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After carefully reading the Cisco case study, it seems that business-to business marketing consists of a more direct approach through very specific channels of distribution. The biggest obstacle most company’s face in today’s fast moving and short attention spanned business world is the need to introduce or establish their brand to the open market. Building a strong brand that is able to set a company apart from other business is always an important job. Business-to-business success is centered around more personal relationships between the partner companies. In the Cisco case this was demonstrated by Cisco's business to business relationships it developed with Matsushita, U.S. West, and Sony (Kotler & Keller, 2012). In comparison, consumer marketing is targeted at all the major demographic groups. Consumer marketing aims to capture sales through major retailers thus removing the personal connection that is inherent in the business-to-business relationship.
The targeted customer in a business to business is small and highly focused. It aims at business executives and information technology decision makers to sell their products. For instance, Cisco Company had to identify the market to which their product matched. These were companies who operated data centers and server farms. Business to business branding requires that product brands are developed through aiming specific categories of consumers. In this case, it was computer appliance dealers and information technology suppliers (Kotler, et al., 2012). Therefore, the goal of business to business marketing is to convert potential buyers into clients, and the process is longer and much involving.
These professional buyers are used because they are well informed about the needs and goals of the purchase, and focus on purchasing a product that allows them to achieve higher revenues at a lower total cost then other competitive businesses (Kotler, et al., 2012). These buyers will be less influenced about the price and demand that the brand will be available when needed. For this, the brand will need to have a simplified supply chain and logistics to meet these demands.
Cisco has gained new competitors like IBM and Microsoft by entering in a new market. In order to compete against these competitors, Cisco uses the methods of both business to business and the consumer marketing(Kotler, et al., 2012).
In the Cisco case, it is obvious that throughout the 90's Cisco was extremely successful at working the business-to-business model and focused on technology companies and specific corporations to sale their internet based technologies too. This enabled them to become the largest company in the world in the 90's with over $500 billion in worth, however, they name brand through the consumer market was relatively unknown (Kotler, et al., 2012).
Cisco began making acquisitions in the 21st century of companies such as Linksys which began their efforts toward consumer marketing, away from business-to-business marketing. Cisco has continued to change its messaging, focus advertising on customers, and worked hard to make its brand image known throughout the world the same as its competitors Microsoft and Apple (Kotler, et al., 2012).
The bottom line is that the difference between B2B and B2C marketing comes down to the buyers’ emotional perspective about the purchase. Consumers make buying decisions based on status, security, comfort and quality. “Business buyers make buying decisions based on increasing profitability, reducing costs and enhancing productivity (Murphy, www. masterful-marketing.com)”. If you are a B2B business offering products and services to other businesses, put your marketing dollars into marketing programs and materials that offer your target what they need to make a rational buying decision (Murphy, LINK REMOVED).
As the book has mentioned, BusinessWeek has ranked Cisco the 18th biggest global brand after the company received $39.5 billion in revenue in 2008 (Kotler, et al., 2012). Just by looking at this achievement, Cisco proves that its way of building its brand awareness has made the company staying on top of the game like today. Some plans that Cisco developed to build its brand awareness include: Partnerships with Sony, Matsushita, and US West to co-brand its modems, the company launched its first television spots as part of a campaign entitled “Are You Ready?”
Cisco reorganized into 11 new technology groups and marketing organization., In 2003, the company introduced a new marketing message,” This is the Power of Network Now.” television commercial and an eight page print ad spread. These plans have obviously helped the company to not only build brand awareness but it also builds name recognition and brand value. In addition, it communicates the company’s product line and competitive advantages better than it had in the past. “Today, Cisco continues to acquire companies including 40 between 2004 and 2009 that help it expand into newer markets such as consumer electronics, business collaboration software, and computer servers (Kotler, et al., 2012)”.
Therefore, with these successful plans they’ve done in the past, I also believe that Cisco’s plan to reach out consumers directly is a viable marketing plan. Since the early 1990’s, now most suburban homes have wireless technology and a wireless network available in their homes.
Kotler, P., & Keller, K. L. (2012). Marketing management (14th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ:
Last edited by emsr2d2; 21-Jun-2014 at 07:48. Reason: Links removed
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