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The Marketer's Handbook: Reassessing Marketing Techniques for Modern Business by Laurie Young

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cmp07uf001HOSPITALITY AND CUSTOMER ENTERTAINMENT

Application; Communication, Sales, Relationship Marketing

The Concept

This is the use of social entertainment for commercial advantage. It ranges from large customized events, through packages bought at public events (such as the Ryder Cup or Wimbledon) to smaller, more intimate occasions with like-minded groups of customers, and right down to individual customer entertainment (like taking an individual to dinner or lunch). There is evidence of different hospitality habits in different industries. The legal sector, for instance, tends to wine and dine its clients, while pharmaceutical companies tend to go for team building events.

There are several reasons why this technique helps marketing and sales:

(i) The informal situation can help create a relationship with customers, which will encourage further business. A well managed and customized event can certainly help two people to understand each other better – a major feature of relationship marketing. It is especially effective if part of a wider communications programme and should be planned as an aspect of either relationship marketing or marketing communications.

(ii) It helps to build trust and undermine wrong impressions. Whether in a consumer or business-to-business situation, a setting which helps people to get to know a company and its executives destroys wrong perceptions and encourages ...

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