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The market segmentation is an important strategy in order to identify the areas in the market that can be targeted with the focus on different customers’ needs and interests. In this context, the market segmentation analysis conducted for Marriott Hotels & Resorts is important to state how the managers of the multinational company can address their customers’ needs in different world regions and under various circumstances, depending on the market and hotel industry development in the concrete state (Kotler & Keller 2006, 137). The market segmentation analysis for Marriott should include the focus on geographic segmentation, demographic segmentation, psychographic segmentation, and behavioural segmentation as well as on the segmentation according to the Marriott brands’ status.
Segmentation According to Status
Marriott Hotels & Resorts can be discussed in relation to four segments such as luxury hotels, upper upscale hotels, upscale hotels, and upper middle-scale hotels (Garrido 2012). According to this classification, 143 hotels belonging to brands Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, and Bulgari Hotels & Resorts are luxury hotels. 776 hotels belonging to such brands as Marriott, Renaissance, Autograph Collection, and Marriott Vacation Club are upper upscale hotels. More than 1,900 hotels belonging to Courtyard, Residence Inn, and AC Hotels are upscale hotels.
Finally, 894 hotels of Fairfield Inn and TownePlace Suites can be discussed as upper middle-scale hotels (Garrido 2012). Managers of the company also propose the alternative market segmentation, determining the following categories: luxury (Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Bulgari Hotels & Resorts); lifestyle collection (Edition, Autograph Collection, Renaissance, AC Hotels); signature (Marriott); select service (Courtyard, Fairfield Inn); extended stay (Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites); and destination entertainment (Gaylord Hotels) (Marriot hotel brands 2015).
Marriot addresses the necessity of the geographic segmentation while opening hotels representing different brands in various world regions and cities because Marriot hotels operate in 72 countries. Thus, luxury hotels like Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott are usually located in cities that are characterised by high tourist rates and high levels of the household income.
Upper upscale hotels and upscale hotels serve the customer needs in most countries where Marriott is present, including Canada, China, Egypt, Germany, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. AC Hotels are mostly represented in Spain (Garrido 2012; Marriot hotel brands 2015). Upper midscale hotels are opened primarily in Turkey, India, and Pakistan.
The factors that are taken into account while proposing the demographic segmentation for Marriot are income, marital status, and occupation rather than age and gender (Reid & Bojanic 2009, p. 112). The reason is that Marriot hotels are strictly categorised according to their status. From this point, different segments serve the needs of such categories of customers as high-income persons and businessmen; seasoned travellers and singles; married couples; families and employees working in foreign countries (Garrido 2012).
Thus, Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, and Renaissance propose their services for high-income persons and businessmen. Seasoned travellers and married couples prefer Marriott Vacation Club, Courtyard, and Residence Inn. Families and employees working in foreign countries prefer to stay in Fairfield Inn, Residence Inn, and TownePlace Suites (Marriot hotel brands 2015).
The criteria addressed in relation to the psychographic segmentation of Marriott Hotels & Resorts are interests, opinions, and attitudes. Segmenting the market, Marriott accentuates both the role of the hotel or resort’s status and its ability to respond to the customer’s needs and interests. These aspects are the grounds for the classification proposed by the company that includes six segments, from the luxury hotels to destination ones.
These brands aim to address different customers’ needs with the focus on the purpose of their travelling or visit and with the focus on the customers’ expectations (Reid & Bojanic 2009, p. 54). Therefore, if the customer expects to stay in the hotel with the exceptional services, it is important to refer to such brands as JW Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, and Bulgari Hotels & Resorts (Garrido 2012). If customers plan to organise special occasions like weddings or important business meetings, it is also expected that they visit the hotels of the luxury category because of the highest level of comfort proposed for the clients.
Lifestyle collection of hotels aims to address the specific customers’ interests and needs. Edition, Autograph Collection, Renaissance, and AC Hotels are unique in terms of their design and proposed services. Therefore, these hotels usually attract businessmen, single travellers, and married couples. The unique services are proposed to customers in such hotels as Courtyard and Fairfield Inn in spite of the appropriate prices (Garrido 2012).
The hotels that are oriented to attract the customers for the extended stay, like Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites, are important for business travellers and employees working in the foreign country because of the opportunity to live in the hotel during a long period of time (Marriot hotel brands 2015). Finally, the focus on the customers’ interest is accentuated with references to the development of the destination entertainment segment that includes such hotels with the large entertainment sector like Gaylord Hotels and Marriott Vacation Club. It is appropriate for clients of organise business meetings and other types of group meetings in the hotels belonging to these brands.
The behavioural segmentation is usually realised with references to such factors as the proposed promotions, rewards, and benefits along with the loyalty programmes and proposed schemes of services provision. Marriott pays much attention to focusing on exceptional services, unique designs, and remarkable experiences. Marriott hotels proposed discount and loyalty programmes for different categories of customers in order to address their needs and improve their attitude to the provided services (Garrido 2012).
As a result, the potential and targeted customers are divided into the groups according to their use of proposed services (Kotler & Keller 2006, p. 82). Those business travellers who choose luxury Marriott hotels for their meetings receive the extended scheme of discounts (Marriot hotel brands 2015).
Much attention is paid to attracting those customers who represent the group of businessmen staying in the hotel during a long period of time. These customers also receive special offers according to the followed loyalty programme. Customers using the hotels services for organising different occasions are also proposed with a range of rewards in order to improve reputation and attract the other potential customers.
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From this point, the positioning of Marriott Hotels & Resorts in the global hospitality market significantly depends on the effective segmentation strategy that is followed by the company’s managers. In this context, all the aspects of the geographic segmentation, demographic segmentation, psychographic segmentation, and behavioural segmentation are addressed in detail in order to analyse the industry and market success of Marriott Hotels & Resorts as the prominent hotel chain.
Garrido, R 2012, Hilton, Marriott and IHG Hotel brand market segments.
Kotler, P & Keller, K 2006, Marketing management, Prentice Hall, New York.
Marriot hotel brands 2015.
Reid, R & Bojanic, D 2009, Hospitality marketing management, John Wiley & Sons, New York.