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Overview of the Problem
The key issues at IBM that need to be managed include ensuring quality management of the company’s activities through leadership styles that create assurance on fast delivery of products, systems’ software and effective marketing opportunities. The company’s authorities target towards creating marketing conditions that result to maximizing production by means of minimum expenditure. In addition, the company focuses on ensuring high profitability, customer satisfaction as well as favorable competition with its competitors. Moreover, IBM expresses concern in regard to provision of high quality services by applying Rational Quality Management to ensure greater value is achieved and performance is high at least cost (Burrow, 2008).
IBM is a multinational company based in the United States of America. The company is involved in provision of services, products, skills and technologies in the forms of PCs and hard disk drives while providing software services as well. These products and services are brought closer to the market through sound decision making and proper marketing.
Target Customer Analysis
IBM focuses on conducting its marketing activities based on demand. Marketing teams ensure there is visibility of products and accountability of activities performed in various marketing programs. The operations are adaptable, resource management is flexible, and the design teams focus on assisting campaigns as well as planning the next course of action.
Current Business Situation
Current IBM’s business operations include viewing allocations, investing in the relevant areas of marketing, forecasting, reconciling and reallocating resources with little effort. Scheduling process is conducted by means of user-friendly tools and automatic notification facilities that keep projects on track at all times (Jim Blythe, 2005).
The company’s management also ensures that reports are generated regarding the number of projects handled every month and projects that every team member is working on.
Enterprise marketing management solutions are applied to succeed across digital, social, mobile, and traditional marketing channels. These include IBM Cosmetics, DemandTec, Tealeaf, and other solutions.
The current problem is the need to employ flexible workers and management structures, elaborate policies and processes for navigating the business operations to ensure response is fast enough and customers can be accessed at the right time.
Proposed Marketing Management Solution
The proposed marketing solution focuses on collaboration within the business environment, thus paying extra attention to solutions and services in the current procedures involved in the products’ provision. The marketing process is targeted towards running business with colleagues across various regions and time zones (Karl Moore, 2010).
IBM’s Marketing solutions are targeted towards conducting operations that help marketers align resources and purposes, streamline production activities, and develop a record of budgets and expenses as well as improve collaboration within the team.
In addition, the company focuses its operations on bringing the work of campaigns’ planners and executors into a single collaborative environment. It also focuses on managing various aspects of marketing expenses and defines budgets, creates adjustment plans, and manages all organizational digital assets in a secure environment with an ability to track attributes and create graphical views and control versions.
Strengths refer to the capabilities a certain organization possesses, which enable it to operate competitively in the current business environment. One of IBM’s strengths includes a competitive marketing team, which members are trained to work in highly competitive environments and assist customers derive the utility from the company’s products and services (Kotler, 2003). The company also owns adequate transport facilities, which enable movement of expertise and products from the source to the regions where they are demanded. In addition, the company’s planning process has been upgraded; marketing planners currently possess proper skills that enable them to make the right decision concerning marketing activities.
Despite the existence of efficient marketing and planning strategies, IBM has certain weaknesses within itself that prevent some marketing decision to be achieved. In the process of exercising marketing leadership, certain ideological differences between leaders and marketers may arise. These disagreements may result in lack of implementation of marketing decisions during business operations. Another weakness represents the likelihood of difficulties concerning propagating social collaboration during business operations so that there is a gain in skills and knowledge needed for the benefit of clients and possibility of response with speed.
IBM’s marketing process can be improved by taking advantage of some opportunities that exist in the current marketing environment. Proper functioning of marketing processes can be achieved by utilizing social sites such as Wikis, blogs, and social networks. These online sources can be useful in ensuring that target audience is reached from various regions in large numbers, while marketing costs are reduced. Marketers can be able to find new people online with whom they can network, share knowledge and build reputation and influence in regard to their products.
Despite the feasibility of the marketing approach proposed above, there exist some threats that are likely to prevent the successful accomplishment of the intended advertisement purposes. The business impact of the proposed marketing approach is not clear and the company is not sure whether the marketing approach under research will ensure they are competitive in the current market. In addition, marketers may consider social networking sites as something related to the child audience and may not be willing to conduct business with the proper attitude (Karl Moore, 2010). This may result into losses for the company since customers may not be properly informed.
IMC Components with Analysis of IMC Mix
The current IMC mix for IBM includes the use of different methods that create seamless experience for customers, who have been presented during marketing, to reinforce all suspects of marketing communication. The major IMC methods utilized by IBM include advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing, personal selling and the use of social media. The table below shows the types of IMC mixes used and the percentage of marketing budgets allocated to these activities.
There exist certain ethical issues the company under investigation must observe in the process of implementing the proposed marketing procedures. One of these issues is the customer relationship management. The implementation of new marketing strategies focuses on ensuring that the customers’ rights are not violated by exposing them to harmful products or using terms that are not friendly to them. The marketing team will also ensure that the chosen marketing process does not violate privacy of customers.
In terms of customer social responsibility, the marketing approach will ensure the environmental conditions are sustained by not marketing products, which are destructive to the environment. In addition, they will ensure that the current laws existing in the country legalize the products manufactured.
This plan has a better potential in ensuring that IBM’s marketing management is successful compared with the current method being applied. The main limitation of the current technique is that most of the marketing budgetary allocations are made for the social networking sites, while the most significant areas, like marketing, are ignored. The most significant area of marketing that has been considered by the proposed system of marketing is the use of sales promotion. This system of marketing ensures a large number of potential customers are reached in comparison to the use of social networking sites (Lamb, 1990).
Based on the challenges IBM will likely face in implementing the proposed marketing approach, there are certain recommendations regarded useful in ensuring the goals of the marketing process are successfully achieved. One of the approaches is building an environment that focuses on social collaboration. This can be achieved by providing the company’s employees with peer education on the use of social media and encouraging them to share practices.
IBM team can also create a global social collaboration platform by working closely with other product developers and user communities so that the choices of communication tools and strategic decision making are simplified.
It is also recommended that IBM’s social computing guidelines are developed to assist in collaborative processes with the HR and legal adopters. Employees also need to be provided with additional guidelines regarding the new marketing method to address individual as well as business needs.
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