Integrated Marketing Communications: suitability in B2B markets


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Integrated Marketing Communications:
suitability in B2B markets
The case of the brand DaTerra
Final paper in the form of Internship Report presented to Universidade Católica Portuguesa for the attainment of master degree in Marketing
by
Carolina Bessa Pereira
Under the orientation of João Moreira de Campos (UCP)
Carla C. Martins (UCP) Católica Porto Business School – Faculdade de Economia e Gestão
June 2016
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Acknowledgments

To my parents.

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Abstract
As it is often said: “If you don’t see it, it doesn’t exist”. In this sense, the relevant choice of promotion tools has gained importance as a differentiating instrument for companies, in order to become popular and acquire a solid degree of reputation and status. Being the choice of more relational communication tools quite common among business markets, it is starting to be questioned if the use of those tools is sufficient alone or, if it is reasonable for business actors to reach out to other communication instruments typically used in consumer markets.
This dissertation focuses, firstly, on the specificities of business markets, the communication molds within this field and the changing views regarding this matter, based on studies of other authors. Secondly, there will be an analysis to the promotion practices of a business-to-business brand that operates within the homeware industry, in light of good practices studied. Thirdly, it is discussed the appropriateness of communication channels outside businesses comfort zone – namely public relations and interactive marketing – highlighting the relevance of an integrated marketing communications’ approach. Finally, some suggestions regarding the brand’s current promotion strategy are proposed, which overall manifest themselves in potential gains in terms of brand awareness.
The results show that there is a tendency to focus on somewhat more relational communication tools and, thus, facing the nature of the business, it is recommended to the company under study the continuous usage of those instruments. Nevertheless, there is also evidence of room for improvement, namely, the parallel (integrated) use of promotion tools characteristic of consumer markets.
Keywords: Business markets | Promotion | Strategy | Communication channels v

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“Find a job you love, and you won’t have to work a day in your life” Confucius
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Index
1. Introduction................................................................................................................ 1 2. Literature Review ..................................................................................................... 4
2.1. Business-to-Business market specifications................................................... 4 2.1.1. The complexity of the market ............................................................... 6 2.1.1.1 Structure ........................................................................................ 7 2.1.1.2 Demand.......................................................................................... 8 2.1.1.3 The nature of the buying unit................................................... 10 2.1.1.4 The decision environment – types of decisions and decision process……………………………………......………………………………. 11 2.1.2 Business Buying Behavior..................................................................... 12 2.1.2.1 Possible buying situations...................................................... 13 2.1.2.2 Participants in the buying decision process......................... 15 2.1.2.3 Main influences on Business Buyer Behavior...................... 17 2.1.2.4 Decision buying process......................................................... 19 2.1.3 The importance of relationships in B2B markets............................... 24
2.2 B2B branding..................................................................................................... 28 2.2.1. Definition of brand…...……................................................................. 28 2.2.2. The growing importance of brands in B2B markets……................. 32
2.3 B2B Marketing communication...................................................................... 34 2.3.1 The communication Mix ……...……………........................................ 35 2.3.2 The traditional view of communication in B2B…….......................... 37 2.3.3 The changing view.................................................................................. 40 2.3.4 The Integrated Marketing Communication approach...................... 44
3. Case Study……………………………………………………………………….…48 3.1 Objectives and methodology…………………………………….........……..48 3.2 Brief history of DaTerra................................................................................... 51 3.3 The case: DaTerra.............................................................................................. 53 ix

3.3.1 Marketing Mix…………………………………………………..……....53 3.3.3.1 Product....................................................................................... 53 3.3.3.2 Price................................................................ …………………55 3.3.3.3 Placement………………..…………………………………….57 3.3.3.4 Promotion………………….…………………………………..60
3.3.2 The evolution of Marketing communication…………………….…..64 3.3.3 The role of Marketing communication in building a brand….…….67 3.3.4 The budget challenge…………………………………………………..69 4. Discussion…………………………………………………………………………..70 5. Limitations and suggestions for further studies…………..……………………74 6. Bibliography………………………………………….....………………………….76 7. Appendices…………………………………………………………………………81 7.1 Appendix I – Ceramics collections and inspiration………………...…81 7.2 Appendix II – Oak boards technical file…………………………….…87 7.3 Appendix III – Textile collection details………………………………..89 7.4 Appendix IV – New developments for linen category..………………90 7.5 Appendix V – Retailers’ analysis………………………………………..94 7.6 Appendix VI – DaTerra Press appearances ………………………….99
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Integrated Marketing Communications: suitability in B2B markets