how Les Citadines can use IMC

How Les Citadines can use IMC

Table of Contents TOC o “1-3” h z u Table of Contents PAGEREF _Toc166051480 h 1

Introduction PAGEREF _Toc166051481 h 2

Research Topic PAGEREF _Toc166051482 h 4

Business Question PAGEREF _Toc166051483 h 4

Aim PAGEREF _Toc166051484 h 4

Objectives PAGEREF _Toc166051485 h 4

Literature Review PAGEREF _Toc166051486 h 5

1.SWOT Analysis PAGEREF _Toc166051487 h 5

2.Analyze of competitor PAGEREF _Toc166051488 h 6

3.Competitive advantage PAGEREF _Toc166051489 h 7

4.Suggestion for action plan PAGEREF _Toc166051490 h 9

The Ansoff Matrix PAGEREF _Toc166051491 h 9

Research Methodology PAGEREF _Toc166051492 h 10

1.Introduction PAGEREF _Toc166051493 h 10

2.Data Collection PAGEREF _Toc166051494 h 10

3.Data Analysis PAGEREF _Toc166051495 h 12

4.Reliability and Validity PAGEREF _Toc166051496 h 12

5.Limitations PAGEREF _Toc166051497 h 12

Gantt Chart PAGEREF _Toc166051498 h 13

References PAGEREF _Toc166051499 h 14

IntroductionParis, which is considered to be one of the most popular tourist destination in the world has been indicated to have a shortage of private rental apartment as a consequence of the housing crisis facing the city and its environs (Schofield, 2005; Ball, 2002; Gottlieb; Gottlieb, 1950).OEDC (2009) further pointed out that the Ile de France region is among the many regions in France having the lowest levels of housing construction per a thousand inhabitants. This domestic shortage coupled with the city’s reputation of being among the most popular tourist destinations (Euromonitor, 2011).Several brands soon realized this and then established themselves alongside the traditional brands like Les Citadines. The results is increased competition.These new entrants offered modern/contemporary designs in and use the internet/online means in marketing and advertising their offerings.The traditional brands like Les Citadines then began to feel a decline in their occupancy levels..The global economic crisis however affected all cities and therefore caused an unprecedented decline in the number of international arrives all over the world. In 2009, France experienced a 6.9% drop in its tourist arrivals (Euromonitor, 2011).The drop did not quite affect the level of rental apartment shortages in the city. What is quite clear is the available rental apartments’ prices have continued to get pricier as pointed out by Simon (2011). The Paris hotel accommodation industry has continued to face challenges. The city which is known by names such as the “City of lights” as well as the “Home of Croissants”( The European Jewish Congress,n.d) attracts a very large number of tourists who come to experience both her rich culture and history as well as her romance,gastronomy as well as shops.The city’s unique position that allows it to fit in centrally between the elements of business and leisure as well as budget and luxury make it a suitable tourism sport (Euromonitor,2010).It has been examined that Paris has the second highest occupancy rate in Europe after London with about 77.8% occupancy in 2010 (Veilleinfotourisme, 2010). It also has been shown that middle class hotels are the dominant category with a capacity of over 2,700 rooms or 35% of the Parisian aggregate supply (Beausseron, 2010). With the knowledge that Apart Hotels are part of the most sort of category accommodations, the main purpose of this research will be to identify a new competitiveness that Apart Hotels like Les Citadines are recently facing in Paris. Indeed, the growing private rental apartment concept seems to be a real alternative for tourists or businessmen who are visiting the French capital city. Besides, “Furnished apartments are growing in popularity…and there are also many private short-term apartment lets for tourists” in Paris (Euromonitor, 2010). That is why a new market appears to be exploited by online agencies like Parisian Home, Paris Cosy or Païko that are offering very competitive and attractive private accommodations to rent. The proposed study will attempt to answer the question: How can traditional Apart Hotels like Les Citadines face this new growing private rental apartment concept exploited by the three brands mentioned before?

Problem statement

The demand for quality and affordable private rental apartments in Paris has skyrocketed within the years. This has seen several providers come up with concepts that are aimed at satisfying the increased demand for these housing units. The supply of these private rentals has increased within the years. This has led to stiff competition among the traditional apart hotels such as Les Citadines and the one who specialize in designs that are contemporary such as Parisian Home, Paris Cosy or Païko. These companies are in constant quest for ways of being ahead of the park by the application of the best possible strategies.


The aim of this paper is how Les Citadines can use integrated marketing and communications approach in gaining competitive advantage over its competitors (such as Parisian Home, Paris Cosy or Païko) in the face this new growing demand for affordable and stylish private rental apartment concepts in Paris.


The objectives of this study are;

To identify the channels of marketing that are currently being employed by Les Citadines’ competitors such as Paris Cosy, Parisian Home and PaïkoTo identify the deficiencies that exists in the marketing strategies/channels that are employed by Les Citadines’ competitors such as Paris Cosy, Parisian Home and Païko.

To analyze Paris as a strategic city for tourism industry throws a SWOT analysis.

To provide a competitor analysis to profile Paris Cosy, Parisian Home and Païko as newcomers in the hosting market.

To identify and evaluate the competitive advantages that the other brands have over Les Citadines.

To propose an action plan throws Ansoff Matrix to Les Citadines.

The main objective of this paper is to investigate on the competitive strategies the Parisian Apart Hotels Les Citadines will develop to compete with private rental apartments that websites like Parisian Home, Paris Cosy and Païko are exploiting. In order to properly handle the issue, an analysis of the French Capital as a strategic location for tourism industry will be first carried out. Then a competitor analysis will be relevant to profile newcomers in the hosting market. What are their strengths and their weaknesses? Next it will be the identification and evaluation of the competitive advantages acquired by Paris Cosy, Parisian Home and Païko over Les Citadines. At last a proposal action plan throw Ansoff Matrix will be suggest to Les Citadines to be used in the evaluation of the new market with a recommendation of how to gain a competitive advantage over the other providers in a quest of increasing its market share.

What is integrated marketing communications (IMC?)

Clow and Baack (2007) defined integrated marketing communications (IMC) as the coordination as well as the integration of the entire array of existing marketing communication tools, sources as well as functions within a given company into a seamless program that is aimed at optimizing the impact of the marketing strategies on the consumers as well as other end users at the least cost possible.The American Marketing Association on the other hand pointed out that integrated marketing communication as

“a planning process designed to assure that all brand contacts received by a customer or prospect for a product, service, or organization are relevant to that person and consistent over time.” (Loftis, 2007, p.2)

This is a holistic approach that is employed in the promotion of buying as well as selling in the digital realm/economy. This concept involves the use of several online as well as offline marketing channels. The online marketing channels entails the use of e-marketing strategies-mails, affiliate marketing, banners, webinars, blogs, Internet TV, podcasts as well as RSS.The offline marketing channels includes the use of the traditional print,mail order, radio, television, billboards as well as public relations moves.

Literature ReviewNot much literature has been dedicated to the use of integrated marketing strategies in the Paris accommodation sector.In fact, this proposed study could be offer the very first literature on the various marketing channels that are employed by various hotels/apartment rental companies in Paris. Extant literature has however been dedicated to the concept of integrated marketing communications.

Šerić and Gil-Saura (2011) discussed how the concept of integrated marketing communication can be applied to the hotel sector. They analyzed its use in the decelopment of the Dalmatian first-class as well as luxury hotels. Dochen (n.d) discussed how the concept of integrated marketing communication can be employed by hotel owners as well as management companies.The concept of IMC has been explored in most literature in regards to definitional issues, theoretical underpinnings, perceptions as well as the understanding of the concept itself (Duncan & Everett, 1993; Grein & Gould, 1996; Brown, 1997; Schultz & Kitchen, 1997; Hartley & Pickton, 1999). Schultz and Schultz (1998) discussed the introduction as well as the definition of IMC. The concept of integration, which is part and parcel of IMC in regard to its implementation is discussed by Nowak & Phelps (1994).The impact of IMC on advertising and marketing efforts is discussed by Phelps and Johnson (1996).The level of attention that marketing executives devote towards IMC practices is discussed by McArthur and Griffin (1997).Most IMC literature is dedicated to its relationship with consumers, several authors however, discuss the need of IMC strategies to target stakeholders who are non-consumers.This includes investors, regulators as well as employers (Belch and Belch,2002;Proctor and Kitchen,2002). Several authors have pointed out that IMC plays an integral role in the building as well as maintaining of the very crucial element on stakeholder relationship when it comes to brand as well as channel equity (Lannon and Cooper,1983,White,1999).

In order to understand the Impact of IMC strategies on Les Citadines.It is necessary to conduct a SWOT analysis as part of the situational analysis,a crucial step in the IMC implementation. An evaluation of the competitors such as Paris Cosy, Parisian Home and Païko is also necessary. The SWOT analysis is presented below;

SWOT AnalysisThe SWOT (Strengths – Weaknesses – Opportunities – Threats) is a tool for strategic analysis. It combines the study of the strengths and weaknesses an organization, territory or sector could have with the opportunities and threats in its environment (EC.Europa, 2010). The SWOT analysis advantages are manifold:

It helps to focus on the environment analysis and the necessity to restore the studied sector in its context to consider strategies.

It prevents or reduces the positive aspects focusing the analysis on the studied sector dysfunction and on the threats to the environment.

It shows the complexity of relationships between the environment and internal characteristics. The strategies adopted must therefore rely on the studied sector strengths or help offset the identified weaknesses. Similarly, found opportunities in the environment are designed to be seized, and threats to be countered (Desreumaux, Lecocq, & Warnier, 2009).

These elements make the SWOT analysis useful in many circumstances. It does not rely on assumptions too specific. This marketing tool merely states the link between environment and internal characteristics and that is its strength. A city like Paris has a lot of internal characteristics that influence her tourism industry and so her hosting market. A SWOT analysis about Paris should help to better understand the tourists demand in terms of accommodation and lodging needs.

Analyze of competitor

“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” (Brando, 1972). This famous replica means that to establish a strategy, which aims to fight an enemy or a competitor, it is necessary to know him. A competitor analysis makes companies able to know more about their concurrent. It includes all rivals, actual or potential a customer can take into consideration (Vandercammen, 2006). This analysis has two objectives:

To understand the competitor strategy: it allows to interpret the buying behavior and to identify a particular consumers segment that this strategy is addressed to.

To Identify competitor’s strengths and weaknesses: this leads to catch opportunities of any potential market and to evaluate the possible concurrent reactions during a company implementation in this market (Vandercammen, 2006).

It is also important in the analytic process to make a distinction between:

The direct current competitors: same activity, same consumer segment, same technology and similar vertical integration.

The indirect current competitors: different consumer segment, or different technology, or different vertical integration.

The new entrants: these competitors are already selling to consumers and wish to expand their product offerings. They position themselves in markets where the company itself is present (Hussey & Jenster, 2003).

In other words, make a competitor analysis; it is to look for strategies, performances, strengths, weaknesses and reactions that rival companies can have. It is useful to develop strategies for both defense and attack. Considering that “The budget sector of Paris tourism, which has long been ignored by many tourism professionals as it was not seen as sufficiently lucrative, is finally reaping the benefits in the current economic downturn” (Euromonitor, 2010), Les Citadines Apart Hotel will have to pay particularly attention on their competitors. The new entrants that are Paris Cosy, Parisian Home and Païko have already joined the race.

Competitive advantageTo remain competitive, a company must acquire and maintain one or more advantages over the competition. A competitive advantage provides the company with a source of income that is above the average for its industry or its activity sector. It may result from an operating position or explore new paths (Mayrhofer, 2007). According to Porter, we must not confuse competitive advantage and market dominance. Only the first is a guarantee of superior performance and durability. To assume and maintain the advantage in an increasingly competitive world, leaders have three main options: 1) to meet the lowest cost for comparable quality, 2) to offer a unique product with an equivalent cost and, 3) to focus on a target segment (Porter, L’avantage concurrentiel, 2003). This is what was later called “the Michael Porter’s generic strategies”.

The same Porter established in 1979 a model called Porter’s five forces that is useful to simulate and analyze a competition situation. He summarizes the factors that are affecting a company performance by five forces (Hill & Jones, 2009):

The bargaining power of customers (buyers): in the environment analysis, it is also necessary to include the major clients weight: they could have a strong bargaining power; they influence the profitability of the market with their demands on price or services.

The threat of potential entrants: it may be new companies or companies that choose to diversify. These companies can be competitive because of trades knowledge gained in other sectors or in other countries.

The bargaining power of suppliers: indeed, powerful suppliers can set conditions in terms of price and quality. Supply costs are thus high. Conversely, if the supplier segment is fragmented, with many suppliers poorly organized, their weight will be low and thus their influence to.

Threat of substitute products or services: It is largely due to technological change and innovation or what Porter called “Concept”. These products are considered dangerous if they improve the relationship between quality and price or if they come from a sector where profits are high.

The intensity of intra-industry competition: this refers to the stakeholder analysis in any market: their products, market share, strengths and weaknesses, their strategies (Kurtz, MacKenzie, & Snow, 2009).

To observe, to perform an active monitoring of a studied sector and to anticipate, is what the Porter’s Five Forces suggests to identify business reactions. This model could be relevant for this paper, which the aim is to investigate on competitive strategies.

Suggestion for action planThe Ansoff MatrixThe Ansoff Matrix could also be useful for this study where a given business wants to take part in this new movement. Indeed, Igor Ansoff was a pioneer in terms of corporate planning. His Matrix defines two key factors for marketing: “What is sold and who is it sold to? It therefore relates only to products and markets and gives you four alternatives courses of action when considering your marketing objectives:

Selling existing products to existing markets

Extending existing products into new market

Developing new products for existing market

Developing new product for new market” (Stone, 2001).

Therefore, this Matrix gives the keys to penetrate a new market, to extend a business by developing a product and so by differentiate it (Luck, 2008).

As a conclusion there is a lot of thing to say about the research topic. Theories are many and need to be deeply developed. However there is also a gap in the literature regarding this new phenomenon described above. As said before, “budget sector was forsaken for long time and this phenomenon appeared in it” (Euromonitor, 2010).

Research MethodologyIntroductionAccording to (Ott & Longnecker, 2008): “ the design of the data collection is the crucial step in intelligent data gathering”. To look for the content of what is studied in this paper (the research) and to identify how the techniques (methodology) are used to analyze the finding information will be the body of this section. Which tools a researcher will use to achieve his study: surveys, questionnaires, statistics, or case study? He has a lot of possibility. From where the collected data are comes from? How to evaluate and analyze them? Are they reliable? And finally what could be the researcher limitations?

There are two approaches that a researcher can use (Maylor & Blackmon, 2005): 1) the deductive approach (scientific) that start from general theories before developing some confirmative hypotheses, 2) the inductive approach that start from data before developing theories.

In this paper context where general marketing strategies are used, the researcher will follows the deductive approach.

Data CollectionThis is a key step form any researchers (Fienberg & Martin, 1985). There are two types of data. First, the primary data, they are collected by the researcher. Conversely, other researchers, organizations or studies collect secondary data. In this paper, the researcher uses only secondary data.

Secondary data can be qualitative (non-numerical, they make the researcher able to deeply understand some specific situations) or quantitative (numerical information, they are mostly comes from statistics, surveys or graphs) (Fienberg & Martin, 1985).

In this proposal study, data will be both qualitative and quantitative. The researcher can use for example university books that develops theories to find qualitative data or he can use online databases as EBSCOHOST,JSTOR,EMERAL,Science Direct and Euromonitor to find quantitative data. The table just below give an overview about how the researcher will proceed in the finding data process

Which Objective Which Data From Which Sources

To analyze Paris as a strategic city for tourism industry throws a SWOT analysis. Qualitative data

Quantitative data

Market reports

Tourism data

Online database

To provide a competitor analysis to profile Paris Cosy, Parisian Home and Païko as newcomers in the hosting market. Qualitative data

Quantitative data

Involved companies data

Market report

To identify and evaluate the competitive advantages acquired by those brands over Les Citadines. Qualitative data

Quantitative data

Organizational Behavior books

Consumer statistics

Market reports

To propose an action plan throws Ansoff Matrix to Les Citadines. Qualitative data

Quantitative data

University books

Case studies

Data AnalysisFinding data is one step, analyzing data is fundamental for any research relevance (Maylor & Blackmon, 2005). Without data analysis, a lack of understanding related to the business research and objectives will be evident. Make the data speaks is thus the indispensable work of a researcher. Statistical techniques (table, charts, and graphs) will make the researcher able to illustrate data before interpretation. To structure his data analysis, he will follow the Literature Review step by step finding theories, relating them with objectives and giving some answer element to the business question (Fienberg & Martin, 1985).

Reliability and ValidityThe researcher will also have to show the reliability and the validity of his work. His study will have to be consistent (Maylor & Blackmon, 2005). The aim here is to be objective, professional and reliable during the entire research process.

LimitationsIn order to achieve valid outcomes from a given study, the researcher has to delimitate the topic of research. The research in this paper is on the development of a concept that is not well identified in the Paris apartment rental market. Indeed, the concept was developed in the shadows and that is why it is interesting to do this research.

Gantt Chart