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IBM’s Smarter Planet Essay

1.(a) Using Medtronic as an example, explain how a mission statement gives a strategic direction. (b) Create a mission statement for your own career.

(a) A mission statement gives strategic direction by stating the “what” and “how” of a business in a clear, concise, meaningful, inspirational, statement that will continue to be relevant in the long-term. Medtronic’s mission statement identifies its customers, market, products and technology. They stated the business they are in and their specific goals.

(b) It is my business to progressively coordinate strategic methods of empowerment and to do so with passion and commitment.

2.What competencies best describe (a) your college or university and (b) your favorite restaurant?

(a) Wayne College to provides high quality, accessible credit and noncredit educational opportunities to the citizens of Wayne, Medina, and Holmes counties and surrounding areas, and partners with and resource for the communities and organizations it serves.

(b) House of Hunan, Fairlawn, has quality Chinese, Thai, vegetarian, & sushi choices. Ambiance is reminiscent of old Chinatown and it is often full of patrons. Great chicken dishes, good dumplings, and very good quality beef. Service is good, food is fresh and satisfying, and the price is fair value.

3.Why does a product often start as a question mark and then move counterclockwise around the BCG’s growth-share matrix shown in Figure 2-4?

When a product is introduced, it is usually a “question mark” because it is “new” and there is uncertainty about consumers’ acceptance of them. After a period of time, depending on the product category, the “not-so-new” product could be classified as a “star” if its growth rate is sizeable and had a significant share of the product category. If the growth rate in the product category falls substantially and there is great competition from competing brands, the product probably will fall in the “cash cow” category. If, however, the product isn’t supported with an effective marketing program, it could become a “dog.”

4.Select one strength, one weakness, one opportunity, and one threat from the SWOT analysis for Ben & Jerry’s shown in Figure 2-7. Suggest an action that a marketing manager there might take to address each factor.

~Strength: Recognized for its social mission, values and actions. This can be used to reinforce their “green” base consumers by constantly updating the “naturalness” of their ice cream according to current food trends. ~Weakness: B&J’s social responsibility actions could reduce focus. By focusing on the product, and constantly innovating flavors, more prospective customers (from all walks of life) could be gained. ~Opportunity: Increasing U.S. demand for 100-calorie novelties such as cones and bars. They could look into developing new products in the low-calorie, low-fat, low-carb, low-sugar spectrum of frozen desserts. ~Threat: Competes with General Mills and Nestle brands. Ben and Jerry’s can research which products and flavors are the most popular among the competing brands and use that as inspiration for new flavors in their own line.

5.What is the main result of each of the three phases of the strategic marketing process? (a) planning, (b) implementation, and (c) evaluation.

(a) Planning phase. Results are formal marketing plans that identify specific objectives to be achieved by a particular time and the specific actions to achieve those objectives. (b) Implementation phase. Results are
formal measurements of the results achieved, which can be compared with the plans established in the planning phase to determine if any deviations from plans occurred. (c) Evaluation phase. Results are new actions taken to exploit opportunities where deviations from plans are better than expected or corrective actions where deviations from plans are worse than expected.

6.The goal-setting step in the planning phase of the strategic marketing process sets quantified objectives for use in the evaluation phase. What does a manager do if measured results fail to meet objectives? Exceed objectives?

If the marketing manager discovers a planning gap, which is a difference between the projection of the path to reach a new goal and the projection of the path of the results of a plan already in place for the marketing program, he or she can take the following actions:

Failed Objectives: Correct a negative deviation by making minor or major changes to the existing marketing program of a product to better reflect future expectations in the marketing environment.

Exceeded Objectives: Exploit a positive deviation by strengthening strategic partnerships and engage in a market development, or product development, strategy to maintain or enhance the firm’s position.

1.What is IBM’s “Smarter Planet” business strategy? How does this strategy relate to IBM’s mission and values?

IBM’s “Smarter Planet” strategy is based on the company’s analysis that recognizes changes in the business environment and aims to create a global enterprise using connectivity. It includes the capability of telephones, computers, and other technology. This relates to IBM’s mission and values because they are a company that seeks out ways to keep their consumers happy and are looking for more ways to innovate by developing more advanced

2.Conduct a SWOT analysis for IBM’s Smarter Planet initiative. What are the relevant trends to consider for the next three to five years?

~Strengths: Well-known name, owns many new technologies and patents, market sector is well defined, high quality employees, satisfy customers’ wants and needs, and have a clear, concise mission statement. ~Weaknesses: With a big name like IBM, change may be difficult. Many of the products offered are not customizable. Lack of intercultural experience, narrow range of products offered, and most business products are geared towards large businesses. ~Opportunities: Offer new technologies and services locally and in developing countries. Smarter Planet involves new ways of thinking. ~Threats: potential securities risks. Demand for Smarter Planet solutions will depend on interest in change rather than just reaction to problems.

In the next three to five years we are likely to see fewer trade barriers, the growth of developing economies, and increasing access to the internet. Growth markets such as China, India, Brazil, and Africa will be able to use IBM products. Customers will have a need for more custom-made technological solutions and cross-technology connectivity. Businesses will need analytics and optimization, cloud and smarter computing solutions and technology for the globally integrated enterprise.

3.How can IBM communicate its strategy to companies, cities, and governments? How is Watson a part of the communication strategy?

The current CEO of IBM, Sam Palmisano, sent out a letter for their annual report, titled “Letter from the Chairman”. In this letter, he had a powerful statement about the Smarter Planet. According to him, Smarter Planet “is not a metaphor. It describes the infusion of intelligence into the way the world actually works, the way that almost anything-any person, any object, any process or any service, for any organization, large or small-can now become digitally aware, networked, and intelligent.” Palmisano also met with some Wall Street financial advisors and held six-hour information sessions with investors to answer questions about their business strategy. IBM also used print and TV ads to campaign in more detail what Palmisano’s message was. These ads focused on the ability to improve the world now, with the help from IBM. The IBM website also supported the campaign with industry reports, video descriptions of the smarter planet concept, and stats about the improvements at smarter planet clients.

Watson, which is an artificial intelligence program, was also part of the communication strategy. Watson was featured on the game show Jeopardy!, and competed against two different contestants, and won both times. By having Watson on TV, where millions of people could view it, this was one more way to provide a consistent and integrated message.

4.What are the benefits of the Smarter Planet initiative to (a) society and (b) IBM?

(a) IBM’s Smarter Planet strategy benefits society by providing solutions for forward-thinking organizations that share a common outlook: they see change as an opportunity and they act on possibilities, not just react to problems. The retailers, who implemented smart systems to analyze buying behavior, merchandise assortment, and demand were able to cut supply chain costs by 30%, reduce inventory levels by 25%, and increase sales by 10%. The Memphis Police Department reduced crime by 28% by using IBM solutions to analyze its data. Banks are also using smart systems to track loans and manage risk, increasing efficiency and customer service. The solutions also help reduce costs, cut waste, improve efficiency, and increase productivity for companies, industries, and cities.

(b) While there may be short-term costs involved in shifting IBM from commodity-based businesses to customizable businesses, IBM believes that the transformation will provide growth for the company and its employees, success for its customers, and improved value for its stockholders.

5.How should IBM measure the results of the Smarter Planet strategy?

Since introducing the Smarter Planet strategy, IBM has collaborated with more than 600 organizations around the globe. In each case, there are different measures of the results of “smart” solutions. One of the important elements of Smarter Planet is you’re looking at the impact of investments on a whole system. You’re looking not just at internal operational improvements but at the effect on the company’s brand, at strategic advantages it brings and even at the impact on society.

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