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This paper is an individual report of my role as a marketing manager for the simulated company (2). In this report, I evaluate the company’s performance across different developmental stages, which are divided into eight periods. In each one of them, information relating to the company’s performance in previous periods, factors influencing strategic and operational decisions, internal and external organisational dynamics, and the key figures used in decision-making are provided. Based on the broader evaluation of the company’s performance, an assessment of its economic growth and crises that affected each period is provided. The assessment is provided in the log below.
|P0||The situation of the company in P0 was neutral because the business was in the inception stage. The strategic and operational decisions made at this stage of development were premised on the need to increase sales, market share, and the total revenue for the company. Here, group synergy was sought. The quest to realise group synergy aligns with the recommendations of Roome and Louche (2016), which suggest that business models should be fashioned to create synergy by fostering group cohesion among stakeholders. |
This vision is partly supported by the resource-based and market-based views, which presuppose that companies could use their internal resources to achieve maximum external leverage (Aghazadeh 2015; Droli et al. 2014; Dassler 2016; Xie, Wang & Luan 2014; Hewett & Krasnikov 2016; Line & Wang 2017). The key figures used for decision-making in P0 were based on the cost structure of the company’s products. Relative to this assertion, Winkler et al. (2017) supports the use of pricing strategies to make strategic decisions.
|P1||The basis for making strategic and operational decisions at P1 were the same ones used in making decisions at P0 because the concern was still about the need to increase sales, market share, and the total revenue of the company. However, technology and ecology were new external forces that affected management’s decision at this stage of business development. Comparatively, human resource efficiency was the biggest internal factor that affected management’s decision. The sales numbers significantly influenced decision-making at this stage of development because they influenced the company’s revenue stream. Here, it is also important to point out that the market share was relatively constant during this period (at an average of 11%), while the biggest crises were in C6 and C8 where it decreased to about 9%.|
|P2||The type of advertisement employed and the cost of pursuing such strategies were significant considerations in the decision-making process of P2. Their importance was weighed within the general context of the business lifecycle. For example, Edeling and Fischer (2016) suggest that advertisements costs are often elastic, depending on the economic performance of the market. It was important to understand the implications of the company’s cost structure on the business lifecycle because macroeconomic forces would have had an impact on the business’s performance. |
This view was supported by a study undertaken by Dekimpe, Peers and van Heerde (2016), which suggested that the success of businesses was significantly impacted by the business cycle stage of the source market. Nonetheless, the revenue generated from the market was also a significant consideration in decision-making because it provided the figures used to benchmark the performance of marketing campaigns. In P2, there was no major crisis affecting the company’s operations.
|P3||P3 did not accommodate significant changes in the revenue market of the simulated company. However, there was a significant improvement in the sales of employees from 114.11 to 122.78. The strategic and operational decisions made at this stage of the development were based on such progress because C1, C3, and C8 had significant competitor activities. The increase in awareness index from 60 to 64 provided key figures that were used to inform management decisions. This change signified an improvement in the company’s performance and gave more surety that the strategies pursued by the company were effective. Based on the insignificant changes in market share witnessed during P3, it is plausible to assume that no major crises affected the company during this period.|
|P4||In C1 of period 4, there was a slight decrease in market share (8%). This decline was notable because (compared to the performance of P3) there was a decline of 4% in market share. However, this index later increased to an average of 11% in P1, P2, and P3. The decline in sales numbers provided the basis for making decisions within this period because it was the lowest in three periods. |
The poor performance in market 2 compared to market 1 was also a cause for concern because it was characterised by price deviations of between -16% and 17%. The evaluation and operational decisions made were contingent on problem identification, especially in market 2 because it was expected that markets 1 and 2 would have standardised performances. The improvement in customer satisfaction standards also influenced decision-making processes because we were satisfied that the causes of the poor performance in market 2 were probably related to the operational dynamics of the company, as opposed to customer satisfaction.
Focusing on customer satisfaction as a key metric for influencing management decisions stems from studies, which have shown that predicting customer behaviour could positively influence key performance indicators, such as sales and revenue (Gilal et al. 2018). For example, the self-determination theory has been touted as a reliable model for predicting customer behaviours. Its proficiency comes from the failure of other marketing theories, such as the theory of reasoned action and the theory of planned behaviour, to influence customer satisfaction (Gilal et al. 2018). Relative to this assertion, Hill and Martin (2014) say that most marketing theories ignore people’s heterogeneity because they only focus on simplistic measures of success.
Although there was a lacklustre performance in P4, it is still plausible to say there were no major crises during the period. It is also important to note that the economic development of the company was generally positive.
|P5||The comparative performance between markets 1 and 2 informed the management decisions made in P5. Again, similar to the findings reported in P4 above, there was a significantly poor performance of market 2 compared to market 1. The strategic and operational decisions made at this stage were designed to change this situation. These decisions were framed within the wider context of marketing capabilities, which is an important tenet of marketing theory. In an attempt to understand the differences between the marketing capabilities adopted in international and domestic markets, Morgan, Feng and Whitler (2018) also alluded to the importance of understanding the role of marketing capabilities in influencing corporate decisions. |
Volatility in price deviation and market share, especially in market 2, provided the figures for estimating the effects of strategic decisions on the company’s performance. However, it is still important to point out that there were no major crises reported in P5. In addition, if the performance of market 2 in P5 was compared to that of market 2 in P4, it could be deduced that the economic development of the company was insignificant but promising.
|P6||P6 heralded a period where the company introduced a new market (Market 1 Pro). Although the performance of classic market 2 was not the same as classic market 1, it was significantly better in performance compared to P5. Key figures in market share dynamics and customer satisfaction standards influenced decision-making during this stage of the company lifecycle. These indices were important because they affected the sales and revenue generated by the company. The relationship between customer satisfaction and sales is not only unique to the company because some researchers, such as Eisingerich, Auh and Merlo (2014), have alluded to the same relationship. |
Market expansion through segmentation was one of the biggest influences of management decisions during P6. The decision to expand markets was informed by several issues, which affected organisational factors. Limited resources, staffing considerations and competitive pressures are only a few of these issues that had to be considered when expanding the company’s market profile. These considerations are similar to those identified by Sheth (2018), which suggested that five issues should be considered before creating new market entry strategies. They include unbranded competition, infrastructural issues, socio-political governance competencies and market heterogeneity.
Relative to the above insights, Holstein (2018) says that decisions aimed at promoting growth in business should be made after managers decide whether to operate in specialised or integrated markets. Schmitt (2018) also contributes to the same discussion by saying many small businesses experience growth challenges and can only perform effectively if they consult their internal and external stakeholders.
Focused on highlighting marketing considerations for countries that want to venture into emerging markets viz-a-viz traditional western markets, Schmitt (2018) also suggested that it is important for managers to rethink their marketing perspectives. In addition, Sheth (2018) posited that it was integral to assess differential advantages and market aggregation dynamics when making such decisions.
An overall assessment of the company’s performance also demonstrated a positive economic development. This type of growth is typically associated with companies, which are seeking to innovate because as Brown and Mawson (2016) point out, some companies fail to embrace growth because they recycle initiatives, which could propagate past mistakes. Nonetheless, similar to other periods highlighted in this report, no major crisis affected the company during P6.
|P7||As alluded in this report, P6 was characterised by a further segmentation of the market to include market 2 Pro. Relative to this development, the company’s performance in “Market 1 Pro” provided the baseline statistics to use in making management decisions for P7. The criterion was that a promising level of success in “Market 1 Pro” would inform the expansion of the market into “Market 2 Pro.” The expansion of the market segmentation strategy implied that the economic development of the company remained positive throughout P7. The internal factors that supported this development were improved competencies in staff and increased technological adoption. The latter influence had a significant impact on the business strategy because it improved the efficiency of advertising and caused a decline in operational costs. |
The role of technology in reducing operating costs has also been supported in research studies conducted by Vigersky (2015). These advantages are partly supported by the works of Patwardhan, Pandey and Dhume (2014), Rekha, and Chauhan (2017), which demonstrate the positive impact of technology in marketing activities. Generally, it is pertinent to point out that there were no major crises affecting the company during this period of assessment.
|P8||P8 was characterised by the lowest volatilities in price, as seen from the performance of market 1 (classic). The strategies adopted to improve the performance of Market 1 (classic) seem to have failed because there was no significant market share as seen from C1, C2, C4, C7, C8, and C9 where the company held a 0% market share. The relatively high market share of market 1 (pro) provided data that were used to make management decisions at this stage. |
The figures indicated that there was traction gained in the market and that the strategies adopted for markets 1 and 2 (pro) were relatively successful. The reliance on these figures to make informed decisions is in line with the recommendations of Stickel and Vandervalk (2014), which suggest the need to use reliable data to make informed business decisions. In fact, a market share of 24% was reported after the launch of market 2 (pro). This was a strong indication that the economic development of the company had increased from period to period (through the analysis).
Based on the insights provided in this report, no major crises affected the company’s growth throughout the eight periods reviewed. The progress made in the simulated company is also consistent with most of the findings highlighted by different researchers who have explained the intrigues of small business development. Since the insights presented in this report were based on my role as a marketing manager, sales and revenue considerations influenced most of the strategic decisions made in the company. Collectively, these insights point to the need to embrace a contextualised strategic development process when developing company plans.
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