Services' marketing, or third generation marketing, is one of the most significant preoccupations in the current business world. Indeed, services are more and more important in the developed countries' economy. It represents between 70 and 80% of GDP and of the workforce. This assessment is accentuated by the growing match of goods and services due to the increase of associate services (delivery, after-sales services…). The fundamental principles of marketing remain the same for the whole corporate world, but its application differs from one field to another. Indeed, services have got original characteristics. Then, their conception and implementation are generally different from the one the manufactured goods (Lendrevie J., Levy J. and Lindon D., 2003: 989-991). Nevertheless, the significance of the Segmenting, Targeting and Positioning (STP) remains stable in the services marketing like in the traditional one. To illustrate this theory, the Four Seasons Hotels may be a good example as a luxury hotel.
As a matter of fact, luxury services involve customers in the purchase action and it allows understanding the importance of servicescape in the services marketing.
[...] In this way, for the upper-class tourists, Four Seasons will prioritise services of leisure whereas functional services will be chosen for business travellers. In the same way, granted services should be different from one segment to another. Concerning the physical evidence, customers' expectations are not similar and thus, they don't need the same servicescape. The last of the marketing mix that has to change, is namely, the staff of the hotel. In effect, according to customers' expectations, members' personnel can't be the same. [...]
[...] What could be the framework for a hotel like the Four Seasons to target this segment? The framework for this Hotel wouldn't different from a traditional marketing strategy. The first thing to do is to study the segment: it needs, its expectations, etc Then, the operational marketing will be applied with the marketing mix (like it is a service, don't forget to apply the 7 P's). In the marketing mix elaboration, the variable of the people characteristics must be known. [...]
[...] “Market segmentation is the process of splitting customers, or potential customers, within a market into different groups, or segments, within which customers have the same, or similar requirements satisfied by a distinct marketing mix.” McDonald M. and Dunbar I. (1998:15) In this way, a clever segmentation can conduct the company to successful strategies. To segment the market, three types of segmentation have been described by Pickton D. and Broderick A. (2001: 242-259). The finest segmentation kind to take into account are the demographical, for the population's characteristics, the psycho graphical, to study what reveal people's attitudes, opinions and interests and behavioural, which study the people's perceptions, intentions of purchase and usages. [...]
[...] Positioning Positioning is the process of creating a perception in the consumer's mind regarding the nature of a company and its products relative to the competition. Clow K.E. and Baack D (48-51) The Four Seasons Hotel is recruiting a new segment. As seen above, this segment is highly lucrative and has a strong disposable income. To seduce this audience, the hotel improved its special services, particularly for seniors. But, like this segment is really attractive, the hotel won't be the only one positioned on it, and other luxury hotels with high quality service will do the same. [...]
[...] Nevertheless, depending on the location of the Four Seasons (London, Dublin or Bahamas upper-class tourists will represent most part of the turnover. This way, the hotel must elaborate their servicescape and propose high quality facilities for this segment too. To improve their servicescape and gain customers' loyalties, the Four Seasons Hotels out-sourced also some services like guides for visiting tours or limo and cars renting with or without drivers. This way, customers feel more and more unique, which proves again that competitive advantages lean on physical evidences. [...]
Online readingwith our online reader
Content validatedby our reading committee