VIRTUAL EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING AT dl.uncw.edu/Etd/2010-3/thomsonh/ VIRTUAL EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING AT...

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  • VIRTUAL EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING AT MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC.:

    AN EXAMINATION OF EFFECTS ON CONSUMER PURCHASE INTENTIONS

    Heather Nicole Thomson

    A Thesis Submitted to the

    University of North Carolina Wilmington in Partial Fulfillment

    of the Requirements for the Degree of

    Master of Business Administration

    Cameron School of Business

    University of North Carolina Wilmington

    2010

    Approved by

    Advisory Committee

    Luisa Andreu Martina G. Gallarza

    Maria Jose Miquel Vince Howe

    Chair

    Accepted by

    _____________________________

    Dean, Graduate School

  • ii

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    ABSTRACT .............................................................................................................................. iv

    LIST OF TABLES ...................................................................................................................... v

    LIST OF FIGURES ................................................................................................................... vi

    CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................. 1

    I.1. Justification of the Selected Topic .................................................................................. 1

    I.1.1. Academic Justification .............................................................................................. 1

    I.1.2. Managerial and Socioeconomic Justification ............................................................. 2

    I.2. General Objective and Specific Objectives ...................................................................... 3

    I.3. Methodology .................................................................................................................. 3

    I.4. Framework ..................................................................................................................... 4

    CHAPTER II. LITERATURE REVIEW .................................................................................... 7

    II.1. Experiential Marketing: A Postmodern Approach ......................................................... 7

    II.1.1. Definition ................................................................................................................ 9

    II.1.2. Physical Brand Environments ................................................................................ 12

    II.1.3. Experiential Event Marketing ................................................................................ 12

    II.1.4. Experiential Retailing ............................................................................................ 14

    II.1.5. Virtual Brand Environments ................................................................................... 16

    II.2. The Customer Experience Creation Process ................................................................. 17

    II.2.1. The Goal: Deliver Experiential Value ..................................................................... 18

    II.2.2. Pre-Consumption and Purchase Intentions .............................................................. 19

    II.2.3. Moment of Truth, Quality of Experience, and Satisfaction ..................................... 20

    II.2.4. Post-Consumption and Brand Loyalty .................................................................... 21

    II.3. Tourism Marketing: Marketing Experiences vs. Experiential Marketing ...................... 23

    II.3.1. Marketing a Total Experience ................................................................................ 23

    II.3.2. Offering Experiences.............................................................................................. 24

    II.3.3. Creating Hotel Experiences to Build Brand Value ................................................. 26

    CHAPTER III. APPLICATION TO MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC. ........................... 28

    III.1. General Description of Marriott International, Inc. ..................................................... 28

    III.1.1. SWOT Analysis .................................................................................................... 29

  • iii

    III.2. Experiential Marketing in Marriott: Incorporating Exp. Mktg. into Tourism Mktg. ..... 36

    III.2.1. Experiential Offerings ........................................................................................... 38

    III.2.2. Experiential Marketing Campaigns ....................................................................... 39

    III.2.3. Virtual Experiential Platforms ............................................................................... 40

    III.3. Proposal for Improvement in Marriott ......................................................................... 41

    CHAPTER IV. PROPOSAL ..................................................................................................... 44

    IV.1. Objectives of Specific Proposal in Marriott................................................................. 44

    IV.2. Basis for Empirical Research ...................................................................................... 44

    IV.2.1. Schmitt‟s Strategic Experiential Models ............................................................... 45

    IV.2.2. Experiential Value ................................................................................................ 48

    IV.3. Hypotheses ................................................................................................................. 48

    IV.3.1. Experiential Marketing and Experiential Value ..................................................... 48

    IV.3.2. Experiential Value and Purchase Intentions .......................................................... 50

    IV.4. Methodology .............................................................................................................. 51

    IV.4.1. Survey Development ............................................................................................ 51

    IV.4.2. Data Collection ..................................................................................................... 53

    IV.4.3. Statistical Analysis ............................................................................................... 54

    IV.4.4. Results .................................................................................................................. 56

    CHAPTER V. CONCLUSION ................................................................................................. 67

    V.1. Discussion of Results ................................................................................................... 67

    V.2. Managerial Implications .............................................................................................. 69

    V.3. Limitations .................................................................................................................. 72

    V.4. Areas for Further Research .......................................................................................... 72

    REFERENCES ......................................................................................................................... 75

    APPENDIX .............................................................................................................................. 80

  • iv

    ABSTRACT

    The following Master Thesis explores the effects of experiential marketing on consumer

    purchase intentions through perceived experiential value. The research application focuses on the

    hospitality and lodging company, Marriott International, Inc. The Master Thesis is divided into 5

    main sections. Firstly, we highlight in the introduction the interest to study this topic, as well as

    general and specific objectives of the study. Section 2 focuses on a review of the literature

    related to experiential marketing, highlighting the customer experience creation process and

    experiential marketing as it relates to tourism marketing. Section 3 is an application of the

    literature to an international lodging company, Marriott International, Inc. It is proposed that

    based on the literature review and analysis of the company, virtual experiential marketing can

    provide benefits such as providing added value and enticing positive purchase decisions. Section

    4 consists of the survey-based methodology of the study to test this proposal to be able to

    provide recommendations to business managers. This section includes the data analysis and

    results of the applied empirical research exploring the relationship among virtual experiential

    marketing, experiential value, and purchase intentions. The concluding section provides a

    discussion of the results as well as managerial implications for Marriott International, Inc. and

    other lodging companies. On the basis of the previous work it can be concluded that virtual

    experiential mar