Master’s Thesis in Business Administration
Title: Storytelling- A Study of Marketing Communication in theHospitality Industry Author: Maria Ågren and Martina ÖlundTutor: Susanne HertzDate: June 4, 2007Subject terms: Storytelling, Marketing Communications, Integrated MarketingCommunications, Word of Mouth, Hospitality, Hotels
There is an information surplus in the marketplace today and finding marketing resources that are both effective and affordable is difficult. Asquantity and price has lost its competitive power and quality andsymbolic meaning has become increasingly important, storytelling as amarketing mean can be one concept to apply, especially in the servicesector.
The hospitality industry is one of the largest service sectors, facing fiercecompetition. Many hotels have a story to share and storytelling is today abuzzword in the industry, but it has not received much attention in theacademic world. Therefore, little is known about storytelling from abusiness administration perspective, more specifically marketing communication, which is our field of interest in this thesis.
The purpose of this thesis is to
study and analyze storytelling and how itis used as marketing communication in the Swedish hospitality industry.
To fulfill our purpose, a qualitative study with an inductive approach waschosen as suitable. Primary data was gathered through interviews withmanagers from nine different hotels, which all work actively withstorytelling. Theories regarding service marketing, marketing communications, and storytelling helped us to collect appropriateempirical data and also to structure the analysis.
Storytelling in the hospitality industry is an identity or an image, and thepurpose of using storytelling is to be remembered and to mediate afeeling. As a concept, it requires attributes and a certain level of truth isimportant to remain trustworthy. Furthermore, storytelling facilitates thecommunication process between the hotels and their customers and itoften strengthens customers’ attitudes towards the hotel. Both privateand business customers are attracted by stories, but it is easier tocommunicate the story to large groups during a conference. It is howeverdifficult to mediate the whole concept through marketing communication tools as it is too compound. Storytelling facilitates anintegrated marketing communication as it becomes an image and word of mouth is increased due to that people talk about the unexpected.