Strategic marketing management
The requirements for this project are to prepare a strategic marketing audit for a publicly traded United Kingdom real estate company, as the author’s area of emphasis is real estate. The company selected is Capital & Regional plc, a co-investing property asset manager; a company, which manages property assets for funds, and joint ventures in which it holds a significant stake. As such its marketing is not conventional in that it does not sell a product or service as such, but participates in “deals” in the real estate investment area. This by no means that there is no sales effort involved, but does imply that its actual sales of services is incidental to its primary function of fostering and participating in real estate transactions with other institutional investors.
The mission of Capital and Regional plc is to build best-of-class specialist management teams for the retail and leisure sectors of the real estate market, which is the market in which Capital & Regional operates.
The company’s business model is not built on selling products or services. The model comprises three functions:
1.C&R operates asset businesses and earnings businesses
2.Asset businesses comprise C&R’s investments in property funds and joint ventures, and its wholly-owned properties
3.Earnings businesses comprise property management teams, which manage the funds and German joint venture, and SNO!zone (Capital and Regional Plc, 2009)
What is immediately evident is that a conventional strategic marketing analysis is not only inappropriate but also virtually impossible. This does not imply that marketing and markets are not major considerations for this company, only that they must be approached in an unconventional manner. Its “products” are real estate “deals” each of which is unique as opposed to homogeneous. Its market is twofold, investors who participate in its “deals” who are effectively customers, but are also partners or “joint ventures.” Its market defined differently is the users and tenants of its properties. Both of these require careful analysis, but do not fit neatly into conventional market analysis as envisioned by Kotler in SWOT analysis or Porters 5 forces.
Having made these points an attempt will be made to fit the problems and opportunities of C&R into these frameworks. It should be considered that the situation of the basic market in which the company operates, the real estate or property market, is in disarray and is likely to remain in this condition for some considerable time to come. The company must also consider its shareholder and other outside investors as customers to some extent and clearly as stakeholders. The depth of the problems of the company and the markets it serves are clearly reflected on the stock price chart as compared to the performance of the FTSE over the past five years. While equity shares have changed little in the past five year a pattern of C&R performance becomes clear. In the bubble era, which began in 2006, the price of the shares rose, if not dramatically, faster than the stock market in general as presented by the FTSE (red line) on the chart. Beginning in late 2007, with the so called credit crunch and the emergence of problems with what are now called “toxic assets” in the banking systems of both the United Kingdom and the United States the shares began to fall. As it became clearer and clearer that the real estate market was not only one of the primary the causes of the problem, but perhaps its most serious impacted victim the shares of C&R responded appropriately.