Marketing Management-AW-Q446 Online Services
You have been asked to develop a Marketing Plan for Travel Lodge which must also include an example of the digital communication. This plan must be based on the information provided in this assignment and you should also use other relevant sources of information, such as: business reports, books, websites, magazines and newspapers, among others.
You must use specific technical terminology (such as segmentation criteria, marketing mix, positioning, etc.) in the assignment when appropriate. The use of references throughout the assignment is highly recommended. The use of theoretical frameworks (such as: SWOT analysis, Michael Porter’s five forces, etc.) must be applied in a practical way to Travel Lodge’s situation analysis. This assignment must be divided into sections and within each section the use of numbered headings and subheadings is recommended.
Marketing Plan (100% individual submission)
Your marketing plan should include:
• External Analysis of the market (Macro and Micro) and Internal Analysis regarding Travel Lodge
• Identification of Segmentation, key target audiences and brand positioning for Travel Lodge
• Marketing Mix (7 Ps) with particular focus on digital communication regarding Travel Lodge
The report should be no more than 3,000 words. Use of appendices to detail the analysis is recommended and summarised within the report itself. The appendices are excluded from the word count.
Description of Travel Lodge
Travelodge is an example of a leading brand which has been created in a relatively short space of time. Today, nearly everyone has heard of Travelodge, yet the first lodge only opened in 1985. Travelodge recognised the need for budget accommodation when it created the sector in the UK, with the opening of the first lodge at Barton-under-Needwood, a 20-bedroom property on the A38 near Burton. Today Travelodge has over 200 properties in the UK and Ireland providing more than 10,000 bedrooms. Travelodge now has properties in most major towns and cities.
The budget accommodation sector in the UK has become much more competitive over the past 15 years with more and more players entering the market each year. This forces competitors to look for better ways of communicating brand and product benefits. The total market comprises more than 40,000 rooms in the UK alone. Travelodge has 25% of the market. In order to retain and increase this market share Travelodge is investing heavily in developing its Internet presence to make it easier for customers to find out more about the Travelodge offer and book rooms.
Travelodge provides hotel accommodation for two major market segments families and business customers. Families seek leisure breaks, whereas business customers seek hotel accommodation close to hubs of business activity or convenient locations for meetings.
For families, Travelodge provides family and friends, short stay breaks on long journeys. They provide a combination of good facilities and excellent value for money. Travelodges can be found nationwide on motorways and ‘A’ roads in towns and city centres. They are also located near tourist attractions and areas of natural beauty.
Each Travelodge provides en-suite rooms and family rooms for four people with accommodation for two adults and two children. Rooms include satellite television with cartoon, sports and film channels. Each room has tea and coffee making facilities, luxury beds and every guest is provided with a free newspaper. There is a friendly atmosphere and an easy checking in and out process to make life easy for people with busy travelling arrangements.
For Britain’s business people, Travelodge offers full in-room facilities. With these facilities available and comfortable beds, it means that the business customer can wake up refreshed and prepared, ready to face the day. Travelodge provides ‘meeting points’ for business meetings. Following detailed market research, Travelodges are situated at key business locations, making for easy access from all parts of the country. Travelodge has also made sure that its hotels include good restaurant facilities or are close to first-class restaurants.
Travelodge was the first budget hotel brand to appear on television and coverage on a national scale is further enhanced by a strong presence in all the major press titles. This activity has seen brand awareness rise to over 70% nationally.
It is all very well having the right product at the right place and at the right price. However, in the budget hotel market it is necessary to ensure there is a top quality booking system enabling the consumer to purchase the accommodation. Travelodge took an early lead over its competitors by focusing on centralising all inventory.
To support this, Travelodge has a reservation sales centre which employs almost 300 staff, takes over 3 million calls per year and sells over 2 million rooms. Some business people and families may simply pull up at a Travelodge for a stop-over on a long journey. More frequently customers will plan ahead and book accommodation in advance of holidays, meetings and so on. With this in mind, Travelodge has designed the most sophisticated booking system in the budget hotel market.
The most important development in this area has been Travelodge’s development of a sophisticated Internet site. Travelodge first appeared on the Internet in 1996. The introduction to the web was about providing information to a new worldwide audience. In the early days this was achieved through the provision of an on-line brochure. Travelodge continued to move the site on to new platforms in order to maximise the opportunities available. An important breakthrough was the development of online ordering through email request to the reservation sales centre staff. Today the site offers seamless online availability and booking facilities with dedicated business and leisure sections.
Travelodge is a leading edge player in the e-commerce market, offering inclusive packages nationwide. Travelodge’s Internet service enables the company to develop personalised relationships with customers. A database built up by the interactions of customers with the booking site enables it to provide personalised information and to make promotional offers to corporate and family clients. Users can quickly click on to sections of the map that are relevant to their search for accommodation. Users can then narrow down the search to the locality where they want to arrange a business meeting or a short family stay.
Alternatively the user can select from a drop-down list which area and town is required; the lodges available in that area are shown. The site shows clear illustrations of room layout and the facilities offered. Having selected the most suitable Travelodge, the potential customer can then find out about the number of beds available and make an online reservation. Nothing could be simpler. Once the customer has selected a Travelodge they are then provided with the phone number of the lodge, should they need further information.
Product Code-Marketing Management-AW-Q446
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