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J.W. Marriott Hotels provides its clients with all merchandise and services. Customers are drawn to the hotel not only for the goods it provides but also for the quality it provides. Regardless of how fantastic the commodity is, it is the amenities provided to a customer that will most likely entice them to return to the hotel. In this situation, the commodity is meals, and the amenities provided include lodging, catering, and meeting facilities. Since the target consumer here is a segmented market rather than a mainstream market, the prices of the services offered vary depending on the type of market. Under a segmented market, the prices would differ according to location, as well as the demand of the service in that locality. The tangible aspects of the services offered include customer response at the end of the service delivery. It would communicate the level of customer satisfaction. On the other hand, the intangible aspects include the reputation that the organization would gain as a result of the services it offers to its clients.1. The type of consumer offering in this case is shopping offering. The fact that customers would take their time choosing between two shops offering the same product as a result of price difference or brand, it makes it appropriate for Marriott hotels to settle on shopping offering. The service offered in the hotel would therefore of high reputation that the customers would rather wait for the product they have asked for or service to get availed no matter how long it would take as opposed to seeking it elsewhere. The segmented market that is targeted according to location and needs preference, might effect a change in the consumer offering. In this regard, the most appropriate one would be convenience offerings. When the hotel decides to take its catering services to a certain function or locality according to their needs and preferences, it would do it with the sole aim of capturing the hearts and minds of the residents so that they make products and services they received from Marriott their convenience shopping. By good luck this could be the only shop available and this would be an advantage.
2. Since there is going to be a change of market, there will be need for the modification of the products that is the meals, conferencing facilities, accommodation as well as the service delivery in general. Segmenting the market divides the customers into special groups with special needs. Therefore, the new markets created would require special approach (Smith, 1956). The products offered cannot be uniform, rather they have to be customized to suit the specific needs of the people residing in those localities. Cultural aspects would also define the kind of food stuffs and customer relations offered in various places. Food goes hand in hand with culture. Failure to consider this would lead to losses.
When the business is seeking to establish a branch elsewhere, it would try to take advantage of the gap in the market or the space which is considered as uncontested. In segmenting the market, the ultimate goal would be divide the markets with emphasis to filling the gap that exists in the market as shown by the survey. The hotel business would still fully meet the needs of the new customers just like the current customers although in a more specific way and even better than the current one. The reason being that every outlet would be run based on customer needs and preferences.
3. Product lifecycle. The hotel and the products it offers now is in the introduction stage since the awareness for the market and market development for the services and products sold at the hotel are being built. Everything is at its initial stage starting from the product, pricing, distribution and promotion (Klepper, 1996). The changes of segmenting the markets will definitely change the product lifecycle to growth stage. When the product or service is customized to suit the needs of a specific market, it means the firm is trying to build preferences for the brand and increase the share of the market. The market strategy would have to change since the size of the target audience will increase. Promotion aspects of marketing will have to change and be tailored to reach the large population expected.
The marketing channels to be used will be both direct and indirect channels. For the direct channels, this would be done on the internet via various platforms. It can be through the hotel website, social media and television adverts. The advantage with direct marketing is that it reduces intermediaries since it is direct between the manufacturer and the customer. Indirect marketing entails a long chain of distribution with intermediaries in between. Accommodation services would require direct marketing channel to reach many customers. Other services such as conferencing and catering can also be marketed directly through the world wide web. Doing that will eliminate the need for the indirect marketing as the latter is suitable for a product which requires distribution. Change in the marketing strategy would not cause a shift in the marketing channel. The reason being, there would be no need for other players in the marketing chain between the manufacturer which is the hotel and the customers.
2. The type of marketing channel strategy to be adopted is the single distribution channel that will only entail pricing. It is known since the marketing chain is only between the service provider which is the hotel and the end user who are customers. The new target market that will be effected by the small and segmented markets will not cause significant change in the distribution intensity since the level of contact between the service provider and customer will remain intact.
3. Value chain is significant to the customers and the company as well as well. It not only enables the firm to become competitive but also customer satisfaction. The activities associated with value chain image such as improving the image of the brand, offering after sale services and bringing down the cost of production are all intended to meet the expectations of the customer (Heide, 1994). It also entails fixing the price which is still beneficial to both parties that is the firm and the customer.
4. Pricing strategies are equally important aspects of marketing approaches. The main approaches used in setting price include: Cost based pricing. In this case, the actual price is just the summation of the cost of the product and the calculated profit (Tellis, 1986). The approach does not take into account the value the customers would get from the product but only the profit. For customer based pricing, the prices are fixed according to what the business owners believe the customers are able too pay. The last is competitor based pricing. The prices here are set by competition. Firms set prices that will enable them to outdo their competitors from the market and thus gain an advantage.
The pricing strategy in use at the moment by the hotel when setting the price of the products and the cost of the services offered is cost based pricing. Due to the change of market, I would recommend change of pricing strategy. With a bigger target audience as a result of market segmentation, customer based pricing would be most appropriate as it takes care of the buying power of all the customers. It is therefore customer friendlier and can even attract more customers.
Smith, W. R. (1956). Product differentiation and market segmentation as alternative marketing strategies. Journal of marketing, 21(1), 3-8.
Klepper, S. (1996). Entry, exit, growth, and innovation over the product life cycle. The American economic review, 562-583.
Heide, J. B. (1994). Interorganizational governance in marketing channels. The Journal of Marketing, 71-85.
Tellis, G. J. (1986). Beyond the many faces of price: an integration of pricing strategies. The Journal of Marketing, 146-160.
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