The hospitality and tourism industry is a very fragile industry in terms of attracting and retaining its customers. With the rise and advancement of modernization, pleasure markets are expanding significantly, since are frequently moving from one region to another on in their leisure times. By considering the specific needs and requirements of their target markets, businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry should align their products and services with regard to their clients’ preferences.
It is important to note that, businesses in the currently competitive environment should ensure close link to their market segments for consistency and accuracy in marketing. According to Kotler et al (2010), the current business environment dominated by massive increase in information technology necessitates coherent interaction between companies and their customers.
Target Market Identification
Target markets are the specific customer bases businesses organizations wish to sell their products and services. One of the most reliable target markets in the tourism industry the pleasure market. As it has been revealed, more than 60% of the US travelers reportedly engage in pleasure activities like seeing wildlife and visiting their friends, making businesses whose target markets are pleasure markets have higher chances of prosperity.
Before engaging in the actual business activities, businesses should identify the specific customers’ needs they intend to sell their services or products. Particularly, precise targeting of customers requires basic information about the market trends and conditions. As Belohlavek (2008) reports, appropriate marketing strategy should target a certain market group, a process called positioning.
Positioning involves the accurate dedication of certain commodities or services to a specific group of individuals. In order to know the specific requirements of the pleasure target group for effective positioning, a company should have an extensive market research in such group(s). More importantly, companies should have enough market information about the industrial trends to facilitate targeting and positioning of diverse customers.
According to Kotler & Armstrong (2010), all the diverse customer needs ought to be well established for effective positioning in a marketing context, which would be facilitated by cordial marketing information system. Wenderoth (2009) considers a well established marketing information system as an effective strategy to ensure keep the companies informed about the market situation through marketing research.
Considering the diversity of customers’ needs, it is quite significant for the business organizations to identify various pleasure activities most valued within the target group in order to be accurate in presenting its products or services. As a result, a well sustained relationship between the business organization and its clients would be successfully established.
Market Segmentation Variables
Since most companies in the hospitality and tourism industry have their potential customers at different regions, they are necessitated to segment their markets. It is important to note that, the pleasure target market is very broad and therefore businesses need to breakdown the market into smaller markets with specific requirements and needs.
For instance, some market segments in the pleasure target market may include travelers, funs of sporting activities, passion for wildlife and excursion services for lovers or couples among others. Particularly, market segmentation involves the division of markets into smaller subsections with regard to the numerous customers a company may be having.
As a result of diversified market conditions, consistent marketing research is required in each segmented market. According to Luther (2010), it is through market segmentation that companies would be able to provide commercial methods which are effective to serve their customers’ diverse needs. Bearing in mind that customers are segmented, it would be effective in terms of cost and time to employ an appropriate marketing information systems (Lenscold, 2003).
It should be noted that, various market segments have diversified characteristics and needs. The diversification of the needs and requirements of various market segments for a particular business organization is referred to as market segmentation variables.
According to Hague (2002), segmentation variables may be either based on demographics, lifestyles, and age among others. For instance, market segmentation variables in the pleasure target market may be based on age-groups, marital status, and lifestyles among the people in each specific market segment. Through being multi-dimensional in their growth ways, it is quite essential for corporations aiming pleasure market segments to combine four product-markets, called Ansoff’s matrix as shown in the diagram below.
|Existing Products||New Products|
|Existing Markets||Market Penetration||Product Development|
|New Markets||Market Development||Diversification|
Since any new product needs to be known by the customers, product promotion is necessitated. Particularly, the process of product diversification by firms requires orientation of the new products to either new segments or the existing ones (Kotler & Armstrong, 2010). This would require promotional techniques like advertising among others. As a result, the new products introduced by firms would find their way easily in the market segments, since they would have already known it.
Market Segment Profile for the Target Markets
Within each segment, there are subdivisions which ought to be properly understood to facilitate more accurate marketing for the businesses aiming pleasure target markets. According to Belohlavek (2008), secondary research on each market segment should be conducted to establish various profiles within each market segment.
For instance, a marketer may be targeting newly married couples in their honeymoon tours in a certain region. In this case, further study on the target group may profile the couples into various groups in terms of religion, education and lifestyles among others. On this basis, organizations in the hospitality and tourism industry aiming pleasure target market should establish various market segment profiles to enhance more accurate marketing (Kotler et al, 2010).
It is important to note that, pleasure target markets are established by firms from the society by considering the cultural lifestyles of the customers. After a business organization understands the specific needs and requirements for a particular group, it goes further to establish the products and services as required by the group identified.
More significantly, businesses should have deeper understanding of the needs of the pleasure target market groups in order to provide services and products which conform accurately with the needs of their customers (Kotler et al, 2010).
Influences on Consumer Buying Behavior
As it has been observed in the hospitality and tourism industry, consumers’ purchasing patterns are influenced by various factors. One of the most influential factors is the corporate image of the business organization. Being part of the society, consumers expect business corporations to be actively involved in societal development projects like sporting or other development projects.
Brands have also been revealed to impact a lot on the purchasing patterns of consumers. In this case, business organizations in the hospitality and tourism industry should form strategic alliances with potential brands to enhance their reputation (Arikan, 2008).
More so, business-customer interactions play a very important role in determining the purchasing patterns of consumers. Business language used between customers and business organizations should promote courtesy largely. More so, pricing strategy of the business organizations is quite influential in determining their popularity among the consumers. Further, integrated marketing communications has been revealed to relate to corporate responsibility to a great extent (Lenscold, 2003).
As it has been observed, businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry should carry out extensive research in their target markets to enhance accuracy in their marketing. By understanding the specific needs and requirements of the pleasure target markets, businesses should align their services and products with the specific customer needs for accuracy in their marketing.
Considering the wider diversity of pleasure markets, businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry should identify various market segments with regard to various needs and lifestyles of different customers in various regions. Generally, businesses should always be focused to meet the needs of their customers in order to enhance sustained relationship with their customers.
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Belohlavek, P. (2008). Marketing Mix in Hospitality and Tourism Business Organizations. Sudbury: Longhorn Publishers, 33-56
Hague, P. (2002). Market Research: A Guide to Planning, Methodology, and Evaluation. New Jersey: Wiley, 23-65
Kotler, P. and Armstrong, G. (2010). Principles of Marketing. New York: Prentice Hall, 12-78
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Lenscold, J. (2003). Marketing ROI: The Path to Campaign, Customer and Corporate Profitability. New York: McGraw-Hill Publishers, 78-92.
Luther, W. (2010). The Marketing Plan: How to Prepare and Implement it. New York: Prentice Hall, 32-58
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