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Marketing Plan

Weddings

Marketing Plan Weddings Charlemont Place Dublin 2

Charlemont Place Dublin 2

DCU Business School Assignment Submission Student Name: Shane Barry Student Number: 58535191 Programme: MINT4 - BSc

DCU Business School Assignment Submission

Student Name:

Shane Barry

Student Number: 58535191

Programme:

MINT4 - BSc Marketing, Innovation & Technology

Project Title:

Hilton Marketing Plan

Module code:

MG328 Marketing Management & Planning

Lecturer:

Joanne Lynch

Project Due:

17/05/2012

Declaration

  • I the undersigned declare that the project material, which I now submit, is my own work. Any

assistance received by way of borrowing from the work of others has been cited and acknowledged within the work. I make this declaration in the knowledge that a breach of the rules

pertaining to project submission may carry serious consequences.

  • I am aware that the project will not be accepted unless this form has been handed in along with the project.

Signed: _________________________

Executive Summary

The marketing plan is for the Hilton Charlemont Place and focuses on the weddings division. The main aims of this plan are to create awareness and increase sales of weddings at the Hilton. Increased sales of weddings can be lucrative as the average weddings reception spend in 2011 was 9,751 and in the Hilton the average bar spend is 7,500. By May 2013 the Hilton looks to of had twenty large weddings in the ballroom and twenty small weddings in the restaurant. If these targets are met revenue of between 690,000 and 826,000 could be achieved.

According to mrs2be.ie survey of 1,200 newlyweds and engaged couples, 9-10 weddings are affected by the economic conditions and 1-3 had to make changes to their wedding plans. The Hilton can only hold weddings on a Saturday when they have spare resources. The main focus is still on corporate client sales. The Hilton should target engaged couples aged 30-60 as they are seen as the most valuable. They should position as a luxurious, high service quality hotel in line with their brand name to best attract their target market. The Hilton should also continue to focus on smaller wedding sales and civil ceremonies.

The strategy to reach these targets is to allocate an overall marketing spend of 2,000 for

weddings from now till May 2013. A 10,000 budget will also be done out to show what the increased marketing spend could offer. The most important activity is to create a wedding

brochure which shows potential customers the Hilton’s offerings. This includes creating

wedding packages a different price points and putting all the Hiltons weddings offerings into a physical document. A wedding section on the website will also be created which will include a PDF of the brochure and additional wedding information. To drive traffic to the website the Hilton should look to engage in SEO and PPC ads. The Hilton should also engage with customers on social media. Facebook and Twitter are already set up and should be further used to talk to customers about weddings. A competition should be set up to help increase Facebook likes and Twitter followers. I recommend a Facebook ad camping is ran to

help achieve this goal. A premium option would be to use display ads on popular weddings websites like weddingsonline.ie and confetti.ie.

The reason for the shift to mainly online communications for this marketing plan is now according to a mrs2be.ie survey again, 80% are using online wedding forums for research and to get recommendations, 78% source suppliers with online wedding websites, and 37% are

using Facebook and Twitter to source suppliers. It’s important the Hilton are communicating

where couples are now getting information and booking suppliers. Online communications also offer a very targeted option where a small budget can be more wisely spent.

Two packages should be created with different offerings, one priced at €75 per person and the other at 95 per person. This is at the higher price end compared to other nearby 4 star hotels. The two packages should differ in offerings and quality in line with the price paid. These price points should position the Hilton towards their target market. The online marketing communications are very targeted and will be used to create awareness of the new wedding offerings. The marketing plan budget (Fig 17) comes to 1,974 or 9,267 for a premium option.

Objectives Mission Statement

To ensure every guest feels cared for, valued and respected at a level that’s simply unmatched worldwide.

Organisation’s Objectives

The Hilton Charlemont Place has three main objectives in the weddings division of their business.

1)

To have weddings in the ballroom on only Saturdays for 100-150 guests and increase from five to twenty weddings per year.

2)

To also increase the number of smaller weddings in the restaurant for 40-60 guests from nine to twenty per year.

3)

To design and print a wedding brochure by the start of May 2012 which has different packages and prices to distribute to potential clients.

These objectives have been made to create awareness of weddings at Hilton Charlemont Place and to increase wedding sales. To achieve these objectives different marketing communications will be used and the brochure will be created. We will look to increase traffic to the website by 60% and likes on Facebook and followers on Twitter by 50%.

Business Unit Goals

The Hilton Charlemont Place has a list of main overall goals they want to achieve by the end of 2012.

1)

Increase overall profits by 10% by the end of this year.

2)

To increase room hire by 5% by the end of the year.

3)

To increase bookings in the restaurant and bar sales by 5% by the end of the year.

4)

To increase bookings of conference and event rooms by 10% by the end of the year.

Product/Market Background Product Range

The Hilton has a huge range of services that it offers. Here are a list of their three main services.

Hotel Lettings

The Hilton’s main offering is a variety of rooms to stay in overnight. Room lettings during the week are normally close to capacity due to the good relationships with a strong group of corporate clients. On the weekends the hotel has spare capacity in its rooms.

Restaurant and Bar

Aqua is the name of the restaurant which delivers a high quality of food. They get reservations from guests of the hotel and also anyone can make a booking off the street. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week. The residents bar is open to late hours and 11;30pm to non-residents 7 days a week, it also serves bar food and tea/coffee.

Conference/Event Rooms

The Hilton has a variety of rooms to rent. They have a selection of rooms for business meetings and can also be booked for a variety of uses. They have larger rooms and a ballroom for events. At the events they can serve food and drinks for up to 150 guests. Such events include college balls, weddings, business nights out, awards, birthdays and any other event clients want to hold.

Market Overview

Hotel Industry

The hotel industry was hard hit by the recession with 5% of Irish hotels in administration and 8% of overall rooms. The loans of 87 Irish hotels have been acquired by Nama. Recently there has been some good news for Irish hotels in a PWC report it states Dublin is showing the second highest growth rate in Europe in 2011 in terms of revenue per available room. A 6% increase in occupancy rate in 2011 and 2.8% in 2012 so far. That takes occupancy to 73.2% on average per night. The average rate per room is now at 84 per night at the peak in 2007 was at 109. It is also good news regarding tourism which is on the rise. In Q2 of 2011

it was up 15% on 2010. Ann O’Carroll from PWC does warn that room rates will continue to be under pressure as long as the oversupply issue remains. Dublin is now one of the most competitive places for tourism offering some of the lowest hotel room rates in Europe. We can see in (Fig 1) the growth over the last few years in occupancy. It is looking better for the hotel industry but is now a lot more competitive on price.

Weddings Industry

The Irish weddings industry is worth between 500 million and 1 billion annually (mrs2be.ie 2012). We can see what couples are spending on their weddings in 2011 compared to 2010 (Fig 2). In the 2012 a survey by mrs2be.ie (results will be used throughout the report) outlined some major trends emerging in the weddings industry. 9 out of 10 couple’s plans have been affected by tough economic conditions. 1-5 couples are now engaged for more than two years and putting off having their weddings. The wedding venue still gets the biggest spend with on average 9,751 in 2011. The average number of guests at the full sit down weddings is 101-150. There are a notable number of weddings being held in restaurants 3.4% in 2011 compared to 1% in 2010. Couples still but emphasis on quality but now price is also a huge factor. We can see in (Fig 3) the number of weddings in Ireland over the past few years. There were 21,541 weddings in 2009. 7 out of 10 people getting married have been affected by the downturn by been made redundant or taking a pay cut. Couples are now paying for weddings themselves with 50% paying the whole amount while only 1% parents pay the whole bill. The average cost of a wedding is now 26,000 and 29,000 including the honeymoon. Couples are now spending less on weddings and putting pressure on price but still wanting quality.

Sales Summary

I didn’t have access to sales reports for the purpose of this report. Weddings held in the ballroom in 2010 were five and weddings in the restaurant there were nine. The Hotel is profitably due to a strong group of corporate clients. Most of the room lettings are to corporate clients during the week. The hotel is near capacity each weekday and relatively low capacity on weekends. It is mainly a corporate sales hotel.

Key Marketing Analysis Marketing Environment Trends and Market Drivers

To look into this area I used two models PESTLE analysis and Porters Five Forces. This will help me look into the current external environment and we can see what affects it would imply for the Hilton and spot emerging trends. We will also be able to see future market drivers.

I will first look into a PESTLE analysis which looks into the external factors of political, economic, social, technology, legal and environmental and see how they affected the Hiltons wedding business.

Political/Legal

There recently had been a reduction in the VAT rate for the hospitality and tourism sector. The rate decreased from 13.5% to 9%. This new rate applies to hotel lettings and food and drink. It excludes alcohol and soft drinks. This reduction lowers the hotel costs, which in turn they can reduce their price to attract more customers. The average cost of a wedding reception at 9,905 the savings in VAT between 13.5% and 9% are 445. The hotel can choose to keep their prices the same or can pass the reduction onto customers with the hope of increasing customer numbers with lower prices. For weddings the new VAT rate will apply to the rent of the room to hold the wedding in and any food and drink excluding alcohol and soft drinks. Overall the cost for a hotel to hold a wedding is cheaper and they can supply cheaper rates to customers.

The recent decrease in the minimum wage would again affect the cost of holding a wedding to the Hilton. For every 10 people at a wedding they have 1 staff on the floor, and then they have bar staff and kitchen workers. A lot of the workers at weddings are on minimum wage so a reduction from 8.65 to 7.65 would help cut costs. An example of 15 staff at a reduction in min wage by 1 euro over an eight hour shift at a wedding would save 120. If there is a political change of power it could happen again in the near future. It’s an area to look out for changes in the national minimum wage act.

The Hilton must comply with employment laws and look out for any changes that affect their business. Some important laws to look out for, Terms of Employment (Information) Acts, 1994 and 2001 which states they have to give all employees certain info in writing. Under

the Payment of Wages Act, 1991 employers must give all employees wage slips. The Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997 states that the maximum working week average over 4 months is 48 hours. Some break time laws are 11 consecutive hours rest per 24 hour period, one period of 24 hours rest per week, preceded by a daily rest period (11 hours), and 15 minutes when working four and a half hours or more; 30 minutes when working six hours or more which may include the first break. For Sunday work employees are entitled to premium payment. Minimum annual leave is 4 weeks paid and for part time 8% of hours worked. Also entitled to 9 bank holidays. The Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 to 2007 outline rights and procedures in the event of dismissal from work which should be looked at closely. An employee must have 12 months continuous service before being entitled to bring an unfair dismissal case. A dismissal is deemed unfair unless the employer can justify it. These are some of the main employment laws the Hilton need to look out for a summary can be found

There is also likely to be on increase in tax for alcohol, this is an area which will affect the costs of serving alcohol for the Hilton. This is one of the areas where they make the most

money at weddings so it’s a big area to look into for any future legal changes that could be

made.

There are new Civil Ceremony laws in Ireland. They can now get married in approved place not just a registry office. The Hilton can look into this law change not only to be able to hold the receptions but also hold the ceremony aswell.

Economic

As stated above in the hotel/wedding industry we can see it is a hard time for hotels in this economic downturn and see some the economic factors affecting the hotel. According to a survey by mrs2be this are some economic recent trends in engaged and newlywed couples.

The average spend on a wedding is now 22,698 in 2011 down from 23,429 in 2010 and down significantly since the boom years. 9-10 couples wedding plans are affected by the economic downturn and 1-3 have made changes to their wedding plans due to this. 74% of the people surveyed say that the wedding reception is still their top spend, at an average spend of 9,905 in 2010 and 9,751 in 2011.

The number of people unemployed is at 434,100 for March 2012 14.3% of the population. There is a rise of 55.9% in long term claimants since January 2011. High unemployment decreases the number who can have a big spend on weddings affecting the Hiltons business.

In a year to April 2011 76,400 people have emigrated from Ireland (CSO 2011), a record high since 1989. With many people leaving the country there are less people to get married here again affecting the Hiltons business opportunities.

Overall people are spending less, and are afraid to spend big as they are unsure of the future. 1-5 are now engaged for more than 2 years as they try to save for weddings. It’s a tough economically time for hotels and weddings.

Social/Cultural

There have been social and cultural changes over the past few years some which fit in with the economic changes stated above. There has been a significant increase in separation over the past few years. In 2008 it reached 27.5% of marriages end in breakdown/separation. In 2008 there were 6,222 separations and 22,243 marriages. This is a 22% rise since 2002. There number of marriages ending is on the rise, this is good new though for wedding venues as people now are getting married more than once. 5.2% of wedding partners had being married before in 2008. 10% of couples are now putting pressure on price where before the downturn it was all about quality. Couples are now more price concerned. Even for their big one day more couples are worried about price but also concerned at what quality they get for the price they are paying. There has also being a massive shift online for when couples are sourcing suppliers and booking weddings online which I will talk about more in the technology section. As stated before 1-5 are now engaged for more than 2 years. This is due to a number of

reasons over the last few years. Both partners now live busy lifestyles with work and don’t have time to get married and put it off. There is also a feeling that they don’t need to rush to

get married due to the amount of separations. There are also couples saving over long periods so they can have their dream wedding as over 50% of couples now pay for the wedding in full themselves and only 1% of parents foot the whole bill.

People are now getting married older with the average age of a bride 30 and a groom 32. People are putting off getting married till later in life. The Hilton should take this into consideration when choosing their target market.

Technology

There has being a shift online in recent years to couples sourcing suppliers for their weddings. In the mrs2be survey 74% of newlyweds are sourcing their suppliers online and 78% of engaged couples expect to. They are using popular websites like weddingsonline.ie and mrs2be to look for suppliers opposed to glossy magazines.

Brides are now also talking to each other online. 80% are getting recommendations and doing research on online forums. It’s important to look at what is being said about your business online.

Social media is also now being used to source suppliers. 30% of future brides are using Facebook as a resource while a small percentage of brides are using Twitter. This is still a growing trend and will continue to grow into future years.

There is also a growing trend of couple having their own wedding websites which supply guests with information, send digital invitations and RSVP.

The Hilton need to be communicating where brides are searching for suppliers to increase business and there is now a shift online where the Hilton needs to be.

Environmental

Environmental factors don’t have that big of an impact at weddings in the Hilton. The Hilton does have a number of sustainability and environmental measures in places. Where it looks to cut costs and become more environmentally friendly. They have targets to reduce the carbon output of the hotel and also targets to reduce the amount of energy the hotel uses. They are moving all bulbs to energy efficient and sensor lights that turn off when no one is around in certain areas and light diming in other areas. The hotel heat is also control by sensors to be at the most efficient level. A number of different recyclable bins are in place for different types of rubbish. The Hilton worldwide has set certain environmental goals for each hotel to reach. These new measures will also need be run during weddings.

SWOT Implications

We can see in (Fig 4) the SWOT for weddings at the Hilton Charlemont Place. I will now go through some of the implications of these factors.

Strengths

The Hilton need to capitalise on their strengths which follow.

Brand Name

The Hilton is the world’s best known hotel chain. They are known worldwide as a luxurious

hotel with great service quality. When customers think of the Hilton they think of a worldwide chain of expensive hotels that offer great service and luxurious staying. Hilton has to use their brand name to their advantage over other hotels. People can have their weddings at a Hilton the best know hotel chain in the world. The name will give a perception of quality and could be the competitive advantage over other hotels.

Location

The Hilton is located in Charlemont Place on the south side of Dublin City just far away from the main hustle and bustle but still in a central location. It is easily accessible for anyone in the greater Dublin area. They also have a canal across the road which is beautiful for wedding pictures as well as St. Stephens Green a 10 minute walk away. The location is perfect for couples who want a city wedding, and scenic areas to take pictures.

Corporate Client Base

The Hilton Charlemont Place is mainly a corporate hotel with a strong base of loyal clients. The Hilton can use these clients to promote their new wedding offerings. Each time staff are visiting clients they can bring along a wedding brochure to leave in the office for anyone to look at, this can also create word of mouth to friends and family of these clients who see the brochure. Because they have had long good relationships with their clients hopefully they will be happy to spread the word to co-workers and friends and families.

External Support

Every Hilton hotel can get support from the Onqinsider system which can store information from all guests who stay in the Hilton, it also has training courses and brand advice online.

Any Hilton hotel can take training courses and read about different strategies and brand advice on the system. On the system is a huge customer database they can utilise. They can also ask questions to a number of teams worldwide on advice in any area they want. The Hilton Charlemont Place can also communicate with the other Hiltons and the Conrad in Dublin to get any advice on any matter. When the Hilton is looking into setting up new packages for weddings they can use all of these resources to get advice and help them make the right choices.

Resources Already in Place for Weddings

The Hilton already has the resources in place to hold weddings. They currently don’t hold

that many but not much has to be invested in new materials to continue having weddings. The

main investment needs to be in marketing to create awareness and increase sales. They also already have trained staff in place

Weaknesses

The Hilton need to look at their weaknesses and try to control and eliminate them, some of them are as follows.

Marketing

The Hilton has little or no marketing budget to put into weddings and most of their marketing is controlled by the head office in the UK. They need to try getting an allowance even a small one to help them promote weddings. They also need to try getting control over some marketing activities like SEO, PPC, Facebook ads and display ads online which are inexpensive ways to help promote weddings. They need a budget and some control in order to create awareness and increase sales of weddings.

Low Human Resources

There are low human resources on the sales/marketing team. They don’t have the time to allocate to focusing on a marketing plan for weddings. They mainly focus on corporate clients sales which make the hotel profitable. If they want wedding sales to increase they will need to increase time spend promoting weddings and set a schedule to do so. They could also look into hiring another person part time. They can make around 20,000 gross per wedding so the time and human invest could be warranted.

Reluctant to Disturb Profitable Business

The Hilton Charlemont Place is a profitable hotel even in these economic conditions which is a great achievement for any hotel. Weddings can only be held on a Saturday as they don’t want to disturb their loyal corporate customer’s business. Hilton also doesn’t want to risk investing to much in marketing of weddings encase it doesn’t increase sales. Hilton should

invest a small amount in weddings just to drive enough traffic to have weddings on Saturdays throughout the year.

Opportunities

Here are some opportunities the Hilton can look into to capitalise on.

Increase Marketing Spend for Weddings

There is an opportunity to increase their marketing spend to help promote weddings at the Hilton. They already have all the resources in place to hold weddings. A marketing budget of between 2,000 and 10,000 could drive enough traffic to increase sales of weddings just for Saturdays as they want. Having weddings on a just a Saturday wouldn’t affect their corporate clients who are mainly there weekday. Its an opportunity to use resources already in place to increase revenue.

Create Wedding Packages

At the minute each wedding that is held the price and package is made for each individual’s request. The Hilton need to create packages and price points to show customers what they offer. All their competitors have a brochure of all their packages. The opportunity is there for the Hilton to create their own brochure with different packages to start competing with other hotels in the Dublin City Centre. The Hilton need to be able to show potential clients what they can offer and have something physical to give them.

Threats

These are the threats I see of moving into the wedding business. The Hilton need to be aware of these threats while entering the wedding market and try to minimise them.

Losing Valuable Corporate Clients

The Hilton Charlemont Place is a corporate hotel. If the Hilton starts holding weddings it may drive their loyal customers away to competing hotels. If they start trying to many new things

their loyal corporate clients may feel betrayed and there is a threat they will go to other hotels. If weddings are only held on weekends the affect to corporate clients will be minimum. A part time employee could be hired to deal with wedding customer’s queries so communication during the week isn’t lost to corporate clients.

Competing Hotels

There are plenty of hotels in Dublin and even more nationwide who want to attract weddings. There is a threat if the Hilton increases resources to hold more weddings they may fail and lose money as there are so many competing hotels. In Dublin city alone there is a lot of hotels competing for wedding customers and is a very crowded place. The Hilton must look where to position carefully and be wary of the threats from other hotels.

Porter’s five forces can show us the competiveness of the wedding industry and the attractiveness of the markets. We can see in (Fig 5) the fives forces.

Bargaining Power of Suppliers

For a venue to hold a wedding there are many suppliers needed. There are plenty of competing firms who offer the same service looking to supply weddings. This is good for wedding venues as the competition means they can normally get low prices as they buy a lot for one wedding and there is repeat business. The wedding venue has the power to bargain and the power of suppliers is low as if they don’t offer the service at the right price or quality isn’t good enough there are plenty of alternatives. Some examples would be flowers and food.

Bargaining Power of Customers

This is a day many people look forward to their whole life and want it to be perfect. The customer has a great bargaining power as there are so many competing venues. Customers

are making a big once of purchase so venues do whatever they can to get a sale. Customers have big bargaining power.

Threat of New Entrants

To hold a wedding you need a big venue. Most hotels already hold weddings so the threat of new entrants would be relatively low. There is a threat from the increasing number of weddings in restaurants. Also a small threat from hotels starting now to offer weddings.

Threat of Substitute Products

The threat of substitute products is low. A wedding reception is normally held in a wedding venue there aren’t many substitutes. Couples may chose not to have a wedding reception and have a small wedding in their house or holiday with a few friends.

Competitive Rivalry within the Industry

There are a lot of hotels nearby that offer weddings. Dublin city centre has the most hotels of anywhere in Ireland and most of them offer wedding packages. Hilton would be mainly competing with 4 start hotels, their main competitors all offer different packages and different prices to attract different market segments. It is a very competitive industry for weddings.

Customer Issues

We can see in (Fig 3) the number of weddings over the past few years. The average is about 20,000 each year of marriages. The average age of a bride is 30 and groom 32. The recession has affected weddings as well with 1 in 3 making changes to their wedding and 9 out of 10 couples affect by the recession. Customer are spending less, the average wedding spend in 2011 was 22,698 and average reception spend was 9,751. People are now getting married later in life and are more price concerned spending less on weddings.

The population of Ireland is now 4,581,269 and there are 43,864 more females than males. There is not a shortage of one sex for marriages. In Dublin there are 1,270,603 people with 618, 541 Males 652,062 Females again a good balance of sexes. 00-14 - 864,447, 15-24 - 632,723, 25-44 - 1,345,873, 45-64 - 928,869, 65+ - 467,926(CSO 2008). We can see the breakdown of people in each age group. The median age is 34.3 which fit in well with the average age of bride and groom when getting married.

As I have stated above in detail here are some of the main issues with customers. There are now more separations than ever before, this leads to repeat marriages, 5.2% of marriages one partner has been married before. 1 in 5 are now engaged for more than 2 years putting off getting married. Couples are now using online means more to source suppliers and get ready for their wedding. Couples are spending less on weddings and increasingly concerned over price and value for money for the quality of the weddings. 7 out of 10 couples have been affected economic conditions by being made redundant or a pay cut. These are the major trends now for couples getting married. The Hilton has to look at the customers issues when designing their prices and packages.

There are new laws for civil ceremonies which are one the rise and there is also a trend of having smaller wedding which the Hilton can offer in their restaurant. To get an actual market size for weddings in the Dublin, there were 21,541 marriages in 2009 and 39.2% of the population lives in the greater Dublin area where most of the Hilton’s customers would come from that gives a rough estimate of 8,444 marriages in the Dublin area. Civil Ceremonies account for 23% of marriages in 2008.

Competitor’s Pressures

We can see all the competitor’s offerings in (Fig 6) which outlines, their prices, star rating, capacity and location, the Hilton is also included. In (Fig 7) we can see all the hotels location across Dublin. We can interact with the map in this link http://g.co/maps/6q35f and view all competitor’s websites. In the appendices are all of the competitor’s brochures for weddings, along with photos and any other additional information I collected about them.

As we can see there are a lot of competitors across Dublin City Centre. The prices of the Hiltons main competitors range from 35-120 per person and they can hold between 40 and 325 people. There are a range of hotels which offer different prices and can supply for different amounts of people. All the hotels cover a wide range of segments and there are

offerings for every type of customer. Most hotels will tailor weddings to the customer’s

wishes. There are a lot of hotels fighting for the small number of weddings each year and they will be very competitive to get each customer sale, competing on price and quality.

We can see in the brochures exactly what each hotel offers. Most hotels have three price points ranging on average from about 50-90 per person with different offerings in each. The more expensive packages the better the offering and quality. These three price points

make it easy for the hotel to have a package which suits a lot of customer’s budgets. €50 per person by 150 guests is 7,500 for the reception. The average wedding couple has between 101-150 guests and spends 9,751 on a reception. Hotels set price points above and below the average spend to attract as many customers as possible with different offerings.

Here are some of the main offerings by competing Hotels. Wine/champagne receptions, chair covers, linen, flowers, centerpieces, personalised menus and place cards, wedding planner, pre menu tasting, choice of different menus, DJ band hire, cake stand and knife, extended bar, complementary room for bride and groom, discounted rates for guests and red carpet arrival were the main offering by competitors. The Hilton can look at what the competitors are offering in there brochures and look were to position themselves. The Hilton need to make price points and packages and can again look at competitors offering and see where they can gain a competitive advantage.

Marketing Strategies

Priority Opportunities to Pursue

The priority for the Hilton to pursue is to try to attract more customers for weddings. Year 1 In year 1 starting May 2012, the Hilton should create a wedding brochure which has different price points and packages. They can then show to potential customers a physical brochure which shows their offerings. The Hilton should target larger weddings for between 100-150 guests which they can fit in their ballroom. They should look to have weddings only on weekends not to disturb their corporate clients. They should also look to increase the number of smaller wedding which they can hold in their restaurant for between 30-60 guests. They can also look to target people getting married for the 2 nd time and also civil ceremonies. To pursue these opportunities a wedding brochure will need to be created. The Hilton will also need to increase its marketing budget for weddings and choice which communications they best think will attract more customers for the wedding opportunities above.

Year 2 and 3

The headlines for year 2 and 3 would be first to see how well the packages and price points worked in year 1. They also need to look at how the marketing worked. In year 2 and 3 they should still focus on the same opportunities as they can only hold weddings on weekends and there aren’t much more options. In year 2 and 3 the Hilton should look to continue to increase sales for large and small weddings on the weekend.

Core Target Markets

There were 21,541 marriages in 2009 as we see in (Fig 3). As I worked our above a rough

estimate of 8,444 in the greater Dublin area which would be the Hilton’s main target market.

Most people who have weddings in the Hilton are from the greater Dublin Area. The Hilton

have three core target markets they what to attract.

1)

Couples aged between 30-60 first time weddings. People are now getting married later, people aged between 30-60 will have advanced in their careers and now should have enough disposable income to have the wedding they always wanted. For their first time they will want a large wedding for between 101-150 which the Hilton can offer in their ballroom. 54% of the population is between 25-65(CSO 2011) a huge proportion of the country is in this age group.

2)

40-60 years olds who are getting married for the 2 nd time. 2,464 marriages have one partner who has being married before in 2008(CSO 2008). 489 where both have been. People in this segment group normally look for a smaller low key wedding which the Hilton can provide in the restaurant.

3)

The Hilton can look to hold Civil Ceremonies in the Hotel. They can obtain a license to marry couples on site and can also then hold the reception. Again they would target 30-60 years olds from the Dublin area. 23% of marriages in 2008 where civil

ceremonies. That’s 5,115 in 2008, 39.2% of the population in greater Dublin area

rough estimate of 2,005 Civil Ceremonies in Dublin.

They are the core target markets for year 1. They will also continue to target them for year 2

and 3. If they aren’t getting enough sales from these target markets that can evaluation and

change for years 2 and 3 after reviewing year 1.

Basis for Competing

The basis for the Hilton to compete in the wedding market comes down to several factors. They have the best known hotel brand name in the world that is associated with luxury and quality and a great competitive advantage. Customers feel there is less risk going with a brand name especially one as well known as the Hilton and what it stands for. The Hilton Charlemont Place is already a profitably hotel and have spare resources on a weekend. They have all the necessary equipment in place to hold small and large weddings. They currently have no strategy to actively promote weddings and attract customers. They have customers coming to them asking can they have a wedding at their hotel and they don’t have a brochure to give them. There is already demand there and everything is in place to hold weddings on weekends. They need to create a brochure and increase marketing to drive up demand and sales.

As we stated above there is a lot of competition in the market and with already customers coming to the Hilton an increased marketing effort could further boost sales. They only want weddings on Saturdays and maybe Sundays with a small marketing spend of 2,000- 10,000 they could fill these weekend slots with little risk of losing money or affect their corporate clients. To rent the ballroom in the Hilton can cost up to 15,000 for a wedding and an average extra spent of 7,500 on the bar. A little marketing spend could help them dramatically increase revenue. If it doesn’t work out there is only a little lost and they can still be profitably due to their existing business.

Desired Positioning

The Hilton wants to position to attract their core target markets and be as profitable as possible. The Hilton should position at the higher end of the 35- 120 to attract the most valuable customers. At this higher end is also where their target market of 30-60 year old couples who would have advanced in their careers and have more disposable money are. They can only hold one wedding each week on a Saturday and maybe one on a Sunday. They want the wedding to be as profitable as possible. Their brand name already leads them towards the higher end as well. They should position as luxury high quality hotel for weddings which the brand stands for. I recommend price range from 70- 100 per person as 120 per person is a five star range. The average wedding is for 101-150 guests, for 100 guests at 70 is 7,000 and for 150 is 10,500 and for 100 guests at 100 is 10,000 and for 150 is 15,000. With the average spend of a wedding at 9,751 this positions the Hilton around and above that mark. The Hilton also has to look at what other hotels offer for the same price to see who they are positioning against and the competition at those price marks.

They can also position for smaller weddings in their restaurant and for Civil Ceremonies. They can tailor packages for smaller wedding to suit them, and for Civil Ceremonies have a license to marry people on their premises and offer the same packages as for marriages and also tailored ones.

To position at the points they need to create a brochure which explains all its offerings, packages and prices. The packages and prices should position them at the higher price range and a perception of better quality, this along with their brand name which perceives luxury and quality. To position for smaller wedding they can have a section in the brochure

explaining they tailored any wedding to the customer’s needs. For Civil Ceremonies again

say what they offer in the brochure for them. Their marketing communications also need to

position them this way.

Statement of Expected Results/Forecasts

For this report I don’t have access to previous sales figures for the hotel. With the information I know I have in co-ordination with help from the Hilton set sales forecasts for weddings for the next three years.

The Hilton only wants to hold weddings on Saturdays and maybe on Sundays. There are 52 weeks in a year so 52 weekends. Sales for wedding in 2011 where five in the ballroom for

100-150 guests and 9 in the restaurant for 40-60 guests. Overall there were 14 weddings in the Hilton in 2011 with no marketing activities or wedding brochure.

Year 1

Starting May 2012, the Hilton looks to have 20 weddings on a Saturday for 100-150 people in the ballroom. With the two price points at 75 and 95 per person, we can see the income for 100 and 150 guests at point price points.

Price Per Person

100 guests

150 guests

Average Bar

Total income

Total income for

Spend

one wedding

20

weddings

75

7,500

11,250

7,500

26,250

525,000

95

9,500

14,250

7,500

31,250

625,000

I don’t have the costs per weddings but the income the Hilton can achieve from 20 weddings for 100-150 guest at those two price points is between 525,000 and 625,000. These sales would target the 1 and 3 target markets stated above.

For smaller weddings for between 30-60 guests which are held in the restaurant the Hilton look to hold 20 of them throughout the year. This would be for the number 2 target market stated above. Price for these wedding are tailored per request but normally fall around the 75-95 per person price range.

 

Price Per Person

30 guests

60 guests

Average Bar

Total income

Total income for

Spend

one wedding

20

weddings

75

2,250

4,500

1,500

8,250

165,000

95

2,850

5,700

1,500

10,050

201,000

The income for 20 smaller weddings would be between 165,000 and 201,000. Over all income for 40 weddings per year from large and small would be around 690,000-826,000 for year 1 sales forecast. This would require the Hilton to have weddings on 40 out of the 52

Saturdays in a year. Currently they have 14 per year would no brochure or marketing so is a fair estimate.

Year 2

If sales are projected as in year 1 I would recommend the Hilton starts having weddings on a Sunday as well to increase capacity without disturbing their corporate clients. There are now 102 days they can hold weddings on.

Year 2 for larger weddings we would forecast 25 to be held on Saturdays and Sundays. A slight increase from year 1, there will be more awareness after year 1 and an increased marketing spend if year 1 sales are reached.

Price Per Person

100

guests

150

guests

Average Bar

Total income

Total income for

   

Spend

one wedding

25

weddings

75

7,500

11,250

7,500

26,250

656,250

95

9,500

14,250

7,500

31,250

781,250

Year 2 for smaller weddings we would forecast 25 aswell. Again stated the same reason as above. The hotel has limited capacity so sales can’t be targeted to high.

 

Price Per Person

30 guests

60 guests

Average Bar

Total income

Total income for

Spend

one wedding

25

weddings

75

2,250

4,500

1,500

8,250

206,250

95

2,850

5,700

1,500

10,050

251,250

Sales in year 2 will be between €862,500- 1,032,500 for large and small weddings.

 

Year 3 we predict sales will again have a small rise to 30 for large weddings and 30 for small weddings.

Price Per Person

100

guests

150

guests

Average Bar

Total income

Total income for

   

Spend

one wedding

30

weddings

75

7,500

11,250

7,500

26,250

787,500

95

9,500

14,250

7,500

31,250

937,500

 

Price Per Person

30 guests

60 guests

Average Bar

Total income

Total income for

Spend

one wedding

30 weddings

75

2,250

4,500

1,500

8,250

247,500

95

2,850

5,700

1,500

10,050

301,500

Sales for large and small wedding in year 3 are forecasted to bring in between 1,035,000 and

1,239,000.

All sales figures have being calculated in co-ordination with the Hilton. Year 1 we have

forecasted a rapid rise due to the introduction and marketing efforts. There isn’t much more

capacity to have more weddings unless the Hilton decide they want some on Sundays. The forecast may change when in year 1 the Hilton see how may wedding sales they achieve and how profitably they are. More focus may go towards weddings in years 2 and 3 depending on how they do in year 1.

I think the forecasts are realistic with over 20,000 wedding each year and a rough estimate of 8,444 in the Dublin area calculated above. 60 weddings in the Hilton in year 3 would be 0.7% of the estimated weddings in Dublin.

Marketing Programmes

I will now go through the recommendations I will give for the marketing mix with the main focus on year 1 and a brief outline for years 2 and 3.

Product

The Hilton Charlemont Place needs to design packages and different options for customers to

create the product. At the minute each wedding is created to each customer’s request. The Hilton has most of the resources in place to hold weddings both in the ballroom for large weddings and restaurant for small ones. I would recommend the Hilton makes two packages

for weddings, but can also tailor weddings to the customer’s request. This would include

organising weddings in the restaurant for each individual customer to their request. They

should also have a packages to show they can register civil ceremony marriages on site and hold the reception. They can choose from the two packages or have it tailor made how they want.

The two packages will differ in offerings and quality, they will cost a different price per person which I will talk about after. (Fig 8) shows an example of two packages they can offer. The more expensive one will have extras and upgrades from the cheaper one, for example the rose package has a wine reception, lily has a champagne, rose has standard food the lily can have more advanced expensive food. We can see all the different offerings in (Fig 8) for the extra costs per person, there are better offerings. Creating the packages give a basic list of your offerings, the customer can then decide if they would like one of the packages or a tailored wedding. These packages can be for traditional weddings or civil ceremonies.

For smaller weddings they can be held in the restaurant or a conference room with DJ/band.

They can be made to the customer’s request. The Hilton can take requests in and be able to

give a price for the overall cost for what the customer wants.

In promotion I will talked about how the company can create awareness of their new product offerings.

Some of the extras needed for the wedding packages can be bought at weddingstar.com. Personalised place cards are .50c each and personalised napkins .20cent each. These are nice inexpensive touches which personalises the packages. 100 personalised menus from printing.ie are 75.00 and 150 for 150.00 which again is a nice touch and something people can bring home to remember the day.

Price

As talked about before, the Hilton should position in the higher price range from competing hotels. Most Hotels have 3 price points, I recommend the Hilton has two as they don’t want to offer cheaper weddings. The two price points should coordinate with the two packages. As we see in (Fig 8) I would recommend two price points of 75 per person and 95 per person. As described in “Product” section the two package differences would be showed by the price. Other hotels offer packages from 30-60 but the Hilton can only hold weddings on Saturdays and to attract the most valuable customers only want to offer in the higher range. This higher range also fits it with their brand name and image. I have gone through in the sales forecast how much revenue the hotel can achieve at these two price points in years 1-3

if they meet targets. Price is now a more concerning factor for engaged couples when sourcing suppliers says the (mrs2be.ie 2012) survey. They are concerned about price but also what quality they are getting of that price. Price for smaller wedding should be kept in line with restaurant prices but also the wedding packages. Price should stand for the quality of service they are getting. They should give a breakdown of what the costs are for each element of the wedding to customers. The Hilton should help brides design their weddings and inform them of all costs.

Place

The weddings can only take place in the Hilton Charlemont Place. We can see in (Fig 9) all the different size rooms the Hilton can offer. They can be tailored to fit each weddings size. The Weddings can also take part in the restaurant which can fit up to 60 people for a meal for a wedding. These rooms can be done up for weddings with all the extras needed. Couples can also request for any extras to be in place. The rooms can be done up as we see in the pictures from competitor’s weddings in the appendices. There is also a canal across the road which is a scenic area for wedding pictures and St. Stephens green is a 10 minute walk which is also a beautiful place for pictures. As it is a service the wedding must take place in the Hotel and can only happen on Saturdays.

People

For a wedding the hotel now has 1 floor staff for every 10 people, staff makes for a better service quality and there is always someone around if a guest needs anything. They are needed to bring out all the food and get drinks for customers. There also needs to be chefs, kitchen workers and bar staff and mangers around to deal with any problems and supervises the employees. The staff are one of the most important aspects of any service as they interact with the customers. It’s vital all the staff are trained and everyone knows what to do. The Hilton must get the number of staff for a wedding right to make sure the service runs

smoothly but too many staff will increase costs. It’s better to have more staff on then to be

short. It will be a trial and run error to see how many staff they need. They will also need outside suppliers staff for flowers, food and photography and anything else they need to be

brought in externally. External supplier’s staff will also have an impact on service quality

delivered. It’s important to choose the right suppliers. Staff are vitally important to the wedding and their performance has a huge impact on service quality.

Process

The process for holding a wedding will have to be worked out by the Hilton and then tested with their staff. After each wedding if the process has any problems it can be evaluated and changed. There should be a schedule set for each wedding and worked out with the wedding couple to suit them. The process should have a timeline for each activity so everyone has a rough idea of what to do when. The process for the wedding begins after the couple book, they can then work out a schedule and organise suppliers and staff requirements. Everything that is offered in the package and any extra that the couple ordered should be delivered in the process. The Hilton should look at the process from when the couple started looking for a venue to when they choose them to after to see how they rated it. Feedback in a survey form should be sent after to see how they found their wedding and asked to rank certain elements. They should also be asked why did they choose the Hilton to see which marketing communications are working. The process incorporates the packages with the staff to create a wedding.

Physical Evidence

As I explained before in the productwith the personalised name cards, napkins and menus, these also create physical evidence which is unique to each customer’s wedding. People can bring them home and keep as a way to remember the day. The Hilton brand name should also be printed on these as physical evidence for the brand. A photographer aswell will take pictures which will be physical evidence of the day. Couples can chose their own photographer or the Hilton can recommend one to get. It important anything physical used in the wedding is high quality such as cutlery, plates, cake stand knife, linen, chair covers and any decorations as they are a way for customers to judge quality. The Hilton already has most of these items and they are high quality. If they are positioning at a high price the perceived quality should be delivered if not the customer will not be satisfied.

Promotion

The promotion is where most of my recommendations are. The Hilton already has most of the pieces in place to hold weddings it just need to create more awareness to increase sales. Here are my promotional recommendations for the Hilton.

1)

Create a Brochure

The Hilton after they created their packages and choosing their price points they need to display all this information in a physical form. I recommend they design, print and distribute a wedding brochure which has all their offerings in it. As well as the two packages and their offerings with the price, there should also be additional information explaining what they offer for smaller weddings and Civil Ceremonies. Everything the Hilton offers for weddings should be included in the brochure for customers to see.

The first stage after deciding what to put in the brochure, is to design it. They should include pictures of a wedding at the Hilton. They could either ask a wedding happening in the Hilton could they take pictures of them from their wedding or else hire models and clothes. I would recommend the first options as it’s a lot cheaper. For a photographer for the pictures they could ask to do it for free and in return the Hilton will recommend him for future weddings. They should include pictures of the room done up for a wedding with different shots, also have pictures of the couple across the road at the canal and at St Stephens green. The cost to use a customer’s pictures would be close to noting. In return you could offer them a free photographer for their wedding which the Hilton has got for free anyway. They could also take pictures when there is a wedding happening and get models to do other pictures. To hire a male and female model can be got for free or low cost from Starnow.ie as they are new models looking for experience. On covet.ie is a list of designer wedding dresses that can be rented for 3 days for between 150- 600, and a male tux for between 100- 300 from Black-tie

After the pictures are taken, the whole brochure needs to be designed, printing.ie will design it for €149.00 a front and back A4 which will fit all the Hilton’s information. The Hilton can work with printing.ie to have it designed as they want and all the appropriate information is included and looks the way they want it.

After the designing, the brochure has to be printed. Printing.ie can print 5,000 A4 back and front for 440.00 or 10,000 copies for 669.00. This includes delivery and Vat. Once the Hilton has the brochure they can keep them around the hotel to hand out to any customer who asks. The managers when they visit corporate clients can put them in the conference packages. Then their corporate clients can tell their employees if they are looking for a wedding venue and also have the brochure around the office which can lead to spread of word of mouth to friends and family. The brochure can also be put online which I will talk about next. A manger visits 8 corporate clients a week.

2)

Website

My 2 nd promotion recommendation would be to update the wedding section of their website. At the minute there is just a small section which just tells you who to contact. It is very hard to find on the website and also on Google. I would recommend that they upgrade their website to have a better wedding section. On the website should be a description of what the Hilton offers, pictures of weddings, a PDF of the brochure and contact info. The Hilton already has someone in house with web design skills that can create this new section. It then gets sent to the UK head office for any improvements and approval. All this can be done free of cost, it will just take employees time.

Once the website is updated they will need to drive traffic towards it to create awareness and help increase sales. They should engage in SEO and PPC ads to drive traffic towards the website. For SEO a company called proseo.ie offers a range of packages. They have a starters SEO pack which does the basics for SEO and then gives you a report about your website this costs 199.00. They also offer maintenance service which each month will help maintain your results in the top page of natural Google search. This will help when people search for weddings, it will help the Hilton appear as high up as possible. The cost of the maintenance is 69.00 per month. I would recommend setting SEO up with 3 months for maintenance which would cost 406.00 or for a premium option set up with 12 months maintenance will cost 1,027.00. We can see in (Fig 10) what the results look like when you search “Weddings Ireland”. SEO will help improve the Hiltons search result and in turn make it easier for

customers to find. If a customer is searching for wedding or any related words, it is very targeted. SEO will help drive traffic to the website.

The Hilton should also use PPC ads to drive traffic towards their website. Proseo.ie again do PPC management. They can set up your PPC ads for 159.00 and maintain your account for

55.00 a month. You will also need to allocate a budget for them to spend on targeted words. They could target ads at words like “Weddings”, “Weddings Ireland”, “Wedding Venues”

which are very targeted because if someone is searching them they are looking for wedding info. As we see in (Fig 10) these ads will be in the ads section on top and on the right.

Proseo.ie will control the account for you, to set up and 4 months maintenance with a 50.00 per month budget it will cost 579.00 and then you could follow on what they were doing from there. A premium option for a set up with 12 months maintenance and 100.00 budget per month would cost 2,019.00. These options would create ads on targeted Google searches around weddings. People can then click the results and it will lead to the Hilton website where the customers can look at all the information they have there.

SEO and PPC will help drive traffic to the new wedding section of the Hilton website and will help increase sales.

3)

Social Media

My next recommendation for promotion would be to engage in social media. The Hilton should mainly use Facebook, and created targeted ads to drive traffic to their page. They should also set up a Twitter account. These two social media forms are a great way to engage with customers. They can interact with customers, get feedback and answer any questions they may have.

There is already a Facebook page set up but isn’t kept up to date. The Facebook page should

be looked at everyday, and all customer questions should be answered. To help get more likes on the page they should set up a competition and a Facebook ads campaign to help drive traffic to their page. A campaign can be easily set up on the Facebook adverts app, all you need to do is enter the information to create your ads, pick your target market and launch the campaign. I recommend a member of the Hilton staff to do this. In (Fig 11) we can see an example Facebook ad I created. It advertises a competition on the Hilton Facebook page so when someone clicks it goes to the Hilton page and they can like the page and enter the competition. An example prize would be a romantic meal for two with an overnight stay in the Hilton as the cost would be minimal, it would also attract the target market of engaged couples. We can see in (Fig 12) who the ad is targeted to and will only appear as ads on their Facebooks, men and women ages 30-60 who are engaged which is directly targeted at our target market and they are the only ones who will see it. The recommended bid Facebook gave was .41 cent per click, so that will be the cost for everyone who clicks the ad. I

recommend a budget of 100.00 per month for 4 month to test it which will cost 400.00 and for a premium option of 150.00 per month for 12 months which will cost 1,800.00. The ads can be controlled internally by a member of staff and assistance can be got for free from Facebook sales team. For a budget of 100 pm 243 people can click the ad, they will all be people in our target market going directly going to the Hilton Facebook page. For 150.00 pm 365 people can click the ad. Once they like it all their friends can see they have like the Hilton and a domino effect can begin. On the Facebook page should be a link to the website where people can see the brochures and additional information. The Facebook page should also have some brief information about weddings. It should be updated daily and used to interact with customers.

A Twitter page should also be set up, they can again interact with customers and answer any of their questions. There should be Facebook and Twitter icons on their webpage and brochure to help drive fans towards the pages, Twitter and Facebook should also drive followers to one another. The competition can be run on Twitter aswell.

Another free option would be to set up a YouTube account to put up videos of previous weddings, and even interview guests while at weddings to get feedback, the video can then be given to the wedding couple for their collection and also put up on the Hiltons YouTube account with their permission. These videos can show potential customers what weddings at the Hilton are like a give them a real feel for them. The YouTube video can be posted on the website, Facebook and Twitter for people to see.

Other social media options would be to get guests to check in on foursquare at weddings and set up a Pinterest account which allows you to pin pictures to your wall for others to see and is mainly used by females. These are just two other options but wouldn’t have as many users as Twitter, Facebook and Youtube.

4)

Display ads

I would recommend display ads on popular wedding websites as a premium option. Three websites I looked at where weddingsonline.ie, confetti.ie and mrs2be.ie. These are some of the most popular wedding websites future brides now visit. As we saw before more couples are going online when sourcing suppliers.

Weddingsonline.ie has more traffic than all other Irish wedding websites combined, 22,000 registered users mostly brides and permission to market to them, 75% of the users haven’t book a wedding venue yet and they can use targeted emails to brides who haven’t picked a venue yet. We can see in the appendices the two forms which outline the different packages on offer and what each provides. I would recommend going with the first two cheaper packages as they fit more within the budget. We can see what the offerings are in the two packages, mainly banner ads and targeted emails. I got a 25% discount on any package so the cost including Vat for the first packages is 2,352 and for the 2 nd 4,116.

Confetti.ie is a magazine gone online and is a smaller website, they had 30,147 unique visitors in 2011. We can see in (Fig 14) there ad offerings, I would recommend a leaderboard for 6 months or 12 months which costs 800 and 1,400 respectively. This gets a display ad right on the top of the website which visitors can’t miss. This would be a cheaper option to weddingsonline.ie.

Mrs2be.ie wouldn’t give me a direct quote without naming the Hotel which I didn’t want to do. I have being in contact with them and the Hilton can follow up if they are interested. They are another popular wedding website which is again very targeted at brides who are looking to source weddings.

We can see in (Fig 15) a list of all the tasks that need to be carried out, who is responsible and the timeframe they start and finish. All the proposed recommendations are in the schedule and the Hilton can choice which once they wish to implement. The three main staff who will carry out the tasks are Catherine the corporate sales manager, Silvia the events manager and Natasha a sales assistant. Silvia is familiar with weddings and also has good web design skills, Catherine is also familiar with organising weddings with previous experience and Natasha has a good understanding of social media. These aspects were taking into account when allocating tasks to match their skills. The schedule for these activities starts in May 2012 in the hope to catch some of the summer wedding business as they are the busiest months. The maximum length of the schedule is to May 2013. At this stage there can be an evaluation to see what is working and what to change. In year 2 and 3 they can look at the results from year to help them improve the marketing mix.

Controls and Evaluations

All the tasks seen in (Fig 15) need to be controlled and have targets set to evaluated how they achieved. Each task has an objective which it was created to help achieve. (Fig 16) shows us how to control and evaluate each task. It should be looked at in relation to (Fig 15). We can see how to measure each task, what objectives where set for the task, the targets being set for the task and a contingency plan which can be put into action if the task isn’t performing as desired. The website can see where views are coming from by using Google analytics which is free to set up. This will show you where every view on your website came from, how long time they spend on the site and what they did on the site. Facebook have a similar tool to view your page views. If any task isn’t performing and doesn’t look like it will be close to reaching its target the contingency plan should be bought in or else stop the task completely. Most of the tasks are linked and all the tasks together have the main goal of increasing sales and meeting sales forecasts set out in the forecasting section. A survey will also be issued to each wedding couple who had their wedding at the Hilton to ask them several questions about the wedding. From this the Hilton can see which parts of the wedding preformed best e.g staff, food, decorations, value for money, quality. They can also ask the couple how they found the Hilton to see what marketing communications are working best. The feedback from this survey is vitally important to evaluate how weddings are going at the Hilton. This feedback should also to taken on board in line with targets in (Fig 16). Any reoccurring issues found should be evaluated, if customer don’t think it was good value for money, or there wasn’t enough staff and changed. Targets should be set for satisfaction on each section of the survey in line with the SALT system already in place in the Hilton. Weddings at the Hilton should be evaluated at the end of May 2013 to see if they are fitting in with the overall business goals of the organisation.

Financial Implications/Required Budgets

(Fig 17) shows the budget allocate for spending on weddings. I was given a budget of 2,000 for marketing spend, I also did up a budget for 10,000 to see what the extra spend could get you. A few costs are imputed as 0.00 but some take up employee’s time and use resources like the competition price of a meal and overnight stay. The cost will have to be worked out for them. We can also see in the sales forecasting section the potential revenue earned per

wedding and the annual income if targets are reached. For this report I don’t have figures on

the cost of holding a wedding to the Hilton or a breakdown of wedding costs. I don’t have figures to see how much profit can be made from each wedding. The income figures are in place to work that out. We can then see the marketing spend in (Fig 17) and see is the spend justified by the profit made from weddings and the increase in number of weddings from the previous year. Staff cost for their time also need to be allocated for each task they are carrying out, those cost aren’t accounted for in the budget. After year 1 the marketing communications can be evaluated and a budget for year 2 can be made.

Operational Considerations

The Hilton hotel is mainly a corporate hotel, they have corporate clients for meetings in their conference rooms, overnight stays, meals in the restaurant, and lunch/coffee in the bar. Most of their revenue comes from corporate clients. Most of their sales/marketing teams efforts are focused on corporate sales. They have built up a strong base of loyal corporate clients and this has made the hotel profitable. Not a lot of hotels manage to be profitable since the economic downturn, so it is a risk moving into other sectors. It’s important the introduction of more weddings doesn’t affect their corporate clients or the communication with them. Having weddings just on a Saturday minimises the impact, they also have room for one on a Sunday but this might affect their communication with corporate clients and be more focused on wedding sales. It also important they don’t spend too much on marketing for weddings in case of failure to increase sales. They should first test with a small budget as they only want a few weddings to help increase revenues, they don’t have the capacity to have them during the week. The Hilton should minimise the risk entering the wedding sector and still have their main focus on corporate clients as they are their profitable business. The Hilton have 2,000 to test spend on marketing for weddings, and have the resources already in place to hold weddings.

Appendices Fig 1 PWC 2011

Appendices Fig 1 PWC 2011 (Fig 2) mrs2be.ie survey 2012

(Fig 2) mrs2be.ie survey 2012

Appendices Fig 1 PWC 2011 (Fig 2) mrs2be.ie survey 2012

Fig 3 CSO 2009

 
 

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

Marriages

21,541

22,243

22,554

21,841

21,335

Fig 4 SWOT

 
Fig 3 CSO 2009 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 Marriages 21,541 22,243 22,554 21,841 21,335 Fig

(Fig 5) Porter’s Five Forces

Fig 3 CSO 2009 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 Marriages 21,541 22,243 22,554 21,841 21,335 Fig

(Fig 6) Competitors

Hotel

Star

Number of

Price

Location

guests

Hilton

4

40-150

€ 50-€90

Charlemont

Place

The Clarence

4

60-150

€35-€120

Wellington

Quay

Radisson

4

120-200

€50-€90

Golden Lane

Golden

The Maldron

4

40-60

On request

Cardiff Lane

O’Callaghan

4

90-325

€49

Merrion Square

Alexander

The Morrison

4

85-160

€75-€120

Ormond Quay

Burlington

4

40-120

€59-€89

Donnybrook

Fitzwilliam

5

12-80

€95

Stephens Green

O’Callaghan

4

90-360

€49

Lower Merrion

Davenport

Street

O’Callaghan

4

70-150

€45

Merrion Street

Mont Clare

Lower

O’Callaghan

4

Up to 30

On request

Stephens Green

Stephens

Green

(Fig 7) Competitors Location http://g.co/maps/6q35f

(Fig 7) Competitors Location <a href=http://g.co/maps/6q35f (Fig 8) Packages " id="pdf-obj-37-5" src="pdf-obj-37-5.jpg">

(Fig 8) Packages

(Fig 7) Competitors Location <a href=http://g.co/maps/6q35f (Fig 8) Packages " id="pdf-obj-37-9" src="pdf-obj-37-9.jpg">

(Fig 10) “Weddings Ireland” Search Results

(Fig 10) “Weddings Ireland” Search Results (Fig 11) Facebook Ad (Fig 12) Facebook Ad Reach

(Fig 11) Facebook Ad

(Fig 10) “Weddings Ireland” Search Results (Fig 11) Facebook Ad (Fig 12) Facebook Ad Reach

(Fig 12) Facebook Ad Reach

(Fig 10) “Weddings Ireland” Search Results (Fig 11) Facebook Ad (Fig 12) Facebook Ad Reach

(Fig 14)

(Fig 14) (Fig 15) Tasks, Responsibilities and Schedule. Programme Person or Date(s) for Anticipated cost Implications

(Fig 15) Tasks, Responsibilities and Schedule.

Programme

Person or

Date(s) for

Anticipated cost

Implications

or marketing

department

activity

for the

mix task

responsible

organisation

Create

Silvia

May 2012

€0.00

Target specific

packages and

segments

prices

         

Design and

Printing.ie

May 2012

Photographer =

Create

printing of

and

€0.00

awareness and

wedding

photographer

increase sales,

brochure

Design and

an item to give

printing 5000=

to customer

€589.00,

when they ask

10,000=€669.00

about weddings.

         

Website

Silvia

May 2012

€0.00

Easy access

Design

for potential

customer to

information.

Create

awareness and

increase sales

         

Distribute

Catherine

May 2012

€0.00

Create

Brochures to

onwards

awareness and

corporate

increase sales

clients

         

SEO

Proseo.ie

May 2012-

€406.00

Increase

July 2012

search engine

€1027.00

results, drive

May 2012

traffic to

April 2013

website,

increase

awareness and

sales

         

PPC

Proseo.ie

May 2012-

€579.00

Target certain

August 2012

€2,019.00

results words, drive traffic to

May 2012-

website,

April 2013

increase awareness and sales

         

Facebook and

Natasha

May 2012

€0.00

More

Twitter

onwards

information

accounts.

for customer, better understanding of the product

         

Facebook Ads

Natasha

May 2012-

€400.00

Target specific

August 2012

€1800.00

users on

Facebook,

May 2012-

increase

April 2013

awareness and

sales

         

Display Ads

Catherine

May 2012

2,352-4,116

Target

with wedding

onwards

weddingsonline.ie

engaged

websites

couples, drive

800-1,400

traffic to

Confetti.ie

website

         

(Fig 16)

Programme

Task

How to

Targets

Contingency Plan

or marketing

Objective

Measure

mix task

Create

To create

Number of

By May 2013

Re-do packages

packages and

packages at

bookings for

20 bookings

with different

prices

different

each

from both

offerings and

prices to suit

packages.

packages

change price

targeted customers

points.

         

Design and

To show

By number of

1,000

Re-design

printing of

potential

brochures

brochures

brochure with new

wedding

customers all

distributed

distributed

offerings as above,

brochure

the Hilton

by May 2013

Increase marketing

weddings

communication to

offerings

increase awareness.

         

Website

Set up a

Number of

Increase

Increase SEO and

Design

wedding

views on that

views by

PPC to drive

section on the

section.

60% from

traffic to website

Hilton website

May 2012-

May 2013

         

Distribute

Put wedding

Number of

8 per week

Stop issuing

Brochures to

brochure in

weeing

wedding brochure

corporate

corporate

brochures

in corporate

clients

client

distributed to

packages.

packages.

corporate

clients.

         

SEO

Get the Hilton

Position in

Be on first

Switch company to

into top page

Google

page of

so SEO, hire online

on Google

search,

Google

marketing

search for

number of

search by

employee, A

weddings

visitors from

May 2013

member of staff

Google

there now do SEO

search

         

PPC

To have ads

How many

50-100 each

Target new words,

on target

views on the

month in

Switch PPC

search in

website are

line with

company, Hire

Google

from PPC ads

budget.

expert employee, do it yourself, increase bids per word.

         

Facebook and

To engage

How many

10 per day

Increase spend on

Twitter

with

comments

FB and 5 per

Facebook ads to

accounts.

customers on

answered on

day Twitter

drive traffic.

Social media

each account

till May 2013

         

Facebook Ads

To drive

How many

243-365

Stop using

traffic to

clicks on

clicks per

Facebook ads.

Facebook page

Facebook ad.

month

depending

on budget.

         

Display Ads

To advertise

Number of

Increase

Stop using display

the Hilton

click on each

traffic to

ads on these sites.

weddings on

display ad

website by

popular

60% by May

websites

2013

         

(Fig 17)

Budget

€2,000.00

€10,000.00

Create packages and prices

€0.00

€0.00

Design and printing 5,000 brochures

€589.00

Design and printing 10,000 brochures

€669.00

Distribution of brochure to corporate clients

€0.00

€0.00

Website design

€0.00

€0.00

Set up SEO and 3 months maintenance

€406.00

Set up SEO and 12 month maintenance

€1,027.00

Set up of PPC, 4 months maintenance with €50.00pm

budget

€579.00

Set up PPC, 12 months maintenance with €100.00pm

budget

€2,019.00

Facebook and Twitter maintenance and competition price

€0.00

€0.00

Facebook ads, € 100.00pm budget for 4 months Facebook ads, €150.00pm budget for 12 months

€400.00

€1,800.00

Confetti.ie annual leader board

€1,400.00

Package 1 with weddingsonline.ie

€2,352.00

Total

€1,974.00

€9,267.00

Bibliography

PWC (2011), Dublin hotel industry turns the corner and will grow in 2011 and 2012 - Dublin showing second highest growth rate in Europe for 2011 in terms of revenue per available, Available From:

CBRE (2010), The Irish Hotel Market 2010 Review & 2011 Outlook, Available From:

Mrs2be.ie (2012), Irish Wedding Survey 2012, Available From:

NERA (2012), Guide to Employment Rights, Available From:

Rogers, S (2012), Emigration central to unemployment figures, says economist, Available From:

economist-189473.html, [Last Accessed: 1 st April 2012].

Dr. Gurdgiev, C (2012), 28/3/2012: Sunday Times 25/3/2012 - Irish emigration curse, Available From:

Burk Wood, M. (2008) The Marketing Plan Handbook, Pearson Prentice Hall, Third Edition.

CSO (2012), Available From: http://www.cso.ie/en/index.html, [Last Accessed: 2 nd May 2012].

Websites for recommendations

Weddings Online (2012), Available From: www.weddingonline.ie, [Last Accessed: 2 nd May 2012].

Confetti (2012), Available From: www.confetti.ie, [Last Accessed: 2 nd May 2012].

Printing.ie (2012), Available From: www.printing.ie, [Last Accessed: 2 nd May 2012].

Proseo (2012), Available From: www.proseo.ie, [Last Accessed: 2 nd May 2012].

Starnow.ie (2012), Available From: www.starnow.ie, [Last Accessed: 2 nd May 2012].

Covet.ie (2012), Available From: www.covet.ie, [Last Accessed: 2 nd May 2012].

Blacktie (2012), Available From: www.blacktie.ie, [Last Accessed: 2 nd May 2012].