Case Study: Hotel Use of IMC Starwood

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[. . .] Content Creation:

Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. believes that contents (texts, images, color schemes, music, etc.) in advertisements and promotional campaigns are highly important in order to present a perfect picture in front of its customers and primary stakeholders. Therefore, the contents in its advertisements and promotional campaigns vary according to their specific target audience. For example, Starwood Hotels has been targeting younger generation for its Aloft Hotels brand since its inception. Therefore, the advertisements for this brand are highly integrated with sharp colors, jingles, and music. The company also ran a 50 day music campaign in which new artists were given an opportunity to play in Aloft Hotels around the Globe.

On Facebook, twitter, and other major social media networking sites, the company has got thousands of fans that obtain all types of updates, posts, and information regarding promotional offers and new services given by its branded hotels and resorts. Starwood Hotels have not only established its social media presence, but it also claims to be managing this presence in an active and well-organized way. It makes significant investments to keep its pages and campaigns on these social media networking sites alive and effective.

Impacts of Social Media marketing on the Brand Equity of Starwood Hotels and Resorts: Social media constitutes a major part of Starwood Hotels' digital marketing budget. Its advertisements, photographs, videos, and data charts are quite useful for the customers, employees, business associates and partners, supply chain members, booking agents, marketing agencies, and investors. The social media networking sites give a vast exposure of Starwood Hotels and Resorts to these primary stakeholders. Therefore, the biggest impact of these channels is realized in the form of significant improvement in the company's brand awareness (Vorhies & Morgan, 2005).

The social media networking sites are readily accessible and free of charge for all types of customers. Therefore, any advertisement or promotional campaign posted or shared by Starwood Hotels and Resorts on its pages can be seen by its customers, employees, and investors in all the corners of the world. In order to strengthen its brand image, Starwood Hotels and Resorts use all the major elements of brand equity; that include logo, slogan (or brand promise), color scheme, and company portfolio (e.g. major hotels and resorts brands, locations, top destinations, etc.) (Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc., 2013).

Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG):

Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. also runs the most honored loyalty program in the industry, called as Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG). This loyalty program allows its members to enjoy special status, offers, and services upon frequent travels and room stays at the company's branded hotels and resorts in all the corners of the world. They can enjoy services like entertainment and shopping options, discounted air travels in expensive airlines, stays in luxury hotels around the globe, and top quality foods and beverages at discounted prices (Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc., 2013).


By providing highly efficient customer services and meeting the expectations of its business associates and investors, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. has proved itself as one of the most liked hotel brands in the world. Its Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) strategies are purely centered towards satisfying the customers' needs and meeting their expectations at all possible costs. The primary purpose of different IMC strategies is to ensure that all the marketing and promotional activities of the company are aligned to the ultimate strategic objectives (Chitty, 2011).

The major IMC strategies which Starwood Hotels and Resorts has been practicing for its worldwide operations include Minimized Abandoned Reservation Calls (MARS), comprehensive marketing website, sales training programs for sales force and field marketing teams, branded web channels, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), social media marketing and effective content creation for advertisements and promotional campaigns, Customer Contact and Call Centers, guest reviews on the official website, and others.

On one side, these IMC strategies and expensive promotional campaigns take a big part of the marketing budget and put heavy financial burden on the company's profitability (Shimp, 2003); and at the same time, they significantly contribute in increasing the company's brand equity (Temporal, 2010 & Verma, 2006). In all its IMC tools and strategies, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. uses its logo, brand promise, portfolio, and major brand highlights to present the picture of its worldwide recognition in front of all new and existing customers. The customer care centers, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), branded web channels, Minimized Abandoned Reservation Calls (MARS), and guest reviews section play their parts in increasing the company's brand awareness among potential customers and help in attracting new investors from all over the world (Kapferer, 2012).


Brassington, F. & Pettitt, S. (2006). Principles of Marketing, 4th Edition. Harlow: Prentice-Hall.

Chitty, W. (2011). Integrated Marketing Communication, 3rd Edition. South Melbourne: Cengage Learning.

Gustafsson, A., Johnson, M.D. & Roos, I. (2005). "The Effects of Customer Satisfaction, Relationship Commitment Dimensions, and Triggers on Customer Retention," Journal of Marketing, 69 (4): 210-218.

Hotelier Middle East Staff, (2012, 04, 25). Starwood commits 75% of marketing spend to digital. Retrieved on September 15th, 2013, from

Kapferer, J. (2012). The New Strategic Brand Management: Advanced Insights and Strategic Thinking, 5th Edition. Philadelphia: Kogan Page.

Keller, K.K. & Parameswaran, M.G. & Jacob, I. (2011). Strategic Brand Management: Building, Measuring and Managing Brand Equity, eBook. New Delhi: Pearson.

Pickton, D. & Broderick, A. (2005). Integrated Marketing Communications, 2nd Edition. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall Financial Times.

Shimp, T.A. (2003). Advertising, Promotion & Supplemental Aspects of Integrated Marketing Communications, 6th Edition. Mason, Ohio: South-Western.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (2013). About Us. Retrieved on September 15th, 2013, from

Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (2013). Aloft Broacher. Retrieved on September 15th, 2013, from

Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (2013). Annual Report 2012. Retrieved on September 15th, 2013, from>

Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (2013). Company Overview: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. Retrieved on September 15th, 2013, from

Temporal, P. (2010). Advanced Brand Management: Managing Brands in a Changing World, 2nd Edition. Singapore: John Wiley & Sons.

Verma, H.V. (2006). Brand Management: Text and Cases, 2nd Edition. New Delhi: Excel… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Hotel Use of IMC Starwood.  (2013, September 16).  Retrieved June 15, 2019, from

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"Hotel Use of IMC Starwood."  16 September 2013.  Web.  15 June 2019. <>.

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"Hotel Use of IMC Starwood."  September 16, 2013.  Accessed June 15, 2019.