chapter  3
26 Pages

Hospitality marketing mix and service marketing principles

ByDavid Bojanic

The concept of marketing is based on the premise that firms should determine consumer wants and needs before designing products and services. This consumer-orientation results in greater demand for a firm’s products and services and higher levels of customer satisfaction after the purchase. Marriott International followed this approach in developing their Courtyard and Residence Inns hotels. For example, the Courtyard concept is supposed to attract business travelers and transient customers who do not really like staying at hotels (Wind et al, 1992; Hart, 1986). The researchers recruited individuals for focus groups representing these two market segments to determine the hotel attributes that were most important to them. Next, a tradeoff analysis was performed on a larger sample of people from the target groups to determine the utility, or value, placed on each of the attributes and its possible level. The final result of this study was the concept of a hotel that would have a high level of appeal to the target markets, created using consumer inputs.. The hotel possessed all of the attributes that were important to the target market in adequate levels, at a price they were willing to pay. This chapter focuses on the marketing mix and its use in contem-

porary marketing. The traditional marketing mix, also referred to as the four Ps of marketing or the marketing program, consists of: price, product, place, and promotion. These four components of the marketing mix represent the decision-making variables that are available to marketing managers. In other words, decisions concerning the marketing mix are controlled by the firm that is marketing the product or service in question. However, all firms operate within an external environment that is dynamic and cannot be controlled by the firm or its employees. The external environment can be divided into five areas: economic, social, technological, political and legal, and competitive. There have been alternatives to the traditional marketing mix offered

in the marketing literature in response to differences that exist between tangible products (i.e., goods) and services. Services have four major characteristics that affect the design of marketing programs: intangibility, inseparability, perishability, and variability. These characteristics led to the creation of an expanded marketing mix for all services with 7 Ps (the original 4 plus physical evidence, participants/people, and process) and a hospitality marketing mix that is thought to be more relevant for hospitality services firms, tourism organizations, and other travel-related firms. The three components of the hospitality marketing mix are the product-service mix, the presentation mix, and the communication mix. The similarities and differences between the traditional marketing mix and the hospitality marketing mix are discussed later in this chapter. In addition, the criteria used by consumers to evaluate services are introduced and explained in detail using real world examples.