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Making the World Work Better: The Ideas That Shaped a Century and a Company by Jeffrey O’Brien, Steve Hamm, Kevin Maney

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How Organizations Engage with Society

After an economic crisis hit Mexico in the mid-1990s, the country’s largest building materials company, CEMEX, whose business model had always been business-to-business, decided to start marketing its products directly to the millions of Mexicans who build or add onto their own homes. The thinking was that this segment might be more stable than others in times of crisis. The company sent researchers out into the field to interview homeowners and understand the market. It found that in order to sell to this group of people, many of whom were poor and lived in small, crowded shacks, it would have to come up with a new way of doing business. Out of his work, in 2000, came an initiative called Patrimonio Hoy, ...

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