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Master of Business Administration Essay Sample

Master of Business Administration Pages
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Q.1 Marketing involves satisfaction of consumer needs’. Elucidate the statement.

Ans: Marketing is a social process which alleviates individuals and groups to get what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and value with others. This definition rests on the core concepts as shown and discussed below:

•Needs, wants, and demands
•Products
•Value and satisfaction
•Exchange and transactions
•Markets

Needs, wants and demand – A need can be defined as a felt state of deprivation of some basic satisfaction. The human needs can be further divided into three types:- a) Physical needs – It addresses the basic need for food, clothing, warmth, and safety. (b) Social needs – It calls for belongingness and affection. (c) Individual needs – It includes needs for knowledge and self expression.

Wants are desire for specific satisfiers of deeper needs. Wants are shaped by culture and individual personality. For example, if you are thirsty, this is your need but if you want coca-cola to quench your thirst then this is your want. Human needs and wants are unlimited, while the resources available to meet them are limited.

Demand is want for specific products that are backed by an ability and willingness to buy them at a price. For example, you have money to buy coca-cola. Marketing aims at identifying the following:

(a) Human (and social) needs and wants
(b) Consumers’ demand
(c) Endeavours to satisfy them by creating, communicating, and delivering products and services •Products and services – A product is a mix of intangibles and tangibles offered by the marketer at a price. For example, cars, food, air conditioner, mobiles, etc. Services may be described as intangible products such as banking and other financial services, teaching, cleaning, hairdressing, counselling, transportation, medical treatment. etc.

Sometimes, it becomes difficult to distinguish services from product as it is closely associated with the product. For instance, if you visit a doctor, the combination of diagnosis with the administration of a medicine may confuse you.

•Value and satisfaction – Value is the benefit that the customer gains from owning and using a product compared to the cost of obtaining the product. A lot depends on consumers’ perceptions about the value that different products or services are expected to deliver. The sources that build customer expectations include experience with products, friends, family members, neighbours, associates, consumer reports, and marketing communications.

Customer satisfaction is based on the product’s performance and expectations. Customers generally experience satisfaction when the performance level meets or exceeds the minimum performance expectation levels. Performance ≥ Expectations → Satisfaction

Performance < Expectation → Dissatisfaction
•Exchange, transaction, and relationship – Building relationship with the customers is an important part of business transactions. Of late, marketers have realised its relevance and are now focusing on relationship marketing. It is an approach that focuses on developing a series of transactions with consumers. •Markets – A market can be viewed as any person, group, or organisation with which an individual, group, or organisation has an existing or potential exchange relationship. Without the existence of a marketplace, whether physical or virtual, no marketing would take place.

Marketing is a mixture of various activities that will get the consumer to buy a product. These activities are referred to as marketing functions.

1. Marketing research – Marketers need to approach their customers in a scientific manner. Marketing research provides a basis for it as it is basically concerned with gathering data about the market. So, market analysis (measurement and evaluation of target market and its characteristics), product/service determination (analysis of consumer aspirations, expectations, tastes, functional, and economic utility), and distribution analysis are the important sub-functions of marketing research.

2. Advertising – Advertising is a mass media tool. It is perhaps a very powerful tool in the hands of the marketer, particularly in consumer goods markets. It is an impersonal presentation and promotion of ideas, products, or services that are paid by the sponsors. It attempts to inform, persuade, and remind customers about the products and services.

3. Sales promotion – This is a short-term incentive to boost sales. It acts as a supplement to personal selling and advertising. Usually, marketers use various sales promotion devices when the product is launched and when the product reaches its maturity. Consumer sales promotion and dealer sales promotion are the important sub-functions of a sales promotion programme.

4. Sales planning – This function involves the planning for marketing of the right products at the right prices. The sub-functions include formulating sales plans, price and quantity determinations, packaging, and budgeting (forecast sales, setting sales quota, and estimating sales expenses).

5. Sales operations – This is concerned with transferring of products to the customer point. Organising field and indoor sales force and their management are the sub-functions of sales operations. Sales force management includes recruitment, training, direction and supervision, compensation, and evaluation.

6. Physical distribution – Moving and handling of products comes under physical distribution. Order processing, inventory, warehousing, and transportation are the key decisions to be assessed in the physical distribution system

Q.2 Conduct a SWOT analysis for any one automobile brand of your choice. How will this analysis help in planning marketing strategies for the brand?

Ans: Honda SWOT Analysis
Honda is the one of the best as well as a leading company in the market, which is producing well with the help of all the latest and innovative technologies. Apart from automobile, Honda is the one of the best and largest producer of engine. Honda was the one, which compete with Nissan and achieved the highest productivity. Honda was the first Japanese automobile based manufacturer, which produced the luxury-based brand. This Company is thus working well and generating effective outcomes. Apart from this, numerous threats as well as weakness are there which plays an important role in weakening this company. Therefore, in order to analyze the weak areas and to highlight the strong areas of a company, SWOT analysis is done which results in better and productive outcome.

Below mentioned is the SWOT analysis of Honda Company.

Strength
•High and powerful research and development R&D
•Innovation
•Best market share leadership
•Different and unique products
•One major strength is the revolutionary engine technology with the help of which Honda is gaining success day by day •Popularity is termed as one of the best strength which results in betterment for the company

Weaknesses
• Cost structure of Honda is high as compare to other automobile manufacturers • Apart from Nissan & Toyota, Honda requires privileged purchase deposit • Honda focus more on international deposits as compare to domestic deposits • Civic model is consider as one of the major weakness for Honda Company • Honda products are termed as inoffensive in terms of style and design • Prices for non-luxury vehicles are far high as compare to other manufacturers • In truck line, Honda Company is not offering strong products and proposals

Opportunities
• Honda has the best opportunity to use its R&D in producing cars according to the needs and demands of their customer. This is only possible because of the increase in demand for less pollution cars. • Emerging market is one of the best opportunity for this company

• Various models are there which caters the lower segment
• Fuel efficiency is now a days termed as one of the best opportunity which can results in the best productivity for the company
• Alliances are the best opportunities for Honda Company
• Honda can increase its production by focusing on sales and research
• They can gain more popularity by doing better research and development

Threats
• One of the major threats is the economic slowdown
• All the external changes for instance taxes, politics as well as government
are the major threats for Honda Company
• Another threat is the lower cost competitors
• Price war is also consider as an important threat for this company
• Oil prices are contributing a lot towards the loss of Honda company • Second movers are the major threat for Honda company
• Substitute products are the major threats for the Honda company

SWOT analysis is a business tool by which, a firm will be able to implement a strategic analysis, analyzes and recognizes its corporate Strengths and Weaknesses as well as the existed or forthcoming Opportunities and Threats from its external environment. Completing a SWOT analysis will help in identifying and the ways to minimize the affect of weaknesses in your business while maximizing your strengths only when these four critical information elements are well elaborated and known.

Q.3 Explain in brief the process involved in personal selling.

Ans: Process or steps in personal selling include the following:

1. Prospecting – This is the beginning of sales process, which covers searching for customers with potential demand.

2. Targeting – This is the process of deciding how to allocate sales time among prospects and existing customers.

3. Pre-approach – In this step, the salesperson plans methods to approach the customers and to collect company and customer information.

4. Communication and approach – This is the process of communicating and contacting the customers. It involves developing a system to greet the customers and meet them for the sale. Homer B. Smith has recommended different approaches. The following are some proven techniques: •Ask questions – Questions should preferably be relevant to sales presentation. •Use a referral – Someone favourably known to the potential customer. •Offer a benefit or service – This can be quite effective if relevant to
customer’s need. •Complement the prospect – It is a good way to establish rapport if there is anything that the prospect has achieved.

5. Presentation and demonstration – In this stage, the salesperson gives a sales presentation and if required demonstrates features, advantages, and benefits and value propositions of the product.

6. Customer objection handling – Customers always pose objections during presentations or when asked to order. Psychological resistance and logical resistance are the two types of resistance seen at this stage. The psychological resistance includes resistance to interference, preference for established brands, apathy, reluctance to give up something, etc. The logical resistance includes objections to price, delivery schedule, or certain companies.

7. Closing – Some salespeople do not get to this stage or do not do it well. The salespeople try to close sales after handling the customer objections.

8. Follow up and maintenance – The salesman does follow up and retains the relationship with customers to obtain repeated orders and referrals and ensures customer satisfaction and repeated business. In the case of consumer durables, salespeople take care of maintenance.

Q.4 Describe the stages of business buying process.

Ans: Stages of business buying process:-

Step 1: Recognising an organisational need
Organisational purchasing starts with the identification of demand for products and services. While there are different kinds of needs, most needs arise out of situations related to the operation of the business. Need recognition is not always as complicated or involved as it is in new task and modified re-buy decisions. It becomes a routine, particularly in a straight re-buy situation. A large construction company may negotiate a contract with a steel beam supplier to replenish inventory on demand. Purchase orders are automatically written and sent to the supplier when the inventory reaches a pre-specified mark. Such routine buying situations offer the best opportunities to use computer based database management systems.

Step 2: Determining product specifications
Subsequent to identification of the responsibility centre, the purchase manager also specifies exact product and service descriptions for procurement. It is also necessary to estimate the exact quantity required and the period in which these quantities need to be delivered. An estimate of other associate services required for the purchase of specified goods and services is also necessary.

Step 3: Identifying suppliers
If there are many suppliers on the list, a screening procedure that bases its decisions on certain predefined criteria is needed. The information gathered enables the organisational buyer to quickly look for suppliers who can meet minimum requirements. These requirements might be delivery time, capacity to meet the buyer’s quantity needs, and breadth of the product line. Failure to meet a minimum requirement usually means that a supplier will not be included in the list of acceptable suppliers, no matter how well that supplier stacks up on other criteria. Because of a good past service to the company, a purchasing agent may, for example, put a supplier on the list though he/she does not meet the minimum requirements. At this stage, the buying centres search for different suppliers and try to find out their qualification or eligibility by collecting information on their performance and capability from various sources. It then notifies or requests for proposals from possible suppliers and sends these proposals for evaluation to the standing committee on purchase.

Step 4: Information search and supplier evaluation
A buying centre may have to evaluate several product types for a particular use before suppliers can be selected. If products are complicated, technically trained people sort through the alternatives to recommend those that meet previously developed product specifications. For instance, many companies deal with the rapidly changing technology of computer products (both hardware and software) by creating task forces that keep themselves abreast of current product developments. A task force recommends product types that are suitable for particular applications.

Step 5: Negotiation of purchase orders
An organisational buyer may negotiate a contractual agreement with a supplier. An agreement of this kind can cover a single purchase of a product or repurchase of the product over a period of time. Contracts are commonly used in straight re-buy situations. The buying centre of a large supermarket chain enters into contracts for purchases of frequently sold products like soap, toothpaste, and peanut butter for a year or more. Buying centres negotiate terms of payment, credit, and delivery during this stage to arrive at a specified order routine, which the supplier is required to honour under the negotiated agreement. Normally a term of contract is signed between both the parties.

Step 6: Evaluation of supplier performance
Organisational buyers usually want to know how well suppliers comply with the purchase agreement. Thus, an important part of organisational purchasing is evaluation of suppliers after purchase. This task is typically assigned to the purchasing department. The criteria used for supplier selection become the performance standards for this evaluation.

Information is collected on the performance of the product or service in use. A questionnaire may be sent to users of the product to obtain their input. Other technical measures of performance may also be devised. A manufacturer who purchases aerosol packaging, for instance, may select a sample of the packaging and test it for pressure and evenness of application. The buying centre develops a provision for feedback and evaluation on a continuous basis. It also develops systems and procedures to have a regular communication with the suppliers.

Q.5 Why is rural market important? What should marketers keep in mind when catering to this market? Ans: Today rural markets are providing substantial market share to consumer goods firms due to increase in purchasing power of rural population. In this article we have elaborated the reasons as to how the rural standards have gone up from what they were and the demand for the consumer goods.

Increasing Competition in Urban Markets
Urban markets are becoming competitive and even getting saturated. Consider the case of toiletries, packaged tea, dry cell batteries and even the electronic entertainment products. The demand has reaches the saturation point. In such situation one has to find strategy to find new market for the existing products. Rural markets are the new markets which are opening up for most of these package goods. Companies which have expanded in these areas are able to ward off competition, generate a new demand and in turn increase their sales or profits. Some famous companies like Hindustan lever, Pepsi, Coca cola etc have long realized the potential that existed for their products in these areas and had gone out to penetrate these markets. They expanded their distribution network and employed staff which could motivate the rural consumers to use the product. Products like T.V. soft drinks and even social products like condoms are also reaching the rural markets.

Rural markets today offer growth opportunities to firms caught up in an intensive inter- firm rivalry in urban and metro markets.

Socio-economic changes in Rural India
The socio-economic changes can be linked to an increase in productivity in the farm sector. Following agricultural revolutions green or white-the yield per acre or animal increased substantially. This is largely due to the application of technology to the farm sector and modern farming methods. Cooperatives in India helped the farmer to increase farm productivity.

The increase in productivity helped the farmers to have more income and buy the same products as his / her urban counterpart did. The rural electrification programs, and irrigation and rural programs have brought a new hope to the areas.

The income generation and better standards of living where accelerated by the companies and banks to adopting villages for an integrated rural development. The Integrated Rural Development Programs has education, health, modern farming practices, land development and cooperative marketing of produce as its pillars Development of village industry and craft is also another component of this programs.

All these changes mean more income, higher aspirations and changing life-styles in rural India. And these changes cut across caste or religious barriers.

Marketers should keep follwing points in mind when catering to rural market:- •An efficient countrywide distribution network must be created so that company’s products are available to the farmers at their doorstep. •Advertising communication and servicing must be evolved in tune with rural needs and in ways different from what is effective in larger towns and cities. •There should be a strong research and development team to produce products specifically for rural areas. •Role of trade in distribution and communication must be strengthened. •Pricing of products should be in line with the economic competence of villagers. •Packaging should be simpler and more functional than ornamental.

In rural marketing, institutional promotion is more important than brand advertising. To a marketer, this is another hurdle because he/she may promote the institution and some other brand may be bought. Inability of the smaller retailers to carry stocks without adequate credit facilities is an impediment for growth of retail in rural areas. Rural markets have also inadequate warehousing, which leads to delay in replenishments of stocks. Marketers must overcome all these barriers to successfully market their product in the rural market.

Q.6 Explain the core concepts of marketing. Define service and explain its relevance in modern society. Ans: Core Concepts of Marketing
Marketing is a social process which alleviates individuals and groups to get what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and value with others. This definition rests on the core concepts as shown and discussed below: •Needs, wants, and demands

•Products
•Value and satisfaction
•Exchange and transactions
•Markets

Needs, wants and demand – A need can be defined as a felt state of deprivation of some basic satisfaction.
a) Physical needs – It addresses the basic need for food, clothing, warmth, and safety.
(b) Social needs – It calls for belongingness and affection. (c) Individual needs – It includes needs for knowledge and selfexpression. Wants are desire for specific satisfiers of deeper needs. Wants are shaped by culture and individual personality. For example, if you are thirsty, this is your need but if you want coca-cola to quench your thirst then this is your want. Human needs and wants are unlimited, while the resources available to meet them are limited.

Demand is want for specific products that are backed by an ability and willingness to buy them at a price. For example, you have money to buy coca-cola.
Marketing aims at identifying the following:
(a) Human (and social) needs and wants
(b) Consumers’ demand
(c) Endeavours to satisfy them by creating, communicating, and delivering products and services
Products and services – A product is a mix of intangibles and tangibles offered by the marketer at a price. For example, cars, food, air conditioner, mobiles, etc.
Services may be described as intangible products such as banking and other financial services, teaching, cleaning, hairdressing, counselling, transportation, medical treatment. etc.
Sometimes, it becomes difficult to distinguish services from product as it is closely associated with the product. For instance, if you visit a doctor, the combination of diagnosis with the administration of a medicine may confuse you.

Value and satisfaction – Value is the benefit that the customer gains from owning and using a product compared to the cost of obtaining the product. A lot depends on consumers’ perceptions about the value that different products or services are expected to deliver. The sources that build customer expectations include experience with products, friends, family members, neighbours, associates, consumer reports, and marketing communications.

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