Marriott: Getting Down to Business with the Business Travelers

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MRKT 5000 Online Course
Deanna Duran

Marriott: Getting Down to Business with the Business Travelers

Case Summary:

The Marriott Company was formed more than 50 years ago by J Willard and his wife, Alice Marriott. Since then, there are now over 3,700 hotels in 75 countries worldwide. There has only been 2 CEOs for the company; J Willard, and now his son, Bill. In 1983, Courtyard at the Marriott was developed and proved to be a success. This research also uncovered other segments of the residence market could be popular as well. With the economic downturn, companies are looking harder at how to get customers in the door, and then, keep them come back often. For Marriott Hotel chains, the goal is more “heads in beds”. When a business person is on the road traveling, they have many choices to choose from when it comes to a hotel. Marriott decided to increase the likelihood that potential guests choose their unique hotel chain by specializing needs of different types of business travelers calculated by doing research on different markets.

Key Marketing Issues

Benefit Segmentation – Marriott has broken up the chain of hotels into at least a dozen segments that benefit certain types of individuals’ specific needs. By segmenting customers into categories based on their needs, the business person, the family on a tight budget and the traveler just wanting to relax after an extended trip across the country all benefit. Segment marketing offers several benefits over mass marketing by enabling Marriot to hone in on product or services more effectively, while using less money on advertising as well as profitably. An example of Marriott’s segmenting would be the Courtyard. By spending more time on reconfiguring the room by adding additional plugs and a bigger desk, business persons are able to keep working within their room without distractions. (Gunther, 2009) •Segmentation Variables– Concentrate specific advertising on selected target areas; Placing ads about amenities like conference rooms, close to airports etc. for business travelers in the Wall Street Journal lets them make better choices. •Focus Group Interviews-Conduct informal focus groups with a small number of participants while observing their reactions to questions about their experience while staying in one of the Marriott Hotel chains. By conducting the interview, new insights on guests’ behavior, lifestyle, and work style, Marriott can gain valuable information to better accommodate their needs. (Ferrell, 2012) •Online Survey- Fairfield Inn & Suites (part of the Marriott chain) conducted an online survey of frequent U.S. business travelers to gain information how frequent travel affected their work and personal lives. Results showed positive aspects of frequent travel to be good. •Research Design– Work with strategic partners “Risk in believing the company can continue to do business the way it has been doing it in established markets. Market acceptance is not guaranteed” (Pote, 2005). •Statistical Interpretation-By collecting the data and then analyzing the information, Marriott was able to break down the demographics why business guests make the choices that they do. Statistical information helps to decide product market and product speciation like upgrading the chairs for the desks from standard wooden backed chairs to actual desk chairs with wheels and comfortable backs similar to what would be in a business setting. (Moutinho, 2000)

Personal Case Analysis

I learned that to keep ahead of the competition, companies need to constantly keep their finger on the pulse of today’s changing business needs to maintain loyal customers and meet their needs when it comes to lodging. With the job that I have, I travel to different parts of the country on a routine basis. This requires me to have to sleep somewhere, and although I don’t continue to work in my room when the day is done, I do expect certain amenities when I am giving my...
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