The marketing strategies and tactics of management consulting firms

Goliath, David Quinton Daniel (2000-03)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2000.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Management consulting refers to the area of intervention, which is assistance to entrepreneurs, managers and other decision-makers in business management and the public sector. The study will cover the area of management consulting and the primary focus of this study is companies presently doing business as Management Consulting firms with a global presence. The study excludes software vendors and management consulting firms that specialise only in implementing computer software systems like Oracle, SAP, etcetera. There are a great number of firms offering management consulting among other services like auditing for example. Prominent among these are the major accounting firms namely Ernst and Young, Deloitte Consulting, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and Arthur Andersen. They form part of this study. Marketing has become a more critical need than ever and it has become an important and influential factor in building and maintaining a profitable enterprise. The marketing of a product and or service is very important and the question can be posed whether management consulting firms have clear marketing strategies and tactics, or whether they stumbled onto their success in attracting clients per chance. The purpose of this study is to identify existing marketing strategies and tactics being used by management consulting firms. The objective is to determine the nature of the compilation of a structured framework for an effective standardised marketing strategy plan. The problem statement is the following: "How can marketing strategies and tactics for management consulting firms be used as an effective marketing tool to attract business for the consulting firm?" The greatest problem concerning this study is the fact that minimal research and literature has been directly compiled on thé topic. It was therefore a study on opinions, viewpoints, books in general on the topic of marketing as well as the daily media was researched to determine and evaluate possible existing marketing strategies and tactics. Since the field of marketing strategies and tactics for management consulting services and firms is relatively new, the exploratory research approach was used. Chapter 1 deals with the purpose, objective, problem statement and research methodology. Chapter 2 involves a literature study to define the term and scope of management consulting, and an overview of the management consulting process is given. Chapters 3 identifies and evaluates the existing marketing strategies and tactics of management consulting firms. Chapter 4 explores differentiation based on service and skills as well as industry specialisation. The question that needs to be answered is whether management consulting firms should be specialists or generalists. Chapter 5 addresses pricing. The different approaches to costing and fee setting are discussed. The study is completed in chapter 6 with conclusions and recommendations.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Bestuurs konsultasie verwys na die area van intervensie waar hulp aan entrepreneurs, bestuurders en ander besluitnemers in die private en publieke sektor verleen word. Hiedie studie dek die area van bestuurs konsultasie en die primêre fokus van die studie is firmas wat tans konsultasie firmas bedryf met 'n internasionale teenwoordigheid. Hierdie navorsings verslag fokus op die bemarkings taktiek en strategieë van bestuurs konsultasie firmas. Die studie sluit sagteware firmas en bestuurs konsultasie firmas uit wat uitsluitlik spesialiseer in die implementering en instandhouding van rekenaar sagteware. Voorbeelde van sulke firmas is Oracle en SAP. Daar is 'n groot aantal firmas wat bestuurs konsultasie saam met ander dienste soos byvoorbeeld ouditering aanbied. Prominent onder hierdie groep is Ernst and Young, Deloitte Consulting, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and Arthur Andersen. Hulle vorm deel van hierdie studie. Bemarking van die diens word al hoe meer belangriker as ooit en dit is 'n kritiese faktor om 'n winsgewende firma te bedryf. Die bemarking van 'n produk of diens is baie belangrik en die vraag kan gevra word of bestuurs konsultasie firmas uitgewerkte bemarking strategieë en taktiek het om kliënte te werf, en of hulle per toeval daarin slaag om besigheid te kry. Die doel van hierdie studie is om bestaande bemarkingstrategieë en-taktiek wat deur bestuurskonsultasie firmas gebruik word, te evalueer. Die doelwit is om die aard van die gestruktureerde raamwerk vir 'n effektiewe gestandardiseerde bemarkingsplan te bepaal. Die probleem stelling is as volg: "Hoe kan bemarkings taktiek en strategieë vir bestuurskonsultasie firmas gebruik word as 'n effektiewe bemarkingsmiddel ten einde besigheid vir die konsultasie firma te lok?" 'n Groot probleem is dat minimale navorsing en literatuur aangaande die onderwerp opgestel is. Dit gaan dus 'n studie wees van opinies, standpunte, asook boeke in die algemeen oor die onderwerp bemarking. Die daaglikse media gaan ook nagevors word om die moontlikheid van bemarkingstartegiëe en taktiek te bepaal. Aangesien die veld van bemarkingtaktiek en -strategiëe vir bestuurskonsultasie firmas redelik nuut is, gaan die eksploratiewe navorsings metode gebruik word. Hoofstuk 1 behandel die doel, doelwit, probleemstelling en navorsingsmetodologie. Hoofstuk 2 dek 'n literatuurstudie aangaande die aard en omvang van bestuurs konsultasie, asook 'n oorsig van die bestuurs konsultasie proses. Hoofstuk 3 identifiseer en evalueer die bestaande bemarkingstrategiëe en taktiek van bestuurs konsultasie firmas. Hoofstuk 4 ondersoek differensiasie gebaseer op diens en bevoegdhede sowel as industrie spesialisasie. Die vraag wat beantwoord moet word is of bestuurs konsultasie firmas slegs in een veld moet spesialiseer en of hulle 'n meerdoellige fokus moet hê. Hoofstuk 5 spreek prys aan. Die verskillende benaderings tot prys en koste word bespreek. Die studie word afgesluit in hoofstuk 6 met 'n samevatting en aanbevelings.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/51992
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