Astor Lodge & Suites, Inc. - Case Study
The Astor Lodges & Suites Company has been making consecutive annual losses since 2001 (Kerin & Peterson, 2013). They have resulted from stiff competition from around 213 associated hotels. Therefore, the company has to put in place various marketing strategies that will ensure that it meets its objectives and makes realistic profits. Continuous loss-making has led to the need to discuss the way forward (Kerin & Peterson, 2013). The aim of this is to ensure that the company starts being profitable in the coming years.
The Importance of Using Integrated Marketing Communications
The IMC strategy is very efficient since it enhances the communication of a brand to a larger quantity of buyers. It also integrates all essential elements of promotion targeting both existing and potential customers. Another importance is that it creates awareness of products and services among clients at a very minimal cost. The reason is a direct interaction between the company and stakeholders. The integrated marketing communications approach has more benefits as compared to other ways of marketing since its aim is keeping a long-term association with clients rather than just winning them. It is enhanced by getting a feedback directly from customers and evaluating it carefully to meet their desires (West, Ford, & Ibrahim, 2015).
The Effectiveness of Astor Lodges IMC Program
This program has been proven to be effective for Astor Lodge since it has led to the gaining of new customers, as well as the maintenance of the existing ones. IMC enabled the company to meet its objective of expanding and attracting more clients. This plan was initiated by the former CEO, Elizabeth Kelly (Kerin & Peterson, 2013).
Areas where the company implements the program effectively are Internet use to inform business travelers and the location of most hotels near highways, which are very accessible to customers. These two strategies are advantageous since they enhance the success of companys marketing plans. However, Astor Lodges IMC has some limitation that the business has to improve how it treats its clients. There should be special offers for guests that return to enhance customers loyalty.
Positioning and Branding
Currently, Astor Lodges marketing does not bring measurable profits as compared to expenditures (Kerin & Peterson, 2013). Being positioned as a limited facility hotel lowers its performance in the current market, where there is the availability of full-facility places. As for its branding, the company has to come up with a brand that attracts many customers. Branding calls for Astor Loge to invest a lot of resources since brand awareness and acceptance are two tasks that are not easy to accomplish. The company should consider revising its advertising and sales budgets to ensure that its brand is known and accepted faster in the market, or in other words increase brand equity (Gomez-Villanueva & Ramirez-Solis, 2013). Market segmentation is also an important factor for the business to operate well. It will be a good idea to combine both types of segments in one place, namely providing food and services needed by clients.
In order for the organization to boost its profits and EBITA within the next two years, it is recommendable to develop a good marketing mix. Astor Lodges & Suites should focus on new and old strategies of marketing. It should allocate costs strategically. The company should also advertise greatly to attract more new guests to its hotels and ensure that products suit the needs of customers. Another thing it can do is to raise prices for services slightly since most business travelers, who are the main clients, are not sensitive to such change and will continue being its customers. The place is also an important thing that needs to be considered. The management of the company should ensure that all branches are in accessible areas to boost profits. Employees and the leadership should be composed of people who are qualified for their positions.
Also, the target market should be assessed to know the types of services and products people need. The company should make sure that it has put in place a well-designed operational process to minimize expenses. Finally, Astor & Lodge should ensure that it has the best physical environment for its product to be well perceived by customers.
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