Sample Marketing Term Paper on Westgate Resorts
Established in 1982, Westgate Resorts is one of the largest privately held corporations in Central Florida that involved in the sale of timeshare. The company is under the ownership of Central Florida Investment Inc, a real estate development company, led by David Siegel (Hasen 167). The company provides essential functions of timeshare development, which include sales, marketing, resort development and design, mortgage servicing mortgage collection, resort operations, and management. For more than three decades of its operations, the company has experienced the services of senior management in timeshare development, management, and marketing. By the end of 2016, the company had 9,200 employees and it has maintained its position as the largest timeshare company when measured in terms of interval sales (Sehlinger 182).
The company considers the provision of timeshare as its core business mandate. As one of the largest vacation ownership companies, Westgate operates about 20 full service resorts, which have more than 31,000 rooms. These resorts are designed to meet diverse needs of the customers. Through its market research initiatives, Westgate has been able to diversify its products such that they are in accordance with the dynamic nature of the market, which is characterized by changes in seasonal demands among customers. The company also operates on the understanding that in order to satisfy these needs that it must always operate according the prevailing economic situation in the market before making its sales. This is considered as a technique of developing and sustaining a competitive advantage in the fragile and risky timeshare industry. Through its products, by the end of the 2016 financial year, the company was able to service about $1.3 billion of timeshare mortgage loans (Sehlinger 182).
The operations of the company are defined by serving mortgage loans for timeshare owners. The company maintains about 200 collection and person-servicing department. This department uses proactive collection philosophy in the mitigation of delinquencies in the portfolio. Westgate’s main collection center is in Florida and a secondary collection center in Tennessee. Through its service collection policy, the company has been able to maximize organizational cash flow while assisting customers in the management of their loan accounts (Hasen 167). The company uses a progressive letter and controlled call campaigns throughout various stages of delinquency in managing all past due accounts. For new timeshare owners, the company contacts them through the servicer’s owners quality assurance division after purchasing a timeshare unit. Customer perception of value plays an important role in the determination of the timeshare loans (Hasen 168). This explains why in its sales the company embraces value based pricing strategy, which is aimed at matching the value of product as perceived by the customers. This pricing strategy helps in improving customer loyalty to the company.
Westgate employs a variety of marketing methodologies to prospective customers. The company considers marketing as an important aspect in its growth and its ability to attract customers and this explains why it uses tours of the resorts and sales presentations. Typically, sales presentations include providing complimentary breakfast or lunch at its onsite sales centers, explanations of the amenities and resorts, tours of the model units. The company also employs varieties of marketing strategies in the generation of leads (Sehlinger 183). The goal of each marketing strategy is to ensure that the sales staffs are in direct contact with the prospective customers. Licensed sales personnel conduct sales at resorts and receive their compensation based on commission. The company also uses telemarketing, internet marketing through social networking sites and call centers, owner referrals and on property marketing to Westgate owners. This means that through advertising on social media, word of mouth, and onsite sales, the company has been able to integrate numerous promotional techniques, which are crucial in enhancing its competitive advantage. The company considers high quality customer services as an essential marketing tool. The company has more than 200 employees in the customer service department. These personnel are responsible for handling customer inquiries and managing email campaigns that remind customers of a pending week. Through its customer management software that allows for automatic routing for email inquired, customers are directed to the most appropriate department to enhance timely response (Sehlinger 183). The company also maintains a website, which allows easy access of mortgages, maintenance of tax accounts and making of payments. The company’s website also plays the role of a learning center through its multilingual functionality.
As one of the largest vacation ownership companies, Westgate operates more than 20 full service resorts that are fitted with more than 13,000 rooms. These resorts are strategically located in Las Vegas, Florida, Nevada, Utah, South Carolina, Orlando, Missouri, and Miami. The company has been in the process of expanding its operations in the United States and this explains why in 2014, it acquired the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel and Casino and rebranded it as Westgate Las Vegas Hilton Hotel and casino. Following the acquisition, Westgate envisions to attract more customers by converting of the rooms to luxury timeshare villas in accordance with customer demands, while operating the casino and hotel (Sehlinger 183-184). Each resort is under the management of a property owners’ association, which is responsible for the management and maintenance of all accommodation responsibilities as dictated by the timeshare plan.
Marketing related insights acquired
The main objective of nay marketing strategy developed by a company such as Westgate is to maintain a competitive advantage, which is crucial in expanding its market share, customer base and improving on the profit margin. Customer loyalty to a brand is also critical in the realization of organizational objectives. This explains why irrespective of the promotional strategy that a company employs customer service takes precedence. This is because it is through customer service that a company interacts with its customers by responding to their feedbacks. Whether online or onsite, the quality of customer services will determine the success of the promotional campaigns employed by a company (Chandrasekar 8). This is because through high quality customer services, potential customers can access the products or services by a company based on customer referrals.
Customer referrals and improved competitive advantage is considered effective when other factors such as the product, price, and place are in accordance with customer expectations. Customers are often willing to pay higher prices for high quality products. When a company embraces the value pricing strategy the objective is often to provide customers with products whose prices are based on perceived value for money. Strategies positioning of a product also determines customer preference (Chandrasekar 8). For a company such as Westgate, its resorts are positioned in varieties of areas to provide customers with diversity when choosing their preferred destination. This is because customers have diverse and highly dynamic needs that can be addressed through the provision of variety and strategic positioning.
Chandrasekar, K S. Marketing Management: Text and Cases. New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill,
Hasen, Richard L. Remedies. New York : Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, 2017.
Sehlinger, Bob. The Unofficial Guide to Las Vegas 2016. , 2015.