Monday, December 9, 2019
Marketing Falls Mountain Lodge
Question: Discuss about the Report for Marketing of Falls Mountain Lodge. Answer: Introduction In this assignment, a case study report has been developed for the Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge. It is a small boutique facility of national repute located within the Mount Taranaki National Park of New Zealand. The hotel provides premier accommodation and proposes to expand the room capacity by 15 and exclusive tramping packages. Guests have the opportunity to experience spectacular scenery while enjoying exclusive adventure packages within the environmentally pristine national park. The resort helps to develop clean green environment along with peaceful relaxation. The objective of this assignment is todevelop a Strategic Marketing Plan. It is required to develop vision of the company for 3-5 years. The scope of the report is to analyze the consumer behavior for the resort in line with Tourism life cycle and sustainabilityanalysis. The website of the resort has been analyzed in order to find the possible targets for Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge. In addition, it has been analyzed which part of the market are not considered in the website. There are 5 key points have been provided to improve to the website of Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge. It has also been discussed in this report that Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge can utilize Walshs (2015) Research Opportunity Spectrum in Conjunction with Kozak and Martins (2012) to improve offerings for gold and platinum tourists. Finally a critical review of the promotional strategies for Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge has been developed that will result in channel growth, profitability and increase in revenue. At the last part some recommendations have been provided to the resort for future improvement. Development of a strategic marketing plan As Hosany and Martin (2012) mentioned that, strategic marketing plan is the written document that can be considered as the set of decisions that an organization is trying to achieve. It is a set of goal along with a set of tactics and strategies to achieve those goals. In this section, a strategic marketing plan has been developedfor Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge for three years. Situational analysis PEST analysis Political factor As Manyika et al. (2013) mentioned that, political environment that exists within a country has significant impact on the hotel and tourism industry. It has been found that politics has affected the daily life of many citizens in New Zealand. Hotels and resorts have to come up with ways to cope with the political situation of New Zealand. According to Sigala et al. (2012), the political approach has significantly affected the ability of local visitors to travel around the country. It has been analyzed thatthe business of Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge depends largely on international and local tourists. The New Zealand government has taken various approaches to determine the number of foreign tourist who will visit the country. Economic factors It has been found that the economic focus of the country is on tourism (Kang et al., 2012). The average income level of the country has affected the business performance of Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge. According to Australian Bureau of Statistics the average household income of New Zealand is $67,000 (Hamel Breen, 2013). In addition, the inflation rate has also affected the performance of hotel industry in New Zealand. It has been found that inflation rate of the country is 0.70%, which is considered as the lowest in the world (Kabani, 2013). Social factors The key social factor that affects the business of hotel industry is the consumer life style and the existing food consumption trends (Kang et al., 2012). It has been found that 72% of the total population of New Zealand lives in urban areas (Sigala et al., 2012). They are becoming more health conscious. Their opinion about food and services offered by an organization has significantly affected the business performance of hotel industry. Technological factors As Hosany and Martin (2012) mentioned that adaption of technology ahs significant impact to determine the amount that a customer is willing to pay for the hotels. Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge has improved its standard in order to meet the expectations of tourists. The company has automated its booking system so that customers can book their rooms via interne. In addition, adoption of social media marketing helps the resort to expand its business. Figure 1: PEST analysis for Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge (Source: Okazaki Taylor, 2013) SWOT analysis Strengths The hotel provides premier accommodation and proposes to expand the room capacity by 15 and exclusive tramping packages. Guests have the opportunity to experience spectacular scenery while enjoying exclusive adventure packages within the environmentally pristine national park. It helps the resort high end customers towards it. Weakness The resort is unable to attract middle income level customers due to its high price. In addition, the hotel has some issues related with security and maintenance. The resort has limited its market by not having wireless internet available throughout the hotel. Opportunities The resort should lower its price of rooms in order to attract the local medium income level tourists of New Zealand. The resort can improve its website and increase social media marketing to expand its market. The resort has to focus on product differentiation. Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge has already started too differentiate their products and services for different customers (Gold level and platinum level). Threats The major threat of the resort is the competitiveness of hotel industry. The resort has to go through constant pressure in order to improve its standard. The increasing rate of tax and changing regulations poses major threat for the resort (Manyika et al., 2013). Figure 2: SWOT analysis for Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge (Source : Trusov et al., 2012) Setting vision/ objectives for the company According to Abdulsater et al. (2014), situational analysis helps to answer the question where are we now. Setting the vision or marketing objectives can help to answer the question where do we want to go. In this stage, goals for the company has been developed that can translate the mission of the organization into easily understandable statements related with markets, sales, marketing mix and occupancy. Mission and vision of Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge The mission of the resort is to delight our guests every time by creating engaging experiences straight from our heart. The vision of Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge is to be the first choice for guests, colleagues, shareholders and business partners. Reducing price of rooms in order to attract middle income level customers 1st year Development of social media marketing activity 2nd year Looking to expand business in other cities of New Zealand 3rd year Figure 3: Objective of Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge for next 3 years (Source : Kwong et al., 2012) Development of marketing strategy As Khanna and Palepu (2013) stated that, a proper marketing mix is a crucial for the success of a hotels marketing effort. Marketing mix helps to indicate several variables to target specific category of guests. 1) Services and facilities In order to attract potential customers and guest, the management team of the resort needs to focus on facilities and services. The resort have to select right services and facilities, develop effective promotional strategies (both online and offline) and finally needs to develop effective pricing strategy to attract middle level customers. Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge can improve product offerings like food and beverage, transportation facilities, entertainment, health and wellness facilities, parking facilities, health and wellness facilities. The resort can cater different facilities for different market segments. For example, a leisure guest on a family looks for wellness and recreational facilities of the resort. On the other hand, business travelers like to have facilities like video conferencing, internet connectivity and video conferencing. 2) Place and distribution The hotel is located at the end of Manaia Road in Egmont National Park on Mt. Taranaki. It is located in the native forest, which is itself an attraction (Dawsonfallsmountainlodge,2016). The visitors can enjoy the relaxing Alpine environment with cozy log fires and cold wet days (Dawsonfallsmountainlodge,2016). The resort can use both direct and indirect methods to reach potential customers. Direct Methods Indirect Methods Global Distribution System (GDS) Printed Media Advertisements Hotel Website Booking System Telephone calls Banner Advertisements (Facebook ads and Google ads) Event Planner Travel Agents Online Travel portals (HotelIQ, Trip Advisor) Independent travel agents Independent hotel representatives Figure 4: Direct and indirect methods to reach potential customers (Source : Mullins, 2012) 3) Communication and promotions The sales and marketing director of the resort should try to develop the most effective promotion and communication mix. As Abdulsater et al. (2014) stated that promotion is the method in which a hotel can communicate with its target customers. There is various communication and promotion channels, the resort can use to develop effective communication with tourists. They are such as Facebook Page, Brochures, Hotel websites, Twitter Channel, TV commercials, billboards. 4) Room rate or pricings As Bergek et al. (2013) mentioned that, development of appropriate marketing strategy is a significant aspect of the marketing mix strategy. In order to attract potential customers the resort has to develop appropriate price for the luxury rooms and normal rooms, food and beverage menus. If they are not priced competitively then potential guests can reject the hotel service. As Khanna and Palepu (2013) stated that rates of the hotel rooms has to be categorized in accordance to the change of season. During the peak season, the resort can charge highest (almost double of the normal rate) to the guest. Wang et al. (2012) argued that there is no defined peak season for hotels and it varies hotel to hotel. During the off-season, the demand becomes lowest. At this time, the resort has offer attractive packages for visitors such as Stay for 3 nights and pay for 3 nights. Identification of potential consumer behaviour for Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge Analysis of Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge website The website of Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge has some following in-page contents. They are such as home, rooms rates, bookings, gallery, location, packages, about us, activities and caf. In the home page, a brief description of the resort has been given along with the guest book. In the guest book, customers share various positive reviews about the company (Dawsonfallsmountainlodge, 2016).In the rooms and rates section, description of various types of rooms and their rates has been provided. Customers can book their hotels via online form this section. They are like Honeymoon Suite $230.- for Bed and Breakfast, or $340.- for *Dinner, Bed and Breakfast Package, best views book the Panorama Room 8: $200.- for Bed and Breakfast, or $310.- for *Dinner, Bed and Breakfast Package. The resort has also Spacious Room 5 with views over South Taranaki and Native Bush: $190.- for Bed and Breakfast, or $299.- for *Dinner, Bed and Breakfast Package (based on two guests) (Dawsonfallsmountainlodge,20 16). There are various other types of rooms with different prices, which are discussed in this section. For any booking related enquiry, customers should visit the booking section given in the website. In the gallery section, different images of Mt. Taranaki have been provided along with different delicious foods and luxuries available in the office. In the location section, the map of the resort has been provided along its coordinates and directions. In the "about us section, a brief description about the host has been provided. In the activity section, all the attractive spots near the resort location have been provided. It has been found that there are three major attractive locations are found near the resort. They are such as Envirofur (Possum factory), pioneer village and Tawhiti Museum (Dawsonfallsmountainlodge,2016). Possible targets for Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge based on the website After analyzing the website of Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge, it has been found that the resort mainly focus on quality rather than cost. The management of the hotel always tries to improve customer experience so that they come back again. All the facilities along with friendly behavior, high standard of foods makes it a luxurious resort. Form this analysis it has been found that, the resort is mainly looking to impress high-end customers. No effort has been provided to cut down the cost of rooms. Due to all the luxuries and facilities, the cost of rooms becomes high. For this reason, it has become almost impossible for local tourists (middle level of income) to afford a room at Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge. Hence, it can be stated that middle-income level customers are missing from the target market of Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge. The messages given by the website With the help of the website, management of Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge tries to send the message to the target market that they can enjoy the the parks natural beauty and rich heritage while relaxing in the Swiss style suites. Tourists can have the opportunity to meet with people from all over the world and share delicious foods with each other. They can expect to have a home like experience and friendly behavior form the workers of the resort. It has been mentioned in the company website that It is a privilege for our family to welcome you as guests into our home and to have the pleasure to share this beautiful part of our country. Our hope, on your way down the mountain, is that you carry with you two of lives precious gifts - fond memories and new friends (Dawsonfallsmountainlodge,2016). points to improve the website There are 5 specific points have been mentioned in which the resort can improve its website. Theyare mentioned below: 1) They need to share blogs about different interesting topics related with the lodge. It can be about the location, foods simply just about customers experience during their vacation in the lodge. These blogs can be about room deals or facilities available in the hotel that makes it special. 2) The management of the resort needs to modify the web page and need to add online booking option at every page. 3) They need to implement direct chatting option in the website so that they can interact with customers directly. 4) They can add some money saving packages to attract middle-income level tourists of New Zealand. 5) Give surprise offers for a certain group of customers. For example, Twitter followers and Facebook followers. Consumer behaviour in line with Tourism life cycle and sustainability analysis As Wang et al. (2012) stated that, in order to develop awareness about consumer behaviour, it is required to understand key requirements of the potential market. As Mohammed, and Rashid (2012) stated that Consumer behavior is the study of individuals, groups or organizations and the process they use to select, secure, use and dispose the products, services, experiences, or ideas to satisfy needs and the impacts that these process have on the consumer and society. It has been found that, presently tourists have become more health conscious. Quality of foods has become one of the most significant factors that can provide sustainable position to the resort in the highly competitive market of New Zealand. Bergek et al. (2013) stated that, presently tourists are looking forward to get extra facilities and luxuries in a resort. For instance, if a tourist comes to stay in a resort for any business purpose, then he or she will expect to get fast and unlimited internet access. On the other ha nd, if a couple come for honeymoon purpose then they will look forward to have luxuries like spa treatment, tourist guides. What are 5 key points on how Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge management could entice the Gold tourist to stay at the lodge? In order to become gold member of the Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge, tourists required to spend 10 nights per year. (It is required for elite status). It has been found that 10% elite bonus required for the Gold tourist. They can book rooms 50 days in advance for reward nights. The facilities that can be provided to the Gold tourists so that Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge can entice them to stay in the resort are mentioned below: Roll-in shower Free breakfast Gold level bathrooms have following accessible areas like towel racks, vanity/sink, closet poles Gold tourists can book their rooms 50 days in advance Call for help (dial 0) button is available What are 5 key points on how Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge management could entice the Platinum tourist to stay at the lodge? In order to become Platinum member of the Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge, tourists required to spend 20 nights per year. (It is required for elite status). It has been found that 25% elite bonus required for the Platinum tourists. They can book rooms 75 days in advance for reward nights. The Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge management provides 5 specific facilities to Platinum tourists in order to entice them to stay in the resort. They are mentioned below: Free airport transfers Free breakfasts Free unlimited internet access Free parking facility Dinner and champagne for special occasions Herbal spa treatments Utilization of Recreational Opportunity Spectrum (ROS) As Mohammed and Rashid (2012) mentioned that, ROS is a tool used to support definition and management of diverse outdoor recreation opportunities. It is based on the assumption that a range of factors (e.g., ease of access, density of use) contribute to recreation experiences, and through arraying various combinations of these factors, distinct recreation opportunities may be defined and managed. Prior to ROS, recreation experiences such as camping had been segmented based upon number factors, influencing satisfaction. These factors were conceptualized as a continua and it is this notion that remains rooted in ROS. It is a Four-tired framework which can link settings, activities, benefits and motivations. There are mainly three types of factors are related with ROS such as resource, social and managerial. What are the ranges of different ROS that are open to Gold tourists? The ranges of ROS open for Gold tourists are mentioned below: The Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge provides exclusive phone numbers for customer services and reservations for Gold level Canada and US tourist members only. The resort can provide various special packages and offers exclusively for elite Gold members like complimentary room upgrade, lounge access and breakfast for 4 guests. They can book rooms 50 days in advance for reward nights. They can provide 250 bonus points for foods and beverages, who stays in Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge. In case of Gold level customers, they only provide free breakfast as it is inexpensive. They have to pay extra if they want to use free internet service and airport transfer facility given by the resort. What are the ranges of different ROS that are open to Platinum tourists? The ranges of ROS open for Platinum tourists are mentioned below: The Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge provides exclusive phone numbers for customer services and reservations for Platinum level Canada and US tourist members only. The resort can provide various special packages and offers exclusively for elite Platinum members. For example, wheelchairs are provided for platinum level customers who are physically challenge. They can use unlimited internet for free. Campaigns are provided to them during special occasions. They can book rooms 75 days in advance for reward nights. The Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge provides 500 bonus points for foods and beverages, who stays in Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge. The resort provides free airport transfers, breakfasts and unlimited internet access to platinum level customers. There are some extra value added services customized in order to fit the amenities and style of the resort. They are some as free parking, dinner, and champagne for special occasions and herbal spa treatments as extra luxuries. There is a table given below to discuss the Recreational Opportunity Spectrum for normal, Gold (elite) and Platinum (elite) members. Range of benefits Normal Gold Platinum Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge reward More than 250 ways to use reward points Late check out Gift shop discounts Lounge access and breakfast Complimentary room upgrade Free local phone Platinum arrival gift Free airport transportation Free parking Champagne for special occasions Herbal spa treatments Figure 5: Recreational Opportunity Spectrum for normal, Gold and Platinum members (Source: Chevalier Mayzlin, 2012) Critical review of the promotional strategies As Christensen and Raynor (2013) mentioned that, independent hotels like Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge do not have the same abundant resources and corporate guidance enjoyed by major business chains. For this reason the resort has carried out and devised their own marketing strategy depending on the quality and style of the hotel and target customers. Mass market promotion The resort has the reach and the marketing power to deliver big numbers when it comes to room nights sold. Most of the travelers of New Zealand are familiar with Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge. It has a dedicated website to support its marketing campaign in the global market. The resort make contract online with both large business chains and individuals to sale hotel rooms on discount. When travelers try to find out hotels near Mt. Taranaki, Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge pops up as their first priority. As Chevalier and Mayzlin (2012) mentioned that, travelers select their hotels depending on the location, facilities and special offers available in that location. Using specialized agencies as selling tools Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge uses travel agencies as the trend of selling tools. These agencies help the resort to find out new ways to compete with renowned online sellers (Rohrs, 2013). For this reason, the resort has started to focus on market niche. For examples, some agencies have specialization to attract customers during off season. They can arrange different types of discounts and special packages for the customers of Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge. It helps the resort to attract customers during the off season. Some agencies often help the resort to develop unique marketing message for tourists, in a way that mass market sellers will not be able to do. Discounts According to Christensen and Raynor (2013), discounts have almost the same effectiveness in hotel business just like any other business. The resort promises its potential guests to provide all the luxuries at lower rate compare to new customers in certain conditions. It also provides attractive discounts on extended stays and frequent visiting. As Blank (2013) stated that, offering discounts helps to improve customer loyalty for an organization. During off seasons, the resort provides on-time special discounts for new customers. It works with local government, to provide special rates in the tourist maps of New Zealand. It helps the resort to gain significant amount of traffic even from one-night-in-town set. It has been analyzed that the cost of sponsorships or promotions for the resort is low and in comparison the potential benefit is high. Partnership activity According to Blank (2013), Promotional strategies that incorporate the needs of more than one business are often cheaper to put together than solo marketing efforts, and appeal to a broader audience. For example, Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge has developed partnership with a local tourist agency. All the tourists, who are using packages form this travel agency, have to stay in this resort, when they come to visit Mt. Taranaki. It cut down the promotional cost for the both the organization as half. Value added promotions As Barrow et al. (2012) mentioned that, value added promotions are both appreciated by clients and sellers. The resort provides different rewards and facilities to the visitors depending on the number of nights they stay. It helps travel agents to sell the luxury rooms easily to potential customers. For instance, the resort provides free airport transfers, breakfasts and unlimited internet access to platinum level customers. All these facilities help the resort to become top priority for the visitors who come to visit Mt. Taranaki. However, all these three facilities are only provided to platinum level customers. In case of Gold level customers, they only provide free breakfast as it is inexpensive. They have to pay extra if they want to use free internet service and airport transfer facility given by the resort. The cost of all these facilities are comparatively but the potential return is high (De Mooij, 2013). There are some extra value added services customized in order to fit th e amenities and style of the resort. They are some as free parking, dinner, and champagne for special occasions and herbal spa treatments as extra luxuries. Social media marketing As Barrow et al. (2012) stated that, Before the guest books your hotel or resort they will probably have done some research to pick the right hotel for them. Through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tripadvisor you have the ability to influence how the guest perceives your hotel or resort before they book.Depending on the customerdemography, the resort has developedappropriate social media campaign. They are mentioned below: Facebook marketing Bergek et al. (2013) stated that Facebook is a place for people to share with their connections all about their vacation pre and post-trip. The resort has developed its own Facebook page, where they share many exiting facts about the resort and its location to attract potential visitors. They have selected an appropriate cover photo for the hotel depending on the seasonality, location and uniqueness of resort. It helps to describe what visitors are going to experience in the resort. They also give updates about the new offers and packages to attract visitors. Instagarm marketing As Barrow et al. (2012) mentioned that, hashtags are the components of using Instagram marketing. As the resort is located beside the Mt. Taranaki, it uses niche hashtags to attract certain group of visitors like #taranakiview. The resort also uses photo contests for customers to show how they enjoy their trip while staying at Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge. It is an effective way to promote positive things about the resort. Twitter marketing In Twitter marketing, the resort has to send a message across in 140 words or less. As Hsu (2012) stated that, Twitter makes it easy for guests to share their experiences with friends to generate referrals. It also provides a gateway to expose guests to what your hotel or resort has to offer. Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge provides different types of offers and packages in Twitter page to attract guests. For example, We are having a Mid-Summer Sale: Buy 2 nights get the 3rd free and All guests who stay now through June 30 get 2 for 1 passes to the Mt. Taranaki. Conclusion In this assignment, a strategic marketing plan has been developed for The Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge located in the Mount Taranaki National Park. In order to analyse the strategic marketing plan situational analysis and SWOT analysis has been conducted. It has been found that the resort has to face tough competition in the hotel industry. The changing rules and regulations also have affected business performance of the hotel. Depending on the analysis strategic marketing plan has been developed for next 3-5 years. In the next stage, the consumers behaviour for the resort has been analysed for different customer segments. In order to analyse consumer behaviour, the website of the resort has been reviewed. Some recommendations are also provided to the resort to improve its website. There some key points have been provided on how Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge management can entice gold and platinum tourists to stay at the lodge. Finally the critical review of the promotional strategies f or the Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge has been done. Depending on all the issues some recommendations have been provided for the resort, so that they can improve their business performance. Recommendations Form the above discussion it has been found that running day-to-day operation of a hotel is not a easy task. The management of a hotel has to develop appropriate policies in order run day-to-day operations smoothly. The hotel management has to make sure that all the hotel guests are treated fairly and equally. For this reason, there are some recommendations have been provided for the Dawson Falls Mountain Lodge to improve its business operation. Development of efficient HVAC system In order to conserve more energy, the hotel management needs to tell their guests that they cannot keep their rooms as cool as they like. It has been found that the hotel management spendmore than 50% of the operational budget on heating and air conditioning. It has been found that using highly efficient High Voltage Alternative Current (HVAC) can helps to save cost for air condition. It uses fewer kilowatts and less energy to heat and cool a room. Taking care of employee welfare Hotel industry is a service oriented industry, where it is important that employees project an outgoing and friendly behaviour towards the customers. The management of the resort has to treat employees fairly and recognizing employees in accordance to their achievement. They need to provide communication training and technical training to the employees so that they can behave properly with their customers. Making differentiation with competitors Providing some unique benefits and facilities can help the resort to differentiate it from their competitors. For instance, the resort can extend the checkout time up to 3 pmor give extra 10% off on every room during off seasons. Focus on customer satisfaction Customer is not always right. It is not always just a catchy phrase. It is also a fundamental strategy of hotel business. If the guests are satisfied with the service, then they will pay positive dividends.On the other contrary, if the guests are not satisfied, then they will give negative posts on hotel review sites. Hence, it will cause loss of customers. 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