In today's competitive world, marketing is the core element which assists in increasing the sales and in attaining the competitive advantage. However, it is essential for marketing department to plan effectual marketing strategy with an aim to achieve maximum profit and to sustain the business for a long run. It also provides direction which helps the firm to create their own plan with an aim of attaining varied types of objectives such as increasing customer satisfaction and enhancing the business profitability (Cravens and Piercy, 2008). In the present report, there are various case activities which have been discussed. Thus, all these scenarios focus upon the main objective which is of building strategic marketing plan for the prospective customers. Further, the report also assesses the ways through which strategic marketing decisions are undertaken by the firm. In the current report, the consultancy firm, 'Total Marketing Solutions' (TMS) provides support and advice to its prospective new clients of hospitality industry such as Hilton and Marriott that are focusing to develop their strategic marketing plan.
1.1 Role of strategic marketing in organization
As per the American Marketing Association (AMA), strategic marketing helps the firm to gain competitive advantage within market and to enhance the sales and profitability. Therefore, TMS is required to provide relevant information about strategic marketing to its potential clients such as Hilton and Marriott. Following is the importance of strategic marketing within firm-
- Streamlines product development- Through developing marketing strategy, it helps the organization to develop effectual products and services with the best chances to gain profits. However, marketing strategy plays a crucial role to streamline the product development process of organization. Thus, it starts through carrying out market research and ends with fulfilling the needs and requirement of customers (Polonsky and Rosenberger, 2001). Further, it helps in providing the required products and services with an aim to attain the satisfaction among clients.
- Develop brand image- Furthermore, strategic marketing also helps Hilton and Marriott to build positive brand image of hotel in the minds of clients. For instance, if businesses undertake the modern and innovative technology for promoting their products and services, it helps them to attract large number of customers. Thus, it creates a distinct brand image of firm among clients and they intend to utilize the products and services of firm at regular intervals (Larreche, 2005).
1.2 The relationship between corporate and marketing strategy
It can be evaluated that there is a strong relationship that exists among corporate and marketing strategy of organization. However, it can be analyzed that Hilton hotel possess the mission of delivering quality care and support to the customers which ultimately results in high sales and profitability. With regard to perform the same, management of hotel is required to provide proper information and knowledge about the type of unique products and services which they are offering as compared to other rivals. Through this, it helps in attracting large number of customers and in raising the sales (Cooper, 2000). However, in order to attain the stated goal, consultancy firm provides information to hotel in regard to adopt effective marketing promotion tools such as social media websites, newspapers etc. The specified tools and techniques would help the firm to accomplish its mission of attracting potential clients and thereby, increasing its sales and profitability.
Similarly, Marriott hotel has an aim to improve the satisfaction of its customers through introducing attractive products and services at the marketplace. Thus, in order to attain such type of objective, it is essential for the hotel to have strong connection with their marketing department. Further, by carrying out proper market research, it assists the organization to determine specific areas which requires to be extended (Wilson and Gilligan, 2012). However, it can be analyzed that the marketing and corporate strategy are interconnected and interlinked with each other.
1.3 Analyzing the way in which marketing strategy is developed
There are varied numbers of ways which can be adopted by the prospective clients of TMS with the purpose to develop an effectual marketing strategy. Following are the steps that need to be undertaken are as follows-
- Assessing the products and services offered by business- In this, the marketing manager of Hilton and Marriott hotel is required to deliver proper information to guests about the products and services being offered by them. Thus, through providing such type of information, it helps in developing an effective marketing plan to attract the potential clients (West, Ford and Ibrahim, 2015).
- Determining the target audience- Here, the marketing manager is required to collect information about the type of customers which they are targeting for the particular products and services. For instance, it is essential for the management to enhance its knowledge regarding the requirement of selected target market because it helps them to adopt effectual marketing strategy (Moutinho, 2011).
- Collection of information about rivals- It is essential for the hotel to collect necessary information about the available competitors as it helps them to adopt the best marketing strategy for firm. For instance, marketing department of Hilton hotel has assessed that its rivals are using social media websites to attract the potential guests. Then, in such type of condition, Hilton is also required to adopt specific action plan with an aim to increase the sales and profitability of hotel (Beetles and Strong, 2014).
- Determining marketing budget and adopting appropriate promotional technique- At the end, it is essential for the management of hotel to set suitable marketing budget for business. Thus, through deciding the budget in advance, it helps the firm in selecting appropriate promotional means. For instance, Hilton and Marriott has set very high marketing budget, thus in such situation, firm can adopt varied promotional techniques in order to attract large number of population worldwide (Navarro and et.al., 2011).
Decision and choices which are made at corporate level
There are numerous decision and choices that are to be made at the corporate level. One of the crucial decisions that are required to be made is of setting the mission and vision of company. For example, hospitality firm like Hilton and Marriott can set their direction by formulating effective mission and vision. Also, at this level, management of hotel is required to make decision with regard to select an appropriate strategy. Thus, in order to make such type of decision, enterprise is required to take assistance from Ansoff matrix (Morgan, 2012). However, such type of tool is effective as it helps in presenting strategic choices and decisions made by firms at corporate level. By the selection of Ansoff matrix, it assists the business to enhance its sales and profits.
Ansoff matrix adopts different types of tactical decisions and choices such as product development, market development, diversification and market penetration. However, the effectual decisions considering all these factors are made at the corporate level. Also, the top management undertakes decision of attracting the clients and offering them innovative products and services. Furthermore, in order to make such decision, corporate level individuals can adopt porter’s generic model. Thus, such type of model involves cost leadership and differentiation strategy (Nasir and et.al., 2013). The top management who resides at corporate level is required to select differentiation strategy after assessing the market conditions of firm.
Assessing the way in which decisions influence the marketing at business and functional level
There are varied departments such as finance, HR, marketing and sales etc. at business and function level that performs the specific type of job. However, the decisions taken by individuals at the corporate level give necessary impact upon the functions executed by the stated departments. The corporate level team of Hilton hotel has adopted diversification strategy in which it has decided to expand its operations in the retail sector. Thus, with regard to achieve such mission, hotel has to involve and take assistance from varied functional and business level departments (Panda and Mishra, 2012). Also, business is required to recruit skilled and talented employees for the implementation of diversification action plan. Further, the human resource department of firm is required to meet the needs of employees so that they can be motivated to work hard and to attain the set goals. However, hotel is expanding its operations in the retail sector, therefore, it is essential to provide information to potential customers about the same. Thus, such objective can be attained by the marketing department of Hilton hotel.
Analyzing approaches to competitive positioning of businesses
It is essential for the management of firm to analyze the approaches which can be adopted by the manager of Hilton and Marriott hotel in order to build competitive position in the marketplace. However, setting clear goals and objectives can be one of the approaches that are adopted by hotel. Thus, the success of organization largely depends upon the objectives which are being set by them. In order to improve the sales and profits, business is required to develop efforts in terms of attaining the stated goals (Payne and Frow, 2014). Additionally, with an aim to build competitive positioning businesses like Hilton and Marriott, it can introduce them as a leader of the hospitality market and thus, will offer unique products and services to its clients.
Moreover, in order to become the market leader, manager of hotel is required to minimize its prices which help them to attract the potential guests. Thus, with the assistance of such technique, it helps both the firms to gain competitive advantage among rivals. Furthermore, hotel can also gain competitive advantage through undertaking niche marketing strategy. With the help of such action plan, it helps the firm to focus upon the small market segment and to assess their needs. For instance, Hilton and Marriott are the supreme hotels that targets high class clients who are able to pay high prices for the offered services (Proctor, 2014). Thus, delivering the services to premium class guests is regarded as the competitive edge for both the organizations.
2.1 Evaluating approaches to internal environmental analysis
It is essential for Hilton and Marriott hotel to carry out the internal environmental analysis at the time of making any decision. However, by adopting value chain and resource based approaches, it can be effectively performed by the hotel. The value chain approach is useful as it assists in defining the firm's core competencies and activities. Further, it divides the whole activity of business into two parts i.e. primary and supportive. Such type of analysis is effectual as it describes regarding the specific process that can be adopted by the businesses like Hilton and Marriott with an aim to add value to the services (Nijssen and Frambach, 2013). However, it can be analyzed that value chain approach can be ineffective when certain alterations occur in the external environment. Thus, organization needs to change its process with the motive to add value to the existing products and services and to attract the customers. However, another approach which can be adopted is resource based approach that helps the hotel to determine its resources and capabilities. However, assessing both the information plays a critical role in the process when business formulates their marketing strategy. For instance, through carrying out the resource based analysis, manager of Hilton hotel can determine that whether it has significant amount of resources in the form of HR and finance with regard to meet the marketing objectives or not (Doherty and Lu, 2012). Thus, on the basis of stated information, varied decisions will be undertaken by the firm.
2.2 Evaluating approaches to external environmental analysis
There are two basic types of approaches to the external environmental analysis such as PESTEL and Competitor analysis. PESTEL is an effective tool as with the assistance of this, hotel can collect information related to varied factors that might create hurdles in the process of developing and implementing marketing plans. Further, by adopting such approaches, it helps Hilton and Marriott to collect information about the market forces. However, undertaking PESTEL analysis helps in providing the information about different factors such as political, economic etc. which may influence the operations of firm. At the same time, such tool does not provide information about the strategy that is required to be adopted by firm with the purpose to deal with the stated factors. On the other hand, carrying out competitor analysis approach helps in analyzing the external environment of firm (Quinton and Fennemore, 2013). Thus, with the help of such tool, both the hotels can collect detailed information about the available competitors of firm in market. Also, businesses can enhance their understanding related to the type of strategy which is being adopted by the competitors.
2.3 Explaining the way in which internal and external analysis are integrated
Likewise, if firm carries out separate analysis of both internal and external environment, it is impossible for them to make decision with regard to adopt one particular component only. Therefore, it is essential for business to integrate between the internal and external analysis. However, through adopting tool of SWOT analysis, an effectual integration can be established by the hotels between both; the internal and external environment. For example, the factors related to strengths and weaknesses provide information about the internal environment of hotel (Ogden and Ogden, 2014). However, components such as opportunities and threats help to assess the external environment of company. However, by using such tool, manager of Hilton and Marriott hotel can take certain strategic decision about the operations of firm in the market. Thus, it helps business to attain required enhancement in their sales and profitability.
3.1 Identifying a range of strategies that can contribute to competitive advantage of business
It involves a range of strategies which can be adopted by the manager of Marriott hotel in order to gain competitive advantage in market. Following are the strategies that can be adopted -
- Segmentation- By adopting such strategy, it helps business to divide the total market of firm into different sub segments. Such strategy can be adopted by the management of Marriott with the purpose to perform proper segmentation of its products and services. Thus, in order to perform the same, organization can adopt demographic segmentation criteria in which age, gender and income is used. For example, hotel can segregate its services on the basis of income of customers (Jaakkola, 2006). Thus, for high income class people, hotel can plan unique products and services so that it can be attracted towards firm. Also, services that involve additional benefits can be given by the organization to those buyers who belong to superior income class.
- Targeting- It is another strategy which can be adopted by business in order to gain competitive advantage. For instance, it is essential for Marriott hotel to adopt differentiated targeting strategy so that it would help the firm to develop varied types of promotional messages to different types of clients. Thus, by undertaking such type of targeting tactic, it helps the hotel to gain competitive advantage with an aim to attract potential customers (Strategic marketing, 2015).
- Innovation and development of products- Furthermore, it is another method that Marriott hotel can adopt with an aim to develop distinct brand image of its products and services in the marketplace. In context to this, Marriott hotel is required to introduce innovative products and services in business which has not been introduced by any other competitor. Thus, it helps the business to attain success in the market and in giving tough competition to rivals as well (Larreche, 2005).
3.2 Analyzing marketing communication strategies for business
It can be evaluated that different marketing communication strategies can be adopted by the manager of Marriott hotel with the purpose to spread information about its services among prospective buyers. Following are the strategies which can be adopted by the firm -
- Adopting social media websites- Marriott hotel management can adopt such strategy in order to reach at large number of individuals that resides at different locations. However, advertising through social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ assists in providing useful information to the prospective buyers. Thus, management is required to undertake such promotion tool as it helps in attracting various guests and in enhancing the sales and profitability (Moutinho, 2011).
- Advertising through newspapers- Further, it is another effectual promotional technique that helps in providing information to various customers through the help of newspapers. It helps the marketing department of firm to deliver relevant information by adopting newspapers and magazines and thus, leads to attract a large mass.
- Advertising on television- Such method can also be adopted by the marketing department of Marriott hotel with an aim to target the particular segment of clients. For instance, if hotel wants to attract business class customers towards its superior quality services, then in this case, firm is required to place advertisement on business news channels and it is needed to attract wide range of travelers (Cooper, 2000).
3.3 Analyzing and implementing the marketing strategies
Following is the process which involves marketing strategies that needs to be implemented within firm are as follows-
- Evaluating business objective- It is the first and foremost step in which manager of Marriott hotel is required to make decision about the particular objective that business needs to attain. For example, main aim of hotel is to enhance its sales and profitability. Therefore, marketing department is required to analyze such objective and then to execute the operations in particular way so that results can be attained within specified time period (Morgan, 2012).
- Adopting appropriate marketing strategy- Here, it is essential for the management of hotel to adopt effective marketing strategy. Thus, in order to achieve such objective, it is crucial for Marriott hotel to adopt social networking tactic so that large number of people can be attracted at a particular point of time.
- Selecting marketing team- In this, business is required to assess that whether they possess the team of skilled human resources or not so that promotion activity can be executed effectively. However, business identifies that they do not possess skilled individuals in order to promote the business on social networking sites then they need to organize training and development sessions to attain the targets (Proctor, 2014).
- Implementation of action plan- At the end, after performing all these activities, business is required to implement the selected strategy in order to attain the specified objectives.
From the accomplished report, it can be evaluated that it is essential for the marketing department of firm to carry out the market research and to focus on right product and service in order to sustain the business. Also, Marriott is required to promote its innovative products and services through social media sites and to gain competitive advantage in the market. Furthermore, businesses are required to collect proper information and knowledge regarding the rivalry products and services so that effectual marketing strategy can be adopted. Moreover, it has also been evaluated that the corporate and marketing strategy of firm are inter-related and interconnected with each other.
Books and Journals
- Beetles, A. and Strong, C., 2014. Special Issue of Journal of Strategic Marketing on ‘Adding value to marketing education: best practice teaching in a modern education environment’. Journal of Strategic Marketing. 22(6). pp. 561-561.
- Cooper, L. G., 2000. Strategic marketing planning for radically new products. Journal of marketing. 64(1). pp. 1-16.
- Cravens, D. and Piercy, N. F., 2008. Strategic marketing. McGraw-Hill Irwin.
- Doherty, N. and Lu, F. V., 2012. Strategic Marketing: Models and Plans. Service Science Research. Strategy and Innovation: Dynamic Knowledge Management Methods: Dynamic Knowledge Management Methods. 417.
- Larreche, J. C., 2005. Marketing management: a strategic, decision-making approach. McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
- Morgan, N. A., 2012. Marketing and business performance. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. 40(1). pp. 102-119.
- Moutinho, L., 2011. Strategic management in tourism. CABI.
- Nasir, S. and et.al., 2013. Significance of customer relationship management in strategic marketing decisions: A study on banking sector of Pakistan. Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business. 4(10). pp. 575.
- Navarro, A. and et. al., 2011. Integrated model of export activity: analysis of heterogeneity in managers' orientations and perceptions on strategic marketing management in foreign markets. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice. 19(2). pp. 187-204.
- Nijssen, E. J. and Frambach, R. T., 2013. Creating customer value through strategic marketing planning: A management approach. Springer Science & Business Media.
- Ogden, J. R. and Ogden, D. T., 2014. Utilizing a strategic marketing approach to managing marketing communications. Bridgepoint Education.
- Panda, J. K. and Mishra, A., 2012. Internet Advertising: A Strategic Marketing Tool for Brand Building. Kushagra International Management Review. 2(1). pp. 147.
- Payne, A. and Frow, P., 2014. Developing superior value propositions: a strategic marketing imperative. Journal of Service Management. 25(2). pp. 213-227.
- Polonsky, M. J. and Rosenberger, P. J., 2001. Reevaluating green marketing: a strategic approach. Business Horizons. 44(5). pp. 21-30.
- Proctor, T., 2014. Strategic Marketing: An Introduction. ROUTLEDGE.
- Quinton, S. and Fennemore, P., 2013. Missing a strategic marketing trick? The use of online social networks by UK charities. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing. 18(1). pp. 36-51.
- West, D., Ford, J. and Ibrahim, E., 2015. Strategic marketing: creating competitive advantage. Oxford University Press.
- Wilson, R. M. and Gilligan, C., 2012. Strategic marketing management. Routledge.
- Jaakkola, M., 2006. Strategic Marketing and Its Effect on Business Performance: Moderating Effect of Country-specific Factors. [PDF]. Available through: <http://www.stratmark.fi/wp-content/uploads/2006/11/Thesis_Jaakkola_FINAL.pdf>. [Accessed on 16th September 2015].
- Strategic marketing. 2015. [Online]. Available through: <http://www.strategicmarketing.com/>. [Accessed on 16th September 2015].