Hospitality industry is characterized by constant change. The management of hotels needs to be constantly aware of changes in the customers’ preferences and tastes, popularity of destinations, innovations of competitors, income level of consumers, global catastrophes and many other factors. In many industries companies are not subject to so many changes, and therefore its management does not need to be too sophisticated in the application of change management tools. However, in hospitality industry managers need to track all of the small and large changes which occur in the industry in order to make strategic decisions.
In the previous years, hotels were able to obtain large profits because global economy reached the stage of prosperity and thus many business and individual travellers were willing to use the services of companies functioning in the hospitality industry. Current situation in the global economy has caused a loss of profits by many companies functioning in the hotel business. Application of principles of relationship marketing is currently one of the most important trends in the marketing strategy of hotels.
Relationship marketing tools are being applied by many companies in the industry for many reasons. Bargaining power of customers is an important force in the development of innovations in hospitality industry because all of the new products are customer-oriented and developed according to the consumers’ needs. By applying principles of relationship marketing, companies are able to retain their existing customers and acquire new ones. The paper provides an overview of relationship marketing tools and discusses the ways they were applied by the management of Hilton Hotel Corporation.
It seeks to determine the main reasons of the success of the company’s marketing strategy. 1. A critical review of the current state of thinking in the academic literature on relationship marketing for your sector. The investigation of consumer behaviour is one of the major tasks of marketing managers of companies in hotel sector nowadays. According to Mercer (1992), for the company to be successful, the managers need to provide the analysis of the building blocks of marketing mix.
All of this analysis needs to be conducted in order to achieve the major objective- influence consumer behaviour in such a way that customers make up their minds to use the services of this particular company in the industry. One of the most efficient ways of retaining existing customers for hotels is building a steady relationship with them with the help of marketing tools. The importance of the application of marketing tools by the company to build a successful relationship with the customers has been emphasized by Berry (1980; 1983; 1995), Kotler, P et al. (2005), Gr?nroos, C. (2002), De Mooij M. (1997; 2004), Schlegelmilch, B. B. (1997), Solomon et al. (2002), Levinger and Snoek (1972) and other authors. Kotler, P et al. (2003), Leadley, P. J. (1992), Middleton, V. T. C. , and Clarke, J. (2001) and other experts have investigated the most important aspects of relationship marketing in hospitality industry.
The works of Greco, Ragins (2003), Wise (1999) and others are particularly important for understanding of the communication with customers through websites and of CRM tools which are widely applied by hotels in the new era of technologies.