The chapter is dedicated to the notion of marketing and its role in making businesses successful. While inadequate marketing efforts are not always the reason why some companies do worse than others, lousy advertisement and promotion are highly likely to kill good ideas. Because of this, regardless of the type of business one has, marketing is essential for understanding customers, ensuring that they get what they want, as well as shaping the way in which they view competitors (Armstrong, 2017). Thus, the chapter breaks down the core marketing principles, including the different categories, such as the marketing mix (four Ps), the notion of value, the communication and exchange of offers, and other relevant notions.
Marketing is the most relevant for for-profit companies, and the authors of the chapter explore the ways in which different businesses used marketing for the purposes of promoting their products. There is a clear differentiation between the various departments responsible for engaging in marketing activities in for-profit organizations. The marketers working for businesses are expected to engage in open dialogues with their existing and potential customers to understand their expectations and know how to appeal to them (Armstrong, 2017). The goal of marketing in for-profit organizations is to increase sales and profits by creating appealing marketing campaigns that will induce customers to purchase what is being advertised.
In a non-profit organization, marketing is implemented not to acquire profits but rather to promote the services that they provide for free. From the monetary perspective, non-profits do not directly benefit. Therefore, it is expected that such organizations will engage in marketing through creating new ideas, communicating them, delivering, and exchanging them. It should be noted that governments also engage in marketing when they need to raise awareness of programs and legislation that need public support. Besides, the advertisement of governmental efforts and campaigns is also necessary for reaching the public and gathering people’s feedback and perception (Armstrong, 2017). Besides, environmental programs especially need promoting because as many people as possible are needed to support them and achieve an improvement.
Apart from organization-wide efforts, marketing is also relevant in the context of individuals. For example, when creating a resume, a person is expected to communicate their value in order to appear appealing to prospective employers. The more persuasive a resume is in its messaging and value content, the more likely will its author get selected for the position (Armstrong, 2017). In terms of individual-based marketing, it is also essential to consider influencer advertisement. In the current social media-heavy climate, marketers consider influencer and celebrity marketing an effective strategy for individuals.
To conclude, the chapter covers the basics of marketing as a process in which different entities engage for various purposes. In the case of for-profit organizations, marketing is necessary for promoting specific products and services for the purposes of gaining profits. For non-profit organizations and governments, marketing aims to raise awareness and engage the public in a conversation about important issues and topics (Armstrong, 2017). On an individual scale, marketing entails knowing one’s value and communicating it effectively to gain access to new opportunities. Overall, marketing is quite a flexible process and can be applied in different contexts depending on the purpose and the messages that need to be communicated.
This chapter is dedicated to the notion of strategic planning, which represents organizational management activities used for setting priorities, focusing on energy and resources, strengthening operations, ensuring that stakeholders work toward common goals, establishing agreement around intended outcomes, and so on. The value proposition is at the core of strategic planning because it represents the basic framework that communicates the specific benefits of a product or service provided to buyers (Armstrong, 2017). Once the value proposition is formulated, it becomes easier to work on the strategic planning, which includes the implementation of a situation analysis and the development of a mission statement, objectives, strategies, and other relevant components.
With the help of a situation analysis, organizations explore both the internal and external environments, which is usually done in the form of SWOT analysis. The internal environment is represented by an organization’s strengths and weaknesses for maintaining its competitive advantage. For example, for PepsiCo, such aspects as brand awareness, profitability, and strong market presence are the strengths that the company has. The identification of the strengths and weaknesses allows for the development of objectives, which represent what organizations want to accomplish (Armstrong, 2017). The formulation of goals can help guide and motivate companies’ employees and allow managers to establish points of reference for strengthening marketing actions. The formulation of the vision and mission of an organization also fall into the category of strategic objectives.
Strategic planning also entails the formulation of strategies that represent the game plan of what a company is going to do for achieving its objectives. Based on the strategy, tactics are developed, which include specific actions carried out for executing the strategy. A marketing plan is a functional level plan that allows marketing groups to have a direction. To some extent, they enable improving a company’s understanding of the competitive situation (Armstrong, 2017). The marketing strategies can be of different types, such as product development strategies and market development strategies that vary depending on their purpose and the tactics implemented for achieving them. Besides, there also may be such strategies as export, license, franchising, contract manufacturing, joint ventures, direct investment, and others.
Once an organization has started implementing its strategic planning, it can further develop its strategic portfolio planning approaches associated with analyzing the entire collection of businesses relative to one another. Using the expertise of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) matrix, organizations can assess each of their strategic business units on the basis of such factors as the SBU’s market growth rate and the SBU’s relative market share (Armstrong, 2017). Nevertheless, it is notable that the BCG matrix is somewhat subjective, and managers are expected to use their personal judgment in order to make relevant decisions.
The General Electric (GE) approach is also a component of strategic planning that examines an organization’s strengths and the attractiveness of the market in which it competes. Industry attractiveness, differentiated into high, medium, and low, is an important factor to consider because it allows determining whether investment strategies correlate to one another in a good way (Armstrong, 2017). Overall, organizations that have different business units are concerned with the allocation of resources for deciding the strategies and objectives that are feasible to implement. Thus, strategic planning is an all-encompassing process that can be adjusted to the needs and expectations of every organization and the goals that it is pursuing.
The chapter is dedicated to the topic of business buying behavior, which refers to buying behaviors of organizations that purchase products and services for the use in production or the provision of services. Great attention is given to the business to business (B2B) market, which differs from the business-to-consumer (B2C) market. For example, the B2B market operates with higher numbers of products being sold. In addition, the level of personal selling is what separates the B2B market, with salespeople personally calling on business customers to a far more significant extent compared to everyday consumers. While customers have experienced door-to-door salespeople calling on them occasionally, businesses endure the increased pressure from multiple salespeople on a regular basis (Armstrong, 2017). Besides, the demand for B2B products depends significantly on the general economic conditions that anticipate consumer buying patterns. For example, demand can be derived, meaning that it is derived from a source other than the primary buyer of the product. Also, demand can fluctuate, which means that a slight change in demand by customers can significantly affect a business chain that supplies the goods and services producing it. Besides, joint demand can take place when the demand for one item increases the demand for another.
B2B buyers can also take different forms, both from non-profit and for-profit businesses. For example, producers form a significant part of B2B businesses that purchase services and goods in order to develop them into products that are sold to end consumers (Armstrong, 2017). Resellers represent another significant part of B2B purchasers, although they differ from producers in the sense that they do not materially change the goods and services that they purchase. Governments and institutional markets also engage in B2B because they also require the purchasing of products, which later will be used for other purposes.
The B2B purchasing process occurs in different stages, initiated by the need being recognized. When a company recognizes the need that can be solved through buying goods or services, it can then be quantified and described. Then, an organization will search for potential suppliers, with qualified suppliers being asked to complete the responses and requests for their proposals. The proposals of vendors are evaluated, with the suppliers being chosen to do further business. The final stages of the purchasing process include the establishment of an order routine and the post-purchase evaluation being conducted, with feedback given to vendors.
Business buying behavior also comes with specific ethical considerations. When businesses purchase and sell from one another, it is inevitable for them to have different views on what is moral and what is not. While federal, state, and international laws represent a basic framework, companies also have their ethical guidelines on how employees should operate. Because of this, many organizations engage in ethics training so that everyone is aware of how to deal with complex dilemmas (Armstrong, 2017). The focus of B2B ethics is doing business with responsible companies and following all relevant legislation and guidelines of good conduct. This is because ethics are important for consumers that are becoming increasingly aware of the principles of corporate social responsibility and prefer giving their money to companies that are ethical. Overall, the process of business buying behavior is a complicated and multi-dimensional process that considers two sides.
Armstrong, G. (2017). Principles of marketing (17th ed). Pearson.