7 Psof Marketing Mix at Melco Crown Entertainment in Macau
Melco Crown Entertainment (MCE) is one of the iconic venues in Macauthat offers a wide range of services and products in entertainment.The hotel has enjoyed massive success in Macau as global tourismdestination mainly attracting businessmen and casino lovers. Theestablishment applies the 7ps marketing in a unique way as discussedin the paper.
The applicationof 7ps of marketing at MCE
In terms of the product, the establishment offers casino gamingfacilities to premium layers. The establishment also providesaccommodation facilities that are differentiated to serve differentcustomer needs. At the moment, the hotel has 33 villas, 21 crownsuites open to the market, crystal suites with those that comprise oftwo bedrooms being reserved for premium players. The presidentialvilla, which comprises of three bedrooms, is exclusive to premiumplayers only. The hotel also provides unique services to clientsincluding customer service, room service, and butler service. Thehotel also offers limousine and cab services to resident clients andpick up from the airport (MCE 2016).
The hotel is located at the city of dreams property at the CotaiStrip in Macau. The hotel is thus located in an ideal market that hasa huge gambling industry. This means that the establishment has ahuge inflow and constant stream of clients that can access the hotelthrough various ways. The location is also favored by proximity tomainland China and other East Asia giants that have in the recentpast been posting growth in the middle class and wealthy in theirrespective societies.
The hotel has embarked on popularizing and promoting theestablishment in the market both locally and internationally. Thefacility has employed different marketing communication methods suchas integrated messages about the establishment. Personal promotion isalso enhanced through personal relations with clients and customizedservices, more so, to returning clients. Banded merchandise andbranded gifts to clients are used as a way of promoting the brand.Other value added services are also employed to promote the hotel asa brand in the market.
The pricing in the market is determined by the positioning in themarket. As a premium and high end hotel-casino, MCE is able to chargepremium prices for premium services. There are price lists forvarious products and services offered at the hotel that are providedon site and even through third party booking sites. The firmsprovides credit facilities to premium clients who can be billedlater. Furthermore, the hotel offers special discounts either todeserving clients or on special occasions such as Chinese New Yearcelebrations. Value added services such as free internet and butlerservices are included as price mark ups. Other value-added servicescome at cost such as souvenirs for sale.
As an organization that offers high end services, Melco has taken asensible approach in training employees and developing a uniqueculture and organizational ethics that aid in delivering the hotel’skey product. Employees including butlers, chauffeurs and front officestaff are well trained in order to deliver the core product,employees are well remunerated and stringent recruitment practicesare employed in order to attract and retain the best talents in themarket.
The hotel seeks to provide customer focused services and products.All aspects of the hotel’s operations including ambience, finedining, gaming, accommodation, and exquisite shopping experience areall geared towards ensuring satisfaction for the broad range ofconsumers. The provision of these goods and services is supported bya strong IT infrastructure that includes among others instantelectronic gaming, online booking and provision of wi-fi and othertechnological supports for clients. The hotel has also investedheavily in research and development to drive innovative products andservices.
MCE is not just a hotel casino in Macau but rather an icon in thegambling island. The building itself in the city of dreams comprisesof a brand on its own. The building is one of its kind in the region.The House of Dancing Water, an over HK$2 billion investment, is aworld beater and a must see attraction for visitors to Macau. Thebrand of Melco is also visible beyond the building through anintegrated marketing approach that creates the hotels presence onlineand through hosting important fairs. The hotel s merchandise, premiumshopping outlets and even the ambience of the hotel all carry thesame message that MCE is unique premium hotel and gaming outlet.
Criticalevaluation of 7Ps at MCE
Product in this case refers goods and services that MCE provides tothe clients. They include physical goods and service experiences. Indeveloping a product, the marketing arm of a firm will have to makecertain decisions such as: developing brand name, conceiving thefunctionality of the product/service, packaging, ensuring quality andstyling the product (Barsky & Maier 2015). MCE has retained itsglobal brand name that is associated with quality and superiorservice. This implies that customers can expect a standardized levelof service during their first and subsequent services. The serviceand product offering provided at MCE is also superior to that offeredby the competition. Therefore, in conceptualizing the product,services and other value-added services, the product that will beeasy to move in the market and also meet identified market needs(Constantinides, 2006). In this case, MCE has conceived awell-rounded product offering for the gaming market.
Price is one of themost influential factors for consumers in making decisions. For thehighly price sensitive, price may deter purchase decisions butpremium shoppers are willing to pay higher for premium services.Therefore, the pricing of the product should be strategically setthat it will encourage demand and at the same time ensure thatclients get the value of their money. MCE targets the premium gamingmarket and provides premium service at a premium price. In settingthe price, marketers have to consider the pricing strategy for newproducts in the market, price flexibility, seasonal pricing, pricediscrimination and recommended retail price. For instance, MCE hasseasonal offers with special discounts.
Once products are designed produced and priced, it is the role ofmarketing arm of an organization to develop distribution channels toenable the customer to have access to them. Some products/servicesare consumed at point of production such as customer service, gamingexperience and accommodation. Unlike the conventional manufacturingindustry, products and services for MCE are produced and consumed onsite hence a simplified distribution network. Where products have tobe moved from the point of production to places accessible toconsumers, then there is need for efficient reverse logisticswarehousing and inventory management. Firms will strive to locatetheir production units near their markets to minimize distributioncosts (Baker & Hart, 2007). Nonetheless, MCE might be liable todevelop proper distribution channels that ensure that the hotel cantarget the international market and create awareness and seek ways ofdelivering a unique experience to clients according to their needs.Premium services, for instance, are targeted at premium players andthus the delivery of services for such a clientele has to match theprice and the larger MCE experience.
Promotion according is simply communicating about the product to themarket in anticipation of a positive response from the customers.Promotion has first to identify the potential market and draft aneffective message about the product. For MCE, there is need to makethe brand known globally given that Macau is a global touristdestination that attars high-end casino enthusiasts as well asbusinessmen. Promotion also entails deciding of the best form ofadvertising, sales promotions, public relations opportunities anddeveloping a marketing communication budget. Some companies may relyon huge advertising budgets on radio and TV while others may approachthe issue differently such as through product placements and onlineadvertising. In the case of MCE, the approach has mainly involvedmerchandise branding, conventional advertising, word of mouth andpublicity gained from holding special events. For instance the launchof the House of Dancing Water in September 2010 was highly publicizedon different media outlets and helped the venue in to sell out eversince. Nonetheless, it is important to communicate the same messagethrough all promotion channels used.
In the service industry and especially the hospitality industry,businesses practices should be about the manner in which a service isdelivered to the end consumer. For hotels such as MCE, best serveprocess “gives clients the product in minimal time, deliveroptimally without loss in quality”(Gayol p. 200) Such an approachis evident in how the firm has designed the organizational processesto meet customer needs. MCE has taken to embracing innovation indifferent ways. This is evident in the development of new productsorganizational processes. For the service industry, there is need tointegrate the marketing process in all aspects of the servicedelivery to create the desired experience. As for matters internal,MCE has embraced technology in running internal affairs. Forinstance, the firm runs an integrated payroll management softwarethat allows the parent firm to manage employees from the over 32establishments globally from one point. This not only increasesconvenience, supports better remuneration for employees and promotesemployees satisfaction which goes a long way in improving customeremployee satisfaction, commitment and moral and in turn the positiveexperience is extended to visitors at the hotel
The serviceindustry still has a few tangible product offering in nature. Thisincludes the design of building, lighting, sitting arrangements, foodserved etc. In designing its outlet, MCE took great care in makingthe large hotel to be convenient to visitors and also convenient todelivering the required services. This is evident in the layout ofthe hotel and even the manner in which employees are trained todeliver services to the visitors. The building itself is large butwell organized. The shopping area of the hotel, the gaming area,accommodation areas and the different bars and gaming casino are allwell differentiated within the same place as a way of extendingproduct line and diversifying to meet client needs. Clients can alsofind their way easily through the hotel with labels and signage indifferent languages guiding both the employees and staff. Forinstance fire exit points are all well labeled and employees aredressed in beautiful and well marinated staff uniforms with name tagsto differentiate employees from clients.
In the serviceindustry, the product offering is largely intertwined with the peopleelement. In the case of MCE, a strong organizational culture is usedin promoting a certain way of relating with customers. The firms hastaken to engraving relationship marketing through its employees wherereturns customers can be addressed by name and even premium playersengaged in –on-the-house discounts. This allows the customers tofeel at home far away from home and feel that they can trust andrelate with people offering the services. Maintaining proper workingrelationships between high level employees and lower level employeesis important in empowering employees. Employees should be welltrained and empowered to make decisions within reason. This way,employees are ready to invest their emotions in service deliverywhich may be very necessary in certain circumstances such as handlingemployees complaints (Shani, Uriely, Reichel & Grinsburg 2015)
From the analysisabove, it is clear that MCE has capitalized on the psychology ofmarketing the marketing mix. The whole idea do the casino industry sto target big spenders and MCE has gone out of its way to beatcompetition by offering diverse ways that a wide range of customerscan feel at the top of the world. The hotel has developed a uniquework ethic and approach to offering exquisite services that isevident starting from the building design to the ambience and thelarger design layout. At the same time, the firm had does well tocapitalize the emotional appeal or premium services. In fact, asstated by one study by Barsky and Maier (2015), casino visitors arenot mainly interested in winning or losing but rather the casinoexperience. MCE has thus gone head and offered more than just thecasino experience to beat competition. The firm positions itself asthe industry leader and the best entertainment spot in the Citaistrip.
At the same time, there are some areas that the firm address informed by research. The hotel should change the slogan. Currently, the hotel uses the slogan “your wining hand” to market its brand. As has already been indicated by Barsky, J. &Maier, T. (2015), casino customers are just interested in the casino experience that is offered by the many casinos in Macau. As such, the slogan for MCE should seek to highlight something beyond what every other casino in Macau offers. It is suggested that the slogan should highlight the all-round entertainment that the hotel has to offer.
There is for better employee empowerment. This should be cultivated through hotel’s work ethics, culture and training. Employee empowerment in the hospitality industry should large seek to empower employee to make crucial decisions on their own to avoid delays in service delivery. Baker and Hart, (2007) indicate that the strong power distance in East Asian countries according to Geertf Hofstede’s cultural dimensions may limit this move. However, it is recommended that the hotel should avoid excessive cross-country-rotations of employees to avoid cultural disruption at MCE given that majority of customers at MCE are from mainland China and as such, may not be accustomed to low power distance experience in western countries where Melco has operations in such as Australia.
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