Today, many business-to-business (B2B) organizations are marketing their products to companies and organizations where the “buyer” is not a single individual. Instead, there may be a variety of people or stakeholders including product users, a buyer (e.g., from the purchasing department), a specifier (e.g., an engineer), and many others. In such instances, the seller must assume who might be involved in purchase decision making without any knowledge or certainty. In the course text, Perreault, Cannon, and McCarthy define the concept of the buying center as “all the people who participate in or influence a purchase” (2013, p. 148). For this Discussion, imagine that you are the marketing manager for an organization. Choose one of the scenarios below and consider who (job type or title) you would expect to be a part of the buying center and if outside consultants should be involved. A local school system is seeking to upgrade its computer systems for its middle school classrooms. This means new hardware and software for every classroom. It may also require new classroom configurations, desks, lighting, additional electrical service, and cable or T1 data support. Who is likely to be included in the purchasing decision? General Aerotechnologies (GA), a large-scale manufacturer of small unmanned aircraft with government and commercial contracts, is updating its security services for its manufacturing facilities in the southern United States. The security service would be responsible for the physical security of the premises as well as cybersecurity for all systems used by GA. Who is likely to be involved in the purchasing decision? In 2007, Federal Executive Order 13423 and subsequent revisions required acquisition of recycled content, energy efficient, bio-based, and environmentally preferable products and services. The order directs U.S. federal agencies to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gases in buildings and transportation by 50% by 2020. Your company manufactures automotive engine fuel systems that can help meet these goals. Who in the automotive manufacturing companies would you expect to be involved in the buying center for your products? Post by Day 3 the scenario you chose and your response to the following: Identify the scenario you selected. Provide a list of stakeholders (e.g., person, department representative) who have influence on buying center decision making and why. Explain the types of influence each person (e.g., person acting individually) might have on the decision and why. As the marketing manager for the company hoping to win the business, how would you advise reaching the decision makers to promote your product or service? What obstacles might you encounter and what marketing strategies might work to ensure that you best position a product or service in the minds of the decision makers and buying center?
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