Services Marketing
Term Project
The Marketing Plan of
Hotel Bilkent
Onur Başer - 94024910
Meriç Kasapoğlu - 94017070
Didem Öyük - 93310851
Barış Kocaoğlu - 93311312

A) Executive Summary:

       Hotel Bilkent is a medium sized four star hotel, which is located in Bilkent, Ankara. Its major customers are businessmen and executives and two to three days visitors, who are especially the relatives of Bilkent students. Hotel Bilkent has just made huge investments to increase its size, and develop its appearance in which it operates. As a part of this investment a new ball hall (with a capacity of a thousand) and executives floors (named Konak 27) were established.

       Although it is actually a four star hotel, with these new investments it aims the high-income level businessmen and executives (corporate clients) segment of the market. This segment of the market is also the target market of five star hotels. Therefore, we should examine Hotel Bilkent within the context of five star hotels in Ankara.

        The marketing plan of the hotel is firstly analyze the current marketing situation and the environment of Hotel Bilkent. This analysis is accompanied by a SWOT evaluation, an evaluation of the strengths and the weaknesses of the company and also the opportunities and threats in the environment. The objectives of Hotel Bilkent will be presented next.  These objectives are the ends for Hotel Bilkent and the means of these ends will be presented in the marketing strategy part. At the end the control mechanism that Hotel Bilkent should employ to monitor the effectiveness of marketing strategy will be explained.

        The marketing strategy of the firm that focuses on the growth strategy of becoming a premium business hotel. One of the marketing managers of Hotel Bilkent defines this strategy as becoming a different, extraordinary “boutique hotel” with a lot of distinctive competencies and high quality service. This concept reflects the variety and quality of service. The core product of resting and sleeping is highly augmented with the other services, which will make Hotel Bilkent totally different from the competitors.


B) Current Marketing Sıtuatıon:

        To conceive the current marketing situation of Hotel Bilkent we should firstly have a close look on the market.



1) Market:

          The target market of Hotel Bilkent comprises of businessmen who have affairs with the government agencies in “capital city” Ankara. The executives or guests of companies that are mostly located near Bilkent such as Botas and Amoco are also among the potential clients.

The academicians who are here for either conference held by Bilkent University or as the guests of YOK (Yuksek Ogretim Kurumu) which is located near the Hotel Bilkent are another segment of the target market of Hotel Bilkent.

The students of the university and their families are also the potential clients of the hotel. In addition to that the companies which belongs to the Bilkent Holding can be the clients of Hotel Bilkent when we take into account the conference and seminar halls of the hotel. Moreover, anybody who want to visit the historical and cultural places in Ankara while enjoying a peaceful atmosphere with a high service quality can be a client for Hotel Bilkent.

          As defining itself as a competitor to five star hotels in Ankara, the people from abroad such as executives of foreign corporations and embassy related people are also within the scope of Hotel Bilkent. High percentages of the foreign people who stay in Hotel Bilkent are either from Germany or US. Japan has an increasing percentage. However, most of foreigners prefer the international chain hotels such as Sheraton or Hilton. Therefore, being a domestic hotel is a barrier for Hotel Bilkent to attract these people. However, the market for Ankara is very small relative to Istanbul. According to data taken from DIE the number of foreigners who come Ankara in 1995 are 114,123.Nevertheless, it is 2,007,384 for Istanbul in the same year[1]. As the numbers imply the foreigners market for Ankara is very low.

          With the new rooms and ball hall (named Sakarya) and new five meeting halls which are added last year Hotel Bilkent can be evaluated as a medium size hotel with respect to its competitors (i.e.: five stars hotels). These new investments will be paid off with the growing business volume of Bilkent Plaza and Ankara. With the increasing number of companies the need for a business hotel has increased. Therefore, by increasing its capacity, Hotel Bilkent has tried to be prepared for the growth in market.

          As mentioned above the potential customers of the hotel are businessmen, executives, and guests of companies. Therefore, all of these target segments are not price sensitive but service sensitive. They want to get a warm hospitality with service quality and variety. Most of the potential customers (corporations) have a natural need of conference and seminar halls since they often arrange educational seminars for their staff. Hotel Bilkent also has tried to satisfy this need.

          All of the clients of the hotel perceive it as a premium hotel with both its service and price. We intentionally assume that this is because of the service they get rather than the price they have paid. According to the clients Hotel Bilkent is among the best hotels of Ankara like Sheraton and Hilton. However, as a domestic, medium sized and relatively new hotel this perception is great fir the hotel to grow in the market. Actually, this perception is mostly because of the Bilkent image.


         As the occupancy rates imply the most critical months for Hotel Bilkent are the January, February and March. According to hotel management this is because of the long holidays because of bayrams (religious holidays) and semester holidays of schools. In 1998, they try to overthrow this effect by effective yield management system. They offer special discounts and try to organize weddings in the new ballroom. This seems very effective in 1998. This is the outcome of  “Process Management” system of Hotel Bilkent.

2) Product:

          Currently, the main product of Hotel Bilkent is the rooms, which are classified as single, double, and suits. With the opening of executive floors the size and variety of this product has increased. In total there are ninety-seven rooms in Hotel Bilkent. Twenty-one of them are executive rooms (every one named differently), ten of them are suites five of which executive and one royal suite. It is important to note that three of the rooms are for disabled people. The remaining rooms are regular. It is important to note that the new executive rooms and suites (named Konak 27) have outstanding designs. Everyone is different from each other. And also each one has a special name such as Zambak, Nilufer etc. Another important product of the hotel is the food and beverage sales. With the new developments by the experienced chiefs of Hotel Bilkent the variety of this product has been increased (Such as Akdeniz Mutfagi Restaurant and Ankara Restaurant). Akvaryum Bar and the mini bars in each room are for beverage services. The newly constructed ball hall and five conference halls have increased its capacity for seminars, conferences, and special meetings such as weddings, Republic Ball or Graduation Ball. Entertainment facilities of Hotel Bilkent include sauna, swimming pool, cinema, mini golf field, and fitness center. Less important products of the hotel are special services such as laundry, dry cleaning, fax and phone, computer, doctor and translator. Other special products are brunches or dinners such as Sunday Brunch or iftars in Ramazan.

         As seen below we can categorize Hotel Bilkent’s products in six product lines. And each product line has its depth.

Product Mix Width

Product Line DepthRoom


Special Events Organizations

Entertainment Facilities

Special Services

Food and Beverage




Swimming Pool


Akdeniz Rest.




Fitness Center

Dry Cleaning

Ankara Rest.




Mini Golf Field


Akvaryum Bar






Mini Bar in Room




Phone, Fax and Computer




The room prices are as follows:

Regular single room


160 US$

Regular double room


180 US$

Regular suite


240 US$

Executive room(including breakfast, limousine service)

280 US$

Executive suite(including breakfast, limousine service)

480 US$

Executive corner suite(including breakfast, limousine service) 

600 US$

Presidential (Royal) Suite(including breakfast, limousine service)

880 US$


The Flowchart of Hotel Bilkent:

Flowcharting is an important tool for firms to understand the nature of process and also the customer’s personal experiences. It also provides a first step in controlling the services that are provided.

The core product for Hotel Bilkent is “retire for night”.  The initial step in the flowchart is making reservation. After the customer arrives to the Bilkent Hotel, his car was driven to the park. Then, the customer checks in at the reception. Before the customer enters the room, housekeeping makes up the room. To do this, the housekeeping supplies must be exists.

     The customer may drink cocktail in Akvaryum Bar, or have meal in Akdeniz Restaurant. In the backstage there are lots of processes to serve the best available service to the customer.  All the supplies of these services require a careful management. In Hotel Bilkent there is a department related with purchase of the supplies.

   Finally, the customer can use the room facilities to get the core product.

   As can be seen on the flowchart, there are lots of augmented services around the core. But in the backstage there is varity of activities taking places. Each service in front stage is supported by these activities. This flowchart is a simplified map of services offered in Hotel Bilkent.


3) Competition:

There is a tough competition among five star hotels in Ankara because of the relatively small size of the market (With respect to Istanbul) There are five five stars hotels in Ankara. These are Hilton, Sheraton, Merit Altinel, Sürmeli and Büyük Ankara.

Prices of these hotels are nearly same with Hotel Bilkent. For instance, the prices of Hilton are like this: 150 for single, 175 for double, 525 for executive suits, and 1275 for royal suite. However, as the sales representative of Hotel Bilkent, Mr. Soykan said, these prices are only on the paper. There may be huge differences between these list prices and bargaining prices.

         Two of the five star hotels in Ankara are the members of international hotel chains. However, there are much more international hotels in Istanbul. Therefore, the existence of only two international hotels in Ankara is good for Hotel Bilkent There are great differences with respect to know-how between the international hotels and domestic one. Hotel Bilkent should employ education programs for its employees to cover the difference that stems from the know-how. Most of the foreigners prefer to stay in international hotels since they know them also in their country. Therefore, Hotel Bilkent could not easily cover this handicap.

          In addition to that, other five star hotels are larger than Hotel Bilkent. Relative smallness of the hotel may be perceived as a disadvantage but the managers of the hotel say that their scope is very limited relative to others and smallness is not a problem for them since they employ focus strategy. The other five star hotels try to capture all high-income visitors market because of their size. Nevertheless, the segment which attracts Hotel Bilkent is only the businessmen and executives.

Büyük Ankara, Sürmeli, and Merit Altınel are not seen as the competitors by Hotel Bilkent managers since they are old domestic hotels and mentality about service can not be comparable to that of Sheraton, Hilton, and Hotel Bilkent. For example, the atmospheres of these hotels are not much attractive for potential clients. The furniture is old fashion. Merit had a casino before the ban on gambling and Büyük Ankara has music hall that offers variety of famous singers and shows. These are caused a change in the strategy of these hotels. Their focus moved to high-income people who want to entertain rather than the businessmen and executives who want to make business deals.

Hilton and Sheraton use more advanced form of distribution compared with Hotel Bilkent. For example, Hilton works with approximately ten travel agents where Hotel Bilkent does not work.

All five hotels use sales persons and special offers to make agreements with companies. Although they use the same strategy, Hilton and Sheraton can be more successful due to their “brand names”.

Promotion activities of the five star hotels are varying. Especially, Hotel Bilkent, Hilton and Sheraton are using this marketing mix tool more extensively than the others are. The international hotels advertise locally but also internationally. This gives an advantage to them. For example, Hilton uses “magic dollar” concept for attracting the customers by offering free purchase of goods with these dollars. In addition to this, “Lady Hilton Club” card targets the women. Sheraton and Hilton are used for international fairs, festivals and other leisure activities

The Perceptual Map:

We used price and service quality features of hotel services for setting the perceptual map. Aristo Tour in Ankara completed this map. We asked them to evaluate five of the hotels. As can be seen on the figure, they perceive the service quality of Hilton and Sheraton as higher than Bilkent Hotel. However, the management of Bilkent Hotel thinks that their service quality is as high as Hilton and Sheraton. But, this map shows us that there is a gap between what the customers perceive, and the managers expect. Although the service quality is high, there may be a problem in marketing this quality to customers. By seeing this problem in the map Hotel Bilkent managers can use appropriate strategies such as promotion, to reach the customers perception. So, Perceptual map can be used for addressing such problems and offering solutions.

4) Distribution:

          Currently, there is no distribution system for Hotel Bilkent. They do not work with any travel agency. However, for US operations they have just worked with Boeing. The Boeing firm brought a group of Americans to Hotel Bilkent. However, there is not a long-term agreement between the firms. They use a direct channel for marketing their hotel.


5) Macro-Environmental Situation:

         When the target market of Hotel Bilkent taken into account there is no demographic change in Ankara. The immigration from East and Central Anatolia to Ankara is irrelevant to position of Hotel Bilkent. However, new constructions along the Eskisehir Road are important for Hotel Bilkent. High income, upscale people of Ankara tend to prefer to live in these sites. In addition to that, most of the firms begin to understand the importance of the quality of service. It is a cultural and social change that they begin to think about the service as well as price. They begin to pay for the quality of service.


C) Opportunity – Issue Analysis:

          To define the marketing strategy we should examine the environment in which Hotel Bilkent operates to determine the opportunities and threats. Then, we should search for the solutions that convert threats into opportunities and match them with the strengths of the hotel. 


1) Opportunities:

          Over the years, Ankara has not been evaluated as a business city. Traditionally, Istanbul is the “economic capital” of the country. Most of the businessmen who come to Ankara have formal affairs with the state. They come here for not their business relations but to follow the state related affairs. This situation has not changed yet. However, as the size of the business and economic activity increases in Turkey, as a natural result of it the number of businessmen that have to come to Ankara will increase. With the key role of Turkey in Central Asia the number of companies which see Turkey as a stepping stone will increase in future. With this development the size of the two to three days visits to Ankara should increase. This is the first opportunity that can be equally dividable among the five star hotels.

          On the other hand, there is a unique opportunity for Hotel Bilkent. It is the increasing size of business and economic activity that occurs inside Bilkent. The Bilkent Plaza and Bilkent Center are the new attraction centers in Ankara. There are a lot of firms and state establishments, which are located or will be located in Bilkent. Therefore, Hotel Bilkent has a real opportunity because of the proximity of it to these companies.


2) Threats:

          When we look at the threat side of the environment, we first recognize the increasing pressures on some of the Ankara-based firms to move their headquarters to Istanbul. As we said Istanbul is the financial and economic capital of Turkey and some of the firms want to be located in there because of the competitive considerations. One of them is Is Bankasi which will move to its skyscrapers in Buyukdere. If the others follow it the size of the companies in Ankara, which is already low will be squeezed.

          Increasing competition in the sector is another threat for Hotel Bilkent. The new entrants to the sector also target Hotel Bilkent’s target market of high-income businessmen. Class Hotel is one of them and one more in the city center will be the next. Therefore, Hotel Bilkent should evaluate the new entrants to its target market.


3) Strengths:

          The most important strength of the hotel is the name of Bilkent. In the last decade, Bilkent had been the gravity center of the growth along the Eskisehir Road. Bilkent residences are followed by Umitkoy, Koru Sitesi and Konutkent, which are the new life fields of high-income people of Ankara. Bilkent is at the center of all these developments. With this in mind, Bilkent has an image of luxurious and high quality life. When Hotel Bilkent has this kind of brand name then the target market will be more easily captured.

          Another strength is the synergy, which is created by Bilkent organizations. There are a lot of parents who stay in Hotel Bilkent since their children study at Bilkent University. There are a lot of academicians who stay in Hotel Bilkent since they have a conference in the university. There are a lot of businessmen who stay in Hotel Bilkent since they have an affair with Bilkent Holding. This synergy is an important strength for the hotel.

          Moreover, Hotel Bilkent has the greatest ball and congress hall in Ankara. Especially, for congress and weddings this is a great strength for Hotel Bilkent. Since these events have a premium profit margin there are huge competition among hotels to capture this market. However, Hotel Bilkent has strength on the other hotels with new investments.

          Silent and peaceful environment of Hotel Bilkent is also strength for the hotel. All of the five star hotels in Ankara located inside the city center then they have noise, traffic jam and air that become canonically unclean by the exhausts. On the other hand, Hotel Bilkent offers clean and fresh air of Bilkent and a silent atmosphere. Nevertheless, some may argue that the location of the hotel is a disadvantage for it since it is far away from the city center. However, we think that with the changing preferences, most of people prefer the places, which offers a peaceful atmosphere rather than approximate to the city. In addition to that, reaching to city from Bilkent is not so hard since the road conditions of Bilkent and Eskisehir Road (after new additions and maintenance) is very good. Therefore, we see the location of Hotel Bilkent as strength not as weakness.


4) Weaknesses:

         The most important weakness of Hotel Bilkent is its lack of international recognition. Since it has no relationship with international hotel chains, it is not known by international businessmen. Nevertheless, Hotel Bilkent should convert this weakness into strength. In addition to that, the staff of Hotel Bilkent is much more subject to the lack of education. Since the international hotels use the know-how of their parents, Hotel Bilkent managers should try to increase the education level of their staff and should look for the enthusiasm inside them. This is the key for converting this weakness into strength.

          Another weakness can be the relatively high prices of Hotel Bilkent. The pricing strategy of the hotel is nearly same with Hilton and Sheraton. However, these hotels have traditional significance in the market. Therefore, the prices should be evaluated one more times with respect to these benchmarks. The pricing strategy of Hotel Bilkent is related with the image that wants to be created. Whether the high price equals high quality heuristic is the driving force in price setting or not the level of service and the price of it is a questionable subject. Therefore, Hotel Bilkent should increase its service level to the level that implied by the price.


D) Objectives:

           When we think about the financial goals of Hotel Bilkent, we recognize that in the short run, it is enough rate of return on these investments. This rate of return should be a high rate when we think about the inflationary pressures in Turkish economy. Like the definition of short run financial goals, the short run marketing goals of the company is ambiguous since there is a revolution or evolution in marketing strategy of the hotel. If we think the targeted market share it can not be more than 10% of all high-income visitors. This is the case because of the size and capacity of Hotel Bilkent. However, to becoming the most preferred business hotel in Ankara is the long run goal of the hotel. This should be measured, as occupancy rates not the number of customers because of the relatively low capacity of Hotel Bilkent.

E) Marketing Strategy:


1) Target Market:

          The target market of Hotel Bilkent is the businessmen and executives. The end for Hotel Bilkent is to becoming a “business hotel”. When we take into account the capacity of the hotel this concentrated strategy seems very reasonable. Since it can not capture all the high-income market because of the capacity constraints (Sheraton and Hilton have capacities over three times of Hotel Bilkent) focusing only one segment of the market is a very good approach. The all market of five star hotels comprises by the high-income buyers (individual or corporate). The target market of Hotel Bilkent is a part of it, the corporate buyers, people who stay on the account of a corporation. This concentrating strategy will ease the creation of business hotel image. Highly related with its target market it should also market its Sakarya ball hall and other five conference halls for congress and special events. This market can not be thought as different than the being a business hotel strategy. Since it is a natural need for businessmen and executives. If you want to capture business market then you should give the services like congress and seminar halls 


2) Product:

          The product of Hotel Bilkent is simply the satisfaction of accommodation needs of people. The basic need of resting and sleeping is the core product of Hotel Bilkent. Augmented product of the hotel contains the other services in the hotel. Most important one of them is the food and beverage. There are other services by the hotel such as swimming pool, phone, the laundry services, sauna, fitness center, mini golf field, barber, translator (English and German), and doctor.

          When we think about the preferences of the target market we face the reality that they are not cost sensitive but service sensitive. The core product of Hotel Bilkent should be as comfortable as the expectations of the clients. The comfortable beds and baths supported by cable or satellite TV and a silence for works of the clients are the critical things at that point. Moreover, the possible needs of photocopy, fax (there are already fax machines in executive rooms) and internet need should also be satisfied by the hotel to become a full service hotel. This ensures the satisfaction of all possible needs of businessmen and executives. Hotel Bilkent should make them sure that they can manage their businesses in the hotel room as if they were in their offices.

          The main product line of Hotel Bilkent covers the rooms and food and beverage needs of the people. Another important product line is the rentals of the halls of the hotel for the use for conference, congress and seminars by the companies. In addition to that, the use of the huge Sakarya ball hall for special events meetings such as weddings is another product that is offered by Hotel Bilkent. As mentioned above, these special events have huge profit margins so Hotel Bilkent should also concentrate on them. The last product is the special Sunday brunches and dinners in the holy month of Ramazan (iftar).


3) Distribution:

          As the part of concentrated target market strategy of the hotel, using a travel agency does not seem reasonable. However, there are also travel agencies, which serve to the target market of Hotel Bilkent such as VIP Tourism. Using such firms in the reservation activities especially in Istanbul may be profitable for the hotel. Nevertheless, since it is a service company it has a nature of direct distribution.


4) Promotion:

          The size and effectiveness of sales force is an important element of Hotel Bilkent’s promotion works since an important part of the Hotel Bilkent products comprises by the organization of seminars and conference. These products require high level of personal selling then the importance of sales force can not be ignored here. On the other hand, relationship marketing with corporate customers is an important job of the marketing staff. The relationship with corporate customers who are continuo clients should be kept fresh by the sales force.

          Advertisement policy of Hotel Bilkent should be focused on upscale magazines. The hotel can give advertisements to the magazines such as Finans Dunyasi, Capital, Hurriyet Business Week, Congress, and Gelin (to capture weddings). These ads should focus on the high quality service and the image of Bilkent as a different atmosphere. Two ads in the following pages were taken from Skylife.


5) Pricing:

          The prices mentioned above looks relatively higher compared to Hilton and Sheraton. Since these hotels are international chains they may charge premium prices. However, Hotel Bilkent is a domestic firm and should have lower prices if it want to get a share in that market. On the other hand, there are hidden facts about the prices. As mentioned above the prices of these international hotels have a negotiation base because of the high capacity of these hotels. However, Hotel Bilkent tries to avoid bargaining on prices. This is a good practice since it wants to create a premium class hotel. Moreover, the executive room and suite prices of Hotel Bilkent include limousine service from airport, breakfast, and mini bar. Therefore, what the customers get from Hotel Bilkent is more than the other hotels give. With respect to pricing policy, we see the prices of Hotel Bilkent competitive to others and it is also suitable for whole marketing strategy.


6) R&D:

          The research and development works of the hotel should focus on the service quality and food and beverage variety of the hotel. For example, last year Hotel Bilkent opened the Akdeniz Mutfagi or Ankara Restaurant with a variety of menus. These kind of special menus should be developed for special weeks or months. In addition to that, the implementation of modern technology in the hotel management operations is a critical thing for the hotel to remain competitive in the market. This can be a new accounting program or new computer program for reservations.


F) Action Programs:

          Within the product line of Hotel Bilkent the core product of the rooms do not require any new work. However, for the supporting products such as office machines of fax or internet and the entertainment activities such as sports Hotel Bilkent should search for immediate solutions. One of the solutions for sports activities may be contracting neighboring facility, Sports International for the use of its sports facilities by Hotel Bilkent clients. Hotel Bilkent should also buy new fax, copy machines and computers for the use of clients. Its price and discount policies are suitable for the needs of the clients. No change is required in these policies. The most critical of the marketing mix elements of the hotel is the promotion activity. First of all it should use personal selling in the first plan since the special clients require special interest. The companies, which have frequent businesses in Ankara, should be searched and the members of the sales force should visit these firms and offer special prices and services for them. The advertisements mentioned above should focus on the peaceful atmosphere, educated staff, quality service and Bilkent image.


G) Projected – Profit And Loss Statements:

          If these action programs are implemented carefully then the target market of businessmen and executives can be captured. The long term marketing outcome of this is nearly 10% market share among all five star hotels, and high occupancy rates. The financial outcome in the short run is a normal rate of return on current investments. In the long run the financial outcome of this stable and strong market position is a profit which allows opening a new Hotel Bilkent at the center of the business and economy, Istanbul. If Hotel Bilkent achieve its goal of becoming a premium business hotel, then it should employ this value to create greater financial values. The mean of this may be the licensing the Hotel Bilkent name or contracting to manage an individual hotel under the name of Hotel Bilkent.




H) Control:

        As a control mechanism of marketing strategy of Hotel Bilkent, it should employ regular meetings among sales staff to monitor the achievements of personal selling activities. It should also carry out the queries and questionnaires to clients to measure the level of satisfaction. However, this is hard especially if the customers are not much vocal, and say their satisfaction level explicitly. Therefore, these questionnaires should also be addressed to the clients after they leave the hotel as a part of relationship marketing. The complaints and recommendations of the clients are the primary source of getting feedback about the service quality. In addition to that, one manager should also be employed to hear the complaints and desires of the clients. As another control mechanism, occupancy rates should be observed carefully, and any decrease in occupancy rates should be examined in detail. Moreover, any change in the environment should also monitored to see the new opportunities or threats. With these control mechanisms we can assure the success of our marketing plan.