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Marketing of Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai Essay

For the successful completion of our report, we would like to express our deep gratitude to all the people who give us help and advise. First and foremost, we are going to give our appreciation to Mr. Wang, the Assistant Sales Director of the Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai. He spent his personal time replying our email to answer our questions and gave us a lot of valuable information and instructions which keep our report going in the right direction. Secondly, we would like to thank our Marketing lecturer, Miss Medico, she provided us with many useful resources and guidance at every stage of writing the report. Clearly, we cannot finish this report smoothly without her help. Last but not least, we would like to thank all our friends for their suggestions and inspiring. Contents

Introduction
Nowadays, with the rapid development of the hospitality industry in Shanghai, more and more hotels are demanded and built that brings more fierce competition to the hotels. Whether a hotel could capture market share, the most important thing for the hotel is marketing strategies. Correct marketing strategies could make a hotel winning in the competition. Our report is written based on the research of the marketing actuality of Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai and focused on analysing its marketing strategies to study how it promotes its product and services. The report is divided into three sections. In the first section, we introduce and give some detailed
background information about the hotel including its history, stage in the lifecycle and the product and services the hotel is offering. In the second section, we identify the hotel’s target market and analyse their characteristic. In the last section, the information about the promotional tools or marketing strategies which the hotel is using are given related some examples. After that, it is the findings and analysis of the tools or strategies and our own opinions.

Background of Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai
Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai is invested by Shanghai Industrial Holdings Limited Company and managed by a very famous hotel brand, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts. It is ideally located in the heart of Shanghai’s downtown, adjacent to Nanjing Road and Huaihai Road which are famous as the business, entertainment and shopping centers of Shanghai. It was built in October 2002. The internal and external design of the hotel is blended of Chinese and Western concepts to provide the guests special feelings. Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai has a total of 439 rooms. All of them are comfortably, elaborately decorated and well-equipped with modern guest amenities. The food and beverage products feature Chinese, Japanese and Western style.

There are three restaurants, Si Ji Xuan, Shintaro and Steak House, offered three different types food to satisfy all kinds of the guests’ needs. In addition, Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai is well-known for many important events hold there cause the amazing ballrooms. Health & Fitness Center is including an indoor heated Swimming Pool, Gym, Steam Room, Sauna and Massage. The hotel provide the guests all kinds of services even some of them you cannot imagine! For example, the hotel provide couple guests the couples’ service which is including offering silky pyjamas, classic love stories on DVD and so on. Anyway, the hotel think of everything the guests may need and offer it before guests asking. Therefore, a lot of guests are attracted to stay Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai to have a unforgettable experience.

The Lifecycle Stages of Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai
As a modern city hotel, Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai does not have a long history. But only for one decade developing, it has successfully acquired its a mount of fixed customer groups of business leaders, political leaders and super stars. It is inseparable from the adaptable marketing strategies used during different lifecycle stages of the hotel. According to the research they did, there was few Chinese knew Four Seasons Hotels and resorts before Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai built cause that Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai is the first Four Seasons Hotel in Chinese Mainland. So during initial developing stage, the primary tasks for its marketing are target market positioning and brand promoting which purpose to build reputation, create the right image of hotel and introduce the product and services to the target market.

Through the extension in initial stage, a basic sales network are built and the hotel turns into growth stage. In this stage, the hotel increases spending on advertising, sales promoting and public relations to improve reputation, image and guest loyalty. Now, Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai is in Maturity stage due to the favorable accumulation of capital and customer groups in initial and growth stages. The operations are on the right track; the market occupancy and profit level are quite high and the product and services are competitive. Therefore, the current work for them are seeking more wide target market and keeping the guest loyalty already gained.

Target Market
By accurately positioning target market, the hotel could better determine how many potential guests they have; adjust their product and services to preferably satisfy guests’ needs and draft their marketing strategies appropriately.

(Data offered by Marketing Department of Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai, 2012) According the data which shows the proportions of six different types guests offered by Mr. Wang, we create the pie chart above to make the data intuitional. It shows that Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai’s main target market consists of corporate guests, convention guests, government guests and travelers in 2011.

The special location of Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai is the biggest reason for that corporate guests are the first target market. It is located in the CBD where are full of the top 500 Global enterprises such as Exxon Mobil, Morgan Stanley and Pepsi. So there are many business leaders visiting this area. The second target market is convention guests who always look for the hotels have excellent meeting rooms with large space and various modern meeting equipments. Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai is exactly the one can offer all the things they are looking. There are twelve meeting rooms separated into four different size to satisfy all kinds of guests’ needs.

The owner of Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai, Shanghai Industrial Holdings Limited Company, is established by Shanghai Government. As the most luxury hotel of its industries, Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai are always used for entertaining officials. So the government guests is a big part of target market. In addition, a lot of travelers particularly the leisure travelers select Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai for their stays in Shanghai. The various leisure and entertainment facilities such as Health & Fitness Center, Spa and Club, provide them with relaxed and comfortable experience. Moreover, the wonderful food and beverage product and service is another reason for their visit.

The Promotion Mix of Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai As a member of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts which is one of the most famous and successful hotel groups all over the world, Four Season Hotel Shanghai concluded many effective and efficient marketing strategies to make itself survived from such a competitive condition.

Advertising
Advertising is the non-personal communication of information usually paid for & usually persuasive in nature, about products (goods & services) or ideas by identified sponsor through various media. ( Arens, 2010) Publishing pamphlets and magazines

Like other hotels, Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai usually promotes its products and services by publishing pamphlets and magazines. The different kinds of magazines can reach different groups of readers. ” We just select the magazines which can reach our target markets to promote our products. Determining the way of advertising based on the target markets makes the advertisement more effective and spending less.” ( Wang, 2012) But pamphlets are used more widely than magazines in Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai. Because it can reach and promote more directly to the guests who even have lived in the hotel. For example, during Mid-Autumn Day, the hotel elaborately prepares all kinds of moon cakes for guests.

While moon cakes are ready for selling, the Marketing Department designs a pamphlet for promoting the moon cakes and publish the pamphlets. Then the pamphlets appear to everywhere guests could reach. Guests can see it at reception when they are doing check-in or check-out; they can see it on the bed when they arriving the room and on the table of restaurant when they are eating. How big the effects could be by promoting in this way! Online advertising

Nowadays, marketing and advertising have been much affected by technology. Online advertising exactly is a outcome of the effect. There are many types of online advertising such as ads on search engine pages, email advertising and banner advertising. Four Season Hotel Shanghai is using the search engine advertising now. The ads of Four Season Hotel Shanghai are delivered on the search results pages of BAIDU which is the biggest search engine in China.

Therefore, when people searching some key words related to ” hotels in Shanghai” or ” restaurants in Shanghai”, the link of official website appears on the right side of the results pages. if people are interested and click the link, page will jump to the official website to make them could reserve the rooms or restaurants. The online advertising communicates much widely and costs lowly. And the effects of advertising can be gathered statistics.

Public Relations
” Public relations is the technique of communicating favorable information about the operations to the public to create a positive impression. Its ultimate purpose is to create goodwill and increase the number of guests.” (Jack D.Ninemeier, 2010) ”Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” ( PRSA, 2011) So the key to the success of your operation is creating good relations to the guests, local communities, governments and media. Communicating with public by Internet

Today, hotels including Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai try to communicate with public by Internet. Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai is using a way called WEIBO which is the most popular social communication tool in China now. The functions of WEIBO are uploading words or pictures or videos to show some fresh informations about the hotel, such as the new promotions, new facilities or products, upcoming events and something else could improve reputation, image and guest loyalty. What’s more, the guests can leave comments to the hotel no matter if they are satisfied and the hotel can reply the comments. That’s an amazing way to communicate and interact with guests even cost nothing. Participate in public service

Participating in the social and sponsored public service is an opportunity to improve the social impact and reputation of hotel and win the understanding and praise from the public. On April 28th 2011, to make a long-term commitment to global sustainability, the employees of Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai began a tree-planting campaign to contribute to the company’s 10 Million Trees initiative. With the support of Children Health Foundation and Oriental Land, the Hotel’s tree-planting campaign fund will be donated to help Chinese children who suffer from congenital malformations and heart disease.” Our employees in Shanghai are inspired by and fully involved in the company’s commitment to global sustainability.” ( Peter Weber, 2011) Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai enters its ninth year with its original pioneering spirit, setting an example of corporate social responsibility and renewing its commitment to improving the lives of children. ( Hotel News, 2011)

Sales Promotion
Sales Promotion consists of short-term incentives to encourage the purchase or sale of a product or service. It includes a variety of promotional tools designed to stimulate earlier or stronger market response. ( Marketing for Hospitality and Tourism, 2010) Hotel packages promotion

As the first competitive factor in guests’ mind, the price always plays an important role in sales promotion. For hotel packages promotion, the price of package is lower than the total price of the products or services with the same qualities included in the package. So hotel packages promotion strongly stimulates the purchase desire of guests and used widely in various types hotels. Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai designs all kinds of packages for various target markets. For instance, the Romantic Wedding Package is prepared specially for the newlywed holding their wedding in the hotel. To leave a lifetime of memories to the newlywed, Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai sets a specially designed ice carving in the ballroom to match the wedding theme.

Then during wedding time, the hotel will prepare a champagne tower and a wedding cake which could create a happy wedding atmosphere. After the wedding, a couples spa treatment at Qin Spa is ready for the newlywed to relax. If the newlywed prefer to stay in the hotel for their wedding night, a romantic decoration suite is free for them including a breakfast for two people the following morning. Another amazing thing is that Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai provides the newlywed a gift certificate to celebrate their first anniversary in a restaurant at the hotel chosen by themselves. Anyway, Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai offers various packages for different target markets to satisfy their needs. Discount

To attract more guests, discount is the way most direct and acceptable. But it is different from other hotels that Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai nearly never use discount to promote their products even in the off season. As Mr. Wang said, Four Season Hotels and Resorts is one of the most luxury and famous hotel brands in the world and target markets for them are the leaders of business and political circles and super stars but not the middle class or less level. The low price is not the primary reason for their target markets to make their choice cause they do not want to see so many middle class or less level people around them in the hotel. Instead, no discount is another way to attract more high level people. And for Four Seasons, there are actually some things more important than revenue like the reputation and loyalty of target market.

Conclusion
The report explained some information which is necessary to know for Four Season Hotel Shanghai. As a world class hotel, Four Season Hotel Shanghai has gained high reputation since it was built . To maintain the status and revenue level, promoting the products from various channels and ways to improve and expand public relations and strengthen the products’ promotion is very important for the future development of Four Season Hotel Shanghai. Although its reputation have covered all over world, it must keep working hard on marketing in order to attract and retain the guests. Moreover, doing the programs for public good and communicating with guests are very ideal promotional tools also are useful to improve favorable image for Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai.

Reference
Cultural China.com. (2008). Four Seasons Hotel [online]. Available at: . [Last accessed on 12.03.2012]

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. (2012). Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai [online]. Available at: . [Last accessed on 12.03.2012]

Hotel News. (2011). Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai Participates in 10 Million Trees Campaign [online]. Available at: . [Last accessed on 13.03.2012]

Sohu Weibo. (2012). Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai [online]. Available at: . [Last accessed on 13.03.2012]

Nolo.com. (2012). Define a Target Market for Your Business [online]. Available at: . [Last accessed on 14.03.2012]

Wikipedia.org (2012). Online Advertising [online]. Available at: . [Last accessed on 14.03.2012]

Mark A. Rosso & Bernard J. Jansen, 2010, ‘ Brand Names as Keywords in Sponsored Search Advertising’, CAIS, vol.27.

Rocco M. Angelo & Andrew N. Vladimir, 2011, Hospitality Today. 7th Edition, AH&LA.

Philip Kotler, John T. Bowen & James C. Makens, 2010, Marketing for Hospitality and Tourism. 5th Edition, Pearson.

Ninemeier, J, 2005, Management of Food and Beverage Operations. 5th Edition, AH&LA.

John Wilmshurst & Adrian Mackay, 2002, The Fundamentals and Practice of Marketing. 4th Edition. Woburn, MA, Butterworth. 4th Edition, Butterworth – Heinemann.


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