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742BBM Business to Business Marketing Assignment help
Business-to-business (B2B) is referred towards the situation where any business makes a profitable transaction with another. This happens when the business is obtainingresources for their production procedure; the business requires the amenities of another for operational purposes; the business re-sells services and goods manufactured by others. Business-to-business marketing practice of organisations and individuals allows them to sell services or products to other such organisations or companies that later resells them. In B2B marketing, both the participating companies are benefitted financially. B2B marketing revolves around great advertising strategies that deliver simple yet clear value proposals that appeals to the decision makers.
Rio Tinto, a British-Australian multinational organisation, is one of the world’s largest metals and mining group that focuses on finding, mining, processing and marketing of the earth’s mineral resources. The company was founded in 1873, when during a multinational confederation of investors procured a mine complex on the Rio Tinto, in Huelva, Spain, from the Spanish government. Their business law is oriented on aluminium, iron ore, copper & diamonds, energy & minerals.
This assignment is focused on three different business-to-business marketing challenges and strategies on how those challenges can be overcome. The three chosen B2B marketing challenges are managing business to business products/services, managing business marketing channels and business marketing communications.
Managing Business To Business Products/Services
Managing Products for Business Market
Products are generally developed keeping in mind the needs of the market and are modified according to the changes needed. Tools that help the marketers in selecting markets and providing products according to their needs include market & demand analysis, business market segmentation and market potential forecasting (Hutt & Speh, 2012). The product policy of any business is directly related to the market selection. For efficient managing of products for business market, it is essential to build a strong B2B brand. Building a strong B2B brand, the company needs to ask two important questions: what they want their organisation’s name to stand for; and what they would want it to mean in the minds of their customers. In order to achieve brand identity, marketers need to create brand salience, that is, something prominent about their product and brand awareness, that is, the ability to recognize or recall the brand under any different condition (Yang, Su, & Fam, 2012). The marketers need to create a clear connection between the brand name and the product in the markets where their products compete. Along with brand identity, it is essential to build a strong brand positioning as well. It should incorporate both parity and differences. When building the B2B brand, it is essentials to consider the brand response in reflection with consumer judgements. The consumer judgements are based on four factors, namely, quality, credibility, consideration set and superiority. And the final step in building a brand is the consumer brand resonance which revolves around forging a relationship that translates into brand loyalty, active engagement, attachment and advertising.
The next step of managing products for business market is the product quality and customer value. To compete in the international market, it is essential for the suppliers to meet ISO-9000 standards as a prerequisite. The quality of the product needs to qualify various stages in order to be successful (Vargo & Lusch, 2011). The first stage would include the products to conform the standards or specifications of the customers. The next stage emphasises on determining the service rendered, performance of the product and products’ price relative to competitors. The final stage revolves around the buyers focus on the market-perceived quality and the offerings of the competitors. The customer values include the benefits and the sacrifices. The benefits include the requirements the products possess for the relationship to exist and the attributes that create differentiation & provides more value than the given competition. The sacrifices are attributed towards the price, acquisition costs and operations costs.
The final step of the products management for business market is product policy. It involves all the decision concerning the products and services offered by the company. When proper product policy is provided, it gives the opportunity to maintain and attain a competitive advantage by aiming on core proficiencies (Tian, K., & Borges, L. (2011).
In case of Rio Tinto, their product management has been very innovative aimed towards the target group. Their advertisements of all the shareholders have led to an increased performance with the product delivery. However, due to certain flaws in their product policies had given them a minor setback in the recent past.
Managing Services for Business Market
With good product delivery comes the responsibility of product services. The service management for business market is product-to-solution-centred approach. While delivering services for the products, it is advisable to start first with understanding the problems of the customer and end with the services that are to be provided to solve the problem related to the product. This exchange of information should be interactive and not transaction based as this would help to develop a relationship with the customers. Customer services are an important feature of the consumer solution as it offers a valuable foundation for competitive advantage and is asignificant driver of profitability (Gabrielli, & Balboni, 2010). Prior to developing solutions, B2B organisations must define their proficiencies and work out how to utilize them to help their customers in reducing costs, increasing responsiveness and improving quality. The product delivered by the organisation provides the platform for service delivery. There are various benefits of the solution marketing; namely, growth opportunities, new ways to differentiate and higher customer loyalty. There are five different dimensions in evaluating business service quality – responsiveness, empathy, assurance, tangibles and reliability. Of these, reliability is the most essential to the customers. The service recovery strategies comprise the policies, processes and procedures that the firm utilizes to resolve customer service problems effectively and promptly. When service providers are able to resolve any service failure satisfactorily, their customer’s supposed service quality also rises. It is essential to also understand the customer-benefit concept of the service attributes that are important for the customers (Becker-Olsen, et al., 2011). These include effectual, psychological and functional components that results in an effective service experience. The concept of service should be directed towards providing the customers with quality satisfaction. The service offer must provide more details regarding who, when, to whom the service needs to be provided. The total service package should include both the tangible and intangible components. The service delivery system should include the jobs that would be carried out by the qualified people, the necessary facilities and equipment required and the procedures that ensure effective delivery of the service. The service personnel should have the necessary qualifications, knowledge, skills and attitude to deliver proper customer satisfaction regarding the services rendered (Möller, 2013). Providing hybrid offers to the customers that is a combination of goods and one or more services that would benefit the customers with better satisfaction.
Rio Tinto’s strategies on delivery of product services have been designed in a very innovative manner. They focus on delivering quality service to their clients and customers on a long-term basis that would benefit both the organisation and consumers equally. They aim at providing various levels of services based on the customer’s individual needs. Their service personnel are provided with prior training regarding the necessary skills and knowledge required to deliver quality service for customer satisfaction.
Managing Business Marketing Channels
Half the major problems that may arise in a business marketing channel can be avoided with proper prediction and neutralising the threats. The neutralisation process starts with first keeping a check on the interactions between the sales intermediaries and the suppliers.
Lack of knowledge about the market and the product can lead to problems in the channel among the parties involve. This leads to bad customer service and loss in sales. This problem is easily overcome by forming a marketing research team. They will do proper research and inform all the parties involved. They can do this by organising seminars and training programmes. Certification programmes can also help the people involved become not only more knowledgeable but can also help them earn more importance in the channel (Osterwalder & Pigneur, 2010). Their status can improve as a result of this. The companies involved can improve the support provided by them by providing funds to finance such research, seminars and marketing campaigns. These campaigns will also lead to increase in demand eventually. This is because they will know new marketing strategies, know what will help them to earn maximum profits, what increase the customer satisfaction, what exactly the customers’ tastes and preferences are. All of this will also lead to increase in profits for the companies involved, whereas also leaving their customers satisfied.
The parties involved are responsible in maintaining a good relationship with the customers that they do not interact with directly on a daily basis. Their main aim should be to keep the customers happy and satisfied, so that they have no grievances or complaints. Maintaining a proper standard in customer service and a proper communication channel is important to help the companies in improving their image. If the channel partners create delays in delivering products, sending wrong orders, paying no heed to customers’ problems and complaints, inefficient and inaccurate service standards, they will earn losses and fall in sales. Moreover their public image will also drop heavily (Smith, Binns, & Tushman, 2010).
There are a lot of middlemen involved in these distribution channels. They need to be properly given incentives and commissions. The pricing structure should be agreed upon in the beginning. It should include all the commissions paid to these middlemen. However, it should be seen that the prices of the products are not inflated because of this. Also the parties involved should pay the middlemen keeping in mind the price of the product so that they themselves do not earn any losses.
In general these partnerships in the channels are formed on a contractual basis. All parties involved should make sure that all details should be properly mentioned in the contract to avoid any conflict in the future, thus causing harm to the business. The contract should clearly specify the following few at the very least:
1.Geographical area where sales is to be conducted by each partner
2.Things to be sold
3.Whether selling rights are exclusive or non-exclusive
4.What standard trademarks are to be followed
5.Percentage of profit for each party
6.Amount of capital to be brought in by each partner
7.Rules and regulations to be followed
Following a proper marketing channel, Rio Tinto was able conceptualize an even business globally. They have been able to maintain a good relationship with their consumers with minimal negative impact. Their marketing channel has grown over the past years due to an effective business strategy.
Business marketing communications
Social media is an important medium for business channels to sell their products. Nearly 90% of young adults between the ages of 18 to 29 use social media. Nearly one third of millennials consider social media to be most useful for marketing communications. These stats are unlikely to change in the future. In fact they may increase in the very near future. A staggering 84% of company CEOs and VPs prefer social media to make purchases online (Verhoef, Reinartz, & Krafft, 2010).
Marketing campaigns online need thorough research. The customer needs to be studied properly. It needs to be seen what they prefer. Increasing stock of those materials will definitely help the sales for the company. Moreover it should be made sure that no product sold online should hurt the sentiments of any race, gender and so on. It can create a very bad image for the company.
There needs to be a good sales and marketing team to do research and collect data regarding the market demand and supply trends and customer preferences. However before this data can be used properly, tools need to be made and used to capture the market trends, interpret them, and make decisions accordingly. This is very important as all business decisions depend on this. A proper software and tech support is required to first collect information regarding the changing and current market trends and then interpreting them. Nowadays marketing data funnels help us find answers to questions regarding markets that could not be solved even a few years ago. Answering just a few questions can let us find what data tools we need to find information. Then this can be used to analyse and find out what marketing channels are profitable and what all strategies should be followed by the partners (Cavalcante, Kesting & Ulhøi, 2011).
Marketing companies use traffic data to find out customers’ footprints. Studying this they can find out tastes and preference of the consumers. This helps in increasing sales and profits immensely.
Sometimes even if a promising marketing campaign is formed it is difficult to implement. This is because of lack of proper systems in place. This leads to the downfall of many companies. Proper execution failure is a major concern. This can be overcome only by having proper software and tools in place.
Pricing needs to be maintained in such a manner so that it satisfies entire consumer base. This can be followed by introducing contract and pricing logic to manage the B2B relationships. These should be based on predefined rules.
To reach a broader customer channel, they can sell their products online. However this might anger already present marketing giants like Rio Tinto if their sales are being hurt. The only solution here seems to pay a small commission to whichever online marketing platform is being used (Michaelidou, Siamagka, & Christodoulides, 2011). This will help them to solve any disputes with big commercial giants as well as maintain their own profits. Also marketing channels should try and sell unique products to avoid any clashes.
Most problems arise when orders are given in bulk. This can affect the entire processing system, even causing delays. Also when orders are given in bulk prices are affected. This can be solved by using proper software which will allow discount on bulk orders. This encourages consumers to buy more.
Another problem faced by consumers is orders not reaching on time. If worldwide shipping is done by the marketing channels, they should arrange for a proper shipping channel so that the orders are not delayed. Moreover shipping abroad increases product price since it not only includes shipping charges but also includes the taxes that need to be paid in the foreign countries, excise duty and so on. So items should be priced keeping in mind all of these factors.
Over the year Rio Tinto has been able to upgrade their marketing communication strategies successfully. Their customers have been very much satisfied with the effective communication system presented by the organisation. Moreover, providing substantial discounts to the customers have led to an increase in their profits and thereby a growth in their business.
The assignment discussed the business process of the selected organisation Rio Tinto. The assignment explored the business perspective which includes managing marketing communications, business strategies, and managing business communication. Since B2B is already at its peak, the organisation still suffers certain lags when it comes to product policies. On the other hand, the company excels in service management which makes sustainable in the business market. The learner has deciphered the complexities of the business process in terms of domestic and international market that reflects upon the business operations of the company. The learner has discussed the information by critically reflecting on the secondary sources of information like international journals and articles that relates to the business process of an organisation.
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