How to cite this article:
Wiastuti, Rachel Dyah., & Susilowardhani, Erna Mariana. (2015). Element of Marketing Communication Mix for Hotel with Sharia Concept (Case Study in Sofyan Hotel Betawi). Proceeding of The 2nd International International Conference on Corporate and Marketing Communication (ICCOMAC). Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia. October 16th, 2015. Jakarta Indonesia. ISBN 9786028904582
Element of Marketing Communication Mix for Hotel with Sharia Concept (Case Study in Sofyan Hotel Betawi)
Rachel Dyah Wiastuti
Hotel Management, Bina Nusantara University
Erna Mariana Susilowardhani
Faculty of Communications Science, University of Persada Indonesia YAI
It is a fact that Indonesia is the third largest Moslem country. It is a fact as well that tourism has rapidly grown, outbound and inbound, locally and internationally. With both realities, there was a need for a tourism industry that hold Moslem concept. This concept may be covered by tourism destination, airlines, travel agent, and hotel. All are engaging for Muslim niche target market. Recently, hotel has grown with broaden concept. One of the concept that go with Muslim as the main market for hotel industry is Sharia concept. This concept is still become minority compare to conventional hotel concept. Furthermore, Sharia hotel has to put more effort in order to compete and to un-tapped this enormous market through several strategy, one of them is through marketing communication mix. The purpose of this paper is to examine marketing communication mix element applied in hotel industry that hold Sharia concept. Hotel Sofyan Betawi was chosen as research object, selected from official DSN-MUI (Dewan Sharia Nasional-Majelis Ulama Indonesia) that officially categorized Sofyan Hotel Betawi as Sharia hotel. Researchers used two main concepts; marketing communication concept and Sharia hotel concept. This is qualitative- descriptive research. Observation and in-depth interview applied as primary data sources, while documentation and literature study applied as secondary data sources. The results provide details description about Sharia hotel concept marketing communication mix element, such as advertising, sales promotion, public relations, merchandising and personal selling. Sharia rules and regulation related to hotel and marketing activities are also presented. Keywords: Sharia, Sharia hotel, Islamic, Islamic hotel, Marketing communication mix, Marketing sharia, Sharia promotional mix.
The prediction of global Muslim population will reach 2.2 billion people or 26.4% from total worldwide population on 2030, is gaining increased attention from businesses worldwide as a specific consumer group given the size of the market and its growing affluence (Pesona Indonesia, 2014). The opportunities that this encompasses are notably apparent in the Sharia tourism industry. Razalli, Yusoff & Roslan (2013) argue that Muslim population is growing at the faster rate than the non-Muslim population. With this growing Muslim tourist, the demand for the Islamic-oriented hotel has increased over the years. Soyfan on Global Business Guide Indonesia (2013) stated that Indonesia as a moderate Muslim country with plenty of natural tourism attributes is well positioned to take advantage of the lucrative opportunities to be found in Islamic tourism market as well as related industries through effective promotion and communication. Sofyan (2013) said that earlier in 2013, an MOU was signed between the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy and MUI (Majelis Ulama Indonesia) to make Indonesia a premier destination for devout Muslim holiday-makers wishing to abide by their religious teachings. The Islamic concepts have received good response not only from the Muslim guests, but the hotel clients also come from Europe, Germany, Australia as well, hence dismissing the perception that Islamic concept hotels are likely to only attract Muslim guests (Razalli et al., 2013). Indonesia also enjoys a unique position as a moderate Muslim country which provides the platform on which to carve out a niche in the market and appeal to non-Muslims interested in exploring Islamic heritage or seeking the advantages offered by Shariah compliant hospitality services (Sofyan, 2013). This provides a cohesive direction and drive for the private sector to explore new opportunities and for existing players within Shariah compliant hospitality such as the Sofyan Hotel chain to further expand their activities (Sofyan, 2013). Furthermore, Sharia hotel has to put more effort in order to compete and to un-tapped this enormous market through several strategy, one of them is through marketing communication mix. Rehman & Ibrahim (2011) stated that marketing communication represents the ―voice‖ of the company and its brands and is the means by which it can establish a dialogue and build relationship with customers. By integrated marketing communication consumers learn who makes the product, for what purpose or benefit it stands and links the brand to people, place, events, experiences, feelings. Principles of Islamic Marketing combined the concept of maximizing the value and the principle of justice (Muljadi, Endraswati & Wahyuni, 2014). The purpose of this paper is to examine marketing communication mix element applied in hotel industry that hold Sharia concept. It also captures recent contributions in the hotel and marketing communication literature
1. Concept of Sharia Hotel
Sharia is considered as code of conduct that regulates the Muslim life (Shamim, 2009; Yuni and Nor ‗Ain, 2010; Yusof and Muhammad, 2013) as cited in Saad, Ali & Abdel, 2014. Sharia-Compliant Hotel is a relatively new concept. It is also known as Islamic hotels and can be defined as a hotel that provides services in accordance to the Sharia principles.
Refer to Peraturan Menteri Pariwisata dan Ekonomi Kreatif No.2 tahun 2014 about Guideline for Sharia Business (Pedoman Penyelenggaraan Usaha Hotel Sharia), there are several terminology such as definition of hotel business, Sharia, business hotel Sharia, Sharia hotel criteria, Sharia hotel hilal-1, Sharia hotel hilal-2. The business hotel is providing accommodation in the form of rooms in a building that can be equipped with food and drink services, entertainment activities and or other facilities on a daily basis with the aim of obtaining profits. Sharia is Islamic law principles as set fatwa and / or approved by the MUI (Majelis Ulama Indonesia). Sharia Business Hotel is a business hotel that its implementation must meet the criteria of Hotel Sharia referred to in this regulation. Business Hotel Sharia criteria is the formulation of qualifications and or classification that includes aspects of products, services, and management. Sharia hotel hilal-1 is a classification to Sharia hotel businesses judged to meet all the criteria Business Hotel Sharia needed to serve the needs of a minimum of Muslim travelers. Sharia hotel Hilal-2 is the classification for Business Hotel Sharia assessed fulfills all criteria Business Hotel Sharia needed to serve the needs of moderate Muslim travelers. Thomson Reuters on the State of Global Islamic Economy report 2013 as cited in Pesona Indonesia Newsletter (2014) declare that it is not just about Muslim needs and preference, but those who seek ethical trade, quality products and good experiences
2. Criteria of Sharia Hotel
Refer to Sucipto & Andayani (2015,106) there are 10 elements of Sharia hotel concept; (1) halal food, (2) provide shalat facilities, azan timing announcement, and kiblat direction, (3) entertainment facilities such as swimming pool, spa. and children playground should contain education matter, not only for leisure purposes, (4) provide specific space for female employee, (5) divide swimming pool and spa area between female and male, (6) provide Middle East food and beverage menu in the restaurant, (7) strictly no alcoholic beverages, (8) provide Middle East television channel, (9) user friendly and compatible female changing room that strictly cover all area and closed for any male, (10) provide Al-Quran in all guest room. These entire 10 elements are in flexible depends on hilal-1 and hilal-2 criteria. Refer to Lampiran Peraturan Menteri Pariwisata dan Ekonomi Kreatif No.2 tahun 2014 about Kriteria Mutlak Dan Kriteria Tidak Mutlak Usaha Hotel Syariah there are three major elements of Sharia hotel concept; (1) Product aspect such as public rest room, guest room, guest bathroom, interior, lobby, kitchen, employee space, prayer room, swimming pool, and spa. (2) Service aspect such as front office, housekeeping, food and beverage, recreation and entertainment, spa, public bar, telephone operator. (3) Management aspect such as organization, human resource management and corporate management. All aspect adhere to the requirement of hilal-1 and hilal-2
3. Sharia Hotel Certification
Hotel Sharia Business Certification is the process of awarding certificates to the hotel business through an audit to assess the conformity of products, services and business management with criteria Sharia Business Hotel. In Indonesia, National Sharia Board- Indonesia Council of Ulama (Dewan Sharia Nasional-Majelis Ulama Indonesia- DSN- MUI) is the competent authority being responsible for Sharia Hotel certification. DSN has been appointed as an authoritative body or organization that being responsible in handling all Sharia business certification process and it is under MUI board. For the purposes of certification and issue of Certificate of Business Hotel Sharia, DSN-MUI must do an assessment about (1) the fulfillment of the basic requirements and (2) compliance and enforcement efforts Absolute Hotel Sharia criteria, as set forth in this regulation. Start on 2014 there are two criteria for Sharia hotel; criteria hilal-1 and criteria hilal-2. Sharia hotel hilal-1 has more absolute criteria to be fulfilled while Sharia hotel hilal-2 has less absolute criteria to be fulfilled. Absolute criteria are minimum terms and conditions of the products, services, and management that must be fulfilled and implemented by particular hotel so it can be recognized as a Business Hotel Sharia and obtained the Certificate of Business Hotel Sharia. Unabsolute criteria are terms and conditions concerning the products, services, and management that can be implemented by Hotel Sharia, to meet the specific needs of Muslim travelers. Absolute criteria for hilal-1 are product aspects (8 elements and 27 sub-elements), service aspect (6 elements and 20 sub-elements) and management aspect (2 elements and 2 sub-elements), while absolute criteria for hilal-2 are product aspects (11 elements and 40 sub-elements), service aspect (10 elements and 28 sub-elements) and management aspect (3 elements and 6 sub-elements). (Peraturan Menteri Pariwisata dan Ekonomi Kreatif No.2 tahun 2014).
4. Marketing of Sharia Hotel
Marketing concepts for hotel with Sharia principles according to Sucipto & Andayani (2014) are (1) open to anyone selective Sharia compliance of the activities carried out in the hotel rather than on the person or group and (2) The process of getting the customer does not use prohibited manner based on Sharia as the essence risywah, mark-up or other processes that help the process of corruption and manipulation, provide entertainment which is not link to Sharia concept in order to grab customers Ahmed & Rahman (2015) comment that unlike conventional marketing, the Islamic marketing concept was established based on the basic motives of the creation of mankind and purpose. In Islam, every human life must follow Islamic Shariarules and regulations which are commanded by Allah the Almighty. So in Islam, marketing is not confined to just buying and selling or getting profit from goods and services under any business. According to Alom and Haque (2011), Islamic marketing is a process and strategy (Hikmah) of fulfilling needs through Halal (Tayyibat) products and services, with the mutual consent and welfare (Falah) of both parties (buyers and sellers) for the purpose of achieving material and spiritual wellbeing in this world and the hereafter. They also mention that Islamic marketing must never compromise with unethical practices such as charging high prices, deceptive practices, misleading information about the products and services, hoarding, poor services to the disadvantaged customers, and selling unsafe products to the customers without informing them. Islamic marketing strategy always motivates the businessmen or business organisations to avoid these unethical practices to ensure the highest level of morality with satisfaction. If the Islamic marketing concept can be established in business organisations, then all stakeholders will benefit by getting pure products and services with good conduct on the part of the marketers or businessmen (Ahmed & Rahman, 2015)
Qader Vazifeh Damirchi (2010) gave an overview of Sharia marketing theory to analyze 5P (product, price, place, promotion, and people) with Islamic ethics (as cited in Muljadi et al., 2014). Kertajaya & Sula (2006) argue that marketing Sharia is a business discipline strategy directs the process of creating offers, as well as changes in the scope of an initiator to its owner, which is in the overall process in accordance with the contract and the principles muamalah (business) in Islam. According to Islamic marketing all activities should be spiritualistic, ethical, realistic, and humanistic. They avowed 17 postulates of Islamic marketing that should be applied when institutions propose to rely on Islamic marketing. They considered three of these; (1) predilection towards being different and accompanying a good package through differentiation, (2) being truthful to your marketing mix, and (3) establishing a relationship based on selling. According to Islamic doctrines, submissions to the will of Allah is not just a matter of worshipping Him, but obeying His orders, refraining from things that are forbidden by Allah SWT (described in the Qur‘an and Sunnah). Saeed, Ahmad & Mukhtar (2001) declare that the core form of the Islamic vision is that any marketing activity that is unethical and negates the concepts of brotherhood and equality of humanity is prohibited. Niazi (1996) said that any business activity in accordance with Islamic tenets is endorsed by two principles; (1) obedience to the honorable order of God and (2) to work for the benevolence and betterment of God‘s creations, which involves abstaining from doing harm and shunning unethical practices (as cited in Saeed & Baig, 2013).
5. Marketing Communication Mix
Communication, one of the most representatives of human activities and the basis for social interaction, is defined as the exchange of ideas, information and feelings (Mihart, 2012). Promotion is the communication part of marketing. Promotion provide customer with information and knowledge in an informative and persuasive manner. The information and knowledge can be communicated using one or more of five promotional techniques. Taken together, these techniques are referred to as the promotional mix. According to Morrison (2010) the five promotional mix elements are as follows; advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, merchandising, public relation and publicity. Schultz (2003) describes promotional mix into advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing. Kotler, Bowen & Makens (2014) A company‘s total promotion mix- also called as marketing communications mix-consists of specific blend of advertising, public relation, personal selling, sales promotion and direct marketing tools that the company uses to communicate customer value and build customer relationship persuasively (1) Advertising is the placement of announcement and persuasive messages in time or space purchased in any of the mass media by business firms, nonprofit organizations, government agencies and individual who seek to inform and to persuade members of a particular target market or audience about their product. Advertising are usually paid. This include consumer advertising and trade advertising in a media such as print media, broadcast media, out-of-home media, direct marketing media and interactive media (Morrison, 2010). (2) Personal selling is involving oral conversations. These are held by telephone or face to face, between salesperson and prospective customers (Morrison, 2010). (3) Sales promotion is approaches where customers are given a short term inducement to make an immediate purchase. This includes discount, coupons, contest, sweepstakes, samples and premiums (Morrison, 2010). (4) Merchandising or point of purchase advertising is approaches involve in-house techniques that use material to encourage customers to make purchases. This includes menus, wine list, tent cards, signs, posters, displays (Morrison, 2010). (5) Public relation includes all activities that a company engages to maintain or improve its relationship with others organizations and individuals. Publicity is one public relation techniques that involves non-paid communication of information about an organization‘s service (Morrison, 2010). Kotler et al (2014) said direct marketing involve direct connections with carefully targeted individual consumers to both obtain an immediate response and cultivate lasting customer relationship-the use of direct mail, telephone, direct response television, email, internet and other tools to communicate directly with specific consumers.
Factors that affecting the promotional mix are target markets, marketing objectives, competition and promotional practices, promotional budget available. Because above five element of marketing communication mix or promotional mix has unique strength and weaknesses, they should be combined together in an Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC). Pickton & Broderick (2005) describe marketing communications as all the promotional elements of the marketing mix which involve the communications between an organization and its target audiences on all matters that affect marketing performance. Consequently, marketing communications have become a fundamental aspect of marketing, a business vision and an essential factor in successful marketing communication. Its importance have increased dramatically in recent decades, considering that the marketing and communication are inseparable, all organizations business areas using various forms of marketing communication to make their offer and to meet financial or non-profit targets (Shimp,2003). The primary goal of IMC is to affect the perception of value and behavior through communication (Holm, 2006). IMC plays a very important role in the ability and capacity of firm to innovate and success fully delivers competitive response through value added offerings to their customers (Rehman & Ibrahim, 2011).
Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) is a planning process designed to assure that all brand contracts received by a customer pr prospect for a product, service, or organization are relevant to that person and consistent over time (Morrison, 2010). Today, many companies are adopting the concept of IMC. Under this concept, the company carefully integrates its many communications channels to deliver a clear, consistent, and compelling message about the organizations and its brands. IMC calls for recognizing all touch points where customers may encounter the company and its brand. IMC aims to build strong customer relationship by showing how the company and its products can help customers solve their problems. Kotler (2006) defines marketing communications mix as the “Promotion” of the marketing Ps (Product, price, promotion and placement, people, process and physical evidence) and covers every method and medium of communicating with a target audience. Integrated Marketing Communication enhances companies‘ ability to reach the right customer with right message at the right time and in the right place (Kotler, 2005). The various communications mix elements are mutually reinforcing creating synergies in uplifting the brand image of the service or product. This is reflected Delozier (2006) statement that all elements of the marketing mix must be effectively communicated through relevant channels of information (as cited in Tsikirayi et al, 2010).
This study conducted in a qualitative method with descriptive analysis. Lindlof &Taylor (2002) mentioned that study using qualitative methods often focus only on a partial set of relationships in a scene. Qualitative researcher seek to preserve and analyze the situated form, content and experience of social action, rather than subject it to mathematical or other formal transformations. Creswell (2009) said that qualitative researchers typically gather multiple forms of data, such as interviews, observations, and documents, rather than rely on a single data source. Then the researchers review all of the data, make sense of it, and organize it into categories or themes that cut across all of the data sources. As noted by Kriyantono (2012), qualitative research aims to explain the deepest phenomenon through in-depth data collection. Neuman (2003) mentioned that descriptive research presents a picture of the specific details of a situation, social setting, or relationship. The outcome of a descriptive study is a detailed picture of the subject. DSN-MUI (Dewan Sharia Nasional-Majelis Ulama Indonesia) or National Sharia Board- Indonesia Council of Ulama was used as main reference in order to obtain which hotel that was selected. As a result, Sofyan Hotel Betawi was chosen with main reason as the first hotel in Indonesia that officially received and appointed as Sharia hotel
As primary data, in dept interview was conducted with Assistant Sales and Marketing Manager of Sofyan Hotel Betawi as hotel management representatives. Dwyer, Gill, & Seetaram (2012) define that interviewing is valuable when the researcher wants to capture an informant‘s ideas, thoughts, and experiences in their own words. While, Oei (2010) stated that interview applied in order to obtain detail information required so that open ended questions are used. Monette et al. listed that an interview involves an interviewer reading questions to respondents and recording their answers (as cited in Kumar, 2011). Secondary data is data obtained from the second source (Kriyantono, 2012). In this study, the secondary data was obtained from the literature study and documentation. Researcher conducted a literature study, by using the references that were relevant to this research.
Sofyan Hotels is Indonesia‘s leading Sharia compliant hospitality service provider well known for its active role in encouraging the growth of this niche industry in Muslim market. Sofyan Hotel is hotel which existed since 1970 with competence employees and Sofyan Hotel also have Training for faith and morals program for their employees. PT. Sofyan Hotel Tbk is the first business company that received Sertifikat Bisnis Sharia from Dewan Sharia Nasional (DSN-MUI) or National Sharia Board- Indonesia Council of Ulama No. 001/07/B/DSN/MUI/2003.
This research defines marketing activities practices from the point of view as internal efforts or activities of Sofyan Hotel Betawi. All below information refer to personal communication with Ita Faridasari as Assistant Sales and Marketing Manager of Sofyan Hotel Betawi (2014). Marketing activities at Sofyan Hotel Betawi run by internal hotel management and join with another hotel in the same management, which is Sofyan Hotel Tebet where all are link to sales marketing corporate office.
Marketing team personnel consists of seven people; one person in corporate office, three people in Hotel Sofyan Betawi and three people in Sofyan Hotel Tebet. All job position is sales and marketing position; there is no public relation job position. Hijab and Muslim uniform are a must for all team members. Ita (2014) said that there are no significant discrepancy of marketing activities between conventional hotel concept and Sharia hotel concept. The concept will be similar, because the difference is only the product that is offered to customer. Conventional hotel concept offer general product while Sharia hotel concept offer product that suit to Sharia principles. Sales marketing corporate office responsible for all e-commerce activities and web developer, while internal hotel responsible for remaining marketing activities.
All content listed in official hotel website will be handle by corporate office while the preferred subject or topic or program proposed by Sofyan Hotel Betawi Hotel target markets demographic are Jabodetabek, Jawa, Sumatra and Semarang. Hotel segmentation for 2014 is government market and 2015 are corporate, travel agent and LSM (Lembaga Swadaya Masyarakat). Travel agent provide group from abroad Jabodetabek area, corporate provide those who are mostly having company training purposes and LSM provide those who are in mentoring or tutoring or socializing purposes. Promotional mix is said to include tools such as advertising, public relations, sales promotion, direct marketing, and personal selling. Businesses need to inform customers of the products and services they provide in order to facilitate the firm‘s survival in the very competitive business environment. In addition, effective communication with your customers is vital to ensure that your business generates sales and profits (Ahmed & Rahman, 2015). In Sharia marketing, when dealing with such marketing activity as promotion, all aspects of communication to the consumers, whether through advertising or personal selling, must be done in a truthful manner without any intentions of misleading them or cheating them (Abdullah and Ahmad, 2010).
In term of advertising, chosen media are radio (Bens Radio 106.2 FM Betawi Punye Gaye), newspaper (Republika and Bisnis Indonesia), banner that locate in front of the hotel cascade. Advertising content spread out only in three topics; package promo, food promo, and meeting package. A must list items to be included in the advertising are Sofyan Hotel Betawi logo, MUI logo (Majelis Ulama Indonesia) and KAN logo (Komite Akreditasi Nasional-Lembaga Sertifikasi Sistem Mutu LSSM-002-IDN) and SICS Sucofindo logo (Certificate No: QSC 00998). Media social used are twitter and facebook and of course company website. In any advertising content, Sofyan Hotel Betawi holds all Sharia or Islamic principles; never use sex appeal and other symbol that prohibited by Islam.
Islam proscribed over promising (Trim, 2008) and or utilization of emotional sex appeal, romantic language, partially covered young model girls in advertising campaigns to promote a product; this is strictly prohibited within the Islamic ethical framework. Rice & Al-Mossawi (2002) said consequently, all advertising messages that follow Islamic teachings must be proliferating good morals, like women in a civilized manner and clothing; their role must be symbolized as a positive input for the family and society (as cited in Saeed & Baig, 2013). In Islamic ethics, promotional techniques must not use sexual appeal, emotional appeal, fear appeal, false testimonies, and pseudo research appeal, or contribute to the dullness of the mind or encourage extravagance. Within the Islamic framework, these promotional techniques are unethical since these methods can be utilised purely to exploit the basic instinct of consumers worldwide with a view to gain profits and greater market share (Hassan et al., 2008).
In term of personal selling, sales marketing personnel do sales call and sales blitz. Both are applied on daily basis to appointed account. While doing the sales call, it is prohibited to force the customer or prospective customer to buy hotel product. Sales personnel do inform, persuade and remind the customer about hotel product and service, but not in the stage of forcing someone. Telemarketing is applied by all sales executive aim to sell all hotel products; there is no particular program that sold through this telemarketing. Sales personnel may sell room product, food and beverage product or even meeting product. There are many competitors nearby, although most of them are conventional hotel concept, but they do consider as competitor because they pursue for the same customer market. Sofyan Hotel Betawi do not consider competitor as enemy, instead Sofyan Hotel Betawi consider them as friend and eventually make friendship for long term. Saeed & Baig (2013) stated concern does not surround the fact that companies are trying hard to become more competitive than their competitors, but the issue in Islamic marketing is whether or not they are gaining a competitive edge through a righteous path and that the practice used is in the favor of society.
Sofyan Hotel Betawi strictly applied no mark up policy, no matter who are the markets, either they hold important position or come from a very reputable company, Sofyan Hotel Betawi will strictly say no to mark up. On 2013 this policy once become an obstacle for hotel revenue, hotel reach at lower level of income and many company chose another hotel that can provide with mark up. But then the situation remain no more than a year, on 2014 the hotel market start to grow up and keep on grow up even until this year. Recently, hotel has less government market and more to corporate market.
In term of sales promotion, new product launching in food and beverage are rarely. Food and beverage department have the menu on cycle basis. New product will be proposed on occasionally basis. Fruit basket is on complimentary basis for long staying guest. Sofyan Hotel Betawi has no membership program. They provide no special treatment for guest who celebrate birthday or even on other occasion. But they do email blast to all listed email in order to spread out package promo. No SMS or text messaging blast.
In term of partnership, for payment options, Sofyan Hotel Betawi have exclusive partner with Bank that hold Sharia concept; BRI Shariah, BNI Shariah, Mandiri Shariah and also those non Sharia concept which is BNI. Sofyan Hotel Betawi also partner with Wakaf Al-Azhar start on 2014, in the form of a cooperation agreement of discounts or rebates for owners Endowments Card or Membership Card ProductiveWakaf Al-Azhar (KAWPA). Sofyan Hotel Betawi also willing to place a banner sign discount at front desk counters, and socialize Wakaf card to all employees of the Sofyan hotel chain.
In term of merchandising, Sofyan Hotel Betawi provide sign board in several location in hotel such as in lobby and nearby meeting room, the content are hotel general information, daily shalat schedule and function room timetable. This shalat timing schedule is a must component of Sharia hotel. In the restaurant entrance they put sign board that listed food and beverage promo or package. Inside the restaurant they put tent card in each guest table. For the books menu itself, restaurant ensure to put halal logo, the layout is interesting and place image to make customer easier visualizing the product.
In term of public relation, since there is no public relation position, all public relation responsibility holds by sales and marketing, which is Ibu Ita Faridasari. Press release is rarely. Most of the public relation activities come from external side that proposed to have a publicity or interview with hotel representative. Sofyan Hotel Betawi mostly accepted the entire proposal and merely rejects no one. This is considered as free publication that can boost Sofyan Hotel Betawi branding. Hotel does not pursue to find media in order to publication the brand.
This research has found that there are no significant differences for promotional mix or marketing communication mix implementation between conventional hotel concept and Sharia hotel concept. Sharia hotel concept is still a growing concept here in Indonesia. Rules and regulation is still keeping under review from government together with organization and association. Sofyan Hotel Betawi has limited sales and marketing personnel, as this is in line with the small scope of hotel business. Sofyan Hotel Betawi apply marketing communication mix in advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, merchandising and public relation. Refer to limited departmental budget, Sofyan Hotel Betawi chose to be flexible in their marketing activities. It means hotel try to look at the priority first. Though marketing plan is pursued in advance, but team personnel are able to adapt to any situation in case they have to adjust. Sofyan Hotel Betawi has decided to put more attention in advertising, personal selling and merchandising. On the contrary, they put less priority in public relation and sales promotion. Refer to advertising, Kotler (2005) highlights that consumers receive so much information from marketers and screen out a good deal of it, it is important for marketers to devise communications that offer consistent messages about their products and are placed in media that consumers in the target market are likely to use. The chosen advertising media is very good and reach the target market. They prefer Bens Radio with the main consideration Betawi market and also to boost the culture of Betawi. Another media which are Republika and Bisnis Indonesia are chosen because both media represent corporate market that suitable to hotel segment market.
Refer to personal selling, Sofyan Hotel Betawi no mark up policy is in line with Sharia concept. This is one application in personal selling and delivering financial services. Hotel will always keep this policy.
Refer to sales and promotion and public relation, in order to be competitive in today‘s market, integrated marketing communication plan should not be considered an end goal but rather a continuous approach (Rehman & Ibrahim, 2011). It is advisable that Sofyan Hotel Betawi has one personnel that appointed as public relation, so that hotel branding will be enhanced through active public relation activities, not only through passive as what they run until today. Another factor is sales promotion, though the market is already stable, hotel should aware that sales promotion does take an important role not only grab the market but also retaining regular customer
Refer to partnership, Sofyan Hotel Betawi do have several business partner. However, it is advisable that management should add and broaden more partnership with other parties. It can be with other card membership provider, other bank, other airlines or intermediaries such as wholesaler and travel agent. By having partnership it may obtain some benefits (Morrison, 2010) such as access to new market, increased ability to serve customer need, enhance image or positioning, access to partner‘s customer database, expansion of product or service mix andaccess to partner‘s expertise.
Refer to merchandising, Sofyan Hotel Betawi keep in simple and this is one of the best decisions. The hotel building itself is not huge; it is more like a big house. It is very homey and simple merchandising is just suitable with the hotel concept. They use color that in line with hotel logo, the image is simple yet informative; the location is reachable by customer.
Promotional mix activities can be beneficial in terms of social and economic progression by encouraging ―healthy competition‖, however from the lens of an Islamic marketer; these activities should not encourage wasting or overspending of resources (Abdullah & Ahmad, 2010). Furthermore, the concept of promotion in Islamic marketing focuses more on providing customer satisfaction, rather than satisfying one‘s (the firm‘s) own goals alone (Ahmed & Rahman, 2015). This theory is in line with one of the mission of Sofyan Hotel Betawi which is ―To operate and develop hotel services and products that are halal, provide optimal benefit to guest, society and environment. Best value for money and attractive as a preferred lifestyle for all‖. From this mission statement, it can be clearly understood that Sofyan Hotel Betawi has put first priority to guest, society and environment, and not to company. Sofyan Hotel Betawi also always put competitor in a healthy competition by never consider them as enemy but instead as friendship.
If there are opportunities given the increase of the potential market, there are also challenges regarding a new heterogeneous, experienced and informed demand that must be considered (Gustavo, 2013). This is one of the biggest challenges that faced by Sofyan Hotel Betawi, with the development of both conventional as well as similar hotel concept. Another consideration is that how to deliver the concept of Sharia to the market so that they might accept it. The challenges for doing business in Islamic countries arise from the fact that people have diverse management styles, communication values, and decision-making processes, and are usually dependent on their religious values (Saeed & Baig, 2013)
There are big potential and bright prospect of Sharia or Islamic market to the economy and to the hotel industry, especially with the growing number of Muslim population and Muslim travelers and this market segment is expected to grow fast. This promising future comes with great challenges (Ali et al. 2014). Sofyan Hotel Betawi as Sharia hotel concept has to put more effort in order to compete and to un-tapped this enormous market through several strategy, one of them is through marketing communication mix. Marketing communications mix has a highly complex content, both in terms of scope and the objectives pursued and on methods and tools for action. Considering that the primary purpose of marketing communication is to build and strengthen the brand (Mihart, 2012). There are no significant differences for promotional mix or marketing communication mix implementation between conventional hotel concept and Sharia hotel concept.It is therefore important for Sofyan Hotel Betawi to conduct continuous and systematic integrated marketing communication mix within the company and with the corporate office so that Sofyan Hotel Betawi will always be competitive and able to innovate and success fully delivers competitive response through value added offerings to the customers.
Results in this research constitute only an early step in understanding model of Sharia marketing communication mix and Sharia hotel practices. Additional research is needed to observe the relationships between the marketing communication mix activities and hotel performance. Besides that, it is recommended that it would be better if future researches to also use the quantitative approach such as survey for data collection. The future research may also include testing of other variables which might have significant effects on organizational performance.
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