BUSINESS MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT

A Business Marketing Research project is required. This is either an individual or a group (2 people) project where you may choose to work with ONE other person in the class as your group. You may pick your teammate however Spouses, significant others, boyfriends or girlfriends, roommates, individuals who date or dated, and siblings may not work with each other—those breaking this rule at my discretion will get a zero. A Dropbox folder will be available for you to submit your final project files. Use the class D2L email system to contact your team members. The Communication Classlist feature in D2L lists the names and D2L email address of all class members. You will be graded as a group or individual on the quality of your submission and how well you work together as a team. If you have group members who are not participating and sharing the load, notify the instructor. Group members who are not participating may be removed.Your task is to identify Business Marketing activities being covered by business trade publications and business newspapers, then discuss the business marketing implications associated with that event. Your project will be evaluated based on your ability to:Choose one or more related topics we studied in B2B that interest you.Find appropriate articles on the relevant business marketing topic, from which to extract useful information on that topic.Summarize and organize this information using good business writing style (use good organization that the reader can follow easily, complete sentences, paragraphing, and proper referencing).Analyze the issues identified in these articles and highlight relevant business marketing implications, commonalities, trends, concerns, etc.For this project, you (individually or as a team) need to find a minimum of 6—individually, or 9—as a team, or more recent articles on a current (written in the past two years – 2015 – 2017) B2B topic in business trade publications and/or business newspapers concerning one or more related topics which we learned about in class. The topic must be related to one or more concepts covered in this class (for example, Business Strategy, or Pricing, or Communications (See Topics and Assignments or Table of Contents in your text for more topics). Use only publications that are available in pdf format. You can also select for only pdf format in the advanced search feature of the UCO Library Business Source Complete database. You must research popular press articles and not company websites or company published material. After you have located the articles, synthesize and summarize your research to discuss what you have learned about your topic from an industry perspective, making sure to cite your sources. Make sure to identify agreement or disagreement among the various authors of the articles you just summarized to give an idea what the issues and perspectives are found among knowledgeable experts in these fields. What did you learn as a whole? What common threads did you identify in your research? What did you learn that was different or similar to what you learned in class? What new issues, challenges, concerns or new trends did you identify from your literature review?See the example paper provided. MAKE SURE to research newspapers or trade publications (articles written by marketing practitioners – not scientific or academic articles). You will find trade publications much more interesting and easier to read. At least half your articles should be available in print form, not just online.Do Not Research Academic Articles Or Journals. If the source of the article includes the words “Journal of . . .”, has extensive references, has other journals as references, begins with an abstract, has scientific notation, formulas, complex statistical analyses, experiments, or surveys and is long (10-50 pp.) it is probably an academic or scientific paper and is NOT ACCEPTABLE. If the article is short (1-3 pp.), easy to read, has advertisements on the page, is written by a marketing manager, etc., it is probably a trade publication. Do not make this project any harder by finding and trying to read complicated, boring academic/scientific publications. We want to know what problems, issues, solutions, business marketers out in the real marketplace are encountering and resolving.The easiest way to search in business trade publications or newspapers is to use the UCO Library Business Source Complete database. Use the advanced search feature to limit your search to the time period, the type of publication (periodical articles, trade publications, and business newspapers), full text, pdf format. Do not use academic/scientific publications or company websites.Start your assignment by reviewing the current marketing literature on the topics that interest each group member. Using the keywords which are highlighted in each chapter in the text and listed at the end of each chapter is a good way to start your search. While there are many research resources on the Internet, the UCO library is the best place to start your current marketing literature review. A library search has the immediate advantage of containing sources whose credibility can be easily tested and which have the APA style reference included.First login to the UCO Library and record the complete reference listings of several articles that you think you might find interesting. There are many other resources available in the UCO Library to help you search for articles. For more information about these go tohttp://library.uco.edu/databases/. Do not use an Internet search engine like Google or Yahoo and just copy the first ten or so links that appear on a key word search.Use articles written by outsiders– NOT company / organizational representatives (not websites). Articles appearing on company websites and company literature are more likely to be public relations/publicity rather than objective observations of the organization. Use articles that are fairly recent (published in 2015-2017). If you would like to check with the instructor before using a particular article you may. However, you do not have to have the articles approved before submitting the project.If you follow the above procedures, you should find that the actual task of writing your paper will be easy. This project is worth a maximum of one hundred and fifty points but will be converted to the percentage corresponding to the grading criteria. Late submissions are not accepted because I must turn grades in on time and I need time to grade the research projects. No submission will be accepted after the submission deadline.USE YOUR EMBEDDED LIBRARIAN!
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Aspects of Purchasing Behavior
Business Marketing, xx/xx/2015
Executive Summary
While there are many aspects of purchasing behavior involved in business marketing, this paper
discuses three important topics: types of purchasing behaviors, marketers’ research on behaviors,
and how positioning influences behaviors. Our research on the general topic of purchasing
behaviors in a business-to-business (B2B) scenario revealed that (as mentioned in the course
textbook) that B2B marketing is similar to consumer marketing in some aspects. First, trends are
always changing and evolving. In order to market products effectively, marketers must be aware
of this fact. Second, marketing must be people centric. Marketers cannot only focus on the
product and its virtues, but rather must focus on consumers and their expectations of the
products. Finally, our research brought us to the topic of positioning, and more specifically,
packaging as a means of positioning. By strategically positioning a company’s products,
marketers can create value for customers that can translate into purchasing behaviors and future
buying patterns.
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A crucial part of business-to-business transactions is understanding consumer purchasing
behaviors. Without understanding these behaviors it makes communication, customer loyalty,
and relationship building extremely difficult. Consumers’ behaviors change and evolve over time
as new trends are set. Business-to-business marketers must be able to keep up with these trends
in order to exceed consumer expectations of service.
Ramsey (2015) discusses modern purchasing behaviors among consumers. These
behaviors include consumers demanding choices and multiple paths to purchasing, want value
and quality, expect accountability and responsibility, want accessibility, and are fickle (Ramsey,
2015). With today’s technologies and the future of technology, consumers have more buying
power. Research and statistics are readily available to any consumer in a matter of seconds. This
creates hurdles for business-to-business marketers. Marketers must really pay attention to these
consumer trends. If a business-to-business marketer fails at creating value for any of these
behaviors then the consumer could be potentially lost to a competitor. A key behavior to focus
on is the idea that consumers in today’s marketplace are fickle (Ramsey, 2015). Technology is a
major reason for this. Consumers have the power to switch companies almost instantly without
losing any time or resources.
Business-to-business marketers are faced with the unique challenge of creating value and
quality to consumers who are consistently changing their views. After looking at Ramsey’s
(2015) analysis of today’s consumers, marketers have a better understanding of how to
communicate with modern consumers.
Recent research in purchasing behavior has made it feasible to declare that we now exist
in a world where business-to-business (B2B) marketing revolves entirely around people:
paradoxically to its name. This revelation of information has begun to manifest within B2B
3
marketers who seek to gain current and future insight of purchasing behaviors. According to
Mark Rushton, “The Consumer is King;” this title can be correlated to the various research
studies that suggest the Internet stands to be the biggest game changer in the world of B2B
marketing. “The consumer, through the Internet and social media, is now much better educated
and informed as to what is going on in the world.” (Rushton, 2014) Tobias Webb from the
Innovation Forum “believes that this consumer behavior change is a really difficult area to
manage for B2B companies going forward.” Many business-to-business firms along with
researchers and psychologists are asking why purchasing behavior change is so difficult to
manage and how they can prevail? Webb is accrediting consumer expectations with shifting the
way B2B (shifting away from-data, analytical integration) and business-to-consumer (B2C)
marketers are processing these behaviors.
One example and major topic of consumer concern is that of environmental conservation;
it has become highly prioritized by many populations worldwide and has thus created a demand
(expectation) for product and service sustainability. Because companies like Coca-Cola and
Skanska are listening to these consumer expectations, they are able to penetrate the
revolutionizing market and alter their products to fit the consumer expectations. Coca-Cola is
evolving by renovating their product packaging with “plant-based PET type plastics to reduce
environmental impacts.” (Rushton, 2014) Skanska, one of America’s largest construction and
development companies is going ‘deep green:’ where they enter into old structures such as the
Empire State Building to “retrofit” or refurbish the monumental establishments. In doing so they
are able to help shrink expenditures and negative environmental impacts.
Even though there are many motives and affairs associated with purchasing behaviors it cannot
be denied that the system is anthropological. These exemplars have been lucrative for both B2B
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companies and consumers alike, and also demonstrate the importance behind doing the research
to find what people want and why they obtain certain purchasing behaviors.
Though many are familiar with what influences the purchasing behaviors of consumers,
many similar applications to selling can apply to business-to-business (B2B) transactions and
should not be overlooked by the B2B marketer. For instance, packaging of products as an
element of positioning can play an important role in whether a member of the buying center buys
from one company or a competitor. In the dairy industry, “Retail-ready packaging…solutions
also increases convenience for retail staff. One solution is a carton that saves time and effort for
grocery store clerks by eliminating the need to hang pouches of cheese from a peg.”(Egan, 2015)
A simple evaluation of this example reveals that the farm who sold cheese to retailers took notice
of those retailers’ packaging needs—not only for their needs to sell an “attractive-looking,”
packaged product to consumers, but also their need to be more efficient in their operations with
that packaging. In this way, the farm optimized the position of their product to address more than
one need of the buying retailer, creating value that can translate to a purchasing behavior; the
retailers are more likely to buy, repeatedly, from the supplier who addresses the most needs in
their offering.
Proof in the validity of this example can be seen in third-party logistics providers, “the
companies that manage the logistics operations of a variety of facilities…” (McCrea, 2015).
Third-party logistics providers no longer just transport offerings to add value to products but also
have begun kitting and packaging as an intermediary between manufacturer and retailer
(McCrea, 2015). In other words, logistics providers saw the value retailers want in packaging
and used it as a stimulus to create the behaviors they wanted from buying centers; indeed, the
logistics providers were able to add a segment to their business with those behaviors.
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Packaging is certainly only one element that can influence purchasing behaviors, but its
significance lies in its simplicity. The B2B marketer should apply the same level of focus in all
elements of their offering if he/she wants to influence behaviors and create lasting B2B
relationships.
Through our group’s research, we have concluded that awareness of current consumer
trends, focusing on consumers and their expectations, and using packaging as positioning are
only a few, though very important, aspects of purchasing behavior. Technology has allowed
consumers to become more fickle in their buying patterns. The Internet has given them a wealth
of information and made it easier to change suppliers. Social media has also made it easy for
consumers to find information. As mentioned in the textbook on pages 394-395, marketers can
use social media as a tool to reach potential customers and inform them about their products.
Highly informed consumers have equally high expectations. As examined previously, many
consumers are now environmentally conscious and are seeking companies that value that as well.
Marketers must thoroughly research in order to be aware of trends that consumers are following
so that they can adequately market their products. Page 127 of the textbook details how
marketers must “know their customers” in order to get the best picture of what consumer needs
and expectations are. Positioning, introduced on page 150 of the textbook, is an important aspect
of B2B marketing. Packaging (as a means of positioning) can be a very valuable way to add
more value for customers than what competitors are offering. The aspects of purchasing behavior
discussed here are all very important to marketers in their arsenal of tactics and strategies for
being successful in a competitive market.
References
Egan, T. (2015). Packaging evolves with consumers, retailers. Dairy Foods, 116(4), p. 72.
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McCrea, B. (2015). 7 ways 3PLs support warehousing and distribution. Modern Materials
Handling, 70(4), pp. 34-36.
Ramsey, R. (2015). What you need to know about today’s customers. Supervision,, 76(7), pp.
3-5.
Rushton, M. (2014). The consumer is king. Pulp & Paper International, 56(11), pp. 11-12.

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