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1. Comment on the introduction and background of the topic
The Chartered Institute of Marketing acts as a foundation for the latest marketing information and assisting in transferring knowledge between the students and marketers. This purpose of this research is aimed at establishing the marketing that is taught to students is relevant by business-to business marketing professionals. The study examines which techniques and spheres are important to practitioner marketers in business, it also examines the differences between marketing practitioners in public and private sector and finally the research examines at the insinuation of the marketing professionals of teaching marketing.
The study identifies the difference between business-to-business marketing and consumer marketing with business to business having more customers handled independently and requiring association with the business for long term growth of the business while consumer marketing is founded on several individual customers with brand establishment and mass communication as the main aspects. Moreover, business to business does not allocate marketing responsibilities in the business organizational hierarchical structure which is contrary to consumer market organizations. Since marketing education has tended to focus on consumer market, the Chartered Institute of Marketing has counteracted this argument by providing reliable reference information for business to business marketers. This research has attempted to bridge the gap by bringing the latest information on business -to-business from marketers. Moreover, the study examines the differences in application of marketing principles as applied to public and private sector.
2. Comment on the objectives and methodology used
The objectives of the study was to identify the techniques and areas in marketing that are considered important to marketing practitioners within business organizations, the study is also aimed at establishing the differences between marketing practitioners within public and private sectors and implications of marketing educators. The research utilized knowledgeable marketing practitioners from private and public fields. The entire respondents had formal training in marketing and were considered marketing professionals. Telephone interviews was used for data collection by getting responses from a wide range of marketing practitioners since this method yielded higher response rate compared to post questionnaires. Questionnaires were then developed wih aim of identifying most important topics encountered by marketers with reference to Chartered Institute of Marketing.
The interviewees were selected from the database of CIM together with four other businesses and all were senior B2B marketers.
Although there are restrictions in using Chartered Institute of Marketing database, for such a huge number of interviewees, the rationale behind this study was that those people interviewed had prior marketing knowledge incorporating both private and public sectors. The use of random sampling on extra four interviewees from industrial allies indicates that respondents were contacted in a coordinated manner from the database and there was minimal bias in the choice of respondents.
3. Critically analyse the major findings
Among the important subjects include; managing relationships with customers was identified as a key area with emphasis on establishing long term associations with the aim of retaining customers. In this aspect there was concern over businesses failure to understand the importance of customer relationships. Marketer identified the level of competition and market segments in business to business markets. Customers were identified as the cause of competition in the market with networking being a tool employed to get information regarding the level of competition in the market. Arranging the marketing and selling activities was recognized as an important factor to the growth of any organization. This factor has been regarded as of high significance as a result of the increased focus on customer relationship and customer retention. Apportioning resources to business winning process, and the resources identified are time, monetary resources and personnel. The principle behind this allocating is ensuring the right resources are availed at the right place and at right time. The major skills in support of allocation include; budgeting, prioritizing, and justification of resource allocation. The understanding of accounting, finance and profitability was considered as an important topic by respondents. The understanding of these concepts is important in order to ensure profitable opportunities are maximized.
There were differences in marketing practitioners between public and private sectors in all important areas. The main purpose of this research was to areas that would be related with business to business marketing in private and public sectors. The low ratings in managing major accounts and customer relationships, and establishing and managing a project impply that there is need for marketing instructors to introduce basic concepts of business to business in marketing.
Business-to-business views the normal marketing as more focussed on the consumer. In order for the marketing educators to address the needs of business to business sector, they require to centre on cover internal marketing in full depth, realistic emphasis on interpersonal skill development in business to business. The study from public sector respondents identified that much of marketing knowledge and training based its foundation on consumer marketing where business-to-business failure to put emphasis on problems facing non-profit organizations.
Respondents from public sector tended to have higher academic qualifications and better understanding of marketing models although their education was of not much relevance in their role in public sector. This portrays the need for marketing educator to train business -to-business marketing to public sector. The teaching needs for public sector marketers should be backed up by appropriate research since of limited marketing research is conducted within public sector.
4. Comment on the implications for international marketing theory and practice
Although there are some studies being conducted by marketing educators on business -to-business marketing, the research is not used by marketing practitioners. Much of the research regarding business-to-business has not been published in journals and other scholarly articles to be accessible to marketing practitioners. Since most research institutions do not disseminate all their research findings in ways the information can be accessed by marketing practitioners, I would suggest that academic institutions work together with practising marketing managers to guide them in disseminating research journals and scholarly articles to guide the academics. Moreover, there is need for all inclusive in training business-to-business marketing courses at an international platform.
5. Your own conclusion based on what you have leant from the paper
I have learnt that there is difference between marketing practitioners and academics with regard to what they perceive to be important subjects in marketing. In addition marketing professional in private sector tended to be more focussed on managing the supply chain than their public sector practitioners. It is important that both public and private marketing practitioner learn aspects of business-to-business to asist them in building and managing projects.