Business & Economy [Archives:2000/26/Business & Economy]

June 26 2000

Market the marketing in 
the Travel and Hospitality industry
Part 3 and Final

By Shams Tabrez
Director Marketing
Co. United Travel
& Tourism, Sanaa
Core Principles of Marketing

Let us see what the seven core principles of marketing are:
A:The marketing concept
B) Marketing or customer orientation
C) Satisfying customer’s needs & wants
D) Market segmentation
E) Value and the exchange process
F) Product life cycle
G) Marketing mix
A:The Marketing Concept
When our travel and hospitality managers adopt the marketing concept, it means that they act on the belief that satisfying customer’s needs and wants is the first priority. They constantly put themselves in their customers’ shoes and ask, “How would I react if I were one of our customers?” They continually pull out their best resources and efforts towards satisfying customer needs and wants.
B) Marketing or Customer Orientation
Having a marketing or customer orientation implies that the manager of an organization has adopted the marketing concept and acts according to it.
C) Satisfying Customers’ Needs and Wants
To ensure long-term survival in today’s competitive business environment, all travel and hospitality organizations must realize that the key to their existence is satisfying customer’s needs and wants. In today’s marketing-orientation era, they must be ever alert for new opportunities to convert customer’s needs and wants into sales.
D) Marketing Segmentation
“This implies the process of dividing the total market for a good or service into several smaller groups sharing similar demand factors.”All customers are not alike. Marketing gurus have come up with the term ‘market segmentation’ to describe the concept. It is better to pick-out specific groups of people or target markets and market only to them. Some call this the “rifle” as compared with the “shot gun” approach, implying that a well-aimed shot will hit a specific target.
E) Value and the Exchange Process
“Value” and “value for money” are terms often used in today’s business and in our daily lives. Although easy to say, these terms are hard to define. Value is the V in the four pillars of McDonald’s QSCV, a concept on which any corporation can build an enormously successful business. Quality, Service, Cleanliness are the other three. But what specifically does the McDonald’s concept mean when it says value? Value represents a mental estimate that customers make of a hospitality or travel service’s ability to satisfy their needs and wants. Some customers equate value closely with price, others do not. Price is not the only indicator of value.
The marketing in travel and hospitality industry provides services and experiences that customers find valuable when they are away from home. In return, customers make reservations and pay money, which satisfies the industry’s financial objectives.
F) The Product Life Cycle
The product life cycle idea suggests that all hospitality and travel services pass through four predictable stages:
1) Introduction
2) Growth
3) Maturity
4) Decline.
Marketing approaches need to be modified with each stage. ‘Avoiding a decline’ is the key to long-term survival.
G) Marketing Mix
Every organization has a marketing mix. It includes the controllable factors (activities within an organization’s direct control) that are used to satisfy the needs of specific customer groups. Traditionally four such factors have been identified as:
1) Product
2) Place
3) Promotion
4) Price
In addition, 4 other points are specifically important in travel and hospitality marketing:
1) People
2) Package
3) Programming
4) Partnership
Increased importance of marketing in the travel and hospitality industry
This industry has also undergone rapid changes. Continuing change is inevitable. Marketing plays a key role in an organization’s ability to cope with change.
Marketing is now more important to this industry than ever before. Greater competition, increased market fragmentation and complexity and more experienced customers have created a greater emphasis on marketing. Marketing in the industry has become more professional and very aggressive.
Let’s analyze the idea of increased competition. There are now more hotels, motels, resorts, restaurants, travel agencies, airlines, amusement parks, and car rentals than there have ever been. Another supply-side trend beating up competition, has been the growth of chain franchise, consortium organizations. These groups are present in all parts of the industry. By pooling resources in national programs, they have added to their marketing “clout” and have increased competition. Mergers and acquisitions are also a constant phenomenon, tending to put more marketing power in the hands of fewer organizations.
The economy, technology, social, and cultural lifestyle changes all play a role in marketing. The travel and hospitality industry has reacted with new services and products, further splintering the market. The end result is that marketers must be more knowledgeable about customer groups and more specific in choosing their targets.
There are more sophisticated travelers and out-of-home eaters in the market today than ever before. They get their sophisticated tastes from traveling and eating out more often than earlier generations. They have much more experience in sizing up travel and hospitality organizations. These people seek slick promotions and advertising campaigns every day at home, at the office and on the road. To get through to these people requires better quality services and products and a more sophisticated marketing style.
All these factors mean that marketing has become increasingly important in the travel and hospitality industry. Success now comes only with the ability to satisfy the needs of particular customer groups with excellence.