What is the first thing you do then you are new to your workplace?

What is the first thing you do then you are new to your workplace? You find out what exactly company you are working for is worth. And so, I did the same.

My name is Katerina Sirenko and I have recently been appointed as a new Sales Promotions Manager for Marriott International, Inc. As I am new to the Marriott, I would like to take some time and investigate my company’s organisational aims & objectives.

Marriott International, Inc. is a leading worldwide hospitality company. Its heritage can be traced to a small root beer stand opened by J. Willard Marriott in Washington, D. C. in 1927. Later, eyeing the growth in automobile use, he then opened the East Coast’s first drive-in restaurant.

Five years later, Marriott spotted another opportunity: feeding airline passengers. He approached Eastern and American airlines and arranged to provide on-board meals. For the next decade, catering was the company’s main focus.

In 1957 he opened a huge motel in Virginia, and the company has been in the lodging business ever since. Today, Marriott International, Inc. is a leading worldwide hospitality company with operations in the United States and 55 other countries and territories. It had annual sales in 1999 of $8.7 billion. The company has approximately 143,000 associates and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Marriott Lodging operates or franchises over 1,880 hotels and resorts totalling approximately 356,000 rooms and 4,600 timeshare villas worldwide. Its portfolio of lodging brands includes:

Marriott Hotels, Resorts and Suites (full-service, 368 hotels including 17 conference centres) – is the company’s flagship brand of upscale, full-service

hotels and resorts. Each Marriott hotel features multiple restaurants and lounges, health club, swimming pool, gift shop, concierge level, business centre and meeting facilities.

Ritz-Carlton (luxury, 36 hotels) – this name is a worldwide symbol of prestige and distinction in luxury lodging. Each Ritz-Carlton hotel and resort offers signature service and amenities, including fine dining, 24-hour room service and twice-daily housekeeping, as well as fitness and business centres, and concierge service.

Renaissance Hotels and Resorts (quality, 96 hotels) – is an upscale lodging brand providing full-service accommodations to business and leisure travellers, and for group meetings. Renaissance hotels offer restaurants, business centres, swimming pools, health club and conference/ banquet facilities.

Courtyard (upper-moderate price, 471 hotels) – is a leading moderate price lodging chain, and the brand preferred by value-conscious travellers. Courtyard hotels future a residential atmosphere and have 80 to 150 guests rooms, a restaurant, meeting space, exercise room and swimming pool.

Residence Inn (extended stay, 324 inns) – is the top extended-stay brand in North America. Designed as a “home away from home” for travellers staying five or more nights, each Residence Inn offers complimentary breakfast and evening hospitality hour, swimming pool and sport court. Guest suites include separate living and slipping areas, fireplace and a fully equipped kitchen.

Fairfield Inn (lower-moderate, 414 inns) – is an economy lodging brand appealing to business and leisure travellers. Fairfield Inn provides clean, quality accommodation and complimentary breakfast, at an economical price. Other features include free local calls, well-lit work desks and a swimming pool.

SpringHill Suites (upper-moderate all-suite, 34 hotels) – is the company’s new moderately priced all suite lodging brand, with guest suites that are up to 25%

larger than standard hotel rooms. All SpringHill Suites feature complimentary breakfast, indoor swimming pool and exercise room.

Ramada International (mid-price, 26 hotels) – is a mid-priced hotel brand that offers restaurants, meeting and banquet facilities, swimming pool and fitness centre.

TownePlace Suites (mid-price extended stay, 61 hotels) – is the company’s mid-priced, extended-stay brand designed with all the conveniences of home. Each TownePlace Suites Hotel provides 24 hour-a-day on-site staffing and weekly housekeeping as well as an exercise room and outdoor swimming pool. Guest suites offer separate living and working areas and a fully equipped kitchen.

Marriott Vacation Club International (vacation ownership resorts, 43 resorts) – is a leading developer and operator of vacation ownership (timeshare) resorts. Marriott Vacation Club offers a lifetime of memorable vacations at 43 exclusive resorts in North America, the Caribbean and Europe. Each villa features a spacious living and dining area, master bedroom and bath, private balcony, kitchen and laundry area.

Marriott Executive Apartments (upscale serviced apartments, two properties) – is the company’s upscale brand of apartments designed to meet the housing needs of business executives on an overseas assignment of 30 days or more. Marriott Executive Residences offer travellers residential accommodations with hotel-like amenities. Marriott Executive Residences are located in Budapest and Hong Kong.

Marriott Conference Centres – are specifically designed for small to mid-size groups. Each centre provides the environment, technology and expertise that ensure a highly effective meeting experience.

Brighton Gardens (quality, 43 communities) – is the quality leader in assisted living, distinguished by an award-winning residential design, and a superior

service package featuring Marriott’s “Levels of Wellness and Care” program. Most include skilled nursing care or Alzheimer’s care centres.

Marriott MapleRidge (mid-priced, 14 communities) – is assisted living communities that provide a high level of service (including Alzheimer’s care) for the more frail senior population who prefer small “family” living groups. Unit buildings-each with a live-in caregiver-surround an activities centre in a campus-like setting.

Village Oaks (mid-priced, 23 communities) – is a moderately priced assisted living facility. Communities offer a spacious courtyard, and unique programs such as “Companion Living” and “Reach To Improve” to enhance the health and well-being of residents.

Marriott Distribution Services – is one of the leading limited-line food service distributors in the United States. It provides food and related products for Marriott operations and external customers through 13 distribution centres strategically located around the country.

The Marketplace by Marriott provides contracting and procurement services to the hospitality industry. The Marketplace can handle virtually all of a customer’s purchasing needs, from perishables to furniture and equipment to utilities and other services.

Services provided by Marriott are following:

Marriott Rewards – this program is Marriott International’s award-winning frequent guest program that recognizes loyal guests of its nine participating hotel brands with free travel and special services. Members earn a wide variety of free travel by staying at Marriott Hotels, Resorts and Suites; Renaissance Hotels and Resorts; Courtyard by Marriott; Marriott Vacation Club International; Fairfield Inn by Marriott; Residence Inn by Marriott; SpringHill Suites by Marriott; TownePlace Suites by Marriott; and Marriott Conference Centres — more than 1,500 locations in 45 countries. Marriott International

understands loyalty marketing in a way that few other worldwide companies do. Its commitment to providing the absolute best value and service to each customer is as visible in today’s nearly 11 million-member Marriott Rewards program as it was 72 years ago in the company founder’s nine-seat root beer stand.

With a commitment to servicing the customer and providing exceptional value established by the founder, J.M. Marriott Sr., Marriott International has developed guidelines for all associates which established the company as a leader in the hospitality industry. His 72-year-old philosophy of taking care of employees, as he wanted them to take care of the consumer, has also produced strong gains for the company – in 1998, Marriott International was voted one of the 100 best companies to work for by “Fortune” magazine.

Marriott International demonstrates its customer-driven philosophy by conducting market research and customer opinion focus groups and administering thousands of detailed surveys each year. “By understanding our customers and measuring our actions against their needs, we are able to provide products that work and are useful and enjoyable to our guests,” says Marriott.

Marriott International first began delving into loyalty marketing, more than 20 years ago, at the local-level as managers of individual hotels took it upon themselves to recognize and show appreciation for repeat customers. As the Marriott International portfolio grew, so did the company’s vision of providing a unified and higher-level of recognition and reward.

In 1983, Marriott International introduced Marriott’s Honoured Guest Awards. It is the longest running, formalized hotel frequency program of its kind and was created exclusively for the guests of the Marriott Hotels, Resorts and Suites brand. A successful program, membership of Honoured Guest Awards

experienced tremendous growth and received numerous industry awards throughout its history.

“Marriott Rewards provides greater customer value because it is based on key elements which guests have told us are crucial in developing the ‘ultimate’ hotel frequency program,” says Lynne Roach-Hildebrand, vice president of loyalty and database marketing for Marriott International.

These key elements are:

* Simplicity – being easy to understand;

* Relevancy – offering awards guests like;

* Attainability – ensuring that award levels are reached quickly and represent a good value; and

* Recognition – treating guests as important customers.

Applying the feedback on which it was developed, today, Marriott Rewards is leading the loyalty marketing industry as the only hotel program to offer earning and redemption opportunities at nine lodging brands and in every available pricing tier. In all, more than 1,500 participating hotels in 45 countries worldwide offer added value to Marriott Rewards members seeking everything from economy, mid-priced, full-service and luxury stays to extended-stay and time share villa experiences.

With more than 175 reward options, including hotel stays, air travel, rail passes, cruises, golf, theatre tickets, theme park passes, and complete vacation packages, Marriott Rewards is also one of the most flexible hotel frequency programs in the industry. Through a network of relevant travel and service partnerships, Marriott Rewards acknowledges and services the diverse set of reward preferences found among its nearly 11 million members worldwide. Membership is complimentary.

Marriott Golf – Marriott Golf currently manages 26 golf facilities offering more than 500 holes of championship golf in the U.S., Central America, Europe and the Middle-East through its two arms: Marriott Resort Golf and Marriott Golf Management Services.

In existence since 1971 Marriott Golf is the largest U.S. corporate resort golf operator, with 17 company-operated and managed facilities in its portfolio in eight U.S. states, Costa Rica, Egypt and Spain. These include: the Orlando World Centre Resort, Renaissance Vinoy Resort, The Golf Club at Marco and the Indian River Plantation in Florida; Camelback Inn Resort, Golf Club & Spa and Mountain Shadows Resort in Arizona; Seaview Golf Resort in New Jersey; Griffin Gate Resort in Kentucky; Renaissance PineIsle Resort in Georgia; Desert Springs Resorts & Spa and Rancho Las Palmas Resort in California; Marriott’s Lincolnshire Resort in Illinois; Marriott’s Tan-Tar-A Resort & Golf Club in Missouri; Marriott’s Los Sue�os Resort in Herradura, Costa Rica, the Golf Club at Mirage City in Cairo, Egypt; and the Club de Golf, Son Antem in Mallorca, Spain.

Marriott Golf Philosophy is to provide the beginning golfer with an enjoyable golfing experience while challenging the experienced golfer in dramatic, visually stimulating settings all coupled with superior service.

Marriott Meeting Network – Distinctive selection of 41 meeting and convention hotels in the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean. The purpose of this service is to expand leadership of the Marriott brand position in the meeting industry by simplifying meeting services for customers through property partnerships and spirited collaboration.

“Room that Works” – Marriott Hotels, Resorts and Suites offers the “Room That Works,” a guest room work station first introduced at the Philadelphia Marriott in January, 1995. The “Room That Works” features a large console table and mobile writing desk, two power outlets and a PC modem jack mounted on the console, a movable task light, and a fully ergonomic chair. Available at no

additional charge, this unique service is currently offered in 20,000 rooms in over 200 Marriott full-service hotels.

After examination of Marriott’s product lines and major services, it is the time to analyse its marketing environment. Marketing environment of Marriott International Inc. will be divided into 5 parts: “customers”, “market”, “competitors” and “major trends” and “S.W.O.T Analysis”.

“Customers”

Marriott International Inc. is the second biggest lodging company in US with an operating profit of $736 millions. Marriott’s portfolio is targeted to meet the needs of five distinct groups of travellers:

* Marriott Hotels and Resorts offer traditional hotels aimed at the upscale, leisure, and convention markets.

* Marriott Suites hotels offer two-room suites with first-class hotel services. This product is created to meet needs of frequent business travellers.

* Courtyard offers moderately priced hotels for travellers who want attractive rooms and quality service.

* Residence Inn offers lodgings with moderately priced suites that include full kitchens. This product is designed for the “long-term stay” traveller.

* Fairfield Inn offers rooms-only economy lodging designed for budget-conscious.

Marriott puts great emphasis to customer satisfaction and try to eliminate any problems and improve their performance. They solid feedback in a variety of ways, form guest comment cards to random mail sampling to customer focus groups. Many of their service enhancements were suggested by guests.

“Market”

Bear Streams’ lodging research team says, “We still believe in the current industry several good investment opportunities exist within lodging universe. Although the fourth-quarter of 1998 did not clearly indicate favourable supply and demand conditions in the upper end of full-service sector, we believe that strong demand growth and modest supply growth in the deluxe, luxury and upscale segments of full-service sector. There is also a positive operating outlook for extended-stay segment.”

Marriott is a leading company in many segments of its market (upscale, full-service, extended-stay, resorts, luxury). Marriott is going to concentrates on full-service (59 hotels) and economy market segments in 2000.

Market growth in many lodging market segments is positive, except for budget segment where demand growth was -0.9%.

“Competitors”

Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Hilton Hotels are major competitive forces to Marriott International Inc.

“Major Trends”

* Segmentation of the hotel business

* The globalisation of Marriott Lodging (till 1969 Marriott Hotels were located only in America)

* Meeting the changing needs of our guests

* Extending Marriott hospitality to the seniors’ market (senior living communities, first community opened in 1988)

* Turning support functions into business opportunities (creation of Marriott Distribution Services and The Marketplace)

“S.W.O.T. Analysis”

Strength: Opportunities:

Customer Service Another markets segment to

Location of hotels appear

“Marriott Rewards” Aggressive growing of business

Large portfolio

Brand

Weaknesses: Treats:

Fairfield Inns (only 1% RevPAR) Other hospitality industries

Slower growth in the US Rising expenses

Changing customer preferences

I have considered market situation of the whole company, but I would like to concentrate my attention on UK market, so following sales & marketing promotional strategy will be focused on this market.

“Situation Analysis in UK”

Marriott has 21 hotel across United Kingdom, of which England (16); Scotland (3); Wales (3). All of these hotels are “Marriott Hotels, Resorts and Suites” -upscale, full-service hotels and suites.

“Marketing Strategy”

Firstly, I have considered to implement new sales promotion.

This sales promotion is in-store competition.

Idea: Every 5000th guest at any of four participating hotels (stated below) in UK who stays at least 2 nights will get a gift certificate for two to go to any Marriott Hotels & Resorts of his/her choice for a week. (For a limited time only)

Participating hotels:

Marriott

Forest of Arden Hotel and Country Club, Birmingham

Cheshunt Marriott Hotel,

Cheshunt

Marriott St. Pierre Hotel and Country Club,

Chepstow

Marriott Tudor Park Hotel and Country Club, Maidstone in Wales.

Purpose of sales promotion: The purpose of this promotion is to generate more sales/higher occupancy rate + to attract new guests at above hotels by persuading target market to choose these hotels for business and leisure, rather than others.

Target Market:

* Business travellers (who are travelling to Birmingham, Cheshunt, Maidstone or Chepstow)

* Leisure travellers (international leisure travellers who would like to stay in UK, local leisure travellers).

Business Analysis: We will need to establish estimate demand figure to correlate it to the total number of rooms available for this promotion, calculate marketing costs of promotion (space in newspapers, magazines etc.), cost of every 5000th person who will stay at any hotel for week and calculate profitability of this promotion (break-even analysis).

Marketing Mix:

* Product: One strength of these products is that Marriott International Inc. is a world-known brand name, that associates with quality and performance. Another that all 4 hotels offer so many services (golf courses, putting green, tennis, pool, health clubs, saunas, spa, solarium, dance studios etc.).

* Place: Hotels are located at beautiful locations.

* Price: Price won’t change and will be as usual for each hotel.

* Promotion: Ways of promoting this promotion are following: first of all, it will be advertised on Marriott’s own website, so then customers that are visiting website are aware of promotion. Secondly, promotion will be advertised in selected travel magazines, e.g. “Traveller” and selected quality newspapers, thirdly, selected Marriott Reward members who are likely to visit UK, or live in UK and lastly, through agents.

Secondly, I have considered to introduce sales literature & merchandise.

Marriott International Inc. has already got long-lasting business relations (since 1984) with travel agents, when Marriott introduced bi-monthly newspaper called “Hotline” which is sent to more than 4000 travel agencies.

So, I suggest Marriott may like the idea of producing new newspaper/magazine for Marriott Reward members that will be called “Marriott Rewards”. This newspaper/magazine will feature latest news: corporate information, new openings, latest offers, relevant articles from major newspapers etc.

By doing this, Marriott will keep existing customers very aware of every promotion, thus this newspaper will become direct advertising method and it will make customers feel special and appreciated at the same time.

Good quality newspaper/magazine will furthermore suggest to Marriott’s customers that company is elite and very professional, making customers proud to be part of it.

Lodging industry is a service industry, meaning that it is difficult to promote because of its intangibility, and service cannot be advertised and promoted in the same way as products.

Because of that Marriott needs to look at following ways of selling its hotels:

* Referrals or “Word of Mouth” – this is one of the most important ways to promote in service industries. Satisfied customers will tell their friends and relatives favourable things about hotel, and to ensure that Marriott has to ensure that their associates are friendly and helpful. Quite often cleaners, clerks and maintenance staff are approached by guests for help or advice and it is important that they have the skills to deal with them.

In case of communication either by telephone or in writing, staff has to be considerate and informative and provide information asked as soon as possible or inform customer what is to be done to deal with problem/request

and when answer will be given, especially in case of writing communication when customer does not know if his/her problem was read.

By ensuring that associates are helpful, understanding, competent and highly trained, Marriott will make a very good promotion and good image.

* Personal Selling – sometimes customers use travel agent to find out about services (hotels, holiday packages etc.) and the image that travel agent will give determines customers perceptions about hotel, so it is very important that travel agents give good impression of company.

And the last thing in this marketing strategy will concern methods for prospecting and attracting new customers.

Prospecting is the process of finding and qualifying potential customers. When one “qualify” a customer, he checks to see whether the customer has an immediate or near-term problem and has the ability to pay for a solution.

The prospecting process involves three primary steps:

* Generating Sales Leads: A sales lead is the name of an individual, organisation, or business that might be a likely prospect for the company’s service.

* Identifying Prospects: A prospect is a potential customer who indicates a need or desire for the seller’s service.

* Qualifying Prospects: Not all prospects are worth investing time in. Some may not have the authority to buy or may be considered such a small order that it would not be worth to pursue them. Others may not be able to afford to buy. A qualified prospect is the decision-maker and has financial resources to pay for the service.

Sources for leads for Marriott International Inc. may be following:

Sporting and Social Events – to sponsor popular events, or some successful sportsmen/sportswomen or team(s). “Customers will associate company with this event or sport”.

Friends and relatives – this is good source “word of mouth” promotion, because Marriott’s relatives and friends rarely will say bad things about company and their chairman.

Travel agencies – I have noticed that every travel agent is filled up with many different brochures and while customers wait for their turn, they usually will take some of these brochures to “kill time.”

Existing customers – satisfied customer is “free” promotion for company, as they will tell their friends, relatives and work colleagues about good stay at Marriott.

Former customers – these are loyal customers that tend to choose Marriott over anyone else.

Professional associations – such as AA, other professional hospitality associations.

Press – newspapers, magazines.

Airports – airport posters will target highly mobile audiences of international travellers.

Methods of attracting new customers may be following:

Press Involvement – opening of new hotel by popular pop star, actress/actor, supermodel or some influential person.

Competition – merge with another prestigious company to make a competition.

Special Packages – romantic packages for days like Valentine’s Day, Anniversary; business packages for conferences, business seminars; group packages with reduced price rates, or free dinner, or free night.

Worldwide Advertising Campaign – advertising campaign that will highlight the star quality of Marriott as well as communicate key messages about the diversity of the portfolio and the range of facilities offered.

“Objectives & Purpose of Marketing Plan”

I want to strongly recommend worldwide advertising campaign that will increase customer awareness of company and create first-class image of

Marriott. This campaign should be followed by press campaign, with selected media of newspapers/magazines that give image of sophisticated and good-quality papers, whose main market are wealthy business and leisure customers.

This advertising campaign will increase customer awareness, as said above, consequently attracting more customers.

Special packages will attract niche market of customers, who to indulge themselves or loved ones on special occasion, as well as encouraging to book as a group, which is very convenient for travel agencies, that specialise in tourism packages (group of people travelling to another country for leisure purposes).

All this marketing activities will attract more new customers, and the only thing Marriott should prepare is enough rooms.

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