INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS IN CREATION OF BRANDRECOGNITION IN MODERN HOTEL INDUSTRY.A CASE STUDY OF THREESTARS HOTELS IN NAIROBI COUNTY.Abstract:Brand awareness, as one of the fundamental dimensions of brand equity, isoften considered to be a prerequisite of consumers‘ buying decision, as itrepresents the main factor for including a brand in the consideration set.Brand awareness can also influence consumers‘ perceived risk assessmentand their confidence in the purchase decision, due to familiarity with thebrand and its characteristics. On the other hand, brand awareness can bedepicted into at least two facets – unaided (brand recall) and aided (brandrecognition) – each of the two facets having its more or less effectiveinfluence on buying decision and perceived risk assessment.SUMMARYThe increasing communication options in recent years have contributed to the clutter theworld is experiencing today.This has made it important for marketers to integrate theirmarketing communication and break through the barrier of noise to reach the targetmarket.The heavy competition within hospitality industry has made it necessary fororganizations to focus more on marketing and in particular communication.In 1993 a newconcept called integrated marketing communication was introduced .This new concept hasgenerated a great interest among academics and practitioners, although research concerningits implementation is limited.The purpose of this research is to gain a better understanding ofintegrated marketing communication in the hospitality industry.A study of three star hotel hasbeen conducted to investigate how the integrated marketing communication strategy and useof communication tools can be described.This study shows that three star hotels aresuccessful with the integrated communication strategy,as the message is kept consistentthroughout all the communication,reflecting the image of hotels . This study also shows thatin the use of the communication tools, traditional advertising has been replaced to a greatextent and emphasis lies mainly on public relations and product placement. To let theproduct,three star hotels has built a strong brand identity and image through their choices ofcooperators with similar brand images.Despite the potentially important role of brand symbols as communication tools, littleresearch has examined how brand names should be selected and depicted as symbols toachieve specific communication objectives. We manipulate several theoretically and
managerially relevant dimensions in the selection of brand names and their depiction assymbols (i.e., pictorial depiction of the brand name, pictorial depiction of the productcategory, physical interaction and a brand name that communicates product benefits) factorialdesign. Results are generally supportive of those dimensions thought to prompt item-specificprocessing facilitating recognition memory, while those dimensions thought to promptrelational processing facilitating cued recall. Specifically, recognition memory was greatestwhen the brand name was depicted pictorially or a high benefit brand name was used. Cuedrecall was greatest when a pictorially depicted product category was coupled with factors thatpromoted a product category-brand name linkage (e.g., a pictorially depicted brand name, ahigh benefit brand name, or physical interaction). The strategic implications of theses findingsare discussed.Brand names and symbols represent potetially potent communication tools. They representbases for categorizing brands as members of product categories (Farquhar, Herr and Fazio,1990), can affect inferences made about brand attributes or benefits (Aaker, 1991), and canwork synergistically with other elements of a marketing mix to anchor clusters of associationsabout the brand (Carpenter and Nakamoto, 1989), establish a brand‘s positioning, andmaintain its equity (Park, Jaworski and Maclnnis, 1986). Furthermore, when brands areundifferentiated, the brand symbol may represent the sole basis for any differential advantageperceived by consumers (Aaker, 1991). While brand symbols might serve multiplecommunication objectives, perhaps the most significant is their impact on brand nameawareness. Establishing brand name awareness is a basic step in the creation of brandknowledge and brand attitudes (Keller, 1993), and it is often a necessary condition for choice(Nedungadi, 1990). Research indicates that brand awareness alone may actually be moreimportant than other characteristics such as quality in making brand choice decisions. Hoyerand Brown (1990), for example, found that consumers were more likely to choose a familiarversus an unknown brand, even though they knew that the unknown brand was of higherquality. Finally, enhancing brand name awareness can have important competitiveimplications since it may hinder consumers‘ memory for competitors‘ brand names (Alba andChattopadhyay, 1986). Perhaps recognizing the potential importance of these communicationtools, marketers devote considerable effort to the selection of brand names and their depictionas symbols (Aaker, 1991; Murphy, 1987; Charmasson, 1988). Moreover, these tools serve aspervasive elements in marketing communication contextsCappearing on signs, as part of
advertisements and on packages, advertising specialties, product sponsorship materials, directmail and so on.Unfortunately, despite their potential impact, little is known about the effectiveness ofcharacteristics of brand symbols on brand awareness objectives like recognition and recall. AsRobertson (1987) notes, though guidelines are available for the selection of names and theirdepiction, such guidelines are often anecdotal. Further, though research on interactiveimagery has identified certain characteristics of brand symbols that may affect brand nameawareness (Childers and Houston, 1984; Lutz and Lutz, 1977), accumulated knowledge in thisarea is limited. Additionally, clear understanding of past results is hindered by the presence ofconfounds in some research, and the fact that brand awareness has primarily been assessedwith cued recall while other measures such as recognition are equally important.INTRODUCTION:INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS (IMC) is defined as customercentric, data driven method of communicating with the customers. IMC is the coordinationand integration of all marketing communication tools, avenues, functions and sources within acompany into a seamless program that maximizes the impact on consumers and other endusers at a minimal cost. This management concept is designed to make all aspects ofmarketing communication such as advertising, sales promotion, public relations, and directmarketing work together as a unified force, rather than permitting each to work in isolation.INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS (IMC) is a process for managingcustomer relationships that drive brand value primarily through communication efforts. Suchefforts often include cross-functional processes that create and nourish profitable relationshipswith customers and other stakeholders by strategically controlling or influencing all messagessent to these groups and encouraging data-driven, purposeful dialog with them. IMC includesthe coordination and integration of all marketing communication tools, avenues, and sourceswithin a company into a seamless program in order to maximize the impact on end users at aminimal cost. This integration affects all firms business-to-business, marketing channel,customer-focused, and internally directed communications. Integrated MarketingCommunications is a simple concept. It ensures that all forms of communications andmessages are carefully linked together.
When planning your strategy for Integrated Marketing Communication or IMC, you want tohave dialogue with your customers by inviting interaction through the coordinated efforts ofcontent, timing and delivery of your products or services. By ensuring direction, clarity,consistency, timing and appearance of your messages, conveyed to your targeted audience,these factors will help avoid any confusion about the benefits of your brand, through theconnection of instant product recognition.When looking at your marketing mix, youre examining price, distribution, advertising andpromotion, along with customer service. Integrated marketing communication is part of thatmarketing mix included in your marketing plan. IMC strategies define your target audience,establishes objectives and budgets, analyzes any social, competitive, cultural or technologicalissues, and conducts research to evaluate the effectiveness of your promotional strategies.IMC Components The Foundation - corporate image and brand management; buyer behavior; promotions opportunity analysis. Advertising Tools - advertising management, advertising design: theoretical frameworks and types of appeals; advertising design: message strategies and executional frameworks; advertising media selection. Advertising also reinforces brand and firm image. Promotional Tools - trade promotions; consumer promotions; personal selling, database marketing, and customer relations management; public relations and sponsorship programs. Integration Tools - Internet Marketing; IMC for small business and entrepreneurial ventures; evaluating and integrated marketing program. In today‘s ever changing ―Nanosecond Culture‖ of social networks, empowered customers and hyper competition, we need to be prepared to immediately implement holistic thinking for our marketing and communications strategy. With an increase in global competition, technological advances, and fast informed customers, it is important for businesses to make a powerful impact on target audiences and markets. Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) is one of the most important communications trends adopted all over. It is one such step toward an integrated approach to achieving efficiency by synergy.The emergence of this concept has become one of the most significant examples of development in the marketing discipline. It has influenced thinking and
acting among companies but also authorities, state owned companies and political parties, all facing the realities of competition in an open economy.The emergence of integrated marketing communications (IMC) has become one of themost significant example of development in the marketing discipline (Kitchen, 2003). Ithas influenced thinking and acting among companies but also authorities, state ownedcompanies and political parties, all facing the realities of competition in an openeconomy.Some 20 years ago academics and professionals discussed theory and practice ofbusiness communication but without considering the idea of integration as a realisticapproach to reach a competitive strategic position for the company. Some early attemptsin the beginning of the 1980s initiated academic interest and articles appeared in theacademic literature (Dyer, 1982; Coulson-Thomas, 1983). From the beginning of the1990s IMC became a real hot topic in the field of marketing (Caywood et al., 1991; Millerand Rose, 1994; Kitchen and Schultz, 1997, 1998, 1999). Twenty years ago, 75 percent ofmarketing budgets went to advertising in the US. Today, 50 percent goes into tradepromotions, 25 percent into consumer promotions and less than 25 percent intoadvertising (Kitchen, 2003). The allocation of communication budgets away from massmedia and traditional advertising has obviously promoted IMC in recognition andimportance for effective marketing. The emergence of IT has fundamentally changedthe media landscape, contributed to an extensive deregulation of marketand individualized patterns of consumption and increased the segmentation ofconsumer tastes and preferences (Eagle and Kitchen, 2000; Kitchen, 2003).Kitchen and Schultz (2000) have identified four stages of IMC starting from tacticalcoordination of promotional elements, redefining the scope of marketingcommunications, application of information technology to financial and strategicintegration. They found that the majority of firms are anchored in the first two stages,some are moving into stage three and very few have moved to stage four.One conclusion is that there are barriers to developing IMC from tactics to strategy.If we accept that communication is the foundation of all human relationship (Duncan,2002) we also have to accept that only strategically oriented integrated brandcommunications can help business to reach a sustainable competitive position. Themain purpose of this paper is to identify obstacles to further developing IMC.THE CONCEPT OF IMC
As a concept IMC has become well known on an international scale during the 1990s.Thus IMC is a term whose widespread use is comparatively recent, a fact, which mightexplain why there not yet is a common understanding of its real meaning and the lackof a generally accepted definition. Let us assume that the ultimate purpose ofmarketing is to deliver a higher standard of living (Kotler, 2003). If we use a morelimited definition we could say that marketing is a societal process by whichindividuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating, offering andfreely exchanging products and services of value with others (Kotler, 2003, p. 9). Thekeyword is value, which can be defined as a ratio between benefits and costs, betweenwhat the customer gets and what he/she gives. To increase the value of the customeroffering the marketer can use several combinations of methods, all aiming to raisebenefits and reduce costs. It is then evident that the main purpose of marketingcommunication is to affect the consumer‘s conception of value and of the relationbetween benefits and costs. This can be achieved by raising benefits, reducing costs,raising benefits and reducing costs, raising benefits by more than the raise in costs and lowerbenefits by less than the reduction in costs.BRAND SYMBOLSA brand symbol is defined here as a representation of the brand name and its productcategory. Although symbols may depict either brand names or product categories alone, wefocus on symbols that represent both, such as those depicted in Figure 1 which were extractedfrom the Yellow Pages. When we use the term "brand name" in this research, we mean thename of the brand or company that distinguish it from others in the category (i.e., AmericanEagle, Alliance, Wallace, Bon Appetit, or Reliable in Figure 1). The generic term "productcategory" is used to refer to the product or service category in which the brand competes (e.g.,health club, mortgages, electric company, catering service, rubbish service in Figure 1).Dimensions of Brand SymbolsBrand symbols such as those shown in Figure 1 vary on a number of potential dimensions.Since the study of brand symbols has been the topic of limited prior research, and since it isimpossible for one study to investigate the myriad of factors that influence the effectivenessof brand symbols, it becomes instructive to investigate those thatare most (1) theoreticallyrelevant, (2) managerially significant, and (3) consistent with existing research.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMRecent years of heavy increased media clutter, has made it more difficult and expensive forcompanies to reach and influence target groups through traditional media such astelevision,radio and press.Furthermore,as hotel industry increasingly are trying to competethrough communication,new ways of doing so are developed in order to differentiate themessage to communicate.Marketing overload is forcing hotel industry to shout evenlouder.The role of integrated marketing communication and the need for greater integrationand interactions between hotel industry ,customers and other stakeholders are needed.Customers in industrialized countries are sophisticated selectors of products and services andmany in less developed markets are catching up fast.Due to the fact that customers aresmarter,more demanding and distrusting,Increasing the perception of a brand integrity is adefinite advantage.Integration produces integrity because an organization that is seen as awhole rather than pieces and parts is perceived as being more sound and trustworthy.Integrated marketing communication further produces a uniform message that may becapable of addressing the problems that service organizations face when they must market anintangible product.Thus,integrated marketing communication has the potential to produce astrong focus for an offering and seems to be an attractive tool for marketers to accommodatethe intangibility present in services,such as hotels offerings.As hotels within the hospitality industry are operating in a sector where the competition isextremely fierce,the bargaining power of customers is very high.Therefore,the techniques andstrategies to communicate a message are of vital importance.Communication strategiesintroduce the product offering ,attempt to confirm and reinforce positive attitudes towards theproduct ,extend and deepen consumer awareness of the product and attempt to changeattitudes and behavior towards purchasing the offering.Communication does not end with thepurchase.The customer service and feedback are essential elements of communication inorder to ensure repeat purchasing.PURPOSE OF THE STUDYThe purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of integrated marketingcommunication in the hotel industry.HYPOTHESES
1)perceived advertising spending has positive effect on perceived quality .2)perceived advertising spending has positive effect on brand awareness .3) perceived advertising spending has positive effect on brand image .4)perceived advertising spending has positive effect on brand loyalty .5)The use of price deals has negative effect on perceived quality .6)The use of price deals has negative effect on brand imageOBJECTIVES1)To examine the marketing communication function and the growing importance ofadvertising.2)To introduce the concept of integrated marketing communications (IMC) and considerhow it has evolved.3)To examine reasons for the increasing importance of the integrated marketingcommunication perspective in planning and executing advertising and promotional programs.4) To introduce the various elements of the promotional mix and consider their roles in anintegrated marketing communication program.5) To examine how various marketing and promotional elements must be coordinated tocommunicate effectively.6)To introduce a model of the integrated marketing communication planning process andexamine the steps in developing a marketing communications program.RESEARCH QUESTION1)How can the integrated marketing communication strategy be described?2)How can the integrated marketing communication tools be described?LIMITATIONDue to limited time the research is written from the hotel industry perspective,not thecustomer perspective.In addition,we will focus on the integrated marketing communicationstrategy and the overall use of the tools offered by integrated marketing communication.
LITERATURE REVIEWINTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUCATIONDefinition: A management concept that is designed to make all aspects of marketingcommunication such as advertising, sales promotion, public relations, and direct marketingwork together as a unified force, rather than permitting each to work in isolation.An approach to achieving the objectives of a marketing campaign, through a well coordinateduse of different promotional methods that are intended to reinforce each other.As defined by the American Association of Advertising Agencies, integrated marketingcommunications " ... recognizes the value of a comprehensive plan that evaluates the strategicroles of a variety of communication disciplines advertising, public relations, personal selling,and sales promotion and combines them to provide clarity, consistency, and maximumcommunication impact."Integrated Marketing CommunicationEvery firm needs strategy to make its products acceptable by the consumers at the right time.Marketers need marketing mix to produce desired response from the market (Kotler &Armstrong, 2010).An element of marketing mix that communicates company‘s marketing message to its targetconsumers is promotion, also known as integrated marketing communication (Wells et al.,2007). An effective integrated marketing communication enables the company to growcontinuously, to be known by the public, and to build its brand equity (Madhavaram et al.,2005).
The tools of integrated marketing communication, called as promotional mix, consist ofpersonal selling, advertising, customer relations, sales promotion, direct marketing toconsumers, and others associated with advertising and bidding. Advertising is a one-way andnon-personal communication from an organization using mass media (Kotler et al., 2009;Solomon et al., 2009). Price promotions, often known as price-off deal (Belch & Belch, 2007;Solomon et al., 2009; Wells et al., 2007), is a promotional strategy in which consumersreceive a temporary reduction from product‘s normal price. According to OGuinn & Semenik(2006), price-off deal is a very frank marketing technique as it offers special packages thatmay reduce consumer spendingTHE NEED FOR INTEGRATEDMARKETING COMMUNICATIONSThe shift from mass marketing to targeted marketing, with its corresponding useof a richer mixture of communication channels and promotion tools, poses a problemfor marketers. Consumers are being exposed to a greater variety of marketingcommunications from and about the company from an array of sources. However,customers don‘t distinguish between message sources the way marketers do. In theconsumer‘s mind, advertising messages from different media—such as television,magazines, or online sources—blur into one. Messages delivered via different promotionalapproaches—such as advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, publicrelations, or direct marketing—all become part of a single message about thecompany. Conflicting messages from these different sources can result in confusedcompany images and brand positions.All too often, companies fail to integrate their various communications channels.The result is a hodgepodge of communications to consumers. Mass advertisementssay one thing, a price promotion sends a different signal, a product labelcreates still another message, company sales literature says something altogetherdifferent, and the company‘s Web site seems out of sync with everything else.The problem is that these communications often come from different companysources. The advertising department or advertising agency plans and implementsadvertising messages. Sales management develops personal selling communications.Other functional specialists are responsible for public relations, sales promotion,
direct marketing, online sites, and other forms of marketing communications. Suchfunctional separation has recently become a major problem for many companiesand their Internet communications activities, which are often split off into separateorganizational units. ―These new, forward-looking, high-tech functionalgroups, whether they exist as part of an established organization or as a separatenew business operation, commonly are located in separate space, apart from thetraditional operation,‖ observes one integrated marketing communications expert.―They generally are populated by young, enthusiastic, technologically proficientpeople with a burning desire to ‗change the world,‘ ‖ he adds, but ―the separationand the lack of cooperation and cohesion‖ can be a disintegrating force in marketingcommunications (see Marketing Highlight 13-1).In the past, no one person was responsible for thinking through the communicationroles of the various promotion tools and coordinating the promotion mix.Today, however, many companies are adopting the concept of integrated marketingcommunications (IMC). Under this concept, the company carefully integrates andcoordinates its many communications channelsto deliver a clear, consistent, and compelling message about the organization andits products. As one marketing executive puts it, ―IMC builds a strong brandidentity in the marketplace by tying together and reinforcing all your imagesmessages. IMC means that all your corporate messages, positioning and images,and identity are coordinated across all [marketing communications] venues. Itmeans that your PR materials say the same thing as your direct mail campaign,and your advertising has the same ‗look and feel‘ .The IMC solution calls for recognizing allcontact points at which the customer may encounter the company, its products, and its brands.Each brand contact will deliver a message, whether good, bad, or indifferent. The companymust strive to deliver a consistent and positive message at all contact points.To help implement IMC, some companies appoint a marketing communicationsdirector, or marcom manager, who has overall responsibility for the company‘scommunications efforts. Compaq Canada, for example, has a vice-presidentof integrated marketing communications. IMC produces better communicationsconsistency and greater sales impact. It places the responsibility in someone‘shands—where none existed before—to unify the company‘s image as it is shapedby thousands of company activities. It leads to a total marketing communicationstrategy aimed at showing how the company and its products can help customers
solve their problems.Brand EquityFirms cannot compete only through their products as they can be imitated easily. One way todistinguish their products is by putting the brand on them. According to the AmericanMarketing Association (Keller, 2008), brand is a name, term, sign, symbol, design, or acombination of these, which aims to identify and to differentiate the goods and services of oneseller or group of sellers from others. A brand is a better value than the product being sold asit has a dimension that distinguishes it from other products designed to satisfy the consumers‘needs.The power of brand gives several advantages for the companies and consumers. Not onlyenables the consumers to identify particular product, a strong brand may also improveconsumers‘ perception of product quality, increase customer loyalty, make consumers moreinvulnerable to competitors‘ marketing action and price changes, enhance marketingcommunication effectiveness, and strengthen the support from suppliers and distributors(Kotler & Armstrong, 2010; Leone et al., 2006). The basic premise of brand equity is thepower of a brand lies in consumers‘ mind. Brand equity is an effect due to differencesbetween consumers‘ knowledge of the brand and their response to brand marketing (Keller,2008; Leone et al., 2006). The most important parts in creating brand knowledge are brandawareness and brand image.There are two methods to measure brand equity, customer mindset and product-marketmeasures. The customer mindset measure focuses on consumers‘ thought process, feeling,and behavior toward the brand (Ailawadi et al., 2003; Anselmsson et al., 2007; Keller, 2008;Leone et al., 2006). It predicts the consumers‘ awareness, loyalty, attitude, and associationstoward a specific brand. Product-marketTHE CONCEPT OF BRAND EQUITYBrand researchers have developed many conceptualizations of brand equity. Broadly, itis viewed as the assets and liabilities associated with a brand that either add to orsubtract from the value provided to customers and to the brand owner (Aaker, 1991).Brand equity is often associated with an increased likelihood of a customer choosing a
product and the willingness of a customer to pay premium prices for the product. Assuch, brand equity is a forward-looking assessment of the value of a firm‘s relationshipwith its customers.The concept of brand equity may be defined with a focus on different units ofanalysis. When it is defined at the level of firms and their brands, then it is typicallydefined in terms of the value that is added (enhanced financial performance) toproducts by brands when the products would not otherwise be considered unique(Simon and Sullivan, 1993). This view will often result in brand equity being assessedby the premiums that are paid for acquiring the brands (or firms, or stock in the firms)over and above the value of the tangible assets associated with them. That can beexpressed in a variety of financial terms such as the difference in the discounted futurecash flows (net present value) of the assets with or without the brand names (Aakerand Jacobson, 1994; Ailawadi et al., 2003; Simon and Sullivan, 1993).On the other hand, customer-based brand equity focuses on the relationships betweenthe brands and customers. It is typically expressed in terms of the direct impact ofcustomer attributions and behaviors toward the brand (and the likelihood that thosebehaviors will continue). Although Aaker (1991) and Keller (2003) define it differently,they both agree that brand equity is a better approach for capturing the value of a brandto the firmand to the customer. This value can manifest itself as brand recognition levels,perceptions of brand quality, brand loyal behavior, and/or brand images and associations(such as country of origin) that customers attribute to the brands (Keller, 2003; Yoo andDonthu, 2001). Of course, some of these customer-level attributions and behaviors candirectly influence financial performance (e.g. brand awareness that includes the productin the purchase evoke-set, quality perceptions that rank the product within the evoke-set,loyalty in the form of repeat purchasing behavior, etc.) while other attributes may haveindirect effects (e.g. images and associations).Brand equity has also been explored in the wine marketing literature. Lockshin andSpawton (2001) explored how involvement and brand equity can be used to develop awine tourism strategy. More recently, Nowak and Washburn (2002) have explored howproactive environmental policies by wineries can build brand equity. Other researchershave explored how integrated marketing communications can build strong brands
(Reid, 2002).FACETS OF BRAND EQUITYAaker (1991) proposed five components of brand equity: brand awareness,Brand associations, brand loyalty, perceived quality and other brand proprietary assets. Thisconceptualization is also common in the wine marketing literature (Lockshin andSpawton, 2001; Nowak and Washburn, 2002). Other scholars define brand equity byexploring brand knowledge and differential responses to the marketing of a brand(Keller, 1993). Other terms that are occasionally included are: proprietary assets, brandextension, market behavior, brand attitude, various financial measures (as mentionedabove, financial concepts are not directly customer-market related), customer mindset,product-market level outcomes, brand value and brand image. The latter concepts arerelatively infrequently used, possibly because conceptually they share meaning whichoverlaps with the more commonly used concepts. For instance, brand image isconceptually similar to brand associations. Even among the most widely used conceptsin definitions of brand equity, there is considerable shared meaning. For instance, theconcepts of brand awareness and brand loyalty are conceptually overlapping becausebrand awareness is certainly a necessary condition for brand loyalty to occur.Perceived brand quality is a mainstay in the literature. It captures the perceivedintrinsic benefits provided to consumers and the consumers‘ overall assessment ofbrand excellence (Aaker, 1996). Numerous studies show that perceived quality isclosely related to return on investments and profits (Aaker, 1996). In the context ofwine, this is not the winemakers‘ view of quality, it is instead quality in eyes of thetarget market (Lockshin and Spawton, 2001). Perceived quality can come from bothextrinsic and intrinsic cues, such as the winery, the label and awards that the wine hasbeen given (Lockshin and Spawton, 2001).Without brand awareness there is no brand equity. Awareness is the necessarycondition for brand familiarity, brand preference (or disliking), brand loyalty and also fortrial of a wine or a visit to a winery (Lockshin and Spawton, 2001), etc. to occur. Brandawareness is an important component of brand equity across all conceptualizations of theconstruct for products (Keller, 1993) and for services (Kayaman and Arasli, 2007). Mostcommonly brand awareness is represented as brand recognition or recall (Keller, 1993).Brand awareness and perceived quality are the most commonly used componentsfor defining brand equity. They have considerable shared meaning or conditional
relationships with the other commonly used concepts of brand equity. Consequently,brand awareness and perceived quality are used in this research to parsimoniouslycapture the essence of the concept of brand equity. Brand awareness is defined as theability of the individual to recall a brand name in a product category. Perceived qualityis defined as the consumer‘s perception of a brand‘s quality.BRAND SURVIVALBrands are born and die continually. Even for well-established brands, survival is nolonger a given. For instance, from department stores (Woolworth), to energy providers(Enron), to telecommunications companies (MCI), to banking companies (Norwest andNCNB) recent years have seen well-known brands disappear. The reasons why brandssurvive or disappear can be varied. Advertising, brand extensions and relationshipswith customers are all cited in the literature as reasons for brand survival and are oftentied to brand equity (Sullivan, 1992; Villarejo-Ramos and Sanchez-Franco, 2005). In theCOMMUNICATION STRATEGYA strategic communication plan is one of the key elements in integrated marketingcommunication .It allows marketers to build a synchronized communication strategy thatreaches every market segment with a single unified message.The objectives of anypromotional strategy can be drawn from an appropriate mixture of the roles of promotion ;toincrease sales,maintain or improve market share,create or improve brand recognition,create afavourable climate for future sales,inform and educate the market,Create a competitiveadvantage relative to competitor`s products or market position and to improve promotionalefficiency.INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATION TOOLSIntegrated marketing communication tools should be designed to support the same overallobjectives for hotel industry.This to avoid the creation of separate messages for each mediumwithout regard for what is expressed through other channels.Dwyer and Tanner(2001),statedthat the most important marketing communication tools within the hospitality industryare;advertising,direct marketing,personal selling,public relations,sales promotions and tradeshows.In addition,several other marketing communication tools exist,such as;theinternet,events and sponsorships,packaging,point of purchase, word of mouth and corporateidentity(smith et al,2000).All these tools are further examined in the following sections below.Advertising
According to Dwyer and Tanner (2002),advertising is related and begins with a base ofcreating awareness and strengthening a hotel industry position or image.It is advertising thatmakes the hotels known.The second role is to create favourable climate for salespeople.Insome instances,customers will order directly from the advertising ,so the final purpose ofadvertising is to generate sales.In addition,Dwyer and Tanner (2002) define mass mediaadvertising as non-personal,paid announcements by an identified sponsor to reach largeaudiences,create brand awareness,help position brands and build brand images .According toAronsson and Tengling (2000),the choice of the medium channel depends on what type ofproduct is offered ,target market and the budget.Middleton and Clarke (2001)define advertising within the tourism industry as one class oneclassic communication tool used by marketing managers as part of marketing compaigns todevelop awareness,understanding,interest and motivation amongst a targeted audience.Furthermore,advertising includes television,press,radio,outdoors as well as hospitality boardand brochures.Moreover,hospitality organizations are constantly communicating,whetherintentionally or not intentionally,through each personal and non-personal interaction with thepublic. In addition,advertising enables businesses to reach people in their homes or otherplaces away from the places of production and delivery and to communicate to themmessages intended to influence their purchasing behavior. According to Shimp(2000),cooperative advertising used amongst companies are a great advantage due to theadvertising support,cost savings and the access to local/national/international media.A few examples of advertising media and their advantage and disadvantages are shownbelow;TELEVISIONTelevision both presents an audio,visual message requiring minimal exertion and is veryadaptable.Although advertising is expensive,many hospitality organization are usingTelevision and find it very cost effective.(witt and moutinho, 2000).RADIOAccording to witt and Moutinho (2000),radio has outstanding flexibility and relatively lowcosts although it only presents an audio message.Duncan( 2002) states that radio had lowattntion,low,reach with only sound and that the message is short-lived.
NEWSPAPERSNewspapers give a comprehensive coverage of a local market area with low cost,although lowprinting quality and short life.In addition, the advantage with using newspapers is that it is aselective medium with a production cost that could be very low and the frequent publicationsand geographical selectivity made possible.(witt &moutinho,2000).MAGAZINESAccording to witt and moutinho (2000),the advantage with using magazines is that it is highlyselective and that the production costs can be low.In addition,the print and graphic quality andlarge reach out to specialized market segments.Magazines are also actively read and sometitles have high prestige and credibility.The disadvantage is the limited geographic options inkey titles and the long lead-time for some titles.ln addition,the impact is limited to visualsense.DIRECTORIESAccording to Rogers (2000),directories are defined as the space where advertising is sold.Itcould be for example yellow pages,association member lists,and the like.The long life andthat directories are actively searched and read is an advantage.In addition, the low productioncost, the high selectively and the high information content possible are greatadvantages.However,the low impact and the long lead times can be disadvantages.Inaddition,limited visual presentation and creative flexibility in most titles are disadvantageswith using directories.OUTDOORRogers (2000) defines visual outdoor as sandwich boards,skywriting, blimps and thelike.According to shimp( 2000), outdoor advertisement includes billboards situated by theroadside, stations and venues.In addition, inside for example buses as well as outside includestaxis, poster vans, shopping centres, underground trains, and public toilets.According toDuncan( 2002),outdoor advertising is a localized, frequency builder with a directional signageand has low attention, low reputation and claimed to be visual pollution.DIRECT MARKETINGAccording to Shimp ( 2000) direct mail/direct marketing includes letters, catalogues,pricelists,booklets, circulars, newsletters, cards and samples. The advantages of using direct
mail/direct marketing is that the audience is highly selective, the message can be personalized,circulation can be limited to what is affordable and it can be used to encourage action/directresponse and sales. The disadvantage is that it can be associated with junk mail and that eachexposure is expensive.The internet including web pages and e-mail has advantages with for example that a messagecan be changed quickly and easily, interactively is possible and the cost are very low.Thedisadvantages with internet are that the visual presentation is limited, an audience is notguaranteed and that hits may not represent interest.In addition, a large number of targetgroups may not use the internet yet.According to witt and Moutinho (2000),direct mail is oneof the most important advertising methods for hospitality enterprises,however, hard to obtainright mailing list sources. The primary objectives with direct marketing is to achieve morecost-effective use of marketing budgets based on a deep and evolving knowledge ofcustomers and their behaviour, and direct communication with them(middleton &clarke,2001).PERSONAL SELLINGAccording to Czinkota and Ronkainen (2001),personal selling is the most effective of thecommunication tools available to the marketer; however, its costs per contact are high.Duncan(2002) defines personal selling as ―real-time,two-way personal communication between asalesperson and a prospective buyer and is the most persuasive of all marketingcommunication methods, to identify buyers‘ needs to the firm‘s product offerings, and toallow seller to immediately respond to buyer‘s questions and objection‖.Furthermore,personal selling uses person-to-person communication with intermediaries and finalcustomer.Wells et al., (2000) state that personal selling is of outmost importance when itcomes to businesses that sell products that need to be explained, demonstrated and in need ofservice.In addition,the different types of personal selling include sales calls at the place ofbusiness by a field representatives, assistance at outlet stores by a sales clerk and home callsby representatives.PUBLIC RELATIONSAccording to kotler (2000),several tools are used in today‘s public relations such as productpublicity,press relations, corporate communications,lobbying and counselling.Wells etal.(2000),include news conferences, company-sponsored events,open houses,planttours.Duncan (2002) defines public relations as programs that focus on opinions of significant
publics, and manage corporate communication and reputation.In addition, public relations areused to handle relationships with company‘s diverse publics to create and maintain goodwill,and to observe public opinion and advise top management.Middleton and Clarke (2001) state that to market public relations, product publicity;non- paidstories or brand mentions in the mass media can be used,to build credibility and make newsannouncements as well as to communicate with hard-to-reach audiences.There is a trendtowards an increase in public relations expenditure relative to advertising expenditure asorganizations become aware of the merits of a formal public relations programme.All mediaexposure achieved as editorial matter and other forms of influence achieved over targetgroups-customers and stakeholders.According to Duncan ( 2002),internal marketing, which is a form of public relations,is ofmajor importance when selling marketing programs to the employees whose support isneeded in order to make the program successful.In addition,to inform employees,to motivatethem and create buy-in is necessary to be successful.SALES PROMOTIONDuncan (2002) states that sales promotion is tangible incentives such as coupons ordiscounted prices to give sense of closeness and encourage behaviour.In addition, salespromotion is techniques primarily designed to stimulate consumer purchasing,dealer andsales-force effectiveness in the short-term through temporary incentives and displays.Middleton and Clarke (2001),define sales promotion within the hospitality industry with shortterm incentives offered as inducements to purchase,including temporary productaugmentation,which covers sales force and distribution network as well asconsumers.Further,sales promotion of tourism products means that marketing managers areconstantly distant with the need to manipulate demand in response to unexpected events aswell as the normal daily,weekly or seasonal fluctuations.furthermore,sales promotions areespecially suitable for such short-run demand adjustments and they are vital weapons in themarketing armoury of most travel and hospitality businesses. Moreover,concerning extraproducts offered is a value added incentive to purchase.TRADE SHOWS/EXHIBITIONSTrade shows can be recognized as periodic gatherings where manufacturers,suppliers,anddistributors in a particular industry display their products and provide information to potentialbuyers, to provide information, demonstrate and sample products ,as well as engaging in one-
to-one dialogue with current and potential customers (Duncan ,2002).According to Dwyerand Tanner (2002),trade shows are very cost effective ,bringing many buyers together with asales staff, buyers who often have not had any prior contact with the selling firm.Trade showsor exhibitions/shows and workshops plays an important role and is an alternative form ofdistribution and display for reaching retail,wholesale and consumer target groups ofconsumers.Furthermore,tradeshows, exhibitions/shows or workshops are important alternativeforms of distribution and display for reaching retail,wholesale and consumer target groups ofconsumers.THE INTERNETMiddleton and Clarke (2001) include web sites and links to other sites in the internet part.Tosell directly to the customer through the internet,providing customer –initiated marketing isknows as E-commerce (Duncan,2002).According to Czinkota and Ronkainen( 2001),having awebsite is seen as necessary for no other reason than building a positive image and lack of itmay convey a negative image.The website should be linked to the overall marketing strategyand not just be there for appearance‘s sake.The web page can further act as web forum, forcustomers to exchange news and views on the product, as it will build loyalty amongcustomers .According to Middleton and Clarke (2001),Internet is turning business upsidedown and inside out.It is fundamentally changing the way that companies operate and themost profound developments in travel and tourism in the last decade have been the impact ofchange in the capabilities and potential of the internet .If it is too soon to be certain to whatextent the internet will dominate hospitality marketing, it is at least clear that its impact willbe a major influence on nearly every aspect of services marketing.EVENTS AND SPONSORSHIPSAccording to Dwyer and Tanner (2002),events and sponsorships are highly targeted brandassociations that personally involve prospects, to help position a brand by associating it withcertain causes of activities .Furthermore,smith (2000) defines sponsorships is not hard todaysince every sports team, music concert and cultural program is using sponsoring as away tofinance their activities. The sponsoring company is of course hoping to get some goodpublicity out of sponsoring but problems may occur for the company if the activities they aresponsoring are failing or turning out in a less favourable way.PACKAGING
Packaging is one of the most innovative areas in modern marketing and since packaging playssuch a vital part on brand image and product identity,a coordinated communication programis of major importance. (kotler ,2000) According to Duncan (2002), both a container and acommunication medium gives a reminder message, Which is the last message,delivered at thepoint of sale.Furthermore, packaging is an important part of a brand‘s identity. A package isfirst of all a container and it also delivers a complex message a bout the product category andthe brands‘ selling point ,as well as the brand identity and image.POINT OF PURCHASE MATERIALS/MERCHANDISINGDuncan (2002) defines point of purchase as displays in the interior of stores where a productis sold, to serve as a brand reminder and motivate trial and extra purchases.Middleton andClarke (2001),define point of purchase materials as point of sale displays and merchandisingwithin the hospitality industry .In addition ,posters,window dressing,displays of brochuresand other materials both of regular and temporary incentive kind are included aswell.moreover,point of purchase is designed to stimulate consumer purchasing and dealer andsales-force effectiveness in the short-term,through temporary incentives anddisplays.According to Duncan (2002),merchandising is in store promotionalmaterials,activities and messages in store and create promotional ambiance.WORD OF MOUTHWord of mouth is seen as the most potential one-to-one communication in the communicationmix. A company can help the creation and spread of word of mouth.In addition,in times whena company is facing bad publicity and maybe also decreasing sales,publicity stunts,clevermailings,creative promotions,and challenging advertising can efficiently help turn this trendaround.(Wells et al,2000) According to Smith( 2000), people talk about organizations,theirproducts,services,and staff.Companies and their offerings are often sources ofconversation,Whether it is a complaint or admiration, and today it is not only the products orservices that are discussed but also their promotional efforts,such as television advertisements,special offers, and publicity stunts.CORPORATE IDENTITYAccording to Wells et al.(2000) corporate identity is used to signal a corporate image ofpersonality. The use of corporate identity as a tyoe of communication can be strategicallyused in order to enhance or maintain company reputation or establish a level of awareness of
the company‘s name and nature of business. In addition, some examples of corporate identityare the company name,its logo, and their nature of business.INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATION TOOLSIn order to describe and to get an extensive picture of the different marketing communicationtools that can be used in integrated marketing communication strategies, We will use aneclectic list,composed of all elements drawn from various sources.We will have our startingpoint in Aronsson and Tengling (2000) view that there are six different tools of outmostimportance to the tourist markete. These are also the most frequently used within thehospitality industry.These tools are further defined and complemented with six additionalmarketing communication tools that can be used,by smith et al.(2000),Dwyer and Tanner(2002), Middleton and Clarke (2001),Duncan (2002), Czinkota and Ronkaine (2001),Wells etal.(2001), Kotler (2000),ADVERTISINGAccording to middleton and clarke (2001), advertising is often seen as TV commercials,radiocommercials and print in magazines, newspapers, books and brochures.In addition,advertising is also seen as tourist boards, travel guides, telephone directory, third party andoutdoor advertising.DIRECT MARKETINGDwyer and tanner (2002) include direct mail,catalogue marketing, and telemarketing in thedirect marketing.PERSONAL SELLINGAccording to Wells et al.( 2000) Personal selling is direct sale contact face to face ortelephone sales.PUBLIC RELATIONSThe definition of public relations according to kotler (2000),Wells et al. (2000) and middleand clarke (2001),is that public relations are often seen as product publicities,pressrelations,internal communications,product placement,open houses and information packages.SALES PROMOTION
Middleton and Clarke( 2001) include items such as discounted prices and extra productoffered within the sales promotion.TRADE SHOWSTrade shows are according to Middleton and clarke (2001),usually composed by periodicgatherings with potential groups of buyers such as ,workshops and exhibitions.THE INTERNETMiddleton and Clarke (2001) define internet as communication through banners, chat roomsand booking on the internet.SPONSORSHIPSponsorship is a communication tool including sponsors to sports teams,Cultural programs and art according to Smith (2001).PACKAGINGAccording to kotler (2000),Packaging could include specific design and improvement ofpackaging.POINT OF PURCHASEMiddleton and Clarke (2001) include design and improvement of packaging,posters and othermaterials in purchase.WORD OF MOUTHAccording to Wells et al (2000) is word of mouth for example,messages spread via rumoursor friendly recommendations.CORPORATE IDENTITYAccording to Wells et al ( 2000),corporate identity advertising is communicated via thecompany name,logo, and their nature of business.Regarding the tools described in theprevious page,they can further be divided into clusters.We have earlier described one theory;the sources of messages according to wells et al.(2000) and we will use this theory due to itscapability to view a broad scope.In their theory Wells et al. (2000) divides the marketingcommunication tools into three different groups.
PLANNED (CONTROLLED)Advertising,sales promotions,public relations,Direct marketing,personal selling,point-of-purchase and merchandising materials, packaging, specialties, Events, Sponsorships,Customerservice, Internal marketing and Websites.UNPLANNED (UNCONTROLLED)Employee gossip, word of mouth, media investigations,Government Investigation, ConsumerGroups Investigations,Chat groups and Guerrilla sites.OFTEN UNCONSIDEREDFacilities,Services ,Distribution, Product Design, Product Performance and price.MARKETING COMMUNICATIONSPersonalisation is also viewed as being an integral element of internet marketingcommunications. From a branding perspective, online communication combines massmedia‘s reach with the personalisation inherent in two-way dialogue – previously onlypossible using personal promotion (Simmons, 2007). Consumers‘ perceived risk, as wellas being a critical i-branding factor in relation to understanding customers online, isattracting increasing interest from the marketing communications perspective. Rogers(1995), studying diffusion of innovation, noted how internet marketers providecommunications online in order to mediate consumer perceptions of risk. More recentwork by Andrews and Boyle (2008) also found that marketers can use communicationsonline to mediate consumer risk perceptions. Their findings suggest that consumersperceive online security technologies as being easily compromised. In this context itwas the reputation/branding efforts of businesses – through communications – thatwere critical.This brings the discussion back to Wilde et al. (2004), who examined dimensions ofreputation or brand image to measure e-tail (online) image. These are additionalattributes to institutional factors representing specific online attributes, withconsumers employing cognitive (thought/reasoning) evaluations to a greater extentthan affective (feeling/emotions) online (Da Silva and Alwi, 2006). Within this context,Rowley (2004) reveals that information and not image is the main branding currency in
online communication. It could be argued that the balance between the two will varybased upon the instrumental value of marketing communications for more functionalproduct/service offerings, or more hedonic immersive aspects for more experientialproduct/services (see Van Der Heijden and Verhagen, 2004).The rise of Web 2.0 facilitates non-linear communication, a free flow and exchange ofinformation and the opportunity for two-way flows between businesses and customersas well as between customers on a one-to-one or many-to-many basis (Phippen, 2004;Rowley, 2004; Pitta and Fowler, 2005). Traditional ―push‖ communications follow aMANAGING I-BRANDINGscripted flow within a one-to-many communication model, in which a single promotion issent by one source and seen by many recipients without the opportunity for immediatefeedback (Rowley, 2004). Simmons (2008) discusses social network marketing (SNM)opportunities with viral communications – positive and negative – taking place 24/7globally on social network web sites such as MySpace, and through the burgeoningblogosphere. Importantly communications derived from such SNM activities can beharnessed by marketers in creating positive brand equity (Simmons, 2008).INTERACTIVITYThe internet is based upon information and communication technologies that enableeasy and rapid interaction between customers and businesses (Hoffman and Novak,1996; Ha and James, 1998; Coyle and Thorson, 2001). Recent definitions ofinternet-related interactivity are focused on concepts such as active/user control,two-way communication and synchronicity (Liu and Shrum, 2002; McMillan and Hwang,2002). The meaning of interactivity in this paper is related to the creation of brand equityutilising the internet. This interactivity is viewed as critical in achieving the high levelsof perceived customer personalisation contended to be a critical influence on brandequity online (Marcolin et al., 2005; Ibeh et al., 2005). In achieving this personalisation andrelated opportunities to build brand equity, the issues of risk and trust online presentthemselves again. Research has revealed that the level of internet interactivity is directlyand positively correlated to consumer perceptions of trust (Merrilees and Fry, 2003;Sicilia et al., 2005; Wu and Chang, 2005; Canavan et al., 2007).Coyle and Thorson (2001) view interactivity from a mechanical perspective.Machine interactivity is the extent to which users can participate in modifying the formand content of a mediated environment
CHAPTER 33.0 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY3.1. IntroductionThis chapter explains in depth the methodology that was applied in this study in order thepurpose and objectives. The purpose of this study was to investigate the integrated marketingcommunication in three star hotels.As a result, this chapter expands on the nature of datacollection instruments and the sampling technique that was undertaken in order to collectinformation required and hence lead to deductions and conclusions about the topic of thestudy.3.2. Research design The study was descriptive survey in nature where the three star hotels in nairobi county were sampled out to represent the subjects of the sample. Quantitative data was collected using questionnaires with structured and unstructured questions.3.3. Study variablesThe study variables comprises of the independent and dependent variables.3.4. Area of study/location of the studyThe area of study is Nairobi county where three star hotels exists.3.5. Target populationIn order to collect the required data, the population for this study was defined as all three star hotels innairobi county.3.6. Sampling techniques and sample size In order to collect the quantitative primary data, questionnaire survey was used. Simple random sampling was selected for the purpose of this study. This technique was used in sampling and selecting the number of hotels that were considered as subjects of study sample.
3.7. Research instrumentIn order to address the objectives and purpose of this study, primary data was collected. Thequantitative data was collected by use of questionnaires with both structured and unstructuredquestions. For this study, researcher administered questionnaires were used in order to collectcomprehensive data that was required to necessitate for data analysis and deduce conclusionsregarding the investigation at hand. The questionnaires had two sections. Section A was designed tocollect the basic information of the region as well as the information regarding the variables of thestudy. Section B composed of bio-data that was required for classification purposes. The researchinstrument is captured in the appendix 1.3.8. Validity and reliabilityThe questionnaire was validated through the establishment of content validity technique. In this case,the researcher established content validity by going through the research instrument severally withthe research supervisor as well as seeking advices regarding the development and revising of theinstrument.3.9. Data analysisFilled questionnaires from the sample subjects were coded and data analyzed by use of means andpercentages. Descriptive statistical methods were used to solve and handle the issue at hand.Interpretations were made and presentations done in different graphs such as column charts, piecharts, and bar graphs.
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