Competition among hotel and hospitality business has increased enormously as customers are getting more educated and fashionable. They’ve been demanding more luxurious services and products which urge organisations to focus on better marketing and strategic planning. Hotels and firms now believe that personal and strong relationships with potential customers is key to competitive advantage in today’s competitive business environment. The idea of developing and upholding the relationship between customers and organisations through comprehensive marketing plans took a while. Before, organisations were more vigilant to improve their line of products and services only.
Strategic Marketing planning was introduced by theorists and policy makers when they identified the need and scope of long-term relationship with individual customers and it greatly influenced the market. “How internal and external factors are essential for hotel and hospitality business and how they possibly can affect the business in positive or negative way”? To answer these questions, this research study will mainly focus on some key factors of hospitality business and they will be discussed at length in order to establish a more explicable analysis (Steven Pike, 2008).
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Critical Evaluation and Major Findings3
Crown Plaza Hotels & Resorts is prestigious brand of InterContinental Hotel Groups chain which operates in more than 100 countries all over the world. Crown Plaza shares its mission statement that “To create great hotels guests love” and has earned great competitive advantage over its competitors in Hotel and Hospitality business. Undoubtedly, some hotel of such prestige and luxury cannot afford to disappoint its base of customers and will keenly observe those parameters and strategies which help keep the customers revisiting the hotel. The essential need for marketing planning can be perceived though this idea and therefore this research study will incorporate the concept of strategic marketing for Crown Plaza hotel. For this, I will meticulously study the existing practices of marketing planning in Crown Plaza Hotel and carefully observe all parameters so that this study can help other hotels and the organisation itself in future (Abdullah and Zahir, 2009).
To maintain competitive advantage and keep organisation out from critical business situations, Crown Plaza needs efficacious marketing plans to evaluate and determine potential risks and threats, thus devising strategies for flourishing development. The comprehensive marketing plan would facilitate Crown Plaza hotel to determine its current position among its competitors, its strengths, its weaknesses, opportunities and threats associated. The determination of weaknesses and subsequent planning to neutralize, even turning them into strengths will help organisation to meet its corporate mission (Mumel and Snoj, 2007). As hotel and Hospitality business is full of opportunities and promising business environments, Crown Plaza hotel can earn great benefits from such opportunities. And last but not least, threats and risks associated with hotel industry which can seriously damage the reputation of Crown Plaza hotel it gained through the span of time.
All these circumstances provoke the need of an integrated, well-structured and analytical approach. SWOT analysis is one of the acute solutions available for critical evaluation of market needs (Anja Böhm, 2008). Broad information is required from Hotel, its competitors, its business environment and overall market to acquire a resourceful market analysis. Obviously it will require performing environmental and competitor’s analyses as well to add comprehensiveness to the study. SWOT analysis is one such tool that can easily compact and present the process of analysis by critically evaluating internal and external factors associated with Crown Plaza hotel. It will, therefore, provide combination of all results that will help Crown Plaza hotel to observe its resources and capacities against competitive and business environment in which it operates.
It will also help hotel to develop generic strategies basing upon careful observation of various factors associated with it and their critical analysis. SWOT analysis is an integrated instrument which comprises key organisational and environmental attributes. Potential strategic plan development is among key objectives of SWOT analysis which examines strengths and weaknesses within the organisation (internal factors) and threats and opportunities that come along the way (external factors).
The main objective of this study is to provide an essential added value to Crown Plaza’s strategic development while delivering an analysis gadget to hotel’s management to process its internal and external factors. In this regard, SWORT analysis in close vicinity of micro and macro analysis tools will serve the purpose. This assignment is furthermore aimed at analyzing valuable approaches and practices to discuss explicit issues associated with Crown plaza hotel in specific, and hotel and hospitality business in general including employee loyalty, increased sales, customer satisfaction etc (BNET Staff, 2007).
Critical Evaluation and Major Findings
To convey SWOT-driven analysis and marketing plan for Crown Plaza hotel, it is essential to acquire information regarding its potentials, its competitors, environment and other associated factors. The potential analysis of Crown Plaza hotel can be identified independently by analysing current market situation. This analysis could serve as valuation method for organisation to develop new range of products and services. The potential market analysis will help the Crown Plaza hotel to use its investment assets effectively.
It needs to invest a handsome amount of money and resources into customer relationship management so those potential customers become loyal to brand and products. There are seven skills which can be employed by crown plaza to build a strong and long-lasting relationship with its customer base and they are; targeting, preparation, assessing, committing, connecting, solving, and last but not least managing. To “keep” customers, it is essential for hotel industry to keep track of all these eight factors which will ensure a definite success.
As far as competitors analysis is concerned, the Crown Plaza hotel has many rivals in the market thus it will require hotel’s management to keep an eye on various marketing strategies developed by its competitors and how they implemented them successfully. For example, CLASS was among successful strategic plans implemented by Ritz Carlton Hotel, principally aimed at providing the loyal customers with three basic amenities, Recognition, Personalisation and Status. These three services were core factors in success story of the Ritz. As concept of developing strategic marketing plans is directly related with customer satisfaction, the management of Crown Plaza hotel should provide a great line of products and services to satisfy its royal customers. They cannot afford to let customers suffer poor quality products and services. It won’t only be a threat to business but “culture” of the Crown Plaza hotel.
For sustainable income and reputation of the hotel, the role of strategic building process is never dying and there is always a need to identify key factors upon which customer satisfaction is dependent (Saunders et al, 2009). In this regard, Recognition builds huge levels of loyalty among customers as they think of their association with one of world’s greatest hotels whenever they enter into it with a strong belief in their hearts that they are recognised. And surely they will be treated as important guests and will be provided with superior services and facilities. Personalisation is basically another giant step towards customer retention which should be aimed at providing more customized services to the customers.
Services not only provided but designed according to taste of customers which they find amusing and satisfactory. A customer goes happily and is more willing to revisit if he knows that this one particular service or one particular staff members can satisfy his appetite. Lastly, the status earned by the Crown Plaza must be shared and celebrated by its loyal customers. They should not only feel the prestige whenever they step into Crown Plaza but pride themselves to be a part of it. Status is in fact the most important factor of luxury segment of world’s greatest hotels (Ferrel and Hartline, 2008)
Based on SWOT analysis of internal and external environment and business factors associated with Crown Plaza including assessment of internal factors through 7S framework and 5Ms, and external factors through PESTEL analysis, following results were carried out;
Internal FactorsStrengthsAspirational Hotel’s Locations all over the world, Luxury environment, PrioityClubRewards, confirmed suite upgrades, online reservations, organized hotels chain, mini bar etc.
WeaknessesGlobally acknowledged strategic plan, not enough hotels as compared to associated brands, less valuable travel packages, costly packages etc. External FactorsOpportunitiesPeak tourist seasons, long-term potential growth of hotel industry, unique experience of plaza hotel in heritage hotels.
ThreatsEconomic conditions, changing trends, increased competitive environment etc.
All these factors can be addressed with help of a comprehensive marketing plan which is equally applicable to scattered chains of Crown Plaza hotel all over the world. Nevertheless, The Crown Plaza hotel has substantially earned a position in global hotel industry by focusing on the better relationship with customers. The policies including customized services, reward points, gift certificates, privacy concerns etc. have helped the management to retain increased amounts of profits to the organisation. These policies were formulated to engage the customers in the future and assured of their revisit (Ezinemark, 2012).
This Study not only determined those key factors but challenges that can affect Crown Plaza’s business in future. Hotel industry in 21st century cannot survive without taking care of certain parameters and in hotel industry customer satisfaction is key parameter. If you cannot satisfy your customers, your competitors will. No organisation Crown Plaza hotel has substantially earned a position in global hotel industry by focusing on the better relationship with customers. The policies including customized services, reward points, gift certificates, privacy concerns etc. have helped the management to retain increased amounts of profits to the organisation.
These policies were formulated to engage the customers in the future and assured of their revisit (Smithers, 2009). Apart from luxurious services and products, that one thing Plaza customers admire most is privacy given to them. Crown Plaza has successfully managed to provide its customers with VIP suites and rooms which they find private and relaxing. More big suites were announced by management with highlighted “privacy”.
This one step could actually retain maximum number of Ritz customers in the future. There are number of factors which can be contributed as weaknesses of Crown Plaza hotel. Nevertheless, these factors are generally associated with hotel industry all over the world and certain demographic and economic conditions are responsible. Crown Plaza hotel have potential to overcome such weaknesses, thus it can be accounted as powerful strength for Crown Plaza hotel in the future (Paul and Richter, 2007).
Hotel and hospitality industry contributes heavily to world’s economics and business and most basic element of this industry is its loyal customers. Any organisation failing to achieve customer retention cannot and will not survive in today’s market for sure. To serve this purpose, organisations invest unhesitatingly in strategic planning practices which ensure greatest customer satisfaction. This research study will also prove helpful contribution to hotel and hospitality industry, especially its luxury segment. The Luxury segment was picked by the researcher as its rich in culture, standards and demands higher levels of customer satisfaction. Nevertheless it will require higher level of efforts and resources to formulate research study of its kind.
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