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  • Business–to–Business Marketing, an Entrepreneurial Process!?

    A research on constructing and applying a framework for Business-to-Business marketing as an entrepreneurial process in the North West European Offshore Industry

    E.C.Wullink

    Twente University

    July 2007

  • - Business-to-Business Marketing, an Entrepreneurial Process!? -

  • - Business-to-Business Marketing, an Entrepreneurial Process!? -

    Business–to–Business Marketing, an Entrepreneurial Process!?

    A research on constructing and applying a framework for Business-to-Business marketing as an entrepreneurial process in the North West European Offshore Industry

    Researcher: Eduard Christiaan Wullink Student Industrial Engineering & Management at the faculty Technology & Management of Twente University University department and guidance: The Dutch Institute for Knowledge-intensive Entrepreneurship (Nikos) and the department for Marketing, Strategy and Entrepreneurship (MSO). Twente University. Case Company:

    Focus Oil and Gas Group B.V. Project Guidance: Dr. G.Blaauw University Twente, Nikos Dr. A.M. von Raesfeld Meijer University Twente, MSO/Nikos Ir. H.R. Stapel Focus Oil and Gas Group B.V. Research period:

    October 2006– June, 2007 Cover: A gas production facility and a windturbine are installed on the North Sea. Both are placed on a fixed steel structure.

  • - Business-to-Business Marketing, an Entrepreneurial Process!? -

  • - Business-to-Business Marketing, an Entrepreneurial Process!? - i

    Acknowledgments

    This research described in this report was executed under the supervision of Twente University in the

    Netherlands. The research is the final stage of the course Industrial Engineering and Management. My

    gratitude goes to the people who contributed to the completion of this research. I would like to thank

    Gerben Blaauw and Ariane von Raesfeld Meyer who supported and guided me in executing this research.

    I would like to thank Rik Stapel, managing director of Focus Oil and Gas Group B.V., and the other

    colleagues of Focus for offering the possibility to execute part of this research at their organization and

    introducing me in the offshore industry.

    I owe a special thanks to Mr. Liem, Mr. Krispijn and Mr. Westra who contributed to the research by

    providing their expertise on the offshore industry in the interviews and in discussions.

    Finally I would like to thank my family and friends for their personal support in the research process.

    Their support was very meaningful during difficult times.

    Eduard Wullink

    Marle, July 2007

  • - Business-to-Business Marketing, an Entrepreneurial Process!? - ii

    Abstract

    Smaller enterprises acting as a representative for offshore fabrication contractors in the European offshore

    market for offshore structures, have difficulties acquiring customers or contracts for their represented.

    These smaller enterprises often have no insight in which activities to conduct in their role a representative.

    Also they often lack the insight which resources and competences are available within their organization

    to conduct these activities. In the research described in this report a framework is constructed and

    demonstrated, which can be used for giving an insight in Business-to-Business marketing activities in

    smaller companies acting as an offshore contractors representative in the European market for offshore

    constructions. Also this framework gives an insight in the resource and competences within the

    entrepreneurial process of these smaller companies to conduct these activities. In this way the framework

    is a two dimensional approach which can lead to a better development of business-to-business marketing

    activities in smaller enterprises by linking these activities to the entrepreneurial process.

    The research consists out of three parts. The first part describes the construction of a combined

    framework out of the Business Marketing Management framework and the 4S Model. These theoretical

    frameworks capture the two different theoretical perspectives of Business-to-Business marketing activities

    and the entrepreneurial process. By examining how these frameworks replenish each other, they are

    combined in a new framework. The combined framework for Business-to-Business marketing as an

    entrepreneurial process.

    In the second part the constructed combined framework is demonstrated by applying it in a practical case.

    The company used for this demonstration is the smaller enterprise Focus Oil and Gas Group B.V. This

    company acts as a representative in Europe for the Chinese offshore fabrication contactor PJOE. The

    application of this combined framework gives an insight in the activities to be conducted by Focus in its

    role as representative in North West Europe, as well as the resources and competences of Focus to

    conduct these.

    Out of both insights conclusions are drawn and recommendations are provided on Focus’ activities as a

    representative for PJOE. These conclusions and recommendations demonstrated how the combined

    framework can be used to develop or enhance representative activities.

  • - Business-to-Business Marketing, an Entrepreneurial Process!? - iii

    The first conclusion is that, although several different activities can be conducted in the role of

    representative, the most important activities for Focus in its role as repetitive will be understanding

    markets segments , customers and competitions in North West Europe and delivering this information to

    its represented offshore contactor. Also the representation activities of delivering information to the

    (potential) customers in the form of capabilities and competences of its represented offshore contractor is

    important. Concrete examples of the activities are monitoring released tenders and prequalification

    rounds and actively establishing and maintaining contacts with oil and gas operators, wind farm

    developers and other offshore fabrication contractors. It is concluded that several of Focus’ resources and

    competences are insufficiently developed to conduct the representation activities. Especially the resources

    and competences in the form of Human and Cultural Capital and Social Capital are insufficient

    developed.

    Recommendations are provided which can be use to develop Focus resources and competences used for

    its representation. It is recommended to determine goals and objectives for the representation activities

    and allocate the resources and competences which are available to these representation activities. Also it is

    recommended that Focus educates and trains employees in these representation activities. In this way

    knowledge and skills, which is available in the organization, can be spread through the enterprise and

    experiences build up. Simple technology will have to be developed for storing information, knowledge

    and experiences, on the representation activities.

    The last part concludes on the theoretical and practical relevance of the combined framework in this

    research and gives options for further research on the subject of Business-to-Business marketing out of an

    entrepreneurial perspective. The reflection mentions that the use of the combined framework can help to

    structure Business-to-Business activities in these smaller enterprises which act as a representative. The

    practical relevance can seen in the demonstration of the framework in the case of Focus. In this case the

    use of the framework lead to concrete conclusions and recommendations. It is mentioned that the

    combined framework is most suitable for developing not yet existing Business-to-Business marketing

    activities. Further research can be done on the usage of this framework to identify crucial resources and

    competences when conducting Business-to-Business marketing activities or the use of the combined

    framework in other industries or segment markets.

  • - Business-to-Business Marketing, an Entrepreneurial Process!? - iv

    Samenvatting

    Kleinere ondernemingen die fungeren als vertegenwoordiger voor offshore fabricage aannemers in de

    Europese markt voor offshore constructies hebben moeite met het verwerven van contracten of klanten

    voor hun vertegenwoordigde. Deze kleiner ondernemingen hebben vaak geen inzicht in de activiteiten

    die moeten worden uitgevoerd in de rol van vertegenwoordiger. Ook missen deze vertegenwoordigers

    vaak het inzicht in hun middelen en competenties om deze activiteiten uit te voeren. In het onderzoek

    beschreven in dit rapport is een raamwerk opgebouwd en gedemonstreerd. Dit raamwerk kan worden

    gebruikt voor het geven van inzicht in Business-to-Business marketing activiteiten in kleiner

    ondernemingen, welke fungeren als een vertegenwoordiger in de Europese markt voor offshore

    constructies. Ook geeft dit raamwerk een inzicht in de middelen en competenties aanwezig in het

    ondernemende proces van deze ondernemingen. Door deze activiteiten te koppelen aan het

    ondernemende proces