This study has attempted to explain the emergence and importance of strategic marketing planning through reference to theorists important to the subject and by an examination of current business practice in Sheraton hotel (LaBonte pp.33-7. ).
The study has shown that approaches to the planning process would seem to place Sheraton at one end of а continuum with its integrated approach to ten year planning and Penta at the other end with no formalized long term planning. The study has not examined the success rates of the different planning approaches in terms of profits, share price or achieved return on investment, however, it has provided the basis for further work in this area (Knox pp.105-15. ).
In his study, ‘Structure and Strategy; Two Sides of Success’, Jeffrey Schaffer (1986) refers to the hospitality industry as а ‘hostile marketing environment, а fragmented market characterized by low shares and many operators’. After analyzing more than one hundred organizations in the lodging industry (Katzenbach pp.34-8), he identified strategic archetypes of: defender, prospector, and analyzer/innovator and analyzer/price leader. These types can be identified in the case study comparison. Penta’s defender strategy can be gauged from the emphasis of the board on operating efficiency and quality control without high prices. The prospector type organizations such as Sheraton utilize broad base strategic planning to experiment and respond to emerging trends. Hotels such as Sheraton systematically develop and add new products in order to maintain or increase demand for their units (Box pp.370-87. ).
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