PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is a global network of 153 member companies (partnerships) each which is an unbiased legal entity. PwC is one of the professional services industry and assurance (audit), tax and advisory (consulting) services to both general public and private clients with the significant most our romantic relationships are business to business. For the purpose of this assignment, analysis will be performed on PwC Consulting who provide management talking to to clients that enable them to boost their performance.
PwC Consulting's perspective is usually to be 'a top notch management consulting practice'. While our value proposition is 'exceptional people aiding businesses do exceptional things', research as part of this assignment has unveiled 72 separate objective statements like the latest: making lasting change happen. Hence, it is apparent our goal is unclear and online marketing strategy relatively 'beige' which is adding to our insufficient differentiation mentioned later in this newspaper.
PwC Consulting has a marketing orientation which is often defined as where in fact the achievement of the organisations' goals are dependent on deciding the needs and would like of target markets and delivering the desired satisfactions more effectively and proficiently than competitors (AGSM, 2010). However, an alternative to this would be a Marriage Orientation which McKenna (1991) explains as where "relationships are key (and form) the basis of customer choice and business adaptation". That is evidenced through PwC's consumer marriage management model which drives our consultants to own interactions with clients' to recognize their specific needs to be able to providing value-based solutions.
As referred to by Kotler et al (2004) a product is whatever can be offered to market for attention, use or intake that might gratify a want or need. Making use of this description to PwC Consulting would suggest our offer to the marketplace is advice and knowledge that our clients use to handle their needs - commonly issues impacting their performance, competitiveness or growth aspirations. Being a people-based service, the advice is provided by our consultants who may be argued to be 'the product'. Four features that differentiate our service offering from something offering include our service is intangible, inseparable by our clients, adjustable and perishable (AGSM, 2010). Advice however will come in a variety of tangible forms such as records.
Due to the intangible dynamics of our market offering, the role of the brand is very important in our marketing strategy, especially in earning work, with physical research, process, people and price within the 7Ps marketing mix being crucial in how we communicate our skills in handling sophisticated business issues and our track record in successful execution. Recent research by IDC found that while our brand acknowledgement was high, the PwC brand stood mostly for PwC's audit services which flagged that the marketplace isn't alert to PwC Consulting's offering. Research also discovered that the market was unable to differentiate PwC Consulting against our competition which supposed that from other perspective, PwC does not have any real competitive benefits. In response, there's been significant effort to transfer PwC Consulting's brand setting and improve our brand equity. Firstly, the online marketing strategy has been to improve and create a unique experience when clients work with our management consultants. We've sought to achieve this by training our clubs to place themselves in their clients' shoes, share and collaborate, invest in relationships and concentrate on client value. The next marketing technique has been an interior and external brand plan 'What would you like to change?' with the objective of trying to reach the customers of your clients so that we can learn insights from them for taking back again to our clients in a manner that adds value to your interactions and positions the firm as having a market offering beyond audit services.
Issue 2: 5Cs Analysis
People - highly skilled and experienced
Client - extensive portfolio of ASX and global players who continue steadily to re-engage the company for do it again work
Reputation as a company for quality and competence
Intellectual Property (IP) - Proven and maintained IP and global thought leadership
Global size - potential in almost every dimension someplace in the organization plus global links and opportunities for our people and clients
Lack from it capability
Less mature than established consulting houses
Little identified differentiation in client's brain against competitors
Bad at hooking up with other Asiapac PwC organizations to share opportunities
Lack of depth of industry knowledge
Lack of investment in local competition analysis compared to the PwC global firm
Forecast Australian Consulting market expansion of 9% by 2013 (CAGR).
End to market meltdown resulting increased demand for consulting advice to aid with new projects New service offering - outsource specialist given client's need to reduce costs
Greater use of collaborators for competition, client, industry and market insights
Federal election - reduced spend by the public sector in consultancy spending pre-election
Engagement by clients of exterior contractors rather than PwC consultants
Skills shortage - recruitment and retention issues putting capability and capacity at risk
Further rises in the cost of borrowing
PwC Consulting clients are Australian organisations, nearly all who are government agencies, privately kept or top ASX250 outlined. As the needs of PwC's clients differ, so to does their buying behaviour although purchase decision making process still is applicable with problem reputation (either by management, executive teams or a board) being the first area of the process which eventually results in our appointment. Community sector clients typically require a sensitive and group decision making process before awarding work whereas buying decisions within the private sector are more commonly centralised to one 'Decider' (Kotler at al, 2001) influenced by an 'Approver'. A client's behaviour may also fluctuate with regards to the urgency of the business need. Typically, clients indulge PwC's services when they don't have time, the inner skills or capacity to solve an issue.
Outside our key focuses on (addressed later in concern 4), PwC requires a reactive approach to selling and responds when approached by a client with a need. As recognised by Shoebridge (1993), "the most influential resources of information during purchase decisions are prior experience with the product (service)". That is evidenced in our client's behavior, especially in times of problems as they tend to call the individuals within PwC whom they have a pre-existing trust established relationship.
Analysts (Kennedy, IDC and Gartner, AMR and Forrester) - Analysts are a fantastic source of perception for us on industry and market developments, innovations and buyer behaviours. Giving them insight into what we do and how we do it, we also seek to influence the way they position us in their records.
WilliamsLea - As the graphic design house, WilliamsLea collaborates with this sales teams to build up document themes and platforms that deliver appropriate messaging. They also play a role in maintaining conformity with the companies brand strategy.
External Mentors - To ensure our proposing clubs are adequately prepared for pitches, external sales coaches are additionally being engaged for up to a week to build up key messages also to improve the demonstration skills of the team.
PwC Consulting's main rivals in the consulting space are IBM, Deloitte, E&Y, Accenture, Capgemini, McKinsey, Bain, and BCG. In general, existing rivals are starting to broaden their service offerings e. g. niche market strategy houses have become more involved within business transformation projects. Another recent threat to PwC's consulting practice is the substitution by clients of talking to firms with indie contractors to lessen project costs. Several contractors are often ex lover employees of talking to businesses thus it is difficult to differentiate ourselves.
As with all organisations, PwC needs to adapt to political, cost-effective and macro-environmental factors which impact both our company and those of the client's. An example of this adaption would be PwC's offering during the global financial meltdown whereby we developed a 'Catalyst' solution which engaged working with our client's older management clubs to expedite the recognition of cost lowering opportunities in their organisations through 3 day workshops.
A last significant factor that impacts the consulting practice is being part of a larger firm that provides audit services. This constrains the client's we are able to focus on such as Westpac, CBA, IBM, Ford, and Rio Tinto and the services we can offer.
Issue 3: Collecting about the 5Cs
In order to develop and use successful marketing strategies, the global company has a marketing information system (AGSM, 2010) that collects home elevators market evaluation and competitor intellect and internal information. When it comes to collecting information about clients wishes we do that first by gathering information from our existing clientele whereby client liaison partners talk with deciders, users and approvers (Kotler et al, 2001) at least quarterly to inquire further about their needs and issues, our advantages and weaknesses, and gather cleverness on who else the client is getting together with. A second way to obtain information is our customer responses program, where clients are asked to provide responses by talking about their experience with PwC. Through this technique we identify opportunities for improvement as well as figuring out our high undertaking consultants. From July the program will incorporate the net promoter score principles.
Regarding competitor brains, PwC Consulting Australia does not spend money on dedicated competitor evaluation and instead relies on analyst records and leverages outputs from the PwC global Analyst Romance based in NY. This team holds access protection under the law to the key analyst businesses allowing us to demand telephone enquiry calling with the experts where we are able to request an over-all update or require the analyst to answer specific questions.
Recognising the importance of industry knowledge, to be able to meet the firm's objective of experiencing a differentiated market position, the company have appointed mature partners as sector market leaders across all industries - for example, Financial Services, Retail & Consumer, Mining, Medical care, etc. Each has partner key performance signals associated with measuring their performance in keeping the companies depth of industry knowledge for sharing with the staff and clients.
While PwC sources much information from through existing human relationships with clients and experts, the weakest hyperlink in PwC's collection of information is the role of collaborators as with the absence some of formal alliances, this can be an opportunity that the company could derive more value from. The only exception to this however is the meetings that vendors often ask us to wait where they display their latest technology but also frequently have guest audio speakers from industry.
Issue 4: Segmentation, Targeting and Placement strategy
Segmentation - All Australian established organisations have been clustered into three sections, referred to internally as 'horizons'. The segments are based on annual revenue of the customers to the consulting practice (i. e. $10-15m, $3-10m, $1-3m) and designed to drive the amount of time that people invest in being successful and providing engagements to clients in these sections. The segments are also designed to drive PwC Consulting's concentrated marketing mix for example, yearly we release our 3 Perspective publications (Retail & Consumer, Multimedia & Entertainment and Financial Services) each of which includes a launch event where we invite clients and potential clients from industry to a breakfast time to hear our perspectives and position ourselves as industry thought leaders.
Targeting - Within each portion, specific clients have been discovered to be targeted based on being 'homogenous within (AGSM, 2010) based on their revenue potential to the firm, issues they will employ us on, and the effectiveness of our existing romantic relationships with them. Selecting targets aligns with the industries that the broader PwC organization wishes to go after, specifically Financial Services, Administration, Health insurance and Energy & Resources, plus proper accounts e. g. Telstra, Wesfarmers and Vodafone. Selection of these business has been based on their anticipated development in Australia over the next 5 years based on monetary forecasts. I think that this targeting strategy is successful given that market segments are demassifying (AGSM, 2010) and our clients want to believe that we are offering unique answers to their issues that may drive their competitive benefit and subsequently position us as being dissimilar to our competitors. The only risk to this STP strategy however is if we too narrowly segment the market that will drive our marketing costs up - something that PwC Consulting UK has recently experienced by moving their concentrate from 5 to 14 industry segments.
Positioning - In July 2009, PwC internationally commission IDC to execute a competitive positing and sizing overview of the global business consulting market. While the review valued the full total market at $2. 09bn, IDC also discovered PwC Consulting Australia to own 11. 6% market show, second to Deloitte at 12. 1% predicated on IDC's 2008 competition share analysis. An additional finding was that there is little perceived differentiation in clients' brains between PwC and our rivals and that not all clients considered PwC as a professional beyond audit and taxes services. As a result, significant investment has been made during the last 12 months on tactical marketing initiatives both with existing clients and the market to reposition PwC and make it 'stand out'. The perceptual map/setting map shows where PwC was discovered to be and the opportunity open to PwC Consulting which we are expecting to realise
through marketing practices including interior training to enhancing how our consultants interact and use clients supplemented with a brandname campaign (What would you Like to change?) which is wanting to position
the practice as having top notch capabilities and market leadership.
Issue 5: PwC's Marketing Strategy
Based on my understanding of marketing from the EMBA program up to now, I would rate PwC Consulting's marketing strategy as 'growing'. In doing this task I identified that this year will be the first year in which we will have a marketing plan and external campaign. I assume that PwC's marketing orientation is appropriate considering that success for our organisation requires client concentration to be at centre of everything we do. Recent market research has advised that the belief of our own clients experience of working with us is undifferentiated but that they associate the term 'associations' with PwC Consulting which further supports our marketing orientation.
As a global firm, I believe that PwC is proficient at monitoring, collecting and analysing data related to the 5C's, especially in relation to market and industry examination as well as competitor cleverness. Locally however, I feel that PwC are not leveraging the almost all of opportunities to accumulate and analyse data on the 5C's. For example, we have just lately hired folks from competitors however, not approached those to ask if indeed they would be willing to share insights into what marketing strategies our opponents are consuming terms of market development. Similarly, I use numerous clients during per annum but am never get asked to talk about my learnings in regards to what strategies the customers are pursuing. Finally, in the lack of formal alliances we only have a tendency to call on collaborators to fulfil roles related to client specific engagements as opposed to the business development of our own organisation and in turn theirs.
With respect to monitoring and analysing information about PwC Consulting's online marketing strategy, I feel that there surely is huge room for improvement. The first change I would recommend is dependant on the guidelines of a marketing communications plan and that connections are marketing tactics in themselves. For this reason I would ensure that ranks of our staff are made fully aware of our marketing strategy instead of it being something only distributed to our Associates and Directors which has traditionally been the case. Further, even before promulgating the marketing strategy, I would engage the practice in it's development so that they can share their insights into what they study from being out daily at customer sites, from having friends in fighting firms and providing their perspectives especially in relation to perceptual mapping and setting opportunities.
Given PwC's marketing orientation, this is executed through relationships which can be leveraged from the PwC brand. The connections which are produced by lovers are instrumental in receiving work with clients. I believe however that sometimes the effectiveness of our brand confuses clients about our offering validated by recent general market trends which found the word PricewaterhouseCoopers to equal 'Auditing'. However, it isn't only clients who've this misperception but our own staff as well when i often hear staff from the tax and audit methods say "I wasn't aware we did that" which concerns me as their misunderstanding will probably also be adding to their clients lack of knowledge of our services. I recognise however that significant effort and investment in the recent 'What would you like to change?' brand campaign is fond of handling this misunderstanding both internally and externally to be able to reposition PwC Consulting as a genuine management consulting contender in the market place.
While effort has been expended into identifying segments and aim for clients for PwC Consulting to spotlight, I really believe the strategy's effectiveness is threatened by lack of compliance. For instance, in occasions when the practice is behind budget I've witnessed companions and directors often positively go after all opportunities that present themselves regardless of whether your client is 'on strategy' or not. Further, I question the real examination that is behind the selection of segments and clients as I have experienced that clients that are part of your sales pipeline during on a yearly basis agreeing the Sections and target are often named as 'priorities' as opposed to genuinely getting together with the conditions for inclusion in a portion. I also assume that the exclusion of consumer products and retail as a targeted portion is an mistake given the service mother nature of the Australian economy and believed by IBIS to increase by 12% over another 5 years. To summarize, your final weakness of our own STP strategy that I am going to think about is that we struggle in having the ability to articulate to the client what being truly a 'concern' means i. e. what they can get and can experience consequently to be part of horizon one or two 2. To be a management consultant Personally i think that all my clients receive the same advanced of service regardless of whether they have been segmented by older management as important target or a client we are entirely reactive to.
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