Traditionally, the concept of marketing was developed with the aim of selling tangible products. This could be done by beautiful displays of products and giving free samples to customers. Today, the tremendous growth of service industry has made a radical shift from physical marketing to service marketing. MGM Grand Hotel and Casino has developed a service culture which aims at serving and satisfying customers. For an effective accomplishment of this task, hotel provides employees with tools and support that enable them to deliver an outstanding service. In this regard, it is concerned with intangibility, inseparability, variability, and perishability and has inculcated them in its website to attract and retain customers.
MGM Grand Hotel and Casino’s website tangibilize their products by using and explaining images of the products and services to customers. For example, it shows the image of Petite King Hotel with its bathroom and floor plan. The image enables customers to see their bedroom’s clean design with king-size beds, flat screen TV sets, and DVD players. Its bathroom with a large mirror and supremely “large tiled shower with shower head and wand” (Petite King, 2012) is shown in the website, as well. This makes customers have a feel of what the hotel offers and use its services.
Characteristics of Service Marketing
The hotel recognizes that customers judge the quality of services not only on physical quality but also on service quality. The website manages its marketing by differentiating their services, offering service with high quality while keeping in mind its perishability.
The hotel has realized that customers care more on price than the provider when competitors provide the same quality of services; therefore, it has reduced the prices by certain percentages, so as to attract and retain more customers. In its “Entertainment starts here!” promotion (MGM Grand, 2012), for example, the hotel offers room rates with 20% off prices – a much smaller rate than that offered by competitors. It ensures the low prices specifically target their market segments. For instance, they offer low prices at certain dates during the summer when they expect few customers. This encourages customers to use their products.
The hotel implements innovative features that distinguish it from the rest. It has installed flat screen TVs in its bedrooms and embedded them with bathroom mirrors. This ensures that customers are up to date with news even when taking a bath in the bathrooms.
The hotel has adopted a self-service strategy to increase customer satisfaction. It has provided a customer interface in its website that enables customers to book for products and services online. Customers can confirm their reservations through the same website to make sure of their reservations. Moreover, the hotel allows customers to witness how it prepares their meals and serve themselves refreshments, besides sandwiches and salads.
During off seasons, the hotel offers specials to attract the limited number of customers. Currently they offer programs, as follows: “MGM 5 day sale”, ”Entertainment starts here”, “MGM national finals rodeo 2012”, “The ultimate Vegas experience”, and “Walter’s golf exclusive offer” (MGM Grand, 2012). The program “Entertainment starts here” provides customers with a 20% off price for a room while “MGM 5 day sale” provides customers with 25% off price for a room and a $75 food and beverage offer. “MGM national finals rodeo 2012” offers two complementary buffets and Crown Royal Black drinks, and “Walter’s golf exclusive offer” provides customers with a variety of discounts on golf services.
Hospitality and tourism industry should not only implement marketing strategies that target their physical products, but also their services. This is done by implementing service marketing aimed at serving and satisfying customers. MGM Grand Hotel and Casino manages to implement this strategy successfully by offering specials during low seasons, allowing customers to book for products and services online, and continuously innovating.