This report is to identify the business stream that would receive the greatest benefit from a marketing drive. On initial viewing, it may be assumed the area to that requires growth, in terms of turnover, would be the helpdesk function. However, despite the lower turnover, the margin, based on a relatively low head count of staff, is greater than that of managed services, even with the large disparity in turnover. As a result, we will develop a marketing strategy focussing on our managed services function, to not only grow our market share and turnover, but increase profitability and gross contribution to the group.
The first step is to identify where in the market our managed services currently sits. This will be achieved by the use of the BCG matrix shown in Fig.6.
In order to use the matrix, it is imperative to understand the terminology and how it is applied:
Cash Cows – high market share in a low growing market
Stars – good market share and good growth
Question Mark – unknown product in the market
Dogs – low market share and low growth rate
A critical analysis of the revenue generation of the managed services individual offerings, allows us to define and identify the individual services which fall under its control.
Cash Cows – Our managing contractor engagements (47% of turnover, large market share)
Stars – Our managing agent engagements (41% of turnover, large market share)
Question Marks – Technical hands-on services (10% of turnover, small market share but potential to grow)
Dogs – Owner’s association management (2% of turnover, static market share for 5 years)
Whilst we could possibly look at improving the owner’s association function, historically, across the UAE, there has been little growth or development of this market. We should therefore concentrate on our technical services, as this has a greater potential for growth. To provide clarification in which to develop a marketing plan, we should carry out market research into the viability of the promotion of services.
Market research will be used to specifically and purposely obtain as much information about our business as possible. Typically, information will be obtained from a number of sources, and will depend on the who, the what and the why of the purpose of the research. The primary driver for the collation of this information is to be aware of the competition, trends/fad and especially, the consumer wants and needs. Figure 7 details the usual methods of this type of research.
Source: Referenceforbusiness.com (2017)
Information, unless it is interpreted is of no value, and must be understood. Jamil (2016) states ‘marketing data and information must be provided from a variety of sources to produce knowledge, in a process that can be characterised as organizational intelligence”. This interpretation is an integral facet of the 6 marketing steps that are required. This is shown in figure 8.
Source: mymarketresearchmethods.com (2017)
Having identified the technical services as our focus, establishing objectives, for the next 3 years is paramount for success. These objectives must be SMART as defined by Blanchard (1985):
In order to create these objectives, we need to establish the particulars of our service. This can be achieved by the use of either a SWOT (RapidBi 2016) or PESTLE (CIPD 2013) analysis. As we currently operate in the UAE and have an understanding of many of the facets of a PESTLE, for this report, a SWOT analysis will be used.
Strengths – established name and presence, brand recognition, ability to offer a one-stop shop
Weaknesses – limited activity within technical services, low employee numbers, higher overheads
Opportunities – continued housing construction with an increase for maintenance activities
Threats – smaller operations, existing providers in the industry
Building on our strengths, we can develop objectives which will combat any weakness and threats, and also embrace any opportunities. Considering the analysis, three SMART marketing objectives, will be:
1. Attract new customers (increase market share)
2. Build brand awareness
3. Increased revenue
It would not be ineffective to use a scatter gun approach (trying to cover the entire market) in pursuing these objectives; we have to consider where potential lies and create target segments from that consideration. This creation of segments is supported by Cheng (2017) who states, ‘a comprehensive attitude-based market segmentation analysis can identify distinct market segments in order to best serve the needs of each segment and to develop plans to increase usage.
The more defined we can make each segment, the more focussed Macro can be in specific marketing. The University of Minnesota (2017) provides details on four dominant marketing characteristics: