Marriott International is an international company in the hotel services, which includes more than 3,700 hotels under the brand of Marriott, located in the U.S. and 66 other countries and territories, with overall capacity to 499,165 rooms. General Directorate of the company is located in Washington, DC, at the end of 2009 the total number of employees is 137 000. Marriott International continues to acquire new hotel chains: it owns 49% of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, as well as brand Renaissance Group. Now the Marriott hotels are working in 70 countries, and the corporation annually opens about 200 new hotels are opening up new areas. To date, the company comprises 16 separate brands covering virtually every niche of the hotel business, offering affordable accommodation for both tourists and business travellers, and service of luxury hotels for the discerning public. Reputation and continued success of the company Marriot, as a world leader of hotel business, are based on the high standard of services and moral values, and on the fact that the company always provides a high level of services offered to customers.
Marriott International’s Marketing Research
Marriott company offers services of business and noon-business travellers. It tries to provide hotel services for all customers segment from the families who are travelling in low-cost segment till those who are seeking for the luxury comfort. In order to understand its customers Marriott International company is working on the marketing research that includes different methods of customers and their needs/wants identification. This methods can include qualitative, quantitative and specifically combined researches.
Qualitative research is an integral part of most marketing research. In contrast to the quantitative, based on statistical procedures, qualitative research methods are non-standardized nature. The main distinction of qualitative marketing research is the absence of measurable results at the end of the study. Typically, qualitative research methods are intelligence, exploratory and applied during orientation period of the company and help in understanding the problems that concern the customer. The main purpose is to provide detailed consumers’ views on the subject that is developing.This information allows the hypothesis that put forward more informed about the characteristics of consumer behaviour, the cause-effect relationships, and procedural characteristics of this behaviour. The range of tasks that can be solved by the Marriott International company with the help of qualitative research is very wide. This type of research will help Marriott to understand customers motivation, internal structure and hierarchy of motives, installations and social attitudes of respondents, their emotions in order to evaluation and selection criteria for a particular product, perceptual product, advertising and PR-materials, etc.
Before the penetration to the non-business-travellers segment in the United States, the Marriott Company should determine, evaluate, and analyze potential customers to organize the best system of the qualitative service providing. The most important role in helping Marriott to organize a new business would be to use depth interviews and focus groups. Depth interviews would help to understand the habits of the potential customers. Such research should be conducted in form of personal interview using special techniques in order to obtain the respondent’s detailed answers. Researches in focus groups would help company to understand the audience tendency and average needs of the clients.
Therefore, the role of qualitative research for the Marriott International business development is determined in the analysis of the behaviour and motivation of consumers not only by the conscious, verbal respondents, but also in the study of unconscious components of consumer behaviour.
The Target Audience
The main management decision problem of Marriott International Company is to decide what kind of customers company wants to cope with. In another words, they should define appropriate audience that would use the services company offers. The target audience is described by different socio-demographic indicators. It is important to know the lifestyle, habits, and the hobbies of the target audience. It comes in handy when the company has to come up with how to advertise the product, where to advertise, and so on. Knowing about the target audience of the service would help to understand their needs, so would help to provide the best service and adherent clients.
The best method for segmentation of Marriot International Company is socio-economic criteria usage that involves the selection of segments of consumers based on common motivations and purposes of trips, social affiliation and status, income level, and level of spending. Thus, in accordance with the objectives of trips are the following groups (segments) travellers: business travellers (seconded, businessmen, traders), tourists going on holidays and trips (educational and incentive tourism), event organizers, etc. Therefore, at the first stage of segmentation Marriott company would differentiate its customers for business and non-business travellers. Each of these groups of consumers is not certain until the end. In each group of consumers should be differentiate with different levels of income ( technical staff, management, bottom, middle and top management), various status and social position (President and staff, ministers and officials of lower rank, pop stars and guides, football teams and fans, etc.). Therefore, business and noon-business segments can be divided into groups of high, middle and low level of income. Each of these groups will have different quality needs, price, service, amenities, comfort, and convenience possibilities. Therefore, company will have different six segments of customers. If it is needed the segmentation of Marriott company customers can be continued by the season and frequency of travel.
The best way to show the data about company segmentation in the marketing research report is to draw the diagrams of the every segment share quantity in the whole quantity of customers of the company and then gives the brief information about each segment.
In order to build professional marketing research report of the Marriott International company it is necessary to build the charts and schemes that will cover the information about customers segmentation and the sketch of their main needs and wants. Some of the charts and schemes can be named as geographic segmentation, demographic segmentation (age, gender, family composition, income, occupation, education), psychological segmentation (lifestyle, hobbies, leisure activities, etc.), behavioural segmentation (the reasons of applying, the expected benefits from the service, the intensity of consumer willingness to use) schemes. It is also can be given the information about profitability of each segment for each region of the company’s hotels. However, it is needed to be noted that marketing research report is the personal vision how to make available information from the research easy to understand, therefore, the quantity and names of used charts and schemes in the report is decided by the person, who is responsible for its writing.
To some extent, every company is involved in market research, in which it operates. Gathering information on the status and prospects of the market, competitors (range, prices, marketing policies) and consumers (the behaviour and preferences) at least in a simple, intuitive form are made almost by all market participants. It is no need to prove that the completeness and relevance of marketing information are essential to the success of the company. Marriott International is very successful company, because of effective used of marketing methods.