Both of us are Erasmus students and as many students we had to find accommodation in the CIT area for the academic year. Mr. Walsh proposed us a topic about student accommodation around Bishopstown Campus Area which kept our attention because of the rivalry existing among this business. We wanted to investigate an existing problem which involves competition, cost and the profitnotice.
The competitors are Parchment Square, Abbeyville, Edenhall and Deanshall. Our study aims at comparing the rivalry over the supply for student accommodation, investigating their actual marketing mix, in other words their product, price, place, and promotion but also to the people, process, and physical evidence, because we are dealing with a service. Of course once the marketing mix hasbeen studied, we will formulate marketing recommendations that must help themselves to increase the quality of their supply.
In order to solve this problem, we leant on our skills and knowledge in marketing research, in marketing and sales management, in communication, in marketing case study and in managing services marketing. Moreover, our own different personal experiences helped us to realizethe study. The accommodations themselves, the CIT accommodation office but also all the future students seeking for information or coming might benefit from the findings.
We will now explain you how we proceeded to realize this study, what the objectives of such a research are and we will introduced you our plan.
Approach, research objectives and plan:
With the goal of identifying thesupply, our research was guided by the definition of the marketing mix associated to a service, including the Price, the Product, the Place, the Promotion, the Process, the People and the Physical evidence.
So, we have analyzed the competition around the CIT area (Houses or private flats to rent) and consequently established a marketing audit analysis which contains a PEST and Porter’s 5 forcesanalysis.
To identify the demand, we firstly had to define the target market that is to say which segment the accommodation is marketed to. Then, we analyzed the buyer behavior and the purchase criteria (importance of price in the decision-taking), the consumer perceptions (their likes and dislikes), and their satisfaction level.
We have established a comparative survey including the type ofrooms and flats, facilities, pricing, proximity to CIT, communication and advertisement, services offered, conveniences available around the accommodation and so on. Moreover, we needed to assess the supply and demand balance and the percentage of occupancy in each residence. Finally, it was interesting to know how they deal with off season (Summer holidays).
For this, we needed to look forsecondary sources which can be found in each accommodation’s offices and their own websites, in the CIT accommodation office and other external sources.
Furthermore we have interviewed a representative number of students living in these accommodations via a questionnaire. As a result we known the point of view of the users and so were able to build a satisfaction survey.
Identify the supply:
Inorder to observe and understand the rivalry among the student accommodation provider, we firstly need to analyze the marketing mix for services for each provider. It consists of studying the 4 P’s of the mix, which are Product, Price, Place and Promotion, and observing the 3 P’s of the mix for services, which are People, Process and Physical evidence.
Concerning all the providers, the productelement is basically the renting of student housing. However, some providers like Parchment Square offers 4 types of rooms, what is the most varied offer, whereas some other are proposing only 2 types. The diversity of the offer brings us to speak about the price element. Indeed, we have seen that all the providers differentiate themselves not only by the diversity of their offer, but also by the...