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GM704 International Marketing Managemet

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GM704 International Marketing Managemet

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GM704 International Marketing Managemet

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Course Code: GM704
University: Eaton Business School

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Country: United Arab Emirates

Question:

This assignment requires you to develop an individual case study dealing with aspects of marketing management based upon your own personal experience/ or choosing a relevant marketing case study.
You need to apply key concepts of marketing management to your experience/ or selected case study scenario, and discuss the associated implications.
You can choose any organisation that you have sufficient first-hand knowledge of and one that lends itself to being discussed, which enables you to answer the specific questions given below. (This may be a family business, an organisation you have worked at or a college or university you have studied/are studying at, or any chosen organisation).
1.Executive Summary: You should summarise your entire case study briefly (hopefully on no more than one page of A4 paper).
2.Introduction: You should give the name of the featured organisation and the reasons for choosing it. You should also provide some background information on the chosen case study organisation and the aspects of marketing management that are relevant.
3.Literature Review: You should conduct a review of relevant academic literature and provide a critique of the current issues/concepts that are relevant to your case study. You must include marketing management concepts, marketing mix, marketing plan and appropriate application of models, tools and techniques to support marketing analysis. Your literature review should include at least 6-8 articles taken from reputed research journals/ article publications, as well as in addition consider any other secondary literature reports, company data/ any other relevant data, to critically analyse the available literature with your chosen organisation objectives you want to address.
4.Application of theory to practice: You need to compare actual practice at your organisation with the key academic thinking established in the review of literature. It may point out similarities and differences, agreements and contradictions, arguments and counter arguments, and suggest explanations for these relationships. The focus of this section needs to be on:
(1) Marketing management concept, processes and strategies.
(2) A critical evaluation of marketing mix of your organisation.
(3) Role of marketing models, tools and techniques in developing new products and effective marketing plans. The models discussed should include at least one model among (Porter’s Model, SWOT Analysis, and PESTLE) and at least one Model among (BCG Matrix, Ansoff Matrix and Product Life Cycle Model).
5.Conclusions and Recommendations: You should summarise the main findings, including their implications, and provide recommendations that directly relate to this analysis.

Answer:

Introduction 
International marketing management is an important factor to be considered by the contemporary business organizations. This is due to the fact that in the current business state of affairs, globalization is leading to the flattening of the world and business organizations are not having geographical limit (Papadopoulos and Heslop 2014). Therefore, in order to compete in this global business environment, business organizations should have effective marketing management approach. This marketing approach will include different aspects such as determination of the external and internal factors and determination of the marketing orientation (Akaka, Vargo and Lusch 2013). In addition, the determination of the marketing mix strategies of the business is also getting more important in the current marketing environment due to the fact competition is increasing. Thus, with the initiation of the effective marketing mix elements, business organizations will be able to target the market in the most ideal manner.
Impact of different approaches of marketing management is more on the large scale business organizations because they are mainly having operations across the world. One of such organizations is Coca cola. They are the market leader in the global soft drink market and are considered as one of the leading and well known brands in the world. Coca cola is also known for their extensive approach of marketing management customized for different regions across the world (Tan and Sousa 2013). There are number of new and innovative approaches of marketing management being initiated by Coca cola that created benchmark in the respective industry. Hence, Coca cola is the ideal brand or company for doing the research of marketing management. However, on the other hand, number of concepts in the contemporary approach of marketing management is increasing (Johanson and Mattsson 2015). Reviews and opinions about these concepts are different from the perspective of different authors.
This report will review the theories given by different authors regarding the effectiveness of different marketing concepts. In addition, this report will also discuss about the marketing concepts being followed by Coca cola in their global business operation. Marketing mix of Coca cola will also be discussed in order to understand their strategic approach. External environmental analysis will also be done in order to understand about the business factors and trends being faced by them. This report will concluded with a few recommended steps for Coca cola that will further help in increasing their marketing effectiveness.
Literature review 
Concept of international marketing 
International marketing is one of the most important phenomenons in the current business scenario. This is due to the reason that majority of the large scale companies of current time are operating in global basis with having their presence in number of countries. According to Demangeot, Broderick and Craig (2015), multiculturalism is one of the important aspects to be considered in marketing internationally. Different countries around the world are having different sets of cultural and social backgrounds. Hence, it is important for the business organizations to consider the cultural differences between the countries and initiate the marketing strategies accordingly. The authors have also stated that companies can have the standardized product strategy in their international business but the marketing approach should be customized in accordance to the target market preferences. This will help in enhancing the effectiveness of the strategic intent.
In the case of Coca cola, they are having adaptive approach in their marketing strategies in different regions around the world. For instance, the advertisements of Coca cola are more explicit in nature in the western countries while they are adhered to the conservative cultures in the Middle Eastern regions even though the core product offerings are same (De Mooij 2013). On the other hand, end of year festive season is targeted by Coca cola for their promotional activities in the western countries, while in the Indian subcontinent; major festivals of Islam and Hinduism are being targeted with having the same product offerings.
Based on the above analysis, Burgess and Steenkamp (2013) further stated that countries especially from the emerging economies should have dedicated marketing approach by the business organizations. This is due to the reason that markets of the emerging countries are more diverse and complex in nature with having the more growth opportunities compared to some of the developed countries. In addition, it is also being stated by the authors that cultural factors are more relevant in the developing countries. Thus, in order to have the major business potentiality from the developing economies, it is important for the business organizations to initiate a dedicated marketing strategy and approach apart from their global approach.
Coca cola is extensively operating in the developing countries such as India, China and Brazil with fetching the one of the major portions of revenue from the developing countries (Tedlow 2014). This is mainly due to the reason that these countries are having more sales volumes compared to some other countries. In accordance to this situation, the marketing activities of Coca cola are also more diverse and extensive in nature.
Environmental analysis 
Analysis of the business environmental factors is another important element to be considered in the contemporary marketing intent. This is due to the reason that current marketing and business environments are rapidly changing and evolving and it is important for the business organizations to cope up with these changes and initiate strategies accordingly. According to Greco, Cricelli and Grimaldi (2013), it is important for the business organizations to determine the tangible and intangible asset that may be gained by them in their course of business. The authors have also stated that effective management and determination of the external business factors will help the business to understand the potential threats and opportunities. In accordance, they can initiate their strategic approaches.
In the case of Coca Cola, they are having the effective mechanism of determination of external business factors in their global business operation. It is reported that Coca Cola is having different strategic business units in different regions in the forms of subsidiaries and joint ventures. These strategic business units are plying independently in accordance to their respective external business factors (Smith 2016). For instance, operation factors and approaches of Coca Cola Amatil in Australia are different to that of their operation in the United Kingdom. This is helping them to operate in the different regions in accordance to the local trend and patterns.
On the other hand, it is stated by Kuratko, Hornsby and Covin (2014) that similar to the external business environment, it is also important for the business organizations to determine their internal business environment. This is due to the fact that with time, the internal factors for the business organizations are changing rapidly. According to the authors, the major internal factors for the business organizations are employee management, branding, product portfolio and business potentiality. It is important for the business organizations to determine all these factors in order to tap the future opportunities as well as mitigating the threats.
Marketing concepts 
In the current time, marketing concepts should also be effectively initiated and implemented by the contemporary business organizations. This is due to the reason that in the current competitive business state of affairs, there are number of situational factors that should be considered to have the ideal strategic intent. According to Homburg, Jozic and Kuehnl (2017), marketing concepts include production concepts, selling concepts and marketing orientation. Each of these concepts is ideal and effective in different situations. Thus according to the authors, it is important for the business organizations to initiate the marketing concepts in accordance to their business situations. This will help the business organizations to have the maximum outcome from the market.
In the case of Coca Cola, they mainly initiate marketing concepts in their global marketing operations. This is mainly due to their customer oriented approach (Biswas 2014). However, it should also be noted that the marketing concepts of Coca Cola are well aligned with some other concepts. This will be discussed in details in the following sections.
Based on the analysis of marketing concepts, Chari et al. (2014) stated the importance of the customer involvement in the current approach of marketing management. This is due to fact that with the increase in the bargaining power of the customers in the recent time, it is becoming more important for the business organizations to involve their target customers more in the marketing process and review their feedback and opinion. According to the authors, effective feedback management systems will enable the business organizations to design their marketing strategies in accordance to the market trends.
Coca Cola is one of the major business organizations that are having diverse marketing strategies. Majority of the marketing strategies are being based on the feedback of the customers. This is reflecting in the continuous evolvement of the marketing approaches of Coca Cola. On the other hand, Coca Cola enhances the customer involvement in their marketing activities by the means of number of strategies and mediums. This is helping them to gather the feedback from the customers and initiate the marketing strategies accordingly.
Marketing concepts of Coca Cola
Product concept 
In terms of the marketing orientation of Coca Cola, there are number of concepts being followed by them including production concept, marketing concept and societal marketing concept. It is identified that that major marketing objective of Coca Cola is to penetrate in maximum market area along with increasing the sales volume (Goswami and Tiwari 2014). In this case, Coca Cola is initiating production concept in order to gain competitiveness from the mass production. This is also helping Coca Cola in making their products widely available in different corners around the world and with competitive price tags. Initiation of the production concept is also helping Coca Cola to reduce their average cost of production (Yan and Ma 2015). This approach is applicable and ideal for Coca Cola due to the reason that the primary product of Coca Cola is their carbonated drink that is standardized across the world.
Marketing concept 
On the other hand, it is also identified that Coca Cola is practicing marketing concept also. This is due to the reason that even though they are regulating the price of their products but the change in the product approach will be possible only with the help of the marketing concept (Jussila et al. 2015). Coca Cola is having number of activities such as social media marketing, promotional activities and customer relationship management, which helps them to gain the feedback and opinion of the customers. This is reflecting in their newly introduced products in different flavors and variants. In addition, the recent introduction of product diversification strategy by means of coffee and fruit juices is the reflection of marketing concepts. The change of the preferences of the customers from carbonated soft drinks to healthier fruit juices is being identified with the help of marketing concepts of Coca Cola.
Societal marketing concept 
Societal marketing concept refers to the consideration of the social welfare with the organizational profit. In the current time, the issue of sustainability is creating more importance for societal marketing approach. Organizations are expected to have more sustainable approach in their marketing orientation (Mokwa 2017). In accordance to this situation, Coca Cola is initiating societal marketing concept by means of having greener approach of production process and reducing the impact of the business on the environment. In terms of products also, Coca Cola is introducing new products that are healthier compared to their existing products and that will have less adverse impacts on the health of the customers (Murphy, Obderseder and Lacazniak 2013).
Competitive marketing strategies of Coca Cola
There are number of competitive strategies being initiated by Coca Cola in their global operation. This section will use the Porter’s generic strategies to identify the competitive strategies of Coca Cola (Leonidou et al. 2013). According to this model, there are manly three strategies, cost leadership, product differentiation and market focus that can help the business organizations in gaining competitiveness in the market.
Cost leadership 
Cost leadership strategy refers to the offering of the products in most affordable price in the market in order to tap the larger market share. Coca Cola initiates cost leadership strategy by means of outsourcing the bottling activities to the third party vendors, large scale production of similar type of product and having worldwide operations to reduce the distribution cost (D. Banker, Mashruwala and Tripathy 2014). It is helping Coca Cola to have their presence in every region around the world and products are priced competitively. This is also enabling Coca Cola to have the market leadership position in the global soft drink market. Sales volume of Coca Cola is getting increased with the help of cost leadership strategy by targeting the mass market (Kaliappen and Hilman 2013).
Product differentiation 
Product differentiation refers to the process of offering unique and distinctive products in the market that will help in having differences with the close competitors. Coca Cola is famous for the unique taste of their soft drinks that is distinctive compared to their closest competitor Pepsi cola (Liu and Zhang 2013). This is helping them to target the new customers and retain the existing customers due to having fewer substitute options in the market. On the other hand, the Coca Cola also initiates product differentiation strategy in terms of packaging and flavor variants. This is helping Coca Cola to have differentiated approach compared to their competitors (Makadok and Ross 2013). The newly introduced products of Coca Cola are further enhancing the distinctiveness of their product strategy in the market.
Segmentation strategy of Coca Cola
Coca Cola is having diverse and varied segmentation variables in targeting their customers across the world. In terms of demographic segmentation, Coca Cola is targeting vast age groups between 15 and 45. Younger age group is targeted due to the reason that carbonated soft drinks are having more popularity among the younger generation (Stead and Stead 2013). On the other hand, age groups above 45 are the secondary target market due to the reason that elder age groups are more health conscious and they are less attracted towards the soft drinks. However, with the introduction of the new products such as coffee, fruit drinks and mineral water, the targeted age groups of Coca Cola are getting increased. In terms of gender, both male and female genders are being targeted as preferences for soft drinks are same and similar across every gender (Gad Mohsen and Dacko 2013).
In terms of geographical segmentation, Coca Cola is targeting all the major countries ranging from developed, developing to under developed countries. The products they are offering are mass market products and will only be profitable with the increase in sales volume. Thus, all the regions including the tier I, II and III cities are being targeted by Coca Cola (Liu et al. 2013). However, in the case of some of their niche products such as Georgia coffee, only the metropolitan cities are being targeted. Furthermore, in terms of behavioral segmentation, customers with having the requirement for instant and affordable mode of refreshments are being targeted.
Evaluation of marketing mix of Coca Cola

Product

· Coca Cola is having diverse product portfolio ranging from soft drinks, coffee to fruit drinks and packaged drinking waters.
· The product strategy of Coca Cola is designed in catering to diverse requirement of the customers (Huang and Sarigollu 2014).
· Having different flavors and variants is also enabling Coca Cola to cater the differences in customer preferences in different regions around the world.
· It is also reported that Coca Cola is having number of brands only in the soft drink category. This is helping them in catering larger market sections.
· Product diversity is the major reason for Coca Cola in maintaining the market leadership status (Mintz and Currim 2013).

Price

· Coca Cola is maintaining diverse strategies in terms of pricing also.
· They are having market penetration strategy for their soft drink brands and more premiums pricing for their juice products and coffee (Khan 2014). This is helping Coca Cola in catering to different customer segments across price levels.
· Initiation of the market penetration pricing strategy is helping Coca Cola to have larger market coverage and share.
· Coca Cola is operating in the oligopoly market with having limited competitors in the global market. This is helping them to form cartel in pricing their products (Danziger, Hadar and Morwitz 2014).

Place

· Coca Cola initiates intensive distribution strategy in order to make their products available in maximum retail mediums (Frazer and Stehler 2014).
· This is also helping Coca Cola in having the maximum presence in different regions around the world.
· Products of Coca Cola are available in supermarkets, departmental stores as well as in the smaller locality stores. Thus product visibility for Coca Cola is more.
· Having intensive distribution strategy is helping Coca Cola in pushing the sales of their new products in the market.
· Intensive distribution strategy of Coca Cola is also helping them in operating in the rural areas as well as in the metropolitan cities with the same product range (Danziger, Hadar and Morwitz 2014).

Promotion

· Coca Cola is having diverse and extensive promotional strategies in their global business operation.
· Their marketing and promotional strategies include advertisements in traditional mediums, sales promotion and social media marketing (Gangwar, Kumar and Rao 2013).
· Innovative promotional events such as installing product vending machines and involving customers in different activities are helping Coca Cola to have more effectiveness.
· Coca Cola is also having sponsorships in major sports events such as sponsoring FIFA football world cup. This is also helping in gaining major brand identity and exposure in the market along with catering to larger customer sections (Meenaghan, McLoughlin and McCormack 2013).
· Celebrity endorsements are also being promoted by Coca Cola involving different celebrities from different regions. Thus, adaptive approach of celebrity endorsements is helping Coca Cola to target the different regions effectively.

Process

· Coca Cola is having their bottling plants in different countries around the world. Thus it is enabling them to have more effective process in distributing their products through the retail channels.
· This is helping Coca Cola to reduce the time in delivering the products to the customers.
· Numbers of channels are involved in the distribution process of Coca Cola involving the third party retailers and the outlets. In addition, vending machines and kiosk are being used by Coca Cola that further reduces the delivery time for the customers (Shi, Liu and Petruzzi 2013).
· The internal management and production process of Coca Cola is being designed in such a way that minimal time is consumed.
· Assembly line is being followed in the production process that further enhances the speed and accuracy of the entire process.

Physical evidence

· The design of the bottle of Coca Cola is distinctive and is one of their identities from their initial stage. This design is kept unchanged.
· Customers having the physical evidence in the forms of this bottle that further enhances their brand resonance.
· The core product of soft drink and juices are also acting as physical evidence for the customers (Mukherjee and Shivani 2013).
· Coca Cola is having their merchandise that can also be availed by the customers as physical evidence.

People

· Coca Cola being a multinational organization is having diverse workforce.
· Employees are from different regions with different social backgrounds.
· They are having effective human resource management that is further helping in having the maximum productivity and effectiveness from the employees (Alfes et al. 2013).
· Effective management of the people is also enabling in gaining positive employer branding.

Determination of the external business environment 
As discussed earlier in the literature review section, determination of the external business environments is important for the business organizations. The following section will use the PESTLE analysis in identifying the major environmental factors for Coca Cola in their global business operation.

Political factors

· Coca Cola is having their operations in majority of the countries and thus the differences in the political factors in different countries pose challenge for them.
· Some of the countries are having capitalist approach and some of them are having communist approach. This is challenging for them to adhere to both the types in their global business (Zinovieva et al. 2016).
· In the recent time, diplomatic issues between the countries are increasing and this is affecting the international business of Coca Cola in exporting their products.
· Increasing trend of protectionism is also affecting the free flow of goods for Coca Cola between the countries.
· Average rate of corruption is increasing in the global market. This will also affect the global business for Coca Cola in dealing with the government bodies (Grabova 2013).

Economical factors

· Average economy of the world is increasing and this is a positive factor for Coca Cola in increasing their business.
· However, on the other hand, the competition for Coca Cola is also increasing. PepsiCo is closest competitor for Coca Cola but they are also having different local competitors in different countries. Profitability of them is getting affected.
· Business from the carbonate soft drink is reducing with the increase in the market share of the alternate beverage such as fruit juices and energy drinks.
· Currency exchange rate is another challenge for Coca Cola. This is due to the reason that Coca Cola is having the manufacturing facilities in a few countries and get the products exported in other countries (Cavallo, Neiman and Rigobon 2014). Thus, differences in the currency exchange rate will increase the cost for Coca Cola in their export and import process.
· Coca Cola is having favorable market presence in the developing countries. Thus they will able to tap the growing economy of the developing countries.

Social factors

· The major social advantage of Coca Cola is their product diversity. This is due to the reason that diverse product portfolio of them is helping in catering to different needs of customers from different regions.
· However, the social preferences of the global customers are changing towards healthier alternatives over the carbonated soft drinks (Liu and Lopez 2016). This is increasing the market challenge for Coca Cola.
· In the current time, social preferences are also being affected by the sustainability of the organizations. However, the several issue regarding sustainability of Coca Cola are affecting their social goodwill.
· Social preferences of the customers across the globe are changing rapidly and it is becoming challenging for Coca Cola to cope up with these changes by their product approach.

Technological factors

· Coca Cola is one of the most technologically advanced companies in the world. They are initiating state of art facilities in their production process (Boyjoo et al. 2017).
· Technology of Coca Cola is also included in their marketing approach by means of including different online mediums for promotion.
· However, it should be noted that technology is one area that is witnessing extreme evolution. Thus, it is important for Coca Cola to have continuous process of up gradation of technology.
· It is also challenging for Coca Cola to gain the access to same level of technology in different countries around the world. This is due to the reason that developed countries will have different level of technological advancements compared to developing and under developed countries.

Legal factors

· Similar to the political factors, Coca Cola is also facing diverse legal factors.
· Different countries are having different legal effectiveness and regulations in relation to the food and beverage safety.
· In addition, different legislations are being initiated by government bodies against consumption of soft drinks (Moodie et al. 2013). This is also affecting the business potential for Coca Cola.
· Thus, it is important for Coca Cola to adhere to different legal standards of different countries.
· Coca Cola is also having the challenge in meeting the different legal standards with their standardized products.
· Coca Cola is also facing the issue of different legal formalities in relation to the business operation and investments.

Environmental factors

· Environmental sustainability is one of the major concerns for the contemporary business organizations.
· Coca Cola is having challenge in meeting the sustainability standards due to the fact that they are directly depended on the water resources.
· In addition, some of the countries are having relatively stringent legislations in relation to the environment that are further challenging for Coca Cola to adhere (Sheldon 2014).
· It is important for Coca Cola to get adhered to the international treaties regarding environment such as gaining carbon neutrality and increasing use of renewable sources of energy.

Determination of the industry competitiveness 
Determining the industry competitiveness will help to identify the intensity of competitive forces for Coca Cola in their global operation. Porter five forces will be used in determining these competitive forces.

Bargaining power of the buyers

· Bargaining power of the buyers is moderate. This is due to the reason that brand value of Coca Cola is immense that is not being competed by others (Li and Li 2016).
· This is due to reason PepsiCo and Coca Cola are two major competitors in the soft drink industry. Thus, the options for the customers are also low.
· However, on the other hand, switching cost of the customers is low. This is reducing the loyalty level of the customers towards the particular brand.
· Furthermore, local competitors are enhancing some sort of options for the customers.

Bargaining power of the suppliers

· Bargaining power of the suppliers is low due to the reason that large number of suppliers is available in the industry (Hattersley, Isaacs and Burch 2013).
· Brand value of Coca Cola is also providing them the upper hand in dealing with their suppliers.
· On the other hand, majority of the suppliers are not having forward integration that is further helping Coca Cola (Glock and Kim 2015).
· Coca Cola and PepsiCo are the two major sources for the suppliers. Thus the dependency of the suppliers on Coca Cola is more.
· However, the retailing process of Coca Cola is dependent on the channel partners.

Threat of substitutes

· Threat of substitute is high for Coca Cola due to the reason that number of alterative products is available in the market (Schwenger, Straub and Borzillo, 2014).
· Smaller and large brands are having carbonated soft drinks, fruit juices and coffee. They are having market presence in local regions and giving stiff competition to Coca Cola.
· In addition, the switching cost is low for the customers and some of the local brands are offering in lower cost than Coca Cola (Suwardy and Ratnatunga 2014).
· Thus, the pricing of the products of Coca Cola is highly influenced by the pricing of their competitor’s products.

Threat of new entrants

· Threat of new entrant is low due to the fact that huge investment and infrastructure are required for establishment (E. Dobbs 2014).
· In addition, the market is already saturated with the major share is divided between Coca Cola and PepsiCo. Thus, the growth opportunities for the new entrants are low.
· The brand value of Coca Cola cannot get matched by the new entrants and this is also a discouraging fact for the new entrants.

Competitive rivalry

· Competitive rivalry is high in the industry with Coca Cola and PepsiCo are competing in neck to neck battle (McLay 2014).
· Point of differentiations between these two brands is low.
· Pricing is one of the major competing factors in gaining the edge in the market.

Ansoff matrix 

Product development

· Coca Cola is initiating product development strategies in introducing new products.
· They are having different products in different markets in accordance to the local taste and preference pattern (Khan et al., 2013).
· This is helping Coca Cola in catering to different market needs in different regions.
· Larger customers segments from the global market are being targeted by offering different products.

Market development

· Coca Cola is already having their presence in majority of the countries around the world.
· Thus, the scope of new market development is low.
· However, entering in the rest countries will help in increasing the global sales revenue further (Titman, Wei and Xie 2013).

Market penetration

· Coca Cola is having different variants of their existing products in terms of price, flavor and size (Grilli and Murtinu 2014).
· Thus, different customer segments are being targeted with the same products.
· This is also helping Coca Cola in having higher penetration in the existing market.

Diversification

· Currently, Coca Cola is having less diversification compared to PepsiCo (Bowen, Baker and Powell 2015).
· PepsiCo is having their presence in snacks industry also, while Coca Cola is still operating only in the beverage industry.
· Diversifying in other sectors will help Coca Cola in tapping newer customer segments and also adjusting with the reducing potentiality in the soft drink market.

Recommendations 

It is recommended that Coca Cola should increase their presence in food sector also in order to enhance their global presence and sales revenue.
Coca Cola should have more concentration on healthier products such as fruit juices over the carbonated soft drinks. This will enhance their business opportunities.
It is also recommended that Coca Cola should have more sustainable approach to generate positive identity in the market and prevent the unethical incidents that they are accused previously.

Conclusion 
This report concludes that Coca Cola is having potentiality as well as a few threats in their global business operations. In this report, the reviews regarding the different marketing concepts are being identified. In accordance to the discussed concepts, different marketing concepts are analyzed from the perspective of Coca Cola. This report analyzed external business environment and industry competitiveness of Coca Cola and identified a number of positive and negative factors. In addition, this report also concluded that there are huge opportunities for Coca Cola if they change their existing product approach and concentrate more on different products. A few recommended steps are stated in this report that will further help Coca Cola to increase their business potentiality.
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