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The Art of Marketing Hotels: Strategy of Marriott – A Case Study

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As we all know, Marriott International has successfully been at the forefront of the hospitality industry for such an extended time. However, little question about how its marketing strategy has had a bigger share in contributing to the success it has achieved over the years.

This case study focuses on Marriott International’s target market, its marketing strategy, and advertising campaigns along with its digital presence. So, let us start by first understanding Marriott International as a company.

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About Marriott International

Marketing Strategy of Marriott International - A Case Study - About Marriott

Marriott International, Inc. is an American international hospitality company that operates a broad portfolio of hotels and related lodging facilities.

Founded by J. Willard Marriott, the company was established back in 1927 and is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Talking about its presence, Marriott International has established itself across 131 countries with 7,000+ properties that offer around 1.4 million guest rooms. 

It is one of the most reputed organizations in the hospitality industry and has 30 brands diversified as per convenience and comfort.

 

Marketing Strategy of Marriott International - A Case Study - Brands

Brand Portfolio of Marriott International

Marriott International is a public company, traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange in the United States.

Now that we have understood the company in brief, let us go through the customer profile of Marriott International by examining its target market.

 

Target Market of Marriott International

A Target Market refers to a group of individuals identified as being likely customers of a business. The target market usually includes customers who share similar demographic traits. 

This is how Mariott International segments its target market:

 

Target Market of Marriott International
Brand Target Group
Marriott Courtyard Over-the-road travellers
Ritz-Carlton Hotels Luxury travellers
Marriott Conference Centers Corporates that conduct meetings
Marriott ExecuStay Targeted at people needing month-long accommodations
Marriott Vacation Clubs Travellers seeking to shop for timeshares

 

The JW Marriot, created by Marriott international as a luxury brand, is meant to focus on customers who are seeking a quiet and opulent atmosphere during their accommodation.

Marriott International has successfully built up different target markets within its industry by specifically targeting the requirements of its customers. 

Therefore their customers are mostly individualistic, sophisticated, and self-defined travellers who are willing to spend extra money on their accommodations as well as people travelling on a business trip. 

Now, let us study more about the company by going through Marriotts 4Ps of the marketing mix in the next section.

 

Marketing Mix of Marriott International

Marketing mix is commonly used to describe the set of techniques a company uses to get its message to the target market. Even more, a marketing mix can also be used to understand what a business is doing from a marketing perspective. It includes 4Ps that cover a company on the parameters of Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. 

So this is how Marriott’s marketing mix  pans out:

 

Product Strategy of Marriott International

Marriott is one of the foremost recognized luxury hotel chains. It has a unique product strategy that is centred around luxury travellers. 

For Marriott, the core product in its marketing mix is within the sort of hospitality services. Their product strategy covers everything that goes into running the hotels. They have over 30 brands that include popular hotels like Ritz-Carlton, Sheraton, Renaissance, and many others. 

The company has categorized its brands under the following tags: Luxury, Premium, Select and Longer Stays. This helps customers to choose the hotels based on their travel plans and convenience. 

 

Marketing Strategy of Marriott International - A Case Study - Marketing Mix - Product Strategy

 

Marriott International strives to deliver exceptional guest experiences that are consistent across all of its branded hotels and resorts in all locations and on all channels. It also works extensively on launching new brands based on different themes that cater to new and existing customers.

 

Price Strategy of Marriott International

Marriott International is one of the few organizations that has been successful in maintaining pricing power despite significant competitive price discounting, volume shrinkage, and increased room supply.

In terms of pricing, Marriott International’s price varies with different hotels, customers, and locations. The prime motive of the company is to deliver a top-notch experience that exceeds customer satisfaction for the price they pay.

It has largely succeeded because the different hotel brands have been able to maintain differentiated value propositions in terms of their brand promise and brand appeal.

 

Place Strategy of Marriott International

Marriott International is well-known and is one of the biggest hotel chain companies in the world regarding the number of hotels they manage and operate both in different parts of the world and in the United States.

Choosing the ideal place and distribution strategy has played a vital role for Marriott in its journey over the years. Since its foundation, it has established itself in more than 131 countries and the placements of its hotels are mainly centred in and around major cities and towns of a country.

 

Marketing Strategy of Marriott International - A Case Study - Marketing Mix - Place Strategy

Presence of Marriott International

 

Promotion Strategy of Mariott International

Marriott International has been in the hospitality industry for almost a decade now that the name “Marriott” speaks for itself. It is one of the positive beneficiaries of “word of mouth” promotion.

Apart from that, Marriott primarily focuses on promoting itself and its brands through digital mediums. 

  • It has a very well-designed website that showcases all of its brands in a detailed manner which entices users to book the room immediately. 
  • It has also worked on User Generated Content strategy and also has been collaborating with various influencers.
  • It also has a customer loyalty program called Bonvoy, which provides its customers with a variety of benefits.

Now that we have an understanding of the marketing mix of the hospitality giant, let us go through the Marriott marketing strategies in the coming section.

 

Marketing Strategy of Mariott International

In recent years, Marriott International’s marketing strategy has revolved from offline to online. It has shifted its focus to market itself more digitally than using the traditional marketing approach.

As rightly put by Arne Sorensen, President of Marriott International, on his blog, “What social media is allowing us to do is not draw attention to ourselves, but to see our guests in their own spotlight”. 

So let us understand the strategies and campaigns it has implemented to provide an overall better customer connection and service.

 

Marriott International’s M Live

Marriott International’s M Live has been shaping the future of the hospitality industry with their communities in Marriott Hotels. 

M Live is a platform, wherein the M Live team tracks a variety of topics that are popular worldwide and organizes its content around these topics. Furthermore, It also targets people on an individual level. 

For example, recently a traveller tweeted a question about hotels in Nashville, USA, and received relevant suggestions from M Live. Not only did the M Live team suggest hotels, but it also gave out relevant content regarding how Nashville’s nightlife is to enhance the travelling experience even better. 

 

Marketing Strategy of Marriott International - A Case Study - M Live Studios

Marriott International’s M Live Studios

 

Marketing & Advertising Campaigns of Marriott International

The marketing campaign of Marriott revolves around showcasing the comfort, care and richness of Marriott’s luxurious hotel chain. The advertisements focus on the hotel chain’s luxurious room and hospitality services, as well as a relaxed atmosphere.

With memorable marketing campaigns that have drawn people’s attention towards the company, Marriott’s marketing campaign strategy has so far succeeded in impacting its viewers positively and thus resulting in constant customer engagement growth.

 

 #GoldenRule – A Marketing Campaign of Marriott International

 

Marketing Strategy of Marriott International - A Case Study - Marketing Campaign - Golden Rule

 

Marriott International has launched a campaign named “Golden Rule”, a category branding campaign that features four of its brands — Courtyard by Marriott, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Four Points by Sheraton, and SpringHill Suites — together for the primary time.

The idea behind the Golden Rule campaign is to showcase Marriott’s collective strength that stems from its “classic select” brands, which together comprise a third of its 30-brand portfolio. It showcases a connection between the four brands and how the service is rooted like human connections.

 

 

Marketing Strategy of Marriott International - A Case Study - Marketing Campaign - Golden Rule

 

Marriott has made several commercials for this campaign which included  60-second and 30-second commercials. This campaign launched back in 2017 and is one of the most well-appreciated campaigns Marriott.

 

Marriott Bonvoy – A Marketing Campaign of Mariott International

Bonvoy – It is Marriott International’s worldwide campaign that promotes its travel program with the tagline “Rewards Reimagined”. 

Marketing Strategy of Marriott International - A Case Study - Marketing Campaign - Bonvoy

 

Bonvoy is a new loyalty program that gives its customers a variety of benefits, such as one-time bonuses and discounts. It also allows customers to earn points that can be further redeemed. It also provides members access to a lot of sporting and entertainment events as well.

It has released Bonvoy App on both Android and iOS to enhance the experience of loyal customers.

It has also released various ad campaigns globally highlighting the benefits that Bonvoy membership offers. In India, it partnered with Mumbai Indians as loyalty partners and thus promoting Bonvoy during Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020. 

 

 

Marketing Strategy of Marriott International - A Case Study - Marketing Campaign - Bonvoy - Mumbai Indians

Marketing Strategy of Marriott International - A Case Study - Marketing Campaign - Bonvoy - Mumbai Indians

 

These were one of the popular campaigns of Marriott International that it has incorporated to promote itself and maintain the presence in the minds of the customers. 

With this, our case study comes to an end, let us go through the final points in the next section.

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Conclusion

Marriott International may be one of the most famous hotels around the world which is constantly in the news because of its new hotel development deals. Needless to say, Marriott International’s network is also top-notch with more than 7,000 properties across more than 100 countries and territories.

However, for the past three years, Marriott International has also been at the forefront of online travel marketing. From its extensive global network to the proprietary technology platform, Marriott International has worked well on integrating digital marketing into a well-curated strategy to turn its brand into a preferred choice for individuals looking for luxury travel. 

Liked our work? Interested in learning further? Do check our website for more. Also, if you’re interested in Digital Marketing, you can check out our Free Digital Marketing Masterclass by Karan Shah.

Let us know your thoughts on this case study in the comment section down below. Thank you for reading, and if you liked our then do share this in your circle. 

Until then, See you next time!

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]

Aditya Shastri

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