Thursday, September 20, 2012

Service and Sales in Hospitality Management 03

1.      Explain how the sequence of stages is applied in the planning process within the hospitality industry.
In order to plan a marketing strategy, a company needs to follow some steps.

First it needs specific targets. In the hospitality industry that could mean deciding the percentage of profits or the percentage of occupancy they wish to achieve.

Secondly it is necessary to implement policies that will help achieve the company’s targets. To put it simply strategy is the answer to the question: ‘How do we reach our target?’ For example a strategic decision is how many rooms should be allocated to agencies and how many should be kept so that the hotel can sell them directly to the guests.

Thirdly it is necessary to decide on a set of policies that will help the smooth operation of the hotel. For example if a guest decides to cancel his reservation how long does he have until he is charged cancellation fees? Instead of deciding about each case separately there should be a list of ‘rules and regulations’ that will help employees be more efficient.

Fourthly in order for any plan to succeed it is necessary to set up a schedule or a timetable that will determine which of the company’s resources will be allocated to a specific target. For example for hotels who work seasonally it is necessary to decide when is it high season and therefore the prices will be higher and when is the off season and therefore the prices can be lower.

Finally once all has been said and done there has to be procedures that will help the company understand whether the targets have been reached and if not take the necessary steps to correct any mistakes that hinder the success of the plan.
2.      Once the objectives of the overall marketing strategy have been defined, why is it necessary to establish policies for each element of the marketing mix?
The marketing mix is comprised by five elements: Product, Place, Price, Promotion and People. Each element merits special attention so that the business can reach it’s targets.

Management must set standards and set rules and regulations to ensure that the product will always be of the quality that it was intended. Customers will not trust a service or product if it is unreliable.

The location of the hotel is of vital importance. Management must make the most of it in order to maximise profits. Opportunities must not be overlooked and if the position is not ideal then it is up to the marketing people to present the business in the most favourable light.

Pricing is extremely important. If all the costs have not been investigated and taken under consideration then profits will be lower. If the price is too high then the business will lose customers. It is therefore essential to monitor cost and market trends to achieve the correct balance that will ensure the hotel reaches it’s targets.
Promoting a business is extremely important. Once the mediums that will be used are selected, rules have to be established so that the business will benefit the most. Promotion must be flexible and there must be set results that will evaluate the effectiveness of the mediums used. The policies established will help make the necessary adjustments.

People are the most important part of any business. The correct policies when it comes to human resource management will help bring the most suitable people to the most suitable positions.

3.      Which of the following is not a distribution channel? Explain your choice.
a)      Local Tourist Information Centre
b)     Information Centre at the office of VisitBritain in New York
c)      Hotel Rooms of Distinction Ltd
d)     Concierge
A distribution channel is any organised and serviced system, created or utilised to provide convenient points of sale and / or access to consumers away from the location / point of consumption. Concierge is located in the hotel and their purpose is to provide services to existing guests and patrons of the establishment. Unlike the other choices they do not attract new customers but enhance the experience of customers who have already purchased the product or services that the company is offering. Also all the other channels although they are closely working with the hotel they are not parts of the hotels’ structure but different businesses or organisations. Concierge is a department of the hotel and therefore cannot be considered a distribution channel.

4.      Which of the following would not be defined as advertising and why?
a)      Mail Shot
b)     Announcement in the local press of a change in management
c)      Leaflets placed in a restaurant dealing with accommodation
d)     Item in regional newspaper by ‘Food Correspondent’
a)  A mail shot is by definition bulk mail advertising through the mail in the United Kingdom to potential customers to advertise goods or services. The objective of a mail shot for a hospitality establishment is to make the product known to new customers or inform existing customers of new offers etc.

c)   Leaflets placed in a restaurant dealing with accommodation are definitely a form of advertising. The objective of the leaflets is to make the product known to potential guest and produce sales.

Non – advertising
d)  An item in regional newspaper by the ‘food correspondent’ falls under the category of publicity. Usually this commercially significant news published about the business is not financed by the establishment itself but by an objective third party. They could still lead to potential sale but if the piece is not favourable it could have the opposite effect. So an article by the ‘food correspondent’ cannot be considered advertising.

b)  Also announcements in the local press of a change in management and how this will benefit existing and future customers is a good PR move but not exactly advertising as it does not make the product itself known; it just informs the local community about changes in the establishment without promoting directly sales.

5.      What does AIDA stand for?
Attention that the product or must attract
Interest that the product must provoke in order to be popular
Desire to cover the target customer’s need
Action that the perspective customer had to take in order to obtain the product or service.

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