Most firms tailor their offerings in one way or another to meet the needs of different segments of customers. Because these organizations don’t have all their eggs in one basket, they are less vulnerable to competition. Marriott International is an example of a company that operates in a multisegment market. The company has fifteen different types of facilities designed to meet the needs of different types of market segments, including the following:
- Marriott Courtyard. Targeted at over-the-road travelers.
- Ritz-Carlton Hotels. Targeted at luxury travelers.
- Marriott Conference Centers. Targeted at businesses hosting small- and midsized meetings.
- Marriott ExecuStay. Targeted at executives needing month-long accommodations.
- Marriott Vacation Clubs. Targeted at travelers seeking to buy timeshares.
A multisegment marketing strategy can allow you to respond to demographic and other changes in markets. For example, the growing number of people too old to travel have the option of moving into one of Marriott’s “Senior Living Services” facilities, which cater to retirees who need certain types of care. A multisegment strategy can also help you weather an economic downturn by allowing customers to trade up or down among your brands and products. Suppose you take a pay cut and can’t afford to stay at Marriott’s Ritz-Carlton hotels anymore. A room at a JW Marriott—the most luxurious of the Marriott-brand hotels but cheaper than the Ritz—is available to you. A multisegment strategy can also help you deal with the product life cycle issues discussed in Chapter 2 "Strategic Planning". If one of your products is “dying out,” you have others to fall back on.