For this assignment, prepare a micro environmental scan, identifying and describing each of the micro factors – along with the supporting data (primary and/or secondary) – that have influence on the hospitality, travel or tourism business you’ve selected for the marketing plan project.
This step is important for establishing the foundations for where the business is currently positioned, providing a clear understanding of the realities of existing conditions and achievements.
As you may recall, the micro environmental factors include:
If primary data from the business you’ve selected isn’t readily available, you can use baseline (generally available) secondary data to support the project with some important “generic” performance statistics, but you’ll want to make sure you have details that are current and relevant to the situation surrounding the business directly. When applying secondary performance data, the assumption can be made that the business is performing at the “norm” or average for other similar businesses.
Some examples of the major secondary data sources for national/global performance and information include STR, HVS, Statista, IBISWorld, Travel & Tourism Research Association (TTRA), World Tourism Organization (WTO), International Air Transport Association (IATA), DataUSA, US Census Bureau, and US Bureau of Labor Statistics. For regional/local performance and statistical data you may find the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) Research, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau Research, Miami-Dade County Government Research, Broward County and Fort Lauderdale Government Research, and VISITFlorida. Chambers of Commerce, Business Development Councils, Restaurant Associations, Hotel & Lodging Associations and other similar organizations can be valuable resources for data.
Depending on the specific business on which you are focusing, it will be important to reach out to the FIU Research Librarian for Hospitality, Travel & Tourism: April Lafferty (email@example.com / 305-919-4165) in order to get the most current data pertinent to that industry sector. She will be able to assist with accessing the various databases to which the school/university subscribes, including some of those referenced above.
Identify the details related to:
Company (30 points)
In the company section, include the entity structure, leadership and staffing (an organizational chart), funding (ownership, underwriters, asset management, debt), operating resources (management company, brand), organizational culture, and purpose. Provide the mission statement and vision for the business. Also include current (most recent year annual) performance metric data:
and other indices appropriate to the business
For example, other indices for hotel performance data should include occupancy %, ADR, RevPAR and similar measures. For restaurants, the performance data should include Turnover Rates, Average Check, Covers Per Shift and similar measures. Each different type of business will have different measures for indicating performance results.
What were the performance metric goal(s) for the business, and do the most recent year results reflect achievement of those goals? What is perceived to have been the major factors influencing whether the goals were achieved or not?
Also provide a description of:
*Current Marketing Strategy
– See page 35…. (Chapter 2)
Specify what is being done currently to attract business, particularly emphasizing the “game plan” for how the business creates an appeal or appeals to the target markets. Determine if the business is taking a differentiated or undifferentiated approach with the target markets.
– See page 367…. (Chapter 13)
Identify the product attributes, facilities, amenities, features and services that make up the collection of resources that support delivering the marketing strategy. Specify which of these attributes are considered “Points of Differentiation” that set the business apart from its primary competitive set.
– See page 245…. (Chapter 9)
Define the target markets that are currently patronizing the business. These are the penetrated markets that will be revisited in the Demand Analysis later on in the marketing plan development process.
Specify the broad target markets (the business may have closely defined them by the market segments (geographic, demographic, psychographic and behavioral characteristics) and indicate what percentage of contribution each makes to the total demand. This will be covered in greater detail in the Customers section later on. For example, if the business has three target markets contributing to its total demand, then the representation would be:
Target Market #1 – X%
Target Market #2 – X%
Target Market #3 – X%
Total Demand (#1 + #2 + #3) – 100%
– See page 275…. (Chapter 10)
Explain what the business wants the target markets to “think” when they come across or consider the business. Keep in mind that a brand isn’t just a name or a symbol, but what the business wants the target markets to “feel,” or what impressions they will have when encountering, interacting with or remembering the business.
– See page 275… (Chapter 10)
Describe what makes the experience provided by the business “worth it” to the target markets, regardless of the price points (room rates, menu prices, fares, ticket prices) that are charged. Include the value impressions and perceptions that the business wants to convey to the target markets so that they will believe that the cost/benefit is positive.
– See page 461…. (Chapter 16)
Outline the methodologies by which prices are determined by the business in order to support the value propositions. Designate how rack/retail rates & prices, BAR rates & prices, net rates & prices, wholesale rates & prices, seasonal rates & prices, special/event rates & prices, promotional rates & prices, take-out/delivery rates & prices, direct versus indirect booking/reservation rates & prices are determined. If discounts are applied (AAA, AARP, Military, Government, Student, Local Resident, Frequent Guest, Volume Purchase, etc.), stipulate how those are calculated.
*Marketing Mix Actions
– See page 25 & 118 (Chapters 1 and 4)
State what actions are being taken by the business to blend the 4 P’s (Product, Price, Place & Promotion) in order to create the best “fit” to each separate target market or market segment. If an undifferentiated marketing strategy is being utilized, then designate what 4 P’s combination is in place to provide the best broad appeal.
*Market Share Performance
– See page 115…. (Chapter 4)
Designate how the business is positioned in its effectiveness in capturing market share among the primary competitive set. Is the business getting its “fair market share (FMS),” more than FMS, or less than FMS? This may be different by target market or market segment, and should reflect how well the business is capturing the target markets versus the competitors.
*Channel Management Activities
– See page 493…. (Chapter 17)
List – by name – the formal and informal channels of distribution that are being employed as resources to direct target market patrons/customers to the business. This may include the GDS’s, CRS’s, OTA’s, traditional travel agencies, wholesalers, tour operators, directory services, mapping and GPS networks, referral organizations, associations or other booking/reservation/sales generating systems. For each one, provide the actions that are taken to cultivate the relationship with the channel (supplier or intermediary) to optimize productivity.
*Promotions Mix Elements
– See page 557…. (Chapter 19)
Designate which elements of the promotions mix are (or have been) engaged by the business in order to reach out to and to maintain relationships with the target markets and market segments. Touch on the promotional initiatives undertaken through:
Advertising (paid commercials/listings/banners/billboards/signage)
Public relations (articles/newsletters/press announcements/community engagement)
Publicity (special events/charitable activities)
Sales promotion (short-term offers/incentives)
Personal selling (inhouse, contract, commission)
Digital presence (web site/social media)
NOTE: The page numbers and chapter references are from the Marketing Management textbook.
State your conclusions on how the business is currently positioned. Provide a realistic assessment of how well the business has performed relative to its goals and in achieving its success targets.
Customers (25 points)
For Customers, you’ll need to identify and define who the current customers (target markets) are for the business. Specify the collection of target markets – by segment type and percentage of contribution. Remember that there are consumer and business markets. Consumer markets have to be classified by their demographic, psychographic, behavioral and geographic characteristics – not in general terms. Business markets are segmented differently (For example: Corporate, Association, SMERF, etc). This will be critical for setting the marketing strategy and tactics.
The business may have a system in place that classifies guests/customers within each target market when they’re entered into the property management system, point of sale system, contact management system, operating system or other database management resource. The more detail, of course, the more clarity is possible on the market segmentation. For example, some guests/customers may be classified as:
Individuals / Couples / Families
GenX / GenY / Boomers
Southeast / Northeast region residents
Corporate / Association meetings/events
Local office workers
For each target market, show what they are producing annually:
Target Market #1 – Name of the Target Market (Show the % contribution to total demand for the business)
Characteristics of the target market
Productivity (See examples below)
# RN X $ ADR = $ REV (hotels)
# Covers/Guests X $ Average Check = $ REV (restaurants)
# Events X $ Average Booking = $ REV (meeting/wedding planners)
# Passengers X $ Average Fare = $ REV (airlines)
# Guests X $ Ticket Price = $ REV (attractions)
Target Market #2 – Name of the Target Market (Show the % contribution to total demand for the business)
Characteristics of the target market
Target Market #3 – Name of the Target Market (Show the % contribution to total demand for the business)
Characteristics of the target market
and so forth…
For characteristics of the target market, what are the different target market’s (guests/customers) length of stay, frequency, day-part, duration, route, seasonality? What are the distinctive/unique qualities or attributes of the target markets (guests/customers) who patronize the business?
State your conclusions on how these current target markets will influence or have impact on the progressive marketability of the business. (See Chapters 6 & 7)
Competitors (15 points)
In the Competitors section, you’ll need to identify the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of competition.
Primary Competitors (Those businesses which are the “same” or perceived to be the same, and actively engaged in attracting the same target markets)
Secondary Competitors (Those that could be a reasonable alternative consideration for the target markets, if the primary competitors are unavailable or inaccessible. Consider other alternatives that are there for the target market to choose from to have the desired experiences, such as hotels, restaurants, cruise lines, theme parks, attractions, destinations, spas, et. al.)
Tertiary Competitors (Those new competitors that are emerging and which ones are planned, or those that are completely different options – for example, a tertiary competitor for restaurants is cooking at home)
State your conclusions on how these existing and planned competitors will influence the marketability of the business. (See Chapter 10/pages 276-284)
Suppliers (10 points)
In the Suppliers section, you’ll want to cover the range of upstream and downstream companies and organizations that are involved in and that affect the marketability of the business.
Upstream suppliers are categorized by the types of resources they provide to produce the experience – this will include things like:
Airlines providing lift into the area
Hard/soft goods vendors
Contractors and service providers
Ground transportation partners
Logistics support organizations
Technology infrastructure sources
Each type of supplier has impact on how the marketing decisions will be positioned, so make it a point to recognize those that play the most significant roles with implementing the marketing strategy of the business.
Downstream suppliers are the informal partners that provide a mechanism for generating referrals to the business – this will include things like:
Concierge services (Independent / Hotel / Attractions)
Destination guides (AAA / AARP)
Directories (Forbes / AAA / Fodors)
GPS and mapping resources (Google / Apple / MapQuest)
Information desk attendants (Office Building / Condominium)
Retail shops and stores (Florists / Bridal Wear / Party Rentals)
Corporate travel managers (Executive Assistants / Travel Coordinators)
State your conclusions on how these suppliers will influence the upcoming marketability of the business. (See Chapter 1/page 11 & Chapter 7/pages 201-203)
Intermediaries (10 points)
In the intermediaries section, you will need to identify the distribution channels that are used to facilitate market reach. It involves those formal partners, resources and organizations that help promote, sell and provide access to the business. These are typically contractual and/or organized agreements for representation of the business; often involving subscriptions, fees, commissions or other transaction charges. For instance, this may include:
Central reservations services (Brands – Hilton, Marriott, Wyndham, Accor)
Travel portals (Pegasus / Trust)
Online travel agencies (OTA’s – Expedia, Booking, Priceline, Hotwire)
Global distribution systems (GDS’s – TravelPort, Amadeus, Sabre)
Traditional travel agencies (Liberty / American Express)
Tour operators (Trafalgar / EF Ultimate Vacations)
Wholesalers (Apple Vacations / FunJet)
Ticket agents (TicketMaster / StubHub)
Delivery services (UBEREats, DoorDash, GrubHub, PostMates)
Reservations services (OpenTable / Resy / Tock)
Listing services (Restaurant/Travel Guides & Directories / Chambers of Commerce)
Bureaus and representation firms (CVB’s / DMO’s / DMC’s)
Specify their respective contribution to the performance metrics – revenue, rooms sold, seats occupied, cabins booked, and so forth. State your conclusions on how these intermediaries will influence the ongoing marketability of the business. (See Chapter 17)
Publics (10 points)
For the Publics section, this should include any stakeholder individual or group that has an actual or potential interest in or impact on the ability of the business to achieve its objectives. For example, the publics may include:
Residents of the area where the business is located
Concerned citizen associations & organizations
Business owners in the surrounding area
Landlords & Lessors
Franchise parent organizations
Local/Regional business development organizations
The following article provides an in-depth explanation of what should be considered for this section: https://www.mbaskool.com/business-concepts/marketing-and-strategy-terms/13852-publics.html (Links to an external site.)
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