In this project, your CEO has asked you to put together a marketing plan with the goal of increasing sales to other businesses in the United States. This projects has been broken down into several smaller tasks in the steps below. Each task will help you create one piece of a complete marketing plan.
As you learned in Project 3, one of the most important functional areas in business is marketing. Companies such as Airbus, Peugeot, GM, Burger King, and Tata have a passion for understanding their customers and satisfying their customers’ needs in “well-defined target markets” (Kotler & Armstrong, 2014, p. 4). Marketing is a managerial and social function through which companies and customers create and exchange value. The authors define marketing as the “process by which companies create value for customers and build strong customer relationships in order to capture value from customers in return” (p.5).
B2B Buying Decisions
When it comes to business buying behavior, business customers and their suppliers explore different avenues to manage relationships and enhance efficiency and effectiveness. Closer relationships are partially driven by purchasing alliances, supply chain management, and early supplier involvement. Fostering the right relationship with businesses is crucial for any holistic marketing plan. Vertical coordination between the sellers and their business customers allows them to go beyond simple transactions to engage in activities that create value for both parties. Trust and knowledge are key to the success of business-to-business (B2B) relationships. B2B relationships are impacted by supply, complexity of supply, availability of alternatives, and supply market dynamism (Kotler & Keller, 2015).
An emerging theme in organizational systems in the twenty-first century is an increased use of long-term global strategic alliances. Organizations form these alliances in an effort to secure commercial advantage and eliminate waste from their distribution channels. Choosing the right partners for global strategic alliances is crucial for success, but it can be a complex process. Organizations should identify and define the criteria for partner-selection prior to forging the alliance (Wu, Shih, & Shan, 2009). Cemex may consider forming strategic alliances to expand its US operations. These alliances can be with other producers or with distribution companies; a good example is the alliance between Nissan (a Japanese auto company) and Renault (a French auto company), with Carlos Ghosn serving as chairman and CEO of the alliance.
To carry out this assignment, your marketing team needs to understand Cemex’s customers, how to acquire market knowledge (through primary and secondary research), and how to turn that knowledge into products that are needed and wanted by a group of customers. You must also be able to invent market offerings that not only create value for the customer, but also create profitability for Cemex in a socially responsible and ethical way.
As you will recall from Project 3, there are two types of market research: primary and secondary research. Both types of research are necessary when creating a marketing plan.
Now that you have read the introduction to B2B marketing, continue to the next step, where you will begin to learn about the components of a marketing plan.
Kotler, P. & Armstrong, G. (2014). Marketing management (15th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Kotler, P., & Keller, K. (2015). Marketing management (15th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ. Pearson
Wu, W. Y., Shih, H., & Chan, H. (2009). The analytic network process for partner selection criteria in strategic alliances. Expert System with Applications, 36(3), 4646 – 4653. doi: 10.1016/j.eswa.2008.06.049
The marketing team’s marketing knowledge and data acquisition skills are crucial to the success of this project. You will collect and analyze the information necessary to develop a marketing plan for Cemex in the United States. The marketing plan is a written document that outlines the marketing program, along with the promotional budget allocation over the planning period. In other words, your marketing plan details what is needed to implement your marketing program and achieve its goals. When developing your marketing plan, you should first review vision and mission statements and then research Cemex’s vision and mission statements.
It is important to note that a marketing plan is not the same as a business plan. While the marketing plan is part of the business plan, business plans typically also include additional information such as financial strategies, operations, risk management, and human resources. Use this marketing plan template to help you create your marketing plan.
Now that you understand the components of a marketing plan, continue to the next step, where you will learn about Cemex and the cement industry.
complete the following:
the marketing team needs to conduct an analysis of US cement customers. Outline how the team would conduct this analysis, while considering both current and potential product users. Your analysis should address how you would determine answers to the following questions:
- What needs are being met by the cement purchase? What are the benefits to the customers? Make sure that you differentiate between features and benefits; go beyond manifest motives and consider latent motives.
- Who is involved in the cement purchase process? Who are the influencers, buyers, and users?
- Where is cement sold (i.e., distribution channel)?
- How often are the different types of cement purchased? Is there seasonality to sales?
- Is there any market regulation or self-regulation?
Milestone 3: Present your results in a three-page report (excluding cover page, reference list, tables, graphs, and/or exhibits). Be sure to support your work with scholarly sources, and reliable nonscholarly sources (such as Bloomberg, Yahoo! Finance, Money, Forbes, Fortune, and Harvard Business Review) using UMUC’s library search engine.
This report should help you develop focus in your marketing plan. In the next step, you will consider exactly what you hope to accomplish with your B2B marketing plan.
As a marketing team, you need to decide on your marketing objectives before you develop your complete Cemex marketing strategy. Marketing objectives are usually described in terms of sales (both in units or dollars) and market share, and should include the US markets you intend to enter or expand into. Knowing exactly where you want to go is essential in deciding how to get there. The objectives have to be measurable, specific, and have a set time limit. Be careful not to have too many objectives, since a limited number of objectives will help you focus. The objectives should be challenging, but achievable.
Milestone 4: Prepare a one-page document outlining your marketing objectives.
Once your marketing objectives are written, you will begin to examine your market and determine how Cemex can meet these objectives.