E-Marketing Strategies and Performance of Registered Rated Hotels in Nakuru County
Korir, Esleen Jerotich
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Electronic marketing has become central part to efficient operations of many sectors of the economy. In recent years hotel sector has experienced poor performance due to emerging technological trends, competition, security and economic growth of hospitality industry. Hence, many studies have propounded influence of E-commerce on performance of tour firms as a key determinant. While some others postulate that internet marketing determines the performance of hospitality industry, many others have also argued in contrast holding that the hotel industry can accelerate their performance through financial determinants, profitability margins, sales volumes and good returns. However, in this basis, the question of relationship e-marketing strategies on performance of registered rated hotels remains unanswered. Therefore, the current study as laid out determines the effect of e-marketing strategies and performance of registered rated hotels in Nakuru County Kenya. Specifically, study objectives were to: establish the effect of social media and performance of registered rated hotels in Nakuru County Kenya, to determine the effect of mobile marketing and performance of registered rated hotels in Nakuru County Kenya, to establish effect of email marketing and performance of registered rated hotels in Nakuru County Kenya and to understand the effect of search engine optimization and performance of registered rated hotels in Nakuru County, Kenya. The research adopted a descriptive design. The study conducted a census as the population was manageable. The study population was sixty three respondents drawn from eighteen (18) registered rated hotels mainly hotel management, marketing and ICT department. Data was collected using semi-structured questionnaires administered by the researcher in person. The questionnaires were piloted on eighteen registered and rated hotels to determine validity and to establish whether the questions answered measured theorized variables. The study addressed reliability using Cronbach Alpha statistical test. Quantitative data was analyzed by inferential and descriptive statistics and was presented in tables and figures. Multiple regressions helped to determine the relationship between dependent and independent variables. The findings indicated that there was a significant positive effect on social media and performance with a top mean of 4.516 against a 0.565 standard deviation, email marketing recorded a signification positive effect on performance of registered and rated hotel in Kenya. Mobile marketing mutually had a significant effect on performance with a mean of 4.2312 against a 0.781standard deviation. However, Search engine optimization had a less significant effect on performance with a mean of 4.2821 and 0.7238 standard deviation. The findings validated the Electronic commerce domain matrix theory base that rated hotels leverage their investment in internet enables competencies to source precious, uncommon and inimitable to result in sustainable competitive benefit to rated and registered hotels. However, the study faced certain limitations as it was restricted to rated hotels within Nakuru County that made it impossible to generalize the findings. The recommendations are that all registered rated hotels should endeavor to embrace social media, email,mobile marketing strategies that are competitively inimitable, rarely changed, valuable and well integrated with technology, and therefore improved performance. In addition hotel management who are keen to boost their hotel performance ought to adopt the e-marketing strategies that improve their quality service delivery, customer satisfaction and help to deal with competition arising within the hospitality industry. In addition there was limited secondary data on the subject mainly in Kenya to draw reference and thus, future researchers should expand the field to cover both registered rated hotels and Non-rated hotels in Kenya. Finally, this research endeavours to uphold ethics and standards of the study.