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Marketing Assignment

Marketing Assignment

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QUARTERDECK CASE STUDY, ISSUES OF SEASONALITY

October 2010

Page | 1

P5 Question1: the current marketing strategy of Quarterdeck resort ---------------------------------------------P-5 Question 2: assessment of the market demand analysis and overlooked factors ------------------------P-7 Question 3: marketing communications and opportunities of a chain hotel¶s budget --------------------P-9 Question 4: you I recommend this purchase? ----------------------------------------.TABLE OF CONTENTS Section 1: article analysis: ³Here today.----------------P-13 Page | 2 . gone tomorrow´ -------------------------------------------------------P-4 Section 2: the quarterdeck case study -------------------------------------------------------------------------------.-----------------------------P-11 Appendix ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------.

GONE TOMORROW When reading the article by Tyler Brulé entitled ³Here today. tradition and experience for most hotels have lost their character and all the flows that made it so special and memorable. to finally shift it into something else that will suit tomorrow¶s needs. This somewhat wrong idea has led to the disappearance of hospitality landmarks shifting into high volume and ever changing décor and product. This entire school of taught has altered the concept of hospitality. This train of taught has led to very poor investment in the hotel¶s core product: the room. For some reason hoteliers and investors believe they need to create an ephemeron product that will last a trend. I would definitely invest into some functional long lasting furniture to provide a consistent product into every property. such as ³eco friendly´. When thinking of a large hotel chain I would advertise on the quality of the product depending on customer mix. Nothing is built to last anymore. I believe that in today¶s fast paced world there is a constant need for product renewal in response to the consumers increased choices and market awareness. In Page | 3 . gone tomorrow´ published in the financial time (11/09/10) I must say that I agree with his following statement: ³I bristle at the most environmental tokenism that most hotels are using as a sales hook to woo guests and create corporate social responsibility stories for their annual reports. The success of an independent boutique hotel lies on its uniqueness and its ability of drawing a repeating customer base by having a strong product conveying intimacy and experience. I believe that in this globalized society. they should refocus their marketing efforts on marketing the actual product and atmosphere.SECTION 1 ARTICLE ANALYSIS HERE TODAY. I do not think that ³wooing´ the consumer into believing that a hotel is willing to save the planet is very helpful. When it comes to promoting these days. I would stress the quality and consistence of your product in accordance to your brand standards to create a longer business cycle and create repeat business. When it comes to a boutique hotel I would definitely stress the atmosphere of the place. consumers will one day come back to traditional landmarks where they will be able to recognize the environment surrounding them and that will be their strategic advantage. you may enter a room and find IKEA furniture that will probably be tossed upon your check out.

 A new computerized data base including over 3400 guest records summarizing any critical information about their stay (length.CURRENT MARKETING ST RATEGY When looking at the quarterdeck case study and the marketing strategy put in place by Doug Fowler we can understand that his main goal has been to retain high income customers during the high season creating brand loyalty and take advantage of the locals and drive by¶s during the low season to overcome seasonality issues and create a competitive advantage by being the only property open.  Personalized mailing to the guests throughout the year (for example Christmas) to promote personalized relationships with the consumer and revive brand loyalty and awareness. you have to invest strongly in the infrastructure of your hotel that will last over time to ensure a similar experience to your returning customers. weak marketing opportunities due to the lack of activities and the number of substitutes and competition. When you deal with a budget hotel there is usually very little brand loyalty and people are usually looking for value for money thus u may invest very little on your furniture as long as you renew it on a regular basis. by changing the furniture. new and up to speed property. Finally for budget hotels you have too ways to look at the promotion and your product. When Doug Fowler took the helm of the quarterdeck he saw fit to make some changes to the product and the communication channels to ensure a better marketing potential. price. The changes were the following:  Shift from 1 to 2 bedroom units to better accommodate the demand and the customer profile. the closed ferry.order to do so. comments«) furthermore. in 2006 this computerized data base has been updated to record email addresses enabling the front desk to send feedback surveys.  Personal relationships staff-guest is stressed along the guest¶s stay as an efficient way to get direct feedback on the product. Indeed. The issue in this initiative remains the training of Page | 4 . Either you advertise good quality furniture that holds over time or get cheap quality furniture that you would change regularly to promote and idea of clean. the theme etc regularly you may confuse your consumer and lose their loyalty. To attain this goal Doug Fowler had to overcome some obstacles such as the weather. SECTION 2 THE QUATERDECK CASE STUDY QUESTION 1.

After looking at the aforementioned offers put in place by Doug Fowler and the issue of seasonality and we can recommend the following changes to be made to the product:  Drop the direct mailing which is too expensive and switch to email that have the following advantages: o Cheaper o Fast response o High penetration o Eco friendly  Create a booking engine on your website.staff that is inefficient on this matter for they are not trained to ask all the necessary questions to get a fuller feedback. Your price range should remain more or less constituent over the year. especially during the winter to differentiate from other products and create brand loyalty. Training should be given to front desk employees to ensure the best possible information taking. their interests how to attain them efficiently. You should emphasize value added products instead of plain discounts. These are usually over a week end and comprise lodging. You therefore have to understand who you customer is. Doug should also try to take advantage of the ³obstacles´ in his favor such as the weather and low occupancy forcing other properties to shut down in order to create a unique product on the Halifax market.  Develop tailor made services to the customers.management relationships (CRM) to get better feedback straight from the horse¶s mouth. The fact of not having one forces the potential customers to call the property which can discourage them and choose a substitutes that has an easier access to information  Drop the 2 nights. To efficiently promote this product during the low season Doug Fowler has to understand that the customers mix in the winter and the summer differ drastically. A few examples of tailor made services fitting the Quarterdeck¶s image could be the following: o Private chefs cooking in the villas o Art classes with local artists o Hikes in the area to admire the natural beauty and reflect  To push the demand in the winter the Quarterdeck management team should develop winter activities such as: o Hiking o Snowshoeing o Board games nights o Wine tasting around the fire place o Sledding etc.  Doug Fowler has created special packages to boost occupancy during valley period such as the romantic gateway or kayaking packages. Page | 5 . one free it lowers your perceived value for the customers year round. activities and a meal at the restaurant.  Create customer.

 The customers are rather wealthy and price insensitive. Today I think that Doug should focus on the following: Page | 6 . the customers seem to be quite sensitive to billboards as a promotional tool. These eclectic customers are linked by one idea: get away from their hectic lives. MARKET DEMAND ANALYS IS So as to efficiently market the winter product to the consumers Doug has to first understand their profile. Most of the customer mix is returning customers.QUESTION 2. we have drawn the quarterdeck¶s customer profile as to be the following:  The quarterdeck customer mix is very varied. From the case study. enjoy the food and the several activities proposed while enjoying the surrounding sceneries.  The Quarterdeck customers are mainly locals from Halifax and within a four hour radius by car except from the occasional Ontario visitors (20 hours). quiet. It has been proven how critical it is to constantly reassess your property and positioning in order to target the right people for your customer mix evolves along with the technology and the society¶s needs and wants.  These customers seem to be seeking the peace. it ranges from families with children to wealthy retirees. The whole aim of staying at the Quarterdeck is to relax. The customers at the quarterdeck are looking to get away from their ordinary lives to a quiet and intimate place where the atmosphere is intimate and where the guest is recognized. where they are from and what medium they are the most sensitive to. intimacy of the place.  According to Doug. After having assessed the customer profile the market demand becomes self explanatory.  The customer base at the quarterdeck is very loyal. When looking into Doug Fowler¶s marketing strategy put in place in the 1990¶s we can see that he may have overlooked a few factors that became increasingly important over time.

 Doug should only focus on a few advertising medium in order not to confuse the consumer by having overexposure of the product. bus and other means and set your advertising according to those ways. Doug should be careful when using Billboards to attract drive by¶s since today people tend to plan their trips ahead thus the billboards may be seen on the way to the property making the initial purpose of this advertising medium null. The increased importance of internet and Ecommerce. using unnecessary advertising budget that could be better allocated.  Finally.  Consider the different ways to access the property by car. Nowadays people¶s main way to communicate. shop and plan vacations is done though the internet. boat. Page | 7 . Doug should also remember the closing of the ferry which made the accessibility more complicated for American customers.  Ease the access to the property¶s website y installing an efficient booking system so that customers can book through the internet instead of having to call the quarterdeck to get information. It is therefore critical to strengthen the quarterdeck¶s position on the internet to cast a wider demand and ease the access to information. I Doug should focus more heavily on the following: o Internet and website o Road side billboards o newspapers  Doug should bear in mind that the customer mix between the summer and the winter differs extensively therefore he should create two distinct products for those periods.

the third night free o Romantic gateways/ kayaking trips  Finally. Doug is promoting the Quarterdeck through the hotel¶s Web site so as to provide information on the resort.000$/year and is allocated amongst the following advertising medium: o Newspaper (accounting for 15%) o Commercials on local television channels o Commercial segments on local radio talk shows o Road banners stressing punctual promotions that are changing regularly. Now the most critical step is to communicate your product to the public in the most efficient and cost saving way. So far the quarterdeck¶s communication¶s strategy has been the following:  The advertising budget totals 35. he has not yet put in place a booking system on the said website which could drive potential guests to competing resorts that have a way to book online.  Doug has put In place some special offers and packages such as: o Stay 2 nights.QUESTION 3. If the Quarterdeck were to be purchased by a large chain enabling a more consequent communication budget I would recommend the following changes:  Remain consistent in the pricing strategy in order not to confuse the exiting clientele and change the perceived value. Unfortunately. Since clients in the area are not very price sensitive Page | 8 . (cost of $100 a year per banner)  The Quarterdeck is also advertized in the Doers-dreamers travel guide. MARKETING COMMUNICAT IONS It¶s one thing to assess your customer profile and reshape your product.

           focus on the product and experience when advertising rather than the price which would have a low impact on the receipient. Advertise more heavily in Halifax and Ontario (4 hour radius). Create a booking engine for potential new clients that would not have the time or the will to call the property to enquiry for information. You may want to put in place more road sides in a larger radius of the hotels along with directions to attract locals and drive by¶s. With a more extensive budget. cooking classes etc to create a competitive advantage over competing business and create brand loyalty during valley season. you may want to create partnerships with recognized brands such as the Small leading hotels of the world which would benefit your hotel by attracting more customers and profit from the reputation of the partnered brand. focus on1 type or 2 types of advertisement in order not to create brand overexposure that would lead to brand erosion. You may alos create partnerships with local businesses and the tourism office so as to enhance brand awareness in the area. you may attract more new potential guests rather than just returning customers. personalized gifts. you will have the means to strengthen customermanagement relationships by training your staff to promote winter activities to your existing clientele. Promote for indoor and winter activities such as the activities listed in question1. To cast a wider net. Instead of hitting all advertisement media in the area. It has been graded one of the best resorts in the area you should therefore stress this idea of exclusivity and intimacy. comment cards etc Advertise tailor made services such as private chefs. innovation boxes. Page | 9 . By doing so. Finally you should advertise on the Scota Novia website to create awareness for your product to newcomers in the area. Involve current guest to get a clearer profile through guest satisfaction surveys.

cooking classes. Their only reason for expanding would be to put in place a winter infrastructure for indoor and outdoor activities such as hiking. The question remains whether or not in such a case management should expand to get a more complex product or try to improve the existing product and focus on advertising it the proper way. have an impact on your repeat business in the summer and the winter. this could be a potential reason to expand however. not only you ensure an ideal location for further improvements but you have the control over this piece of land ensuring that not competing hotel stands too close. it has been proven that thanks to a remodeling of the product and a substantial amount of advertising one may overcome those obstacles to some extent. when looking at the winter¶s occupancy rate and their limited funds I would advise they shift their efforts in the quality of the services and it¶s advertisement. as a general rule when a property expands too much the overall quality of the product suffers which would. Another good reason to expand this property internally would be to drive competition away. when looking at their occupancy in tandem with their client profile we can understand that they are looking for some high quality product and intimacy thus management should focus on quality rather than quantity. Furthermore. painting etc. in the end. By having an extra set of land close to your property. The second question that comes to mind from an investor¶s point of view is would I want to buy the product given the seasonality and the risky nature of this investment? When thinking of the quarterdeck¶s management team and Doug¶s reflection about expanding the property I personally believe that they are selling a good quality product and that they should focus on this strong product instead of expanding on shaky grounds. Page | 10 .QUESTION 4. RECOMMEND PURCHASE When looking at the case of the Quarterdeck¶s resort in Scota Novia we understand clearer the issue of seasonality which is an obstacle to many businesses in the tourism industry.Nonetheless.

We can also see that the types of customer changes along the year. it depends. Along the same lines.Now when assessing whether or not the Quarterdeck would be a good investment for a hotel chain in the future. Is the name of the hotel going to be changed? If it is the case. which constrains the image is conveys to efficiently sell the product in the winter. I think that after the right alteration are made and the advertisement campaigns are launched the quarterdeck could become a great investment to a chain hotel in the future. Only then will the communications campaigns be efficient. Page | 11 . Another aspect to take into consideration is the time span in which the property will become profitable. That been said. investors should take in consideration that the existing customer base of the quarterdeck may get confused thus driving them away. young overworked executives etc. By shifting the entire product to make it more seasonally resistant the identity of the quarterdeck will be altered and the equal shift in consumer¶s mind may take some time to adapt. well. when advertising this property in the winter I firmly believe that promoting week end gateway would be more efficient than full one week trips since the range of activities is reduced between the two seasons. The decision for a chain to purchase or not this property would lie on the fact that it would complete or not their portfolio and whether or not they are ready to invest in the place on the long run. the price bundles and eventually the product itself. the needs of the customers and the activities demands will change from season to season for instance you may promote kayaking in the summer and snowshoeing in the winter. This reasoning is based on the fact that so far this resort is specialized in the summer with kayaking trips and beach days. investors should understand the shift in customer demand between the summer and the winter and adapt the product and advertising according to those changes. This decision would depend on the alterations made to the product to better overcome the seasonality issues and guarantee a regular inflow of tourist yearround. In the summer families and wealthy retirees will be your prime target while in the winter you could focus more heavily on corporate retreats. These alterations would have to concern the activities. In a nutshell I would say that thanks a more consequent advertising and investment budget the Quarterdeck could overcome its seasonality issues by emphasizing on their unique location and atmosphere that perfectly fits the customer¶s wishes of escaping the busy city and hectic lives. After making those alterations. finally. When thinking of investing in the quarterdeck some details come to mind. In order to be more efficient in attracting year round tourist the product should be adaptable to both seasons providing activities suitable for all weather.

APPENDIX Page | 12 .

 Location of the Quarterdeck resort and villas -A The D represen s the Quarterdeck res rt and villas and C are c mpetitors ¡ ¡   Page | 13 .

overview Page | 14 . The Quarterdeck villa and resort.

Page | 15 .

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