potential customers for the hotel business. For instance, the currently unstable political situations in Northern Ireland negatively impact on the number of visitors to the country for fear of losing lives. Equally, the presence of consumer protection and UK employment laws, hostile political environments due to strict competitive regulation directly affect how the Hiltons perform (Dudovskiy 2016, p. 1).
Global macroeconomic factors and conditions coupled with some events like the 2012 Olympic Games in the UK are key forces impacting business operations of the Hiltons (Dudovskiy 2016, p. 1). Taxation policies, fluctuating weather conditions, and the UK economic growth are the factors that market researchers and strategists of the Hilton Hotels should watch out for to ensure they maintain an upward growth trend their top spot in the global hotel business.
The Hiltons are internationally known with the UK being a favorite stop for shoppers, tourists, and business travelers; however social factors such as newly up-coming trends in a lifestyle of customers, consumer behaviors, and spending nature of customers affect the operations of the Hiltons (Dudovskiy 2016, p. 1).
The rapid technological advancements have a direct impact on the hotel business. As such, the Hiltons have to integrate technology with their operations and phase out manual and traditional systems (Dudovskiy 2016, p. 1). This is because customers can view the prices of the products and services of the Hotels before making their booking online.
These factors include climatic and weather changes, waste management programs, pollution and recycling and making use of eco-friendly products and services (Professional Academy n.d., p. 1). Environmental factors directly affect the development of effective marketing strategies as there are growing demands by customers to have products from ethical and sustainable sources hence market researchers of the Hiltons must take note of such.
Legal factors have to do with customer health and safety, security and labeling of products, laws and rights of consumers, and standards of advertising. Being that Hilton operates globally, it faces a tricky challenge as it was difficult to get everything right bearing in mind that every country has their established rules and regulations (Professional Academy n.d., p. 1)
The research design to use in developing effective marketing strategies for the Hiltons is exploratory research design (Mooi and Sarstedt 2011, p. 13). This is the design helps in gaining insights and ideas concerning a problem. Hair et al. (2011, p. 147) assert that exploratory research is useful where a researcher has little information either on a problem or an opportunity. It can, therefore, be helpful in establishing new links, ideologies, and patterns especially in an innovative market. The design will help Hotel Hilton to gather adequate data on developing effective marketing strategies for it remain competitive in the hotel industry.
Moreover, there are two primary methods the Hiltons can use for collecting data with this research design. These are administering questionnaires and use of the internet to browse data on the web and conduct internet surveys (Beall 2010, p. 20). Administering surveys involves giving a set of questions on the hotel services and the market nature to respondents (Bechhofer and Paterson 2012, p. 72). The questionnaires can be open-ended or closed, but for the case of the Hilton Hotels, they will be open to aid in gathering more data and help achieve easier statistical analysis.
Also, the questionnaires will be administered electronically to eliminate spending too much time costs in traveling as well as reach a larger audience within the shortest time possible. However, electronic administration of the questionnaires might be disadvantageous as some of the respondents may take advantage of the physical absence of the researcher to give wrong or misleading information (Mitchell and Jolley 2010, p. 263).
Accordingly, use of the internet surveys is very fast and covers an extensive range of participants. Hence, the market researchers of the Hilton Hotels can gauge the perception of customers towards their services and also their satisfaction level within a short time (Lamb, Hair, and McDaniel 2016, p. 151). Making use of the internet research allows for deep penetration into the global hotel industry. In fact, data collection through the Internet guarantees higher potential for growth of the Hilton Hotels as their market researchers can learn from the experience of other marketing strategists online (Lamb 2012, p. 219).
Developing effective marketing strategies is good for the Hilton Hotels which operate with luxurious hotels, resorts and choice service hotels all over the world. This is because the Hotels aim to remain the preferred destination for travelers and maintain the top international spot. The marketing strategies can outline how the Hotels partner with other relevant market players like airlines, car rental business organizations, and hospitality companies. They must, therefore, maintain their customer-driven focus and remain competitive in the global hotel business.
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