The Club’s Service Marketing Strategy – internal Situational Analysis

The clubs internal environment can be evident from its strengths and weaknesses. One of the Club’s strengths is its experienced management team. Members of the management team have varied backgrounds in hospitality (The Club 2012c), thus bringing in requisite expertise to guide the club’s operations. For instance, the Club’s current Sales and Marketing Executive has a background in advertising sales (Department of Marketing n.d., p. 11), an aspect that is critical in the Club’s activities such as member recruitment. Such experience of the management team, added to their knowledge, results into distinctive expertise that helps them to deal with specific situations at the Club (Gilmore & Carson 1996).

The club’s consecutive favourable financial performance also offers it the resources it needs to implement its expansion programs. The Club has generated a surplus (profit) in its operations for all the nine years the results have been published (Department of Marketing n.d., p. 3). Another of the Club’s strengths is the better overall working conditions that have enabled the Club to have higher staff retention (Department of Marketing n.d., p. 12). Retention of core personnel is critical to ensuring aspects such as consistency in service delivery thus reducing the unreliability brought about by the heterogeneous character of services (Rust & Chung 2006). The Club’s organization that focuses on its members (customers) by having their representatives (the executive committee) play an active role in the Club’s operation also is strength of the entity (Department of Marketing n.d., p. 2; The Club 2012b). Such a set up allows the Club to respond to its members changing preferences in a timely manner thus ensuring they renew their membership to the club. Additionally, the Club’s facility that offers it the capacity to stage large acts is a potential source of enhanced revenue, although such an advantage has remained unutilised (Department of Marketing n.d., p. 10). Ultimately, a competitive pricing strategy enables the Club to succeed amidst an environment with increasing competition from the international five star hotels (Department of Marketing n.d., p. 7).

Despite such strengths, the Club has a number of weaknesses that could limit its capacity to realize the opportunities in the external environment. Among these is the lack of a specific human resource function (Department of Marketing n.d., p. 12). Absence of such a function could for instance be the reason behind the absence of well-delineated long-term career opportunities, which makes it difficult for the Club to hire and retain quality management staff (Department of Marketing n.d., p. 12). Absence of a human resource function may also have contributed to the Club’s failure to offer a competitive salary to attract and retain such management personnel (Department of Marketing n.d., p. 12). When present, a human resource function would help the club to develop its employees and enhance its capability to change (e.g. succession planning), thus offer the Club with a source of competitive advantage that competitors would not imitate easily (Court 2011).

The Club’s predominant manual data processing also limits the extent to which the entity can carry out operations and customer (members)-relationship activities effectively (Department of Marketing n.d., p. 17). Lack of appropriate technology for instance limit’s the Club’s ability to provide customized promotional material to its members, thus affecting its capability to develop effective customer relationship marketing systems (Dimitriadis & Stevens 2008). Such manual data processing could also delay service delivery at the Club thus reducing the members’ satisfaction in the products provided at the Club (Chen & Popovich 2003). Another weakness relates to the Club’s location, which makes it inaccessible (Department of Marketing n.d., p. 11), hence could influence its patronage. Resulting from such inaccessibility, e.g. due to high traffic to and from the Abu Dhabi port situated near the Club, members wishing to attend the Club for short intervals before proceeding to other commitments may chose the competitors who are more accessible.

The analysis of the internal environment highlights various aspects that the club should address to ensure its capacity to realize opportunities in the environment is heightened. Such aspects include carrying out member sensitization on importance of adopting technology in its processes to reduce resistance to such adoption, setting up a human resource function that betters the Club’s ability to attract and develop top talent and seeking partnerships that can help it to stage large performances that offer the opportunity to enhance the Club’s income. In the subsequent section, the opportunities presented and threats posed by the external environment are evaluated.

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