Michael Richter
International marketing and sales consultant
Hauptstrasse 27
DE-88422 Seekirch
International marketing and sales consultant

Tel: +49(0)7582-933371
E-Mail: michael.richter@marketing-und-vertrieb-international.de

Strategic marketing of investment goods - ... marketing is ...

Where and how does the INTERNET influence marketing procedures in the future - exemplary review for investment goods

The INTERNET surely is the 'revolutionary' development of the last decade and - as we know from worldwide information - billions of US$, DM and EUROs are moved.

In addition we have to realize that latest in two years from 1999 every long-sighted com- pany will be present here and that - due to this as well as due to clients' requirements - the already downwards oriented price helix will even be boost.

Inevitably this will affect also the investment goods' industry, however, not only - as now already - on the procurement side but also in marketing/sales as such

Hereafter I have listed some important aspects 'for every company' whereas definitive solu- tions are totally depending on the individual company because every company is unique and needs a specific treatment/action.

  • Present situation

Some - or all - of the aspects listed here- after exemplary are performed today by an agent/distributor, a daughter company or other cooperation partners.

  • Future

The possibilities available through the INTERNET are going to 'revolutionize' the marketing steps - e. g. acc. to the aspects stated - as every client wants to bene- fit from the internationally permanently decreasing pricing level and only mini- mizing the cost/increasing the flexibility is going to secure internationally working SMEs the future existence on the worlds' markets


  • Client contact/Information
Sales people keep contact with clients via telephone, fax and/or personal visits -> for standardized products.

They permanently keep the client informed about further developments of 'his' products, in order to modernize existing machinery, to complement them and more.

For special products the agent/distributor or staff of the producer visit the client several times in order to synchronize requirements and existing possibilities.


  • Client contact/Information
The entrepreneur himself has to keep the contact, i. e. he has to automatise a big portion of the duties named hereafter so that the client is regularly informed >> with regard to HIS needs (different products require different information).

This includes that the client e. g. is regularly informed via e-mail which 'brand- new' information is available on the web- pages of the company.

For special products the 'price-increasing' frequency of personal visits can be reduced by respective questionnaires resp. data and choices for HIM presented in the NET > increasing the speed of treatment ! - especially when working internationally

  • Public relation

The agent/distributor in a specific region - in most cases in foreign countries - is respon- sible for articles in technical publications resp. for sending company brochures/ com- pany news to 'his' clients.


  • Public relation

The entrepreneur himself takes over the responsibility - and thus has the reg- ularity and correctness under his own control and can include 'brand-new' infor- mation - that specific articles with 'inter- national' flair are published - where, how, with which detailed pictures, etc. All of that is easily possible through the INTERNET.


  • Service, repairs, etc.

Agents/distributors are responsible for ser- vicing the machinery in given intervals, i. e. they drive to the clients in these intervals - possibly within the frame of a service con- tract, which includes normal guaran- tees, the permanent availability/function of the equipment, etc. - in order to execute this service or the customer brings the machinery into the service places. In fact this is a quite costly procedure which is partly also covered by the commissions paid.


  • Service, repairs, etc.

The service programme has to be re- shaped completely, so that the client can easily download service manuals, repair advice, application examples, etc. from the INTERNET and can order the spare parts he needs. The respective duties can still be handled by the respective agent/distri- butor.

Depending on the products the company can also service the machinery supplied via 'remote-service'.


  • Pricing

For the execution of all aforementioned duties and as a remuneration the agents/ distributors get a commission from the sales price, which corresponds normally to the duties undertaken and/or which varies acc. to the kind of product.

Partly they cover for this commission also the payment risk as the client is paying them whilst they - very often - have already prepaid the producer.


  • Pricing

The agent/distributor still receives a remu- neration for machines sold. This will, however, be lower now as some of his former responsibilities are skipped. Ideally the absolute income, however, will not be less as he may sell better due to lower prices and thus the higher number of products sold one the one hand and secondly because he can perform more service/maintenance works/-contracts will balance this.

The payment risk is shifted to the enterprise itself which, however, can be kept forseeable implementing the necce- ssary behaviour/action.


  • Regional/supra-regional
    activities

Depending on the sales structure today very often so-called 'regional responsibilities' are created within the companies, which are oriented either at products or countries or key-accounts/market segments.

In fact, this means that different products, market segments or client groups are served - partly by daughter companies/own personnel - whereas the customers are visited/informed in regular intervals and such groups optimize/enlarge their respective clientele with reference to number of clients/sales per client, etc. - depending on their specific duty.


  • Regional/supra-regional
    activities

The possibilities of the INTERNET/INTRANET open new chances to the entrepreneur with regard to internal/external information and increase of profit/acquisition of new clients.

Different client-/target groups/market seg- ments may be reached using these new ways - pretty targeted to their specific needs (Catchwords = Client advantage/ Client benefit) - and thus a wide range of fixed cost may be saved for personnel as well as for equipment, which again should be reflected by lower prices as well as by an increased profit.

At the same time the up-to-date and per- manent care of the clients will be increased drastically see >>

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How can I assist you in reaching YOUR goals -- in Europe or anywhere else ? - please >> mail - or call +49(0)7582-933371 - * Send page to a friend

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