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Marketing Management: Hewden Case Study


Introduction

Hewden is a company that assumed its current trade name in 1999. It serves the building and construction industry through the provision of equipment for hire. It meets the market need for availing equipment that can be too costly to purchase as assets by respective builders and developers.

The clients can appropriate only a small proportion of their revenues and capital expenditure on machinery and equipment to get the service offered by Hewden. On the other hand, Hewden retains the ability to service and lease the equipment to other firms repeatedly. The business has an employee population of almost 900. It is currently serving the construction, infrastructure, industrial, and environmental industries with its range of products.

Its primary service is the convenience service that allows clients to manage their jobs with ease and in a timely way. Consequently, Hewden has achieved its objectives by focusing on employee development, branch network, and being a leader in environmental, health, and safety training.

A case study on Hewden is the basis of this paper’s research and discussion on the findings of competitive positions and marketing approaches by the company. This paper seeks to present a broad analysis of the present situation about the potential for the growth of Hewden in different business perspectives.

The focus includes marketing strategies, marketing segmentation options, and responses to increased competition in the market. Others are issues to do with employee management, brand management, and business growth management. The paper will bring out critical business analysis tools like TOWS matrix and segmentation methods.

It also explores aspects of competitive advantage derived from theoretical concepts of marketing and management, such as the Henry Mintzberg’s five Ps of strategy for dealing with marketing challenges (Mintzberg 2007).

How Hewden can develop New Marketing Strategies

The matrix helps a company to formulate a strategy through bringing together and evaluating the strengths and opportunities that are internal and external to the business respectively. It also brings together and evaluates the weaknesses and threats that are external to the company. There are four potential strategies to follow in the matrix; namely, weaknesses and threats (WT), weaknesses and opportunities (WO), strengths and threats (ST) and strengths and opportunities (SO) (Koontz 2009).

In the first case of the WT strategy, a company considers its greatest weaknesses and opts to go for a survival strategy. For Hewden, a major weakness is the differentiated culture in its depots. In addressing the weakness, Hewden considers its market environment and the need to focus on customer care. Thus, it can embark on additional training for its workers in all its depots so that they can offer customers consistent levels of quality survive.

As part of the training, the company will also need to consider the aging workforce as a factor (Brunold & Durst 2012). Rather than take them through vigorous training, which introduce many new concepts to their working roles, Hewden should reassign functions so that most of the aging workforce does the routine and core operations that require minor changes (Loretto, Vickerstaff & White 2007).

Meanwhile, a younger workforce can be tasked with roles of responding to customers and changes in the market. This will be a way of overcoming the company’s weaknesses by making them strengths so that further movement towards an OS strategy is possible. A cultural framework that makes working at Hewden fun and attractive for career growth is already addressing the threat of employee turnover and poaching by rival firms.

Additional input in this strategy would involve combining the young and old demographic of workers to become teams that refresh the aging workers’ roles as mentors to the younger workforce (Streb, Voelpel & Leibold 2008). The second strategy based on the TOWS matrix is WO. The facts to consider here are the weaknesses as explained in the previous WT strategy and the opportunities facing Hewden.

The first one is to rely on the updated system that only focuses on operations and does not include information gathering for customer care and employee engagement. The opportunities that Hewden has include expansion, an increase in workforce skills to development better services, and an increase in its customer response times. The case study of Hewden also reveals the opportunity realized through the process of training and development.

Besides, new technologies are making it easier to interact with customers and manage the supply chain and distribution networks. Therefore, the company can use the technology to keep its younger workforce abreast with changes in market demand. The knowledge can tacitly pass to other members of the organization through job rotation and various employee mentorship programs to create a learning tradition within the company (Brunold & Durst 2012).

It will be essential for ensuring that a retiring workforce does not victimize the company’s strategy for offering differentiated services in its target market (Streb, Voelpel & Leibold 2008). The third approach is ST, where Hewden will be seeking to have its strength work towards minimizing the threats. There are the threats of competition and changes the business environment that can cause a loss of competitiveness for Hewden.

Currently, the business is subject to the performance of the economy. A slowdown in the economy will result in reduced business and limited funds for its operations. It may also have to raise prices to cover the loss of business, which will make it less competitive. As a remedy, following the WO strategy, Hewden should proceed with market segmentation so that it can charge premium prices for its loyal customers who are ready to upgrade to comprehensive services.

Meanwhile, it should standardize other services for the rest of the market to limit its overhead costs and still fulfil its obligation of meeting customer needs. The company may also consider having its core operations move to regions that have low operating expenses, and then maintain deports with only the necessary facilities in the expensive locations. Already, it has an upgraded system that can allow it to transition into market segmentation following these suggestions.

On the other hand, the business can use its expansive network and its large workforce to practice job rotation so that there are plenty of employee development opportunities, which can effectively deal with the threat of employee turnover. The last option is to follow an SO strategy that seeks to increase the pace of development for the company. This should lead to a rise in the competencies and competitive capabilities of Hewden.

It should also lead to an overall increase in the ability to cope with weaknesses and threats. Moreover, an SO strategy helps an already dominant company to increase its market share. For Hewden, an updated system has ensured that it can realize the abilities to meet customer expectations and reducing its overhead operation expenditure (Lowson 2002).

Therefore, the company is in a good position to keep on with its training and development programs such that it expands the options for employee creative problem solving. A deeper integration of the upgraded system with new technologies, such as smartphone applications and social media networks, will provide both customers and employees with additional options for raising and responding to their needs.

The company can use the same technology to make sure that employees are interacting amongst themselves as much as they do with customers (Ting, Wang & Ip 2011). Not only will Hewden improve the flow of knowledge among workers, but it will also be able to transform workers into knowledge hubs that customers can tap to without having to pass through bureaucratic processes of obtaining official communication.

Consequently, Hewden will be taking up the opportunity of having its staffs embrace the tag of brand ambassadors effectively. The competitors will be unable to replicate the strategy in the short-run, as it builds on an existing understanding of workers and customers, as well as a company tradition and culture of training and development, as well as change.

Opportunities Threats
Strengths SO
-focus on growth and development, improve current system with integration to customer intelligence frameworks and social networks, assign staffs role and tools of brand ambassador, increase training programs
ST
– segment market, standardize minor services, move core operations to less costly location, practice job rotation to take advantage of large employee numbers and business locations
Weaknesses WO
– enhance training and development, use younger workforce to integrate technology solutions to core operations and customer care, job rotation and mentorship
WT
– reassign roles to reflect age, improve culture of fun and career development, integrate young workers into market research areas to boost relevancy of the business

Proposal and Justification of internal marketing program for Hewden. How social marketing issues might be fully combined the program. Specific advantages that implementation of such a program bring to the company. Hewden has an opportunity to involve workers in all levels of effective marketing programs. It can do so as a way of increasing their awareness of its marketing programs.

As a result, it should be able to make overall marketing success, as all parts of the organization will be working congruently. The options available are training and staff development, improvement of internal communication, and integration of communication and learning schemes. Internal marketing programs work well as a means of making the organization focus on responsibility in an engineering and construction-oriented company like Hewden, which delivers construction equipment for hire.

The important thing for Hewden is to expand its brand so that customers make it their first choice when they are seeking hire services for construction and engineering equipment. One way of enhancing its brand is through public relations. Exposure in various public activities will be beneficial to its goal of increased brand recognition. It can do that by carrying out comprehensive corporate responsibility initiatives.

However, such efforts require the cooperation of all members of the organization and are very sensitive because of their public nature. In this regard, Hewden should consider employee needs and rights before going ahead with the program. Hewden has to build trust and legitimacy in its people and itself before extending the same to its community.

Therefore, the internal marketing program will be a way of aligning employee goals and company goals. The argument here is that satisfying employees will allow Hewden to generate a higher quality of services. At the same time, the education of employees through training and development programs that incorporate internal marketing objectives will lead to high productivity and better levels of customer satisfaction.

In addition, going for the corporate responsibility approach will expand the ability of employees to deliver high quality of services (Bhatti et al. 2011). The corporate responsibility activities will allow employees at Hewden to derive meaning from their work. This will put the workers on a natural path of being persuasive in their actions at work and away from work to induce positive responses from current and potential customers that interact with them.

With the motivations and the program in place, social media will serve as an outreach medium. Hewden will involve its employees in its social media marketing programs, in addition to traditional media marketing to create awareness of its program. At the individual level, employees and managers will have a chance to run interactions with customers and respond to queries or initiate dialogue through social media channels that allow them to learn more about the market and integrate the information to their job roles at the company (Flipo 2002).

On an institutional level, the company will be expressing its market campaigns through social media and formally exposing employees to the platform and its outcomes as part of their sensitization program on its marketing activities. At the same time, the organizational level of the firm will be bringing out its sense of public responsibility by responding to its business-related cases and other community-related cases that give an opportunity to enhance its brand outlook.

Building networks of employees based on marketing agendas allow employees to become experts at analysing trends and highlighting customer service issues. Another advantage is that the marketing department does not work in isolation; it can get feedback on the ability of respective departments to handle the business consequence of its plans (Flipo 2002). Therefore, the entire company can respond to spikes in the level of demand in particular market segments when launching new services and products or creating promotions.

On the other hand, existing line managers can play a part in influencing appropriate positive public relations behaviour for subordinate staffs. Overall, marketing will be responsive to how Hewden operates (Flipo 2002). In the end, the success of the internal marketing program will depend on the ability of the management to make the influencers become part of the strategy.

Having networks of employees makes it easy to identify influencers. Combining the need to improve workers’ meaning in the roles with opportunities for corporate responsibility will consistently align individual employee motivations and company marketing needs. Focusing on inter-employee relationships will address social marketing concerns.

It will present a chance for feedback on activities that the firm can do publicly and internally. Thus, it can improve employee voice and connection to their communities. This will promote the company’s culture and its employment reputation as an excellent and growth-oriented place to work in. Lastly, consistent education of the brand values and mission of Hewden will help to convene a unified message for all initiatives undertaken by the company internally and externally (O’Neill 2011).

The benefit will be the exhibition of organizational citizenship behaviour by the employee when they are attuned to the Hewden’s brand values, it marketing mission, and its organizational sense of public responsibility. The important consideration is for the internal marketing approach to have humanistic and interactive approaches at all stages. The best strategy would be to have a dialogue with employees, rather than make it a top-down management decision.

The management should use persuasion techniques to bring the employees on board with the internal marketing concept. The combination of routines for getting talent and developing it within the company will work well to ensure that the internal marketing endeavour also leads to competitive capabilities for Hewden that are hard for rival companies to imitate.

In addition to motivating employees to take up marketing roles, the strategy will include a cross-functional coordination of efforts that lead to customer satisfaction objectives. In the end, Hewden will be working as a cohesive unit to realise its mission objectives and grow the Hewden brand (O’Neill 2011). Suggestion of ways in which Hewden can now ensure that it retains or improves its position in this freely competitive market place.

Hewden has to continue designing and implementing a tangible evidence for its services. Physical evidence is the material part of service that marketers offer in recognition of the fact that customers will also seek physical cues to assist them in production evaluation before purchase (Chernatony & McDonald 2003). On the other hand, Hewden is increasingly reaching out to its customers through the usage of social media platform and other electronic communication options.

As a result, it may miss the ability to present a physical interaction to potential clients. Meanwhile, it has to compete on a platform that offers easy entry for its rivals. One way to ensure that the use of social media and other electronic communication channels by Hewden is contributing to its competitive capabilities focuses on the customer-care quality aspects. Linking customer thoughts of a physical visit and a virtual interaction is important.

The use of a particular layout that ensures customers can reach out to the relevant areas of the business from the same platform is necessary. Hewden ought to duplicate its strategies on all platforms, rather than have different implementations of its social communications strategy. When customers choose one electronic platform over another, they should be able to interact with a majority of the company’s services without leaving the platform.

Implementation of this strategy would be a response to customers’ need for a responsive company. To augment its virtual presence and marketing efforts, Hewden has to bring out additional evidence of its corporate branding. The company will grow faster with physical proof of its services. It needs to develop artefacts and use them to build its brand reputation.

The company should use brochures and merchandise to spread its brand, in addition to branding that is already on its premises and deports, as well as online. It can enhance interactions with customers by taking them through trivia exercises and rewarding them with branded merchandise. It can also do the same for existing clients based on their purchase of services from the company.

The use of such strategies ensures that customers become brand ambassadors and interact with the Hewden brand consistently. Although Hewden has grown well by relying on the current strategy, it needs to improve its marketing strategy. Its marketing department should plan consistently and make changes as it implements its strategies. There should be a consistent reflection of the marketing process.

Besides, the company should use its outreach programs as learning opportunities. Interaction with customers and other stakeholders in its market are chances for improving its brand position and its service delivery strategy (Chernatony & McDonald 2003). Hewden has to embrace the human characteristics that influence its marketing plan. It should recognize the role of culture in its marketing efforts.

While its focus on customers is legitimate, the business must also consider the interaction of its employee and organizational culture with target market cultures. Approaching marketing as human nature can help the company avoid contradictions and mistaken beliefs that can affect the execution of marketing plans. Above all, Hewden’s strategy must recognize the competitors’ reactions.

Hewden should follow suggestions by Henry Mintzberg on the five Ps of strategy in creating a strategy to make its services enjoy a long-term competitive advantage (Mintzberg 2007). They are Plan, Ploy, Pattern, Position, and Perspective. The argument here is that an understanding of each P allows an organization to make full use of its strengths and capabilities (Mintzberg 2007).

The plan entails a detailed guideline to help the company handle issues. The plan is executed in advance, when the problem or situation has not become a critical issue. It also emerges as a purposeful development within the firm. Ploy, on the other hand, is a strategy that is unique to a particular manoeuvre that the management makes. It is often an action or reaction to a rival. It can happen because of existing or emerging rivals (Bi & Williams (eds.) 2010).

Meanwhile, the pattern is an enhancement of the ploy or plan. It is a focus on the behaviour emanating from a defined plan or ploy. However, it adds on the other two aspects by introducing prescribed repetition. The strategy involves several actions performed in a particular order.

Additionally, patterns can happen even occur without planning; therefore, in Hewden’s strategy, the inclusion of other aspects of strategy is necessary to bring clarity of action. ‘Position’ sees the strategy as a means of locating the firm in an environment such that it works to match the internal and external contexts of the organization (Mintzberg 2007). Perspective involves taking a given position and considering it as the worldview.

Resultantly, the firm takes up strategy as its personality that defines it. Staff members at Hewden ought to have a shared perspective, which becomes the strategy of the company. They express the shared view through intentions, actions, and thinking (Bi & Williams (eds.) 2010). They embody a collective mind of Hewden.

Based on the breakdown of the 5Ps, Hewden ought to anticipate competitive action in terms of a plan, a ploy, a pattern, a subjective position, and a perspective that counters its own elements of 5Ps. This outlook will help the company comprehensively tackle issues within it and at the market in a dynamic way to allow integration, building, and reconfiguration of its internal and external competencies (Bi & Williams 2010).

Strategy as a ploy implies that Hewden should be focusing on disrupting, dissuading, and discouraging the competitors (Lowson 2002). It must influence the competition by making intentional onslaughts that discourage a rival from pursuing a particular competitive strategy. For example, it can threaten to increase its number of depots to discourage a competitor from launching a business in one of its target areas.

A third opportunity is for Hewden to focus on its organization behaviour, which becomes a source of its strategy. The consistent way of doing business ends up developing customer and employee trust, as well as improving customer care service. Therefore, focusing on its competencies and working on them can help Hewden retain competitive advantages.

To use strategy as a pattern, the company must keep on making unique selling point analyses and carrying out a core competency analysis. These tools provide the business with information on what it should focus on when thinking about its market positioning strategies (Mintzberg 2007). Besides, there is strategy as an option, which follows that a business focuses on where it wants to be in a market and then using the description to form a strategy.

After working out on competitive analysis and evaluating marketing opportunities, Hewden will consider a placement that exposes it to opportunities and minimizes threats and then use this approach as its strategy (Koontz 2009). However, after successfully implementing other strategic options, the position will likely emerge as a by-product. Finally, Hewden has patterns of behaviour that shape its internal culture. It can use them as a strategy.

Unlike other tools of competitiveness, culture is often difficult to imitate. Therefore, patterns of thinking can shape Hewden’s approach to competition and increase in its ability to meet customer needs. One way of accomplishing the objective would be increasing employee learning experiences by improving knowledge sharing opportunities.

The present incorporation of an elaborate information technology system to aid decision making at the firm can extend to provide employee focused learning resources that improve their career development and abilities to behave creatively towards fulfilling customer needs. In the end, Hewden should be continuously gathering information about the internal operations and the external business environment (Koontz 2009).

It should analyse the information and use it to test the robustness and practicality of ideas for marketing. Lastly, it must flush out inconsistencies to ensure that there is minimal disruption, and the business builds on consistency with an ability to make short-term reactions or provocations to competitors’ actions (Mintzberg 2007).

Market segments that Hewden currently serves. Suggestion on whether a broadening of this segmentation base might help or hinder the company. Hewden is a market leader that continues to focus on the geographic location of its customers as its basis of market targeting. The company progressively acquired depots in different geographical areas.

It was driven by a need to serve emerging centres of its business. It has done so by ensuring that its workers in the different regions are maintaining a similar culture that is core to the company’s ability to increase the value delivered to customers. In terms of customer characteristics, the company does not discriminate its market. However, it recognizes that customers can be divisible in the nature of the industry where their businesses serve.

For example, Hewden serves customers from construction, infrastructure, engineering, and building industries. The various market segments demand similar equipment in many cases. However, there could be segmentation due to the instances of special equipment or the nature of the projects the clients do in the respective industries served by the company.

Broadening the market geographically and including other industries yet to be served will help the company attain advantages of scale and cement its market leadership position. However, the issue has to be criticized for its potential to increase business costs without a matching increase in profit margins. The following analysis helps to bring out the broadening options available to Hewden.

Market segmentation is necessary for businesses to execute sales and marketing decision making effectively. Hewden currently serves the local markets, according to its depot locations. It does not differentiate the market based on client characteristics other than geographic qualities. Segmentation will always follow customer features that make a significant difference in the way customers manage to respond to marketing campaigns by Hewden.

Hewden will look at three important elements when picking segments to focus on its current expanded market. They are measurability, substantiality, and operational relevance to marketing strategy. Some models will be assistive in the Hewden case when evaluating whether broadening of its segmentation has a positive or negative impact on the company.

In this paper, the generic principle, the two-stage market segmentation, and the bottom-up approach are the focus of discussion. In the generic approach, a business has to choose between offering a broad range of products to a limited segment or have many segments as its focus, with a limited product range. If Hewden is following the one-to-many model, it will be able to use economies of scale from the supply chain side to serve its market.

Indeed, the business has worked on its distributor strategy to have depots strategically located in critical geographic locations. Presently, Hewden is serving a broad market in terms of geographic reach and limited product range, which are heavy machinery for construction related work being availed for hire. Besides, some related services are offered to customers, such as convenience.

An unfortunate outcome of the generic principle is that firms end up gradually increasing their product portfolio or their market segments until they have a many-to-many approach. At first, it is important to minimize the risk of poor market performance and increase access to opportunities. Often, the strategy ends up stretching a firm such that it loses brand credibility, and cannot sustain a particular marketing campaign that serves all products and segments optimally.

Based on this understanding, broadening of Hewden’s segmentation base might help or hinder the company from sustaining the gains made from its current strengths. The second model for analysing segmentation would be the two-stage market segmentation. The model was brought up by Yoram Wind and Richard Cardozo in 1974, with the suggestion that firms can look at the macro or micro-segmentation (Hutt & Speh 2010).

In the first case, they focus on the characteristics of the buying organization. In the case of Hewden, it would entail the division of the market by the company size so that Hewden can access the potential business. In addition, the geographic location, standard industry classification (SIC), purchasing situation such as re-buy or new task, decision-making stage, benefit segmentation, and type of institution are all elements for consideration under macro-segmentation (Hutt & Speh 2010).

Nevertheless, Hewden will look at the customer’s business potential. Big clients can order large quantities and are prepared to sign long-term agreements, while critical accounts for Hewden can be from regional customers with a moderate appetite for services. Meanwhile, its other segment can be set aside for direct accounts, which involve many individual clients seeking short-term hire services.

Another segmentation following the macro approach would rely on purchasing strategies, where firms and individuals would seek for hire services for countrywide deployment from one segment while localizing deployment from another segment. The supply chain position of the company could also subject it to a segment. Customers to Hewden may require equipment to subcontract to other companies, while others may just need them for direct work.

Micro segmenting a market involves establishing small units of uniform clients in the bigger market. It is a deeper level of macro-segmentation that allows the business to gain the expected benefits of the strategy. Moreover, it allows a business to look at daily occurring factors, such as buyers’ decision criteria. The business can pay attention to the quality of its products, the support it should provide, pricing, and supply-related factors.

Here, Hewden will segment its market according to high-quality demands or prompt delivery demands. It can tailor its services to fits its resource capabilities to offer standard quality and immediate delivery or low quality and low price (Hutt & Speh 2010). In another strategy, Hewden may look at the purchasing strategy of customers.

Some firms require suppliers to be on a list that is approved at the beginning of a financial year, which will specify their requirements. Therefore, Hewden has to offer services according to the specified demands. Segmenting such customers would allow Hewden to spare resources that focus on providing other qualities that these clients may not require.

It can also tailor services to their needs to guarantee long-term purchase relationships. On the other hand, non-seasoned purchases of its services can fall into one category, where their marketing strategy remains responsive to their multiple dynamic needs. Other options of micro-segmentations are perceived as the importance of the product to the customer’s business and the attitudes that the customers have toward Hewden.

However, the nature of services does not permit elaborate breakdown of segments on this premises. For example, age, education job title, and the decision style of customers do not make a beneficial long-term outcome. The present format of distributing services opens Hewden to the possibility of segmenting its market based on the scale and seasonality of demand by its customers.

Additional segmentation will hurt the business by increasing the cost and interfering with existing marketing and operation strategy. The final model for consideration is the bottom-up approach, also called the Kotler model (Hutt & Speh 2010). Here, a firm studies masses of customer data and searches for similarities. It forms segments based on similar needs. This can be in terms of purchase attitude, time of purchase, and demand for service quality, among other things.

Here, a firm such as Hewden will begin by seeing all customers as different and then grouping them according to emerging similarity categories (Hutt & Speh 2010). A useful approach can allow a business to advance its product portfolio according to market feedback. In the capacity of Hewden, such an approach is possible because the company also runs on a technologically based operation system for its logistics and can integrate customer relationship to increase its market intelligence.

Conclusion

The paper has presented an analysis and discussion of the Hewden case study. It looked at various strategic options that can assist the company to grow. The first option considered the possibilities of the TOWS matrix, a business analysis tool for capturing internal and external competitive factors to develop appropriate responses and actions to realize growth and sustainability of business operations.

Also, there was a review of the current marketing situation and discussion on internal marketing strategies possible for Hewden, together with bringing out the advantage of a proposed option. This paper’s suggestion was that Hewden should create corporate responsibility initiatives and involve employees in the execution as part of its internal marketing. It also ought to identify and engage influencers.

Hewden had some options regarding responding to a competitive environment and the need to sustain its position. Some of them have been the subject of discussion. The need for having physical evidence for the Hewden brand came out strongly in the debate. The additional evidence for the case shows that the company is already making attempts at ensuring that it is visible in the marketplace.

However, the discussion shows that there is a need for improvement in the approaches in place; hence the recommendation for improving the physical evidence of the brand, especially through the use of branded merchandise. There was extensive research done to bring out the points in the discussions highlighted above and the discussion on possible segmenting strategies useful to the company.

The study relied on secondary information sources, mainly books and journals, to understand and link theories and practical assumptions to the Hewden case. The conceptualization of marketing and management has been highlighted throughout the discussion.

They show the reasoning behind some recommendations made. For example, Hewden can only broaden its segmentation when it is using a two-stage segmentation process. Other methods offer opportunities, but they are not very practical in the company’s case.

Based on this paper’s research and presentation, I feel that the critical theoretical issues have been the management of an aging workforce or dealing with varied demographic challenges in the workplace. There is also an issue of marketing strategy theory and competitive advantage theory. Besides, change management as a theoretical problem emerges strongly in the way the company passes through transitions.

The main resources cited include Brunold and Durst (2012) on job rotation issues and aging employees, Hutt and Steh (2010) on marketing segmentation, Mintzberg (2007) on marketing theory, and Koontz (2009) on overall business strategy and competitive advantage issues. Besides the main citations, there were other resources used to build up the research and discussion for this report.

Much of the citation is in the references section and cited in the report in the respective sections. On the other hand, general reading of websites on the Internet also helps to articulate various concepts introduced by the authors mentioned above. From an individual perspective, I feel that this work has been a fundamental component of understanding overall marketing theory.

It has helped to shape ideas of internal and external market environments. The exercise was tough because it required thinking from multiple perspectives. Balancing strategies and reviewing options available to the Hewden case required extensive research and knowledge of conventional business analysis tools. Discussing them to bring out the challenge was also terrible.

Another thought was that the case presented for the study was shallow. It did not provide quantitative data and the provided, analyzed information on actions that the company was taking to remedy its weaknesses and address its threats. Therefore, finding additional issues to highlight and discuss was difficult.

At the same time, the presentation of this report was complicated due to a challenge of not wanting to go against some preconceived meanings in the actions taken by Hewden’s management as presented in the case. I have learned that business always has a range of options to explore when making up its strategy to deal with competition.

I have also learned that many unpredictable factors affecting one business are also likely to affect others in the same market. Lastly, people are the most valuable asset that a company can have as they contribute immensely to brand reputation and service or product quality.

The exercise was a success, and I feel that I have learned a lot about marketing and securing a competitive advantage. I have also learned how to use business tools like the TOWS matrix and marketing segmentation methods to create a strategy for competitiveness.

Reference List

Bhatti, MI, Zafarullah, M, Awan, HM & Bukhari, KS 2011, ‘Employees’ perspective on organizational service quality orientation’, International Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Finance and Management, vol 4, no. 4, pp. 280 – 294.

Brunold, J & Durst, S 2012, ‘Intellectual capital risks and job rotation’, Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol 13, no. 2, pp. 178-195.

Chernatony, LD & McDonald, M 2003, Creating powerful brands, 3rd edn, Elsevier/Butterworth-Heinemann, Burlington, MA.

Flipo, J-P 2002, ‘Leaving myths aside’, in B Lewis, R Levy (eds.), Internal marketing: Directions for management, 2nd edn, Routledge, London, UK.

Hutt, M & Speh, T 2010, Business marketing management: B2B, 10th edn, South-Western Cengage Learning, Mason, OH.

Koontz, H 2009, Essentials of management, 8th edn, Tata McGraw Hill, New Delhi.

Loretto, W, Vickerstaff, S, White, P (eds.) 2007, The future of older workers: New perspectives, The Policy Press, Briston, UK.

Lowson, RH 2002, Strategic operations management: The new competitive advantage, Routledge, New York, NY.

Mintzberg, H 2007, Traking strategy: Toward a general theory, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

O’Neill, M 2011, ‘Branding your workplace: A strong workplace brand increases employee loyalty’, Ceramic Industry, vol 161, no. 10, pp. 34-35.

Streb, CK, Voelpel, SC & Leibold, M 2008, ‘Managing the aging workforce’, European Management Journal, vol 26, no. 1, pp. 1-10.

Ting, SL, Wang, WM & Ip, YKTWH 2011, ‘Knowledge elicitation approach in enhancing tacit knowledge sharing’, Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol 111, no. 7, pp. 1039-1064.

Appendices

Mintzberg’s 5Ps of strategy (source: )

Mintzberg’s 5Ps of strategy

TOWS matrix (Source: )

TOWS matrix
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