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Marketing For Business Managers Assignment Sample

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Marketing For Business Managers Assignment Sample

Introduction

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With the constant development of technologies, the world is truly becoming a global village. People are connecting farther and faster than ever before. With an ever-expanding world, it is quite obvious that the market is also growing in size. Half a century ago, businesses were limited to their city or state but now the sky is the limit. But a growing business also means difficulty in managing it. The current generation of Business Managers needs to have exceptionally good marketing knowledge and understanding along with the capability of adapting to changes.
This assessment attempts to identify these changes in marketing and their effects on marketing practices. For this purpose, an organization with a presence in the UK has been selected. The selected organization in this report is Associated British Food (ABF) from the ‘Food’ category. Through a thorough assessment of the business practices of the above-mentioned organization, a clearer image of the marketing ideas, strategies, problems, trends and possible predictions for the future are discussed in this study.
The reason for selecting ABF for this assessment is the rich history, longevity and undeniable presence of this organization in the global market. They have been present in the business world for close to a century. For an organization to be able to survive for this long in this cutthroat market is truly a commendable achievement that demands evaluation and in-depth study of their strategies and ideals.

Mission, vision, financial performance, international presence, target audience and current positioning strategy

  • Associated British Foods plc (ABF) is a British multinational food processing and retailing company that has its headquarters in London, England. It was founded in 1935 by a Canadian named W. Garfield Weston with the name Food Investments Limited. The company changed its name multiple times, usually when it acquired other bakeries or food corporations. The current name was adopted in 1960. The ingredients division of ABF is currently the second-largest producer of sugar and baker’s yeast in the world. They are also one of the major producers of ingredients such as lactose, enzymes and emulsifiers. Many popular brands and labels in the grocery division such as Mazola, Ovaltine, Jordans and Twinings are manufactured by ABF (Abf.co.uk, 2021).
  • Associated British Foods has set a goal to provide safe, nutritious and affordable food as well as provide quality, affordable clothing to millions of customers worldwide. They believe that only when these goals are achieved, they’ve made a profit. ABF prioritizes integrity and responsibility and believes that that is the only way to build and manage a business over such a long time. The organisation also acknowledges the responsibility of corporations as large as theirs in creating a society more accepting of diversities and intolerant of discrimination of any kind (Tien et al. 2019). The organization envisions a sustainable future with minimal impact on the environment. The current goal of ABF is to reduce their carbon emissions to zero while continuing to serve the people with the finest products.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on the business markets in the 2020-21 financial years. Almost all corporations and organisations faced tremendous losses as the world came to a standstill. It is estimated that it will take around a decade to recover from this situation (Lestari et al. 2020). ABF was no different with adjusted operating profits of £1421 million in 2019 dropping down to £1024 million in 2020 and further declining to £1011 million in 2021. Although a novice might look at those figures and wonder that the company is faltering, one only needs to take a look at their group revenue to understand their business growth. Group revenue for 2019 was £15.8 billion which declined to £13.9 billion in 2020 and has remained constant in 2021 as well, signifying a sense of recovery and stability from the early chaotic phase of the pandemic (Abf.co.uk, 2021).
  • Associated British Foods has a truly global presence with over 128,000 employees operating in over 53 countries and serving customers in more than 100 countries all over the globe. Since this organisation deals with food items and clothing, an absolute necessity for all humans, it is easy to understand that they don’t and can’t have a target audience (Abf.co.uk, 2021). Every person belonging to every age group can be considered as their target audience.
  • The current positioning strategy of the organisation involves meeting the demands of food essentials in major markets where demand has doubled or even tripled since the pandemic while maintaining the quality of the product and the stricter sanitization norms in place since the pandemic (Streimikiene and Ahmed, 2021). The development of attractive yet recyclable packaging and tags for products such as bread and sugar are also something that the company is focusing upon. Another important step taken by the organisation is the recommissioning of their bioethanol plant in Hull with the target of reducing the carbon footprint of UK motorists by 2%. As per the views of Olson et al. (2018), they also aim to reduce their own carbon footprint to zero in the coming future, use renewable sources of energy and reduce pollution as an attempt to create an image of their company of that a company of the future. Their USP is their diverse mixture of products. The use of social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter as well as monthly e-mail as a marketing tool is a part of their positioning strategy.

Key Environmental Factors/Trends affecting the Organisation

The key factors that positively affect the company include potential opportunities in the agricultural sector after the EU referendum and the growing demand for the Twinnings brand in the global markets. The diversification of their market and the growth of Primark in the retail segment has been a big plus. At the same time, a decline in the bakery business and a low presence in emerging markets is a weakness of the company (Shakeel and Rajala, 2021). The variation in exchange rates, failure to respond appropriately to Health Regulations and Nutritional Concerns and allegations of tax avoidance are some of the negative factors posing a possible threat to their future.

According to the PESTLE analysis, Brexit and the new Sugar Tax in the UK had a political impact on Associated British Food Plc. Tax policies, genetically modified ingredients, Consumer Protection Laws, Promotion of Gender Diversity and increased Regulations and Safety in the food supply chain are some of the social, legal and technological factors affecting the organisation at present that require attention.

Competitor Discussion

The main competitors of our chosen organisation include other multinational corporations in the agri-business that include Südzucker, Nestlé, Tesco, Agrokor, Kerry Group, Greencore Group, CIC Holdings and Goodman Fielder.
Nestlé is a juggernaut in the food industry with numerous popular products and a bigger outreach than all its other competitors. It is bigger, older and more popular than other brands, giving them an edge in terms of public reach and legacy. But it also makes them vulnerable to controversy and economic instability (Virakul, and Russ-Eft, 2019). Tesco, on the other hand, has mastered online retail and marketing. Also, their diversified business, private label brands and loyalty benefits are their strengths. The absence in emerging countries is a weakness of this brand.
ABF has the advantage of geographic diversification and wide business operations over its competitors (Abf.co.uk, 2021). Also, it is a family business with strong traditions, which creates a certain image among the personnel and customer that sets them apart. Their dependency on Allied Bakeries and the instability of the global market are one of the problems faced by the organisation.

Marketing Mix Analysis

The organisation uses the 4P Marketing Mix analysis to achieve its objectives. As per the first P(Product), the company analyses its present products in the market and introduce brand new product lines or modify the pre-existing ones. The products with low or no profit are discontinued. As per the second P (Pricing), the company analyses the current prices and adjust them as per demand, increase in manufacturing costs or that of raw products (Oake, and Houle, 2018). The pricing should be high enough to maintain the premium image but low enough so that the masses can afford it. The third P(Place) involves the Distribution channels through which customers are provided with services. The emergence of online retailing has expanded the definition of this factor and many companies are still in the process in adapting itself to the trends set in by companies like Amazon, Tesco etc. The fourth P(Promotion) involves all the Business Marketing strategies utilised by the organisation to boost its sale (Vasileva et al. 2019). It includes Advertising, Public Relations, Direct Marketing, Personal Selling and Sales Promotion. The organisation uses all of these tools to communicate with the customer.

Recommendations and Conclusions

The organisation, is although a giant in its field and specialisation isn’t free of flaws and shortcomings. But they can introduce many changes and modifications to get better, as evident from the comparison with the competitors and the Marketing Mix Analysis. They can diversify their products further like Tesco or extend their reach like Nestlé. They do lack behind in the use of Promotional Marketing Mix through the more popular social media platforms such as Instagram. Also, due to the pandemic, the importance of e-commerce and delivering products to home has become evident and the organisation should focus on improving this sector extensively. The organisation has been able to adapt to the many changes over the last century with grace and one can conclude that they will continue to do so with grace in the coming future as well.

Presentation of Assessment

Introduction

Today, as we stand before you all to present this project after weeks of hard work and toil, we can place our hands on our hearts and say with utmost honesty that working on this project was one of the most meaningful and memorable experiences of our lives. The four of us learned far more in these few months that we worked together than we had expected. This project and the procedure of completing it taught us certain things brand new and reinforced some things that we had learned before but had forgotten with time. Presenting an exhaustive list of all the things that I and my team have learned is impossible in such a limited time. But disregarding them completely would be a crime.
The importance of teamwork, honesty, dedication, hard work, constructive criticism, debating, thinking out of the box, time management and, communication skills are some of the things we learned during this process and that I would like to share with everyone present here today.

Teamwork

Group projects are the perfect tool for developing teamwork and coordination among people. No wonder it is something every institution on the planet tries to embed in their pupils. Humans are social animals and most of our basic day to day survival in society depends on our skills to interact and work together (Andrade et al. 2020). This holds for schools, colleges and workplaces. All the members of a team need to work together as an organic whole to maximise the output. The reason behind this is that team members complement each other in terms of skills and knowledge, bridging that gap between possibility and reality. This holds in the business sector more than in any other field. No business in this world can be run completely by a single individual. It requires the teamwork of all the members to function. Especially in the cases of Multinational Companies such as Associated British Foods plc., where thousands of people from different backgrounds, countries, communities and time zones work in unison to feed millions of people all over the globe (Van Raalte, and Brewer, 2019).

Dedication & Persistence

To complete any major task that requires extensive time and effort, one needs to have dedication to their job. There were times when we were frustrated, tired and out of our wits. But we didn’t give up. We continued to look through various research papers, visited libraries, went over published reports and web pages countless times to gather the information that has been presented in this project (Chan, and Fong, 2018). Without persistence and dedication, it would have been impossible to finish the task at hand. The case is no different in the case of large organisations such as the one we have worked upon in this project. ABF plc has stood the test of time quite gracefully. For close to nine decades, they have been working nonstop in the food sector and have only expanded further and beyond. Over the decades they have faced many ups and downs, profits and losses, a fair share of controversies and yet they stand tall and strong in this business sector. While most organisations falter and are forgotten in a hundred years, ABF has only expanded its reach and product diversity. They have survived and thrived and that is because of their dedication and perseverance.

Honesty

We are taught since we're kids, to be honest, and not tell lies. But as we grow up, we tend to forget this lesson; that is until we reach the maturity of adulthood again. At the threshold of adult life, especially work life, we are taught how unacceptable and grievous crime plagiarism is. Dishonesty and imitation, we have learnt, can only take a person to a certain distance before making them fall face-first into the cold hard floor called the real world. It is a human tendency to look for easier, dishonest ways to complete a difficult job with minimal effort and sometimes it does work out but only for a limited time. Dishonesty is punished severely in the academic as well as the business world. A company can lie and fraud in various ways. The easiest and the most common way to do this are to evade tax. Further dishonest practices might involve not following proper safety standards, mixing of impurities in the product, using cheaper and low-quality raw materials than promised. Some practices are more severe than others. While some of these practices only harm the economy and finances, others pose major risks to life, especially in the sectors dealing with edible products and consumable items.

Constructive Criticism

Criticism is an important part of the reviewing process. One must look back upon their actions and that of their team members, put them under the scanner and scrutinize them in order to find the plus and minus of the process. Reviewing, rechecking, proofreading, rewriting and repeating all of it is a painstaking process but, in the end, it is worth it. To make a product reach its ultimate potential and worth, one has to find the flaws in it, so that they can be removed to as much extent as possible. And to be able to find the flaws, one has to have the capability of handling criticism. Handling criticism and learning from it in order to improve in the future and avoid the past mistakes is something to be learnt at an individual as well as the organisational level. Constructive criticism doesn’t hurt the morale and leave people aghast, instead it makes one understand and accept their flaws and thrive to overcome them (Al-Harthi and Saudagar, 2020). Although it is one of the most important lessons to learn in life, at the same time it is one of the most difficult one too.

Time Management

“Time and tide wait for none.” This is a statement we have grown up listening to but the true importance of it only came to our understanding after we entered the professional world. The world is changing rapidly. Technological advances, scientific breakthroughs and innovative ideas are pouring in at jet speed and keeping up with it all is near to impossible. There is too less time and too much work to do. This can be felt even more intensely while dealing with deadlines and time frames. Our research topic was limited but the extent of the available information was endless. Sorting through the information to find something useful in a limited time frame is required for time management. This factor also holds true in the case of big organisations. “Time is money”, they say. Every second wasted leads to a further loss of the company. Planning and time management is very important to reduce expenditure and maximise the output.

Communication Skills

Working in a group often leads to heated arguments, misunderstandings and misinterpretations of words. It is something unavoidable in any human relationship. Quite often, we all feel like we are not heard or given enough value. We might decide to abandon ship at this point but what most people don’t know is that if we don’t face the problems, they will continue to exist even if we run away from them. The only way to clear the air and solve such problems is communicating. When everyone in a team is communicating, i.e., talking honestly and listening when others are talking, problems tend to clear up on their own. More importantly, communication often leads to an amalgamation of ideas and perspectives that creates something brand new and better. The same thing happens in companies where people discuss ideas and plans in meetings involving many people so that different perspectives can be gained on a single plan or problem and a better alternative or improvisation can be pulled off.

Innovative Thinking

It is also an unavoidable truth that roadblocks are bound to appear no matter how careful we are on our path to success. We faced numerous obstacles in the process of completing this project as well. Sometimes, we faced major difficulties to gather relevant information due to lack of our innovative thinking. But all it took to change the fortune in our favour was changing the way we were looking at the problem. A little change of perspective and thinking out of the box leads to innovative ideas and ground breaking breakthroughs, irrespective of the situation and the problem at hand.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it can be said that completing this project was a learning curve that taught us more than any book possibly can. Most probably if all four of us had done this project individually, we wouldn’t have been able to complete or present it in the same manner as we have done today. All of us gave our best to this project and it is showing in the end result with clarity. Even more importantly, one can notice the constant connection between our procedures with that of the organisations that our project deals with. It shows that the basic foundational ideas of a small team are also followed by an organisation with thousands of employees working in it. This is a prime example of the macrocosm and microcosm being the same and indivisible. They are not exclusive to one another, rather overlapping with each other in certain ways.

Reference list

Abf.co.uk (2021), About Us, available from: https://www.abf.co.uk/, [accessed on: 1st Feb, 2022]
Al-Harthi, N.J. and Saudagar, A.K.J., 2020. Drivers for successful implementation of ERP in Saudi Arabia public sector: A case study. Journal of Information and Optimization Sciences, 41(3), pp.779-798.
Andrade, M., Miller, R.M. and Ogden, M., 2020. Teamwork for Business Majors--The Impact of Peer Evaluation. e-Journal of Business Education and Scholarship of Teaching, 14(2), pp.1-18.
Beiko, D., Murray, E., Davies, T.O., Oake, J.S. and Houle, A.M., 2018. Exploring the business of urology: Strategy and strategic planning. Canadian Urological Association Journal, 12(2), p.13.
Chan, C.K. and Fong, E.T., 2018. Disciplinary differences and implications for the development of generic skills: a study of engineering and business students’ perceptions of generic skills. European Journal of Engineering Education, 43(6), pp.927-949.
Lestari, S.D., LEON, F.M., Widyastuti, S., BRABO, N.A. and Putra, A.H.P.K., 2020. Antecedents and consequences of innovation and business strategy on performance and competitive advantage of SMEs. The Journal of Asian Finance, Economics and Business, 7(6), pp.365-378.
Oake, J.S. and Houle, A.M., 2018. Exploring the business of urology: Strategy and strategic planning. CUAJ, 12(2), p.14.
Olson, E.M., Slater, S.F., Hult, G.T.M. and Olson, K.M., 2018. The application of human resource management policies within the marketing organization: The impact on business and marketing strategy implementation. Industrial Marketing Management, 69, pp.62-73.
Shakeel, S.R. and Rajala, A., 2021, July. Business model innovation in energy businesses: Driving factors, trends and implications for the future. In International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (pp. 35-41). Springer, Cham.
Streimikiene, D. and Ahmed, R.R., 2021. The integration of corporate social responsibility and marketing concepts as a business strategy: evidence from SEM-based multivariate and Toda-Yamamoto causality models. Oeconomia Copernicana, 12(1), pp.125-157.
Tien, N.H., Phu, P.P. and Chi, D.T.P., 2019. The role of international marketing in international business strategy. International Journal of Research in Marketing Management and Sales, 1(2), pp.134-138.
Van Raalte, J.L. and Brewer, B.W., 2019. Why wasn’t sport included? Comment on the special issue on the science of teamwork (2018).
Vasileva, R., Yankova, I. and Stancheva, S., 2019. Modern Skills and Convergent Environment–SWOT Analysis, Trends and Challenges in Vocational Education and training. A Bulgarian Experience. In EDULEARN19 Proceedings 11th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies: Palma, Spain. 1-3 July, 2019 (pp. 3130-3139). IATED Academy.
Virakul, B. and Russ-Eft, D.F., 2019. A model for business responses to global challenges and sustainable development. Social Responsibility Journal.

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