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Chambers, M, Fitch, T, Keki, I and Smyth, H (2009) Differences between customer experience and business development propositions: the case of a major contractor in the infrastructure market. In: Dainty, A R J (Ed.), Proceedings 25th Annual ARCOM Conference, 7-9 September 2009, Nottingham, UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, Vol. 1, 391–402.
- Type: Conference Proceedings
- Keywords: business development; customers; relationship marketing; value
- ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-9552390-1-4
- URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/ar2009-0391-0402_Chambers_Fitch_Keki_and_Smyth.pdf
Following ownership change of a major contracting organisation and the integration of two distinct subsidiaries involved with infrastructure provision, a major re-evaluation of the marketing strategy and business development processes were undertaken. Part of the re-evaluation required in-depth, semi-structured interviews with business development managers and other business development staff, and with a selection of core customers, most of whom are repeat business customers. Using a combination of observation and action research methods, the paper presents findings concerning the extent of alignment between perceived customer and stakeholder experience on the one hand and business development service propositions on the other hand. The findings are categorised according to (i) appreciated value that is delivered yet not incorporated into propositions and service promises, (ii) value that is delivered yet is not generally valued by customers, (iii) value propositions that are required yet are overlooked or partially delivered. The findings are also categorised according to former subsidiaries from which business development managers originated in order to establish (a) the degree of consistency of approach across the former subsidiaries and the extent of diversity of business development approaches and (b) the compatibility with the general business strategy and specifically the marketing plan. Analysis of the findings is conducted with general reference to the overall organisational culture of the contractor and particular comparison with relationship marketing principles. The conclusions lead to recommendations for improving business relationships with the customer and for a broader range of stakeholders.