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BUSINESS & MANAGEMENT STUDIES:
AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL
Published: 2020-09-25

EXPERIENCE MODULES AND EXPERIENCE DIMENSIONS FROM THE PERSPECTIVES OF HOTEL MANAGERS

Asisst. Prof. Dr., Aydın Adnan Menderes University
Experiential Marketing; Experience Modules; Experience Dimensions

Abstract

1. LITERATURE

1.1. RESEARCH SUBJECT

Today, customers are not easily convinced and also, they are not able to make preferences as quickly as they were before. In such a situation, enterprises move away from traditional marketing strategies and tend towards the marketing strategies that focus on their consumer demands (Yetiş, 2015: 90). By 1990s, the experience economy, which prioritizes creating an experience in economic activities, brought experiential marketing to the forefront. Therefore, this situation included excitement and fun into the annoying practices of traditional marketing and the winds of change was launched (Yılmaz and Vahidli, 2020: 1456). The enterprises in the tourism industry are continually yielding new strategies in order to get ahead of their competitors. These strategies include offering different products to customers, presenting the product as an experience, managing customer experience, segmenting customers, managing customer relationships, and the concepts of destination branding and experiential marketing concepts (Çeltek, 2010: 1). In the study by Schmitt (1999) entitled “Experiential Marketing”, five strategic experiential modules were revealed as an essential concept of experiential marketing. These five modules were examined under five headings as: sensory, emotional, intellectual, behavioural and relational (Schmitt, 1999: 60). In the study by Pine and Gilmore (1998), four dimensions of experience were revealed. These dimensions were entertainment, education, escape and aesthetics (Pine and Gilmore, 1998: 102). The main aim of this research is to reveal experience modules and experience dimensions implemented in hotels from hotel managers’ perspectives.
1.2. RESEARCH PURPOSE AND IMPORTANCE

Enterprises try to ensure the satisfaction and loyalty of their customers through experiential marketing. In this way, they can both keep their existing customers and gain new customers. Thanks to the different experiences that hotel enterprises provide for their customers who prefer their facilities to stay in, the enterprises have a high possibility of turning them into regular customers. Today, hotel enterprises offer their customers different experiences in different departments from the beginning of check-in till check-out of the hotel. Tourists go through these different experiences in 5 modules as sensory, emotional, intellectual, behavioural and relational and in 4 dimensions as entertainment, education, aesthetics and escape. The fact that the hotel management works accordingly for the experiences that tourists go through in these modules and dimensions is an essential issue. It is also essential for the hotel management to pay attention to the features in these dimensions and modules so that tourists can have different experiences during their hotel accommodations. In this regard, the primary purpose of this study is to examine the experiential marketing modules and dimensions from the perspectives of hotel managers. In line with this primary purpose, revealing the differences between experience modules and experience dimensions according to the features of the hotels constitutes the sub-purpose of the study.
1.3. CONTRIBUTION of the ARTICLE to the LITERATURE
As a result of the literature review carried out, the studies on the experience modules and experience dimensions of the experiential marketing applied in the hotel enterprises were generally examined from the perspectives of customers. It was observed that there were quite a few studies from the perspectives of managers. The study is thought to contribute to the literature in this regard.
2. DESIGN AND METHOD

2.1. RESEARCH TYPE
Relational screening model, which is one of the quantitative research methods, was used in this study.

2.2. RESEARCH PROBLEMS
The main problem of this study is to reveal how experiential marketing modules and dimensions are applied in the hotel enterprises from the perspectives of hotel managers.
2.3. DATA COLLECTION METHOD
In this study, a questionnaire was used as the data collection technique. The questionnaire created was composed of two main sections. In the first section of the questionnaire, there were the questions formed in order to determine the essential characteristics of the hotel enterprises. In the second section of the questionnaire, there was a 22-item scale composed of 4 dimensions as entertainment, education, aesthetics and escape, which was used to determine the perspectives of managers towards the experience dimensions. These questions were prepared as 5-point Likert type scale (I strongly disagree – I disagree – I neither agree nor disagree – I agree – I strongly agree). In the third section of the questionnaire, there was a 19-item scale composed of 5 dimensions as sensory, emotional, intellectual, behavioural and relational, which was used to determine the perspectives of managers towards the experience modules. These questions were prepared as 5-point Likert type scale (I strongly disagree – I disagree - I neither agree nor disagree – I agree – I strongly agree).
2.4. QUANTITATIVE / QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS
As the data of the study were collected from 32 managers, the analyses in the study were performed according to the dimension mean scores by remaining faithful to the original scales. Since the number of participants in the study was low, nonparametric tests were applied in order to reveal the differences in the perspectives of the hotel managers towards the experience dimensions and experience modules according to the different features of the hotel enterprises.
2.5. RESEARCH MODEL
In this study, experience dimensions and experience modules were examined from the perspectives of the hotel managers. In addition, it was examined whether there were significant differences between the viewpoints of the managers on the experience modules and experience dimensions according to the different characteristics of the hotels.
2.6. RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

H1: There is a significant difference between the perspectives of the participants towards the experience dimensions and experience modules according to the number of stars of the hotel enterprises they work in.
H2: There is a significant difference between the perspectives of the participants towards the experience dimensions and experience modules according to the operational status of the hotel enterprises they work in.
H3: There is a significant difference between the perspectives of the participants towards the experience dimensions and experience modules according to the operational period of the hotels.
H4: There is a significant difference between the perspectives of the participants towards experience dimensions and experience modules according to the capacity of the hotels.

3. FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION

3.1. FINDINGS as a RESULT of ANALYSIS
As a result of the findings obtained in the study, it was determined that of the experience dimensions, the education dimension had the lowest mean score. According to the responses given by the participants, the aesthetic dimension had the highest mean score. When the mean scores of the experience modules were examined, it was observed that intellectual module had the lowest mean score, whereas emotional module had the highest mean score according to the responses given by the participants. It was revealed that there was no significant difference in the managers’ perspective on experience dimensions and experience modules according to the number of stars and the operational status of the hotels.
However, it was found that there was a significant difference in the education dimension and the perspectives of the managers towards intellectual, behavioural and relational modules in the hotels with different operational periods. Furthermore, it was also observed that there was a significant difference between the perspectives of the managers having different hotel capacities towards the emotional module, which was of the experience modules.
3.2. HYPOTHESIS TEST RESULTS

HYPOTHESES RESULTS
H1: There is a significant difference between the perspectives of the participants towards experience dimensions and experience modules according to the number of stars of the hotel enterprises they work in. REJECTED
H2: There is a significant difference between the perspectives of the participants towards experience dimensions and experience modules according to the operational status of the hotel enterprises they work in. REJECTED
H3: There is a significant difference between the perspectives of the participants towards experience dimensions and experience modules according to the operation period of the hotels. ACCEPTED in terms of education dimension and intellectual, behavioural and relational dimensions
H4: There is a significant difference between the perspectives of the participants towards experience dimensions and experience modules according to the capacity of the hotels. ACCEPTED in terms of emotional module

3.3. DISCUSSING the FINDINGS with the LITERATURE
Considering the overall mean scores of the dimensions; it could be stated that while aesthetic dimension had the lowest mean score in the study conducted by Çoşkunoğlu (2019), education dimension had the highest mean score. Similarly, in the study conducted by Çeltek (2010), it was revealed that the education dimension had the lowest mean score, whereas escape dimension had the highest mean score. In this respect, this study could be said to have opposite findings when compared to the study conducted by Çoşkunoğlu (2019). However, it could be stated that the findings of the study conducted by Çeltek coincided with the findings of this study, with the education dimension having the lowest mean score. When the findings of the studies by Coşkunoğlu (2019) and Çeltek (2010) conducted similarly were compared, it was found that in the study conducted by Coşkunoğlu (2019), the behavioural module had the highest mean score while sensory module had the lowest mean score. In the study conducted by Çeltek (2010), it was revealed that the sensory/emotional module had the highest mean score while intellectual/behavioural module had the lowest mean score. In this regard, even though the dimensions were combined in the study conducted by Çeltek (2010), the findings of the study were similar to the findings of the current study.

4. CONCLUSION, RECOMMENDATION AND LIMITATIONS

4.1. RESULTS of the ARTICLE
As a result of the findings of the study, it could be said that experience dimensions and experience modules were applied above the moderate level in the 4-star and 5-star hotel enterprises in Kuşadası. There was not a difference in the perspectives of the managers in the hotel enterprises towards experience dimensions and experience modules according to the number of stars of the hotels and their operational status. However, there was a significant difference in the perspectives of the managers towards education dimension and intellectual, behavioural and relational modules in the hotels with different operation periods. Furthermore, it was observed that there was a significant difference between the perspectives of the participants with different hotel capacities towards the emotional module, which was of the experience modules.
4.2. SUGGESTIONS BASED on RESULTS
According to the findings of the study, hotel managers can respond to the expectations of their guests by teaching new things, especially to their guests who stay in their enterprises for different experiences. Besides, hotel enterprises can organize such courses as sports and hobby activities for their guests and be educatory for their guests. Thus, they can also help their guests to meet the experiences in terms of learning.
4.3. LIMITATIONS of the ARTICLE
This study was carried out through a questionnaire applied to the managers working in 4 and 5-star hotel enterprises operating in Kuşadası district, one participant from each hotel. Accordingly, together with the fact that this study can be carried out in different resort hotels, it can also be conducted in city hotels and thus, comparisons can be made as well. Furthermore, different perspectives can also be revealed by applying the study to all the employees or all the managers working in hotel enterprises.

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How to Cite

AYYILDIZ, T. (2020). EXPERIENCE MODULES AND EXPERIENCE DIMENSIONS FROM THE PERSPECTIVES OF HOTEL MANAGERS. Business & Management Studies: An International Journal, 8(3), 3239-3273. https://doi.org/10.15295/bmij.v8i3.1586