Marketing Organizations Now Face
With the increasing globalization and technological development, where companies are benefitting from easy access to newer markets for their products and services, whereas on other hand, it has also created many challenges including threat of any negative publicity caused by any negligence on its part. Consumers as well as media now are more aware of the things happening around them.
The case of British Petroleum, one of the largest oil companies in the world and presence in more than 90 counties worldwide (Banks 2002), is an ideal example of the complacent attitude resulting in huge losses to its workers, as it killed 11 in the incident and caused countless loss to marine life (Cappiello and Webber 2010). Not only this, the company is also forced to close down its operations in many parts of the world. However, the company, in its value statement acknowledges that social responsibility is key factor and fundamental to its work ethics (Banks 2002) and BP aims no harm to the society, its people and the environment.
Whereas, the recent incident which caused millions of losses disproves this claim and clearly shows a discrepancy between what it claims and what is it being practiced in the organization. To
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Therefore, the only difference is in the problem handling approach, the way these big giants handle the situation and seek the opportunity to turn that threat into an opportunity and gain from that. Even in past there have been cases like ones where Mc. Donald’s being threatened for increasing obesity among US children and teenagers (BBC 2002) and Johnson and Johnson’s product, Telenol (Seamen 2010), resulting in deaths, created high tempers among the masses but the companies, with sensible approach towards problem, were able to survive in the situation and gained consumer’s trust and confidence.
But such crises, if not handled properly, not only results in the financial let down but also cause huge loss of goodwill and reputation that the big companies are able to earn after years of commitment and performance. In the world of so many options and choices, gaining trust and consumer’s loyalty is one of the major challenges to the companies. The situation right now which BP is facing is the tough one, although it is said that the worst has been over (New York Times), but the company still has long way to go to recover from the loss.
However, it is also known that with increased advertising and flow of news, the attention span of the consumers tend to be less (Hawari 2010), which means that by taking appropriate measures, the trust and confidence can be gained back. I being the CEO of the company would have taken certain measures like: – Right after the incident, there would have been a public appearance of the spokesperson from the company, to give detailed briefing of what has actually happened. The company would have taken immediate responsibility but also try to portray it as a natural disaster, resulting in gaining consumer’s sympathy.
– A separate committee would have been formed to give response to all the queries and comments by media and general public. – Apologizing the partners and sympathizing with them in addition to taking responsibility of all the claims and oil spill cleaning. -. Coordinating with the public relations department and coming up with strong actions as to rebuild a positive image; this may have also included viral marketing in terms of positive word of mouth in the social media. – Running up constant videos to show the progress and activities that BP has been involved in.
– Taking suggestions and comments from the people as to how can the crisis be resolved. – showing all the previous social responsibility works that the company has undertaken so far and how has it helped the community. Apart of the strategy but apart from this, several other measures like taking the government and the company’s partners into confidence and resolving payment and law suit crises would have been taken as well. BP’s corporate responsibility, in its value statement is very concise and well written, the organization means no harms whatsoever to the society and its people.
But as we see it now, this complacent attitude has resulted in millions of losses, decrease in sales as number of filling stations, loss of trust in BP’s partners as well as constant consumer protests (New York Times). therefore, it is now required the companies not just take corporate responsibility as only part of documentation, but also take it seriously to avoid any such problems that can occur in future. References: Banks, P 2002, Social responsibility on a global scale, New Academy of Business conference on Corporate Responsibility, London, viewed 19 August 2010, <http://www.
bp. com/genericarticle. do? categoryId=98&contentId=2000341> BBC News 2003, Court dismisses McDonald’s obesity case, viewed 19th August 2010, <http://news. bbc. co. uk/2/hi/americas/2685707. stm> Cappiello, D & Webber, H 2010, BP accused of withholding ‘critical’ spill data, viewed 19 august 2010, < http://news. yahoo. com/s/ap/us_gulf_oil_spill > Hawari, W 2010, Attention span of consumers thinning, viewed 19 August 2010, <http://www. zawya. com/Story. cfm/sidZAWYA20100722035041/%27Attention%20span%20of%20consumer%20thinning%27> Kotler, P, Adam, S, Denize, S. and Armstrong, G.
2009, Principles of Marketing, 4th edition, Pearson Education Australia, Frenchs Forest. New York Times 2010, BP Station Owners Face Long Road to Recovery, viewed 19th August 2010, <http://finance. yahoo. com/news/BP-Station-Owners-Face-Long-nytimes-1528821285. html? x=0&. v=2> Seamen, M 2010, Tylenol Recall: Johnson & Johnson Issues Massive Recall, viewed 19th August 2010, <http://www. huffingtonpost. com/2010/01/16/tylenol-recall-johnson-jo_n_425754. html> Tobak, S 2010, BP and Toyota: Leadership Lessons in Disaster Recovery, viewed 19th August 2010, <http://www. bnet. com/blog/ceo/bp-and-toyota-leadership-lessons-in-disaster-recovery/4977>