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Title: The practice of relationship marketing in hotels
Author: Osman, Hanaa
ISNI:       0000 0001 3460 6850
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2001
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In relationship marketing most research has focused on the desired outcome without paying much attention to its essential constituents. In acknowledgment, this research explored the key dimensions necessary for the implementation of a relationship marketing strategy. A number of key dimensions of relationship marketing were identified in this research, amongst which are market segmentation, organisational memory, organisational culture, role model, relationship management, service customisation, trust and commitment. This research employed a qualitative case study approach in order to explore the activities involved in the implementation of relationship marketing in hotel groups and to gain a better understanding of the approaches taken by hotels to build, develop and maintain long term customer relationships. The issues underpinning this research were investigated in a mid-market hotel company located in the United Kingdom with softer and harder brand hotel groups. Multiple research methods included participant and non-participant observations, in-depth qualitative interviews with hotel managers and the company's marketing director and qualitative interviews with a number of the company's customers to ensure reliability of the data collected. The data gathered from the research methods was analysed using ethnographic techniques. Key findings from this research indicated that a relationship marketing strategy depends on an organisational culture that is relationship orientated, an organisational memory that involves a database system and staff memory, service customisation, managers as role models, trust and commitment. However, customer loyalty and relationship marketing are not necessarily linked as a transactional approach to marketing can also achieve high brand loyalty, if products are differentiated. Customers can have an emotional tie with a hotel brand without the implementation of an interactive approach. Furthermore, in the case of a softer brand hotel group, customers tend to develop a stronger relationship with the individual hotels than with the brand as opposed to in a harder brand hotel group where customers develop a stronger relationship with the brand than with the individual hotel units. To conclude, this research suggests that a transactional approach to marketing can be equally effective in achieving high brand loyalty and that relationship marketing should only be directed to current and potential profitable customers.
Supervisor: Hemmington, Nigel ; Bowie, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Customer loyalty ; Database marketing