Marketing mix of Airbnb (7Ps of Airbnb)
This article offers a detailed analysis of the marketing mix of Airbnb. Its purpose is to investigate the 7Ps (Product, Price, Place, Promotion, Process, People, and Physical Evidence) of Airbnb. It also aims to examine how the company has been making use of certain marketing strategies and techniques to take its message to the customers.
Airbnb is an American vacation rental online marketplace, headquartered in California, the United States. It has become a household name in the world of vacation rentals and homestays. Its success is not only attributed to its innovative business model but also to its excellent marketing strategies.
Products and services of Airbnb
Product is the first item of analysis in this marketing mix of Airbnb (7Ps of Airbnb). Airbnb is a platform that people can use to find short-term accommodation. Its listings are categorized as ‘Entire place’, ‘Private room’, and ‘Shared room’.
An Entire place typically includes a bedroom, a bathroom, and a kitchen. On the other hand, a Private room offers guests a private room and a Shared room/common area is likely to be shared by guests (Airbnb, 2023).
On the basis of quality and target market, Airbnb places can be categorized as Airbnb Plus (highest quality homes) and Airbnb Luxe (Luxury places). Airbnb also offers Open Homes that provide people with free places to stay in times of need. It should be mentioned that Airbnb does not own any places. It is only a platform that connects guests with hosts.
It is also worth mentioning that hotels with concierge services have an easier check-in service than many Airbnb places. Likewise, the support provided by Airbnb is poor when things go wrong (Trustpilot, 2023).
Pricing strategies of Airbnb
Pricing is a key item of analysis in this marketing mix of Airbnb (7Ps of Airbnb). Airbnb has different fee structures. For instance, in its Split-fee structure, it deducts a fee from the payout of hosts, and it also charges guests a fee. On the other hand, its Host-only fee structure, the entire service fee is collected from the hosts.
Although many analysts argue that prices of Airbnb services are relatively cheap, others report that this may not be the case when the guest service fee, taxes, and cleaning fees are put together. These could easily erase the cost advantage of Airbnb over its competitors. Lawrence (2022) reports that Airbnb prices in London are soaring rapidly putting many potential guests off!
Place/distribution channels of Airbnb
Airbnb is available in over 220 countries and territories in the world. Its site lists over 6.6 million rooms, flats, and houses in 100,000 + cities and towns (Airbnb, 2023). However, places such as London, Paris and New York usually have the biggest number of listings. Customers can reserve a place via the official website of Airbnb. Likewise, they can use many other third-party sites to do so.
Promotional strategies of Airbnb
Promotion plays a big role in this marketing mix of Airbnb (7Ps of Airbnb). Airbnb advertises on different platforms. It reaches out to both hosts and guests via TV adverts and social media marketing. It has millions of followers across platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. However, it needs more subscribers on its YouTube channel.
Airbnb has been known to launch impactful advertising campaigns that not only promote its brand but also convey its core values and mission. Two such campaigns are “Live There” and “live like a local”. These campaigns highlight the unique experiences available through Airbnb and set it apart from traditional hotel accommodations.
In addition to advertising campaigns, Airbnb also offers various promotional offers and discounts to attract new users and encourage repeat bookings. These promotions not only help drive bookings but also create a sense of urgency and exclusivity around the Airbnb experience.
Influencer marketing has played a significant role in Airbnb’s marketing success. The company has collaborated with various influencers and celebrities to create buzz around their platforms. These partnerships have helped it reach new audiences and create a sense of trust and credibility among users.
One of the most effective marketing strategies for Airbnb has been its referral program. By incentivising users to refer their friends and family to the platform, it has been able to grow its user base exponentially. The referral program offers both the referrer and the referred user a ‘travel credit’, creating a win-win situation for both parties.
People of Airbnb
There are over 4 million Airbnb hosts who offer accommodations to guests (Airbnb, 2023). Some of the hosts are called Superhosts who have great industry experience and are glittering examples for others. However, many guests are unhappy with the services provided by some of the hosts (Trustpilot, 2023).
Millions of guests use Airbnb places and services every year. The key here for the company is to ensure that both hosts and guests are well looked after to continue its global march. Safety and security of guests in the absence of concierge services is a concern for many guests.
Processes in Airbnb
The process of booking an accommodation is easy and done online via the Airbnb site, app, and many other sites. Likewise, a potential host can click on ‘Become a host’ section on the top right-hand site of the company website and then click ‘Ger started’ to follow the prompts to become a host.
One notable process implemented by Airbnb is its guest review system. By encouraging guests to leave reviews about their stay, it is able to maintain a good level of quality and trust among its users. This review system also helps hosts improve their listings and services, ultimately resulting in a better experience for all users.
Physical evidence of Airbnb
Physical evidence is the last item of analysis in this marketing mix of Airbnb (7Ps of Airbnb). Airbnb Plus homes are very thoughtfully designed and have all standard amenities. On the other hand, Airbnb Luxe homes are expertly designed and contain top-end facilities (Airbnb, 2023). However, many guests complain that physical environment of some properties were not what they expected.
Summary of Marketing mix of Airbnb (7Ps of Airbnb)
Airbnb’s marketing strategy has always been focused on its customers and providing them with excellent experience. The company has created a community of hosts and guests who share a love for travel and unique accommodations. However, it needs to do more to increase its guest satisfaction.
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Last update: 02 May 2023
Airbnb (2023) What do the different home types mean? available: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/help/article/317/what-do-the-different-home-types-mean (accessed 02 May 2023)
Lawrence, I. (2022) Airbnb prices in London are properly soaring, available at: https://www.timeout.com/london/news/airbnb-prices-in-london-are-properly-soaring-070622 (accessed 02 May 2023)
Trustpilot (2023) Airbnb, available at: https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.airbnb.com (accessed 02 May 2023)
Author: M Rahman
M Rahman writes extensively online and offline with an emphasis on business management, marketing, and tourism. He is a lecturer in Management and Marketing. He holds an MSc in Tourism & Hospitality from the University of Sunderland. Also, graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a BA in Business & Management Studies and completed a DTLLS (Diploma in Teaching in the Life-Long Learning Sector) from London South Bank University.