This report highlights a critical overview of Crowne Plaza Canberra. The author has therefore written the report in such a way where it provides a current and accurate depiction related to the marketing strategy of Crowne Plaza Canberra. The marketing structure which has been further explained within the report are the views, opinions of the author. The report was therefore completed by an extensive research through the use of secondary materials as well as tables which can be seen in the report. When it comes to the market within the Hotel Industry, the current policies, practices, and its performance have made Crowne Plaza a market challenger instead of a Market Leader.
Strategic Marketing Management is therefore a process which has been designed in a way to assist management create, change or retain a business strategy and therefore in terms of creating strategic visions. It therefore involves decisions with a long-term impact on any of the organisation. (Aaker, David. A, McLoughlin Damien, 2013, p. 10). It can be also defined as an integrated organisational process. Therefore in summary the underlying assumption marketing known as the marketing concept can be traced back to the theories developed by early economists in the 17th as well as 18th centuries (Reed, Peter, 2014, p. 5). Strategic Marketing Management is a function performed by an organisation to create, communicate and also deliver its value to its potential clients and simultaneously on the other hand to manage consumer relationships in certain ways through which the organisation and the stakeholders can be benefitted.
The term situation analysis is defined as a process of assessing the current situation facing the organisation, arriving at a set of assumptions about future, identifying key strategic issues which are likely to confront an organisation. (Reed, Peter, 2014, p. 65). It therefore commences with a review of the external environment in which there are forces that can be described as being remote or macro-environment which eventually comprises of economic, socio-cultural, climate change, technology and also demographical conditions.
The remote environment or the macro-environment can be classified as those forces which have an impact on the society as a whole including the industry and also the marketplace where the organisation operates within. (Reed, Peter, 2014, p. 65). This type of an environment comprises of forces which are mentioned above which has the potential to bring about change in the nature, shape and size of the market and the market, and the marketplace where an organisation competes within the market.
1) Company Summary
Overview of ownership – The hotel Crowne Plaza Canberra is owned by SB&G Hotel Group (Canberra). Such a group owns a portfolio of hotels in Sydney, Melbourne, and Canberra. SB&G Hotel Group Pty Ltd. was founded in the year 2015 and are currently based in Melbourne and also have an additional office which is situated in Sydney.
Location and Facilities – Crowne Plaza is located within walking distance to the major attractions
Address – 1 Binara Street, ACT 2601
Facilities offered by the Hotel:
• 296 Rooms, 5 Disabled Access Rooms
• Free Wi-Fi,
• Fitness centre,
• Outdoor pool,
• Foreign Currency Exchange,
• Restaurant, In-House Room Service, Bar,
• Parking, Disabled Parking,
• Concierge, Reception,
• Dry Cleaning and Laundry services,
• Business Centre, and
• Foreign Currency Exchange
In addition to the ownership Crowne Plaza Hotel in Canberra is therefore managed as well as operated by the InterContinental Hotel Group. (IHG). IHG is therefore a British Multinational Hospitality Company. IHG has more than 5000 different hotels in 100 countries. IHG has different brands such as and Crowne Plaza is one of it.
2) Product Analysis
Product Mix / Description
a) Product – Product can be defined as what the buyers are after or what the potential buyers are expecting from the hotel. At Crowne Plaza there are different products such as 296 rooms followed by other products and services are the food and beverage, laundry, turndown service, outdoor pool, fitness centre, and access to the high speed wireless internet, work desk in the room and lobby.
b) Place – There are more than 400 Crowne Plaza Hotels in more than 60 countries. Place is classified as where products can be made available from where the target audience can make reservations for the room, for the restaurant.
c) Promotion – Promotion is another important aspect of the 7 P’s. From a hotel’s perspective it is very critical to understand which the major channels are so that the product can be promoted. Social Media in the recent time has become a very important tool for an organisation to communicate with the potential buyers. There are 4 tiers of IHG Rewards Club, Gold, Platinum and Spire
d) Price – When it comes to the price, standard room rate at Crowne Plaza for one night is between $170-$180 on an average without breakfast, whereas on the other hand a deluxe room with breakfast would come at $270-$290 with breakfast, and a presidential suite with breakfast would come at $390-$400 with breakfast.
e) Process – In terms of process it means how the product or a service is being delivered. For a client before visiting the hotel they deal with reception, reservations (either through phone, online through emails, etc.). Another important sector for Crowne Plaza when it comes to people is check-in, check-out, concierge/ porter, parking/ valet parking etc.
f) People – Any organisation relies on its staff, people. Examples can be front office staff, food and beverage staff, housekeeping or maintenance, receptionist at the front desk, bar tender, food and beverage attendant or a housekeeping attendant, other employees could be in the fitness centre.
g) Physical Evidence – The 7th p of marketing talks about physical evidence which means from which portal the service is being delivered. An example can be where if the restaurant in the hotel is smelly and dirty, it is more likely that potential buyers will walk out.
Crowne Plaza works with different suppliers that at all times meet the hotel requirements, guest needs and therefore it increases the value of the products and services delivered to the guests. Examples can be seen where the food and beverage and front office has different suppliers where they order their stocktake from.
a) Online Website – With the help of a website Crowne Plaza can is able to convey its core brand values and also targets the market with a marketing message in it. Another factor of having a website is generating online sales
b) OTA’S – Another distribution channel is OTA’S which means online travel agent or third party websites such as Bookings.com, Expedia, Hotels.com and Priceline.com.
At Crowne Plaza the technology is not much advanced as it is in the Middle East. The hotel has just basic technology. High speed internet is available but the process of check-in, check-out is simple as well as an old fashioned style. Crowne Plaza can look at other hotels especially in the Middle East, United States of America to provide great guest experience.
3) Market Analysis/ Industry Analysis
Macro Environmental Factors
1) P – Political,
The most prominent political factors have to be the danger and effect of terrorism, international relations, political unrest. Changes in legislation can alter an industry overnight. (Reed, James, 2014, p. 69) An example of a terrorist act can be seen is the siege at Café Lindt Siege Sydney that occurred in the year 2014, where multiple customers at the café were held hostage, some were shot and some were left injured. This can affect such an organisation because potential buyers may be deterred if they are concerned that another terrorist act may occur. This can result in cancellations of hotel bookings, and reduction in bookings made; in turn reduction in terms of revenue.
2) E – Economic,
Examples of economic factors comprises of gross domestic product, monetary policies, inflation, deflation, interest rates, foreign currency rates, government spending etc. (Reed, Peter, 2014, p. 67). An example when it comes to economic factors is change in the foreign currency rates as it can have a negative impact in hotel and tourism industry. For example if the Great British Pound (GBP) becomes weak against the Australian dollar, then they are less likely to travel because they will not get decent value on an exchange. However if the GBP is strong then anyone in Britain will be more likely to travel to Australia and stay in Crowne Plaza because they can get a decent exchange from GBP to AUD.
3) S – Sociocultural,
At Crowne Plaza in Canberra, there is an employee engagement survey where the sub-ordinates can express their thoughts, opinions, suggestions. Therefore the survey is available in 29 different languages and such an engagement survey is conducted twice a year by a third party. The information of the employees remain anonymous and they can provide expression of opinion and ideas freely.
4) T – Technological Factors, and
Guests who are staying at Crowne Plaza have an access to smart phone app technology and also complimentary internet. Smart Phone technology includes express check-in’s, express check-out’s. E- Environmental
5) E – Environment
At Crowne Plaza there are environmental friendly sustainability programs in place to not only support the environment but also create attraction towards those who are environmentally conscious. Crowne Plaza is therefore committed as well as focused towards reducing energy, waste.
Market Segmentation is defined as identifying distinctive groups on consumers that have similar needs, wants, and preferences for a product or a service. (Reed, Peter, 2015, p. 144). From the perspective of Crowne Plaza it can be said that the hotel is targeting a market by taking a proactive approach towards highly individualised and personalised marketing. Crowne Plaza Hotel gives the power to the buyers where they are seen customising the product offering up to their requirements. Such a strategy has been implemented by Dell Computers and can be characterised as mass customisation. (Reed, Peter, 2015, p. 144)
Customer/Target Market Profile
Now in terms of the customer profile, buyers/ clients at Crowne Plaza Hotel are majority of the business and corporate clients. Analysis of the clients basically starts the demographics such as 28 and goes on until mid-40. Such an age group is equally balanced among men and women, mostly unmarried. There is another segment when it comes to their lifestyle. They are often classified as yuppies (young upwardly mobile professionals), muppies (middle-aged urban professionals) or dinks (double income no kids) who are after the purpose of leisure only where they can relax themselves, enjoy their time, mostly here for a vacation/ trip from another place. (Reed, Peter, 2015, p. 145) Crowne Plaza attracts families within the age of 30-40 with mostly 2 kids. Such type of clientele have specific needs as well as wants from the hotel as they are after kid-friendly places, inexpensive restaurants. The families prefer to stay in the hotel only for leisure purposes where kids can have an additional room for example interconnecting rooms or a room with two double beds. Families often get discounts to stay in a hotel as the hotel offers different packages to attract families in the above mentioned age group.
Crowne Plaza has the following target market:
1) Business Travellers in and outside of Canberra/ Government Delegates/ Corporate Clients/ International Visitors as they have homogenous needs, wants and preferences – Canberra has seen a rapid increase when it comes to business travellers/ government delegates and corporate clients. In the last decade Australia saw a rapid increase in terms of foreign investors seeking for quality assets whereas Chinese investors are looking for long-term generational wealth creation.
2) Wholesalers/ FIT’S (Free Independent Travelers), Tour Operators or Organisers
Digitalisation is another trend especially in Courtyard by Marriott Hotels where the digital technology has replaced the old fashioned printed signage and other information boards within the hotel. Working of televisions in the room with the help of voice recognition to answer any queries or problems if the guests have and this will avoid them to call reception (front desk for queries). Another trends that are taking place in such an industry is the building of environmental friendly hotels.
Another example can be seen where Artificial Intelligence will play a major role in the hospitality industry. An example can be seen where most of the hotels in Tokyo, Japan have adopted Artificial Intelligence where robots and AI greet guests at the front desk by speaking English, Chinese, Korean etc and they also perform duties such as cleaning, checking in the guests and checking them out. The main focus of Artificial Intelligence is to improve customer relations.
In order to gain a higher market share Crowne Plaza follows an aggressive approach which is being a market challenger. The author believes that Crowne Plaza is best placed as a challenger rather than a leader because Hyatt Hotel is the only market leader and the only 5 star hotel in Canberra. Therefore, in order to increase the market share of an existing product or a product line Crowne Plaza focuses on strategies which can enhance the primary as well as secondary demand, win the majority of the share of the new potential buyers entering the market, try to win buyers from its competitors by offering either higher price or a lower price on a particular product/ service in order to draw attention towards them, by offering a product to them that is relatively superior to its competitors product. (Reed, Peter, 2015, p. 188-189).
1) Hyatt Hotel Canberra
Global Branding Unsatisfied staff based on salary issues due to its global networking
Associated with top corporate officials which means they have a solid back up in terms of financial stability, Global Hotel Chain Brand, Technology upgrades in a timely manner Market share is limited due to very tough competition from international brands such as IHG, Accor.
Hyatt needs to retain their employees in order to provide upmost level of professional service and standards which are set by the brand A major threat that Hyatt Canberra is the better products/services such as rooms offered by Ovolo Nishi, Novotel and Avenue Hotel.
Hyatt can look forward to improve its membership/ loyalty plans Losing of employees to other hotels.
2) Novotel Hotel Canberra (Accor Group)
Acceptance of Digitalisation, major focus is towards online sales Poor management
Another strength is its location which is just in the CBD which makes it within close proximity to other attractions, shopping places. Just being central is a big weakness as the immense noise keeps on coming in as it is just next to the bus station and taxi stand.
Best Price Guarantee Employee retention is almost impossible because of poor management and also because of developing projects in Canberra
Emerging market expansion worldwide Losing target market to other properties such as Ovolo Nishi, Avenue or Crowne Plaza
3) Avenue Hotel Canberra (Capital Hotel Group)
The main strength of Avenue Hotel is it is the most luxury hotel in the CBD which is the 20th luxurious hotel in Australia in the 2018 TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Award. Scarcity of quality products
Another strength is its location which is just in the city centre. Online Travel Agents are enhancing more negative pressure on the room tariffs.
Exhibitions in the National Gallery of Australia assists the hotel in order to drive convention hotel development Online Travel Agents dependency will be increased if the room is booked on Google
Further international market expansion Rapid increase in the number of new hotel brands will enhance the competition
Crowne Plaza Canberra SWOT Analysis
Biggest strength is the location, just situated at the heart of the city making all the attractions nearby. The facilities offered by Crowne such as parking is a let-down as there are not enough car parking spots and plus the parking is very tight
The loyalty program IHG Rewards Club is the world’s biggest and the largest loyalty program Another weakness is the immense noise that continuously comes through the casino which is just adjacent to the hotel.
Emerging market expansion worldwide Employee retention is a threat because of poor management and also a threat from other competitors such as Hyatt and Novotel
Best Price Guarantee Losing target market to Novotel and Hyatt because of poor services delivered by the staff and also the Central Reservations System needs a better co-ordination
The author would like to conclude by saying that Crowne Plaza needs a new business model where decisions can be made swiftly, where new ideas are pursued and more exciting products and services are built in a unique way and sold. According to the author the further objective is to create an enjoyable and rewarding workplace for its employees