First of all, I would like to say thanks to the almighty God who has provided me enough knowledge, understanding, and wisdom to accomplish this research work. Secondly, my cordial love and honor are for my parents who have been supporting me from my childhood with their finance, guidance and suggestion. Most impotently I will thank my honorable father who has funded all of my tuition fees and living and accommodation costs in the UK during my study periods. Then, I wish to say thank you to my supervisor, who guided me a lot with this effective feedbacks, suggestions and recommendation and helped me a lot to complete this thesis. Finally, lots of thanks to all of the participants who contributed to the survey and interview by providing their valuable opinions and information.
This research will assess social media as a marketing tool and its impact and efficiency on brand awareness in the perception of the organization (such as Holiday Inn) in the UK hospitability industry.
This study formulates methodologies following the “Research Onion” model. This study follows pragmatism philosophy. This study applies an explanatory design. In this study, the researcher used an abductive approach. Both secondary and primary data sources are used by the researcher in this research. Both qualitative, as well as quantitative approaches, are applied. This study develops two different questionnaires- one for a survey and the other one is for an interview. The interview was conducted on 5 management people of Holiday Inn. The survey conducted 100 customer samples. The researcher applies MS Excel Sheet and SPSS application to analyze quantitative data. Then, for analyzing qualitative data, this study uses thematic and content analysis techniques
The research finding discloses that there were 87% of participants responded actively to the survey questionnaire. On average 78% of respondents in the survey said the key factors that influence them towards a brand like Holiday Inn are products and service quality, price and cost of services and products, privacy and security, location and environment. Then, the majority numbers of respondents (65%) are influenced by social media marketing. Although the customers like other marketing channels along with social media marketing, the growth trend of social media marketing are increasing day by day. Then, 68% of total respondents believe social media marketing is more influential than other marketing channels. Then, an average of 65% of respondents is influenced by a number of characteristics of social media marketing including privacy and security issues, followers feedback, interactive communication, visual and video content, and information. Then, the majority number of participants (55%) said the social media marketing campaigns provided by Holiday Inn are effective, but 45% of respondents said these are not effective. Next, the majority number (60%) of respondents said the social media marketing provided by Holiday Inn is influential. However, 40% of respondents disagree with this statement.
Therefore, the study suggests the Holiday Inn take more initiatives to promote its social media marketing campaigns to attract a wider range of customer segments and improve brand awareness among the target customers.
Chapter 1: Introduction
Improving brand awareness among the target customers has been a challenging issue for organizations in the current business world (Kotler et a., 2014). Additionally, the continuous development of social media marketing, mostly social media advertising, has been playing a significant contribution in customer buying behavior and brand awareness among the customers (Palmer, 2016). As Blackwell and Engel (2015) note, for influencing customer buying behavior and improving awareness about the brand, social media advertising has an important impact. However, Aaker (2014) stated that lots of companies could not identify the accurate use of social media advertising for influencing customer buying behavior and increasing brand awareness among the customers. Therefore, it has been a vital factor for marketers to assess the efficiency of social media as an advertising tool on the customers buying decisions and brand awareness. Consequently, this study performs an analysis on social media advertising as well as its efficiency on brand awareness among the customers.
This chapter outlines an overview of this research work. Firstly, the research background has been described in this chapter. After that, research problems have been summarized. Then, the research rationale has been described. Pursuing this, the research objectives and aims have been discussed. Next, the research questions have been listed. Last, of all, the research structure has been developed following the chapter conclusion.
For hospitability organizations such as Holiday Inn, achieving expected brand awareness among the customers has been a demanding factor. Brand awareness refers to the customer recognition of the availability and existence of products and services of a company (Palmer, 2016). Brand awareness is the most significant metric which helps marketers to achieve higher revenue and market share and evaluate the impact of advertising efficiency including marketing activities and branding plans (Kotler et al., 2014). Then, the continuous development of social media advertising is attracting more marketers than ever before to develop brand awareness among the target and potential customers. As Blackwell and Engel (2015) note, social media as an advertising tool is capable to follow a company’s web page and draw the attention of the target consumers that help to maximize the organization’s brand awareness. On the other hand, in the competitive and challenging market atmosphere, lots of marketers (such as Holiday Inn) have a vague idea about the impact and efficiency of social media advertising on brand awareness (Makkar, 2011).
The Holiday Inn is recognized as a 4-star hotel across London. The Holiday Inn is applying many social media advertising tools to draw the attention of its target consumers as well as develop brand awareness. However, the extremely dynamic and challenging market with aggressive competitors is significantly affecting the performance and market share of Holiday Inn that is affecting its brand image. Therefore, it has been an important factor for the Holiday Inn to assess the impact and efficiency of social media as an advertising tool on brand awareness (Holiday Inn Annual Report, 2016). Consequently, this study performs research on social media advertising and its efficiency on brand awareness in the viewpoint of Holiday Inn. Next, the study recommends Holiday Inn on how it can efficiently apply social media as an advertising instrument to attract a wider number of consumers and develop brand awareness.
1.2 Problem Statement
The marketers and business organizations have been evaluating and assessing the significance of brand awareness for ages and have agreed about the rational use of brand awareness to improve market share, revenue and profit (Moore, 2016). Therefore, marketers and business organizations have been applying several marketing tools to increase their brand awareness among their target and potential customers (Saratovsky and Feldmann, 2015). Among the different marketing tools, social media as a marketing technique has been playing a significant role in the current business world, most importantly in the UK hospitability industry (Dapko and Artis, 2014, Padgett et al., 2014). Holiday Inn has been using this marketing tool for a long time and trying its best to gain the highest opportunity from social media marketing to improve its market share, customer attraction and brand awareness.
However, the hospitality industry including Holiday Inn has been facing challenges to achieve its targets. The key challenges are coming from the aggressive competitors and their increased brand image (Holiday Inn Annual Report, 2016). In addition, the rapid development and changes in technology and the use of digital marketing are giving significant pressure on marketers in the UK hospitability industry (Rajko, 2015). On the other hand, the use of social media (such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube) sometimes affects the company’s brand images. This is because a negative comment or bad experiences from a customer on social media may spread out thousands of customers within a minute that may be greatly harmful to the business and its brand image and can de-motivate the target customers towards the brand (Padgett et al., 2015. In addition, it is cost-effective to launch applications that suit social media platforms such as smartphones. If the hoteliers failed to launch the right application, their social media marketing (mainly through mobile devices like smartphones and tablets) will not be effective to attract the target people (PCMA, 2013). According to Scott (2016), reputation management and growing global safety and security are now big issues in the use of social media as a marketing tool for the hospitability industry in the UK. Therefore, it has been an issue for the marketers in the hospitability industry to investigate the effectiveness of social media as a marketing tool to improve brand awareness among the customers………….