Você está na página 1de 4

BLURRING THE LINES:IS THERE A NEED TO THINK INDUSTRIAL MARKETING?

Introduction The paper Blurring The Lines: Is There A Need To Think Industrial Marketing written by Yoram (Jerry) Wind primarily focuses on the evolution of the discipline of Industrial Marketing. Its aim is to encourage readers to challenge their mental model relating to Industrial marketing and take into account the fading difference between industrial marketing and customer marketing. The writer calls upon the readers to debate on whether there is a need to redefine and rethink about Business marketing. During mid 1960s emphasis was mainly on consumer marketing, and industrial marketing was virtually absent. Yoram (Jerry) Wind began working on Organizational buying behavior and acknowledged that the core principles of consumer marketing could be modified and applied to Industrial marketing. Similarly insights of industrial marketing could be revised and used in consumer market. The buying situation plays an active role in Organizational buying center and buying process. The buying criteria of both organizational buyers and customers are multidimensional in nature and involve rational and emotional features. Over the years, The Journal Of Business & Industrial Marketing has published over 500 articles on industrial marketing and has helped in shaping the discipline. In the initial development phase, both industry marketing and consumer marketing advanced independently but with the passage of time and dramatic change in environment, the lines between the two fields started blurring. Most of these changes are due to new information technology that has intertwined consumer and industrial markets. The lines are blurring in the following ways: Convergence of Business to Business market and Business to Customer market The development of internet and increase in small business is the reason behind the intersection of B2B and B2C markets. The flourishing of small business and use of internet as a medium for marketing has made it difficult to differentiate the behavior of the entrepreneur as an individual customer and business owner. For example eBay started out as a small customer but then it emerged as industrial sellers and buyers. Today it is one of the largest retailers in the world. Blurring of Value chain Firms now maintain dynamic network of suppliers. It is a step towards managing strategic partnerships and positioning the organization between the suppliers and customers in the value chain with the object to deliver superior value to customers. Rise in strategic alliances and mergers and acquisitions are blurring the lines between firms. For example, when Apple set up its iTunes music store, it combined a set of recording

companies with content and customers willing to download their tunes. It reflects the blurring of Apples value chain. Blurring of relationship with customers Now a days in many industries, customers share a direct relationship with the company. For example, in travelling industry, travelers book tickets through company website. Companies offer online tools to customers which help them to get necessary information and in the decision making process. Some companies are inviting customers to take part in their R&D process. Peer-to-peer network has gained prominence in many areas. Wikipedia is the most suitable example that has people coming together to develop new product. Customers have started interacting with each other about the performance of the seller and their degree of satisfaction. Blurring of functions within firm The use of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) has helped in establishing a direct connection between retail outlets, inventories with the manufacturing unit. It has led to the blurring of lines between different functions like operations, marketing, sales, IT, finance. Companies like Procter & Gamble and Wal-Mart use EDI which blurs the lines within different functions of the respective firms. Blurring of products, services and customer experience Presently majority of businesses are based upon knowledge networks, thus the focus is on adding value for customers through knowledge. This is a human resource challenge and covers all the management disciplines. Thus marketing cannot be completely separated from other disciplines.

These fundamental changes show that there is need to re-think our mental models concerning business and industrial marketing. With the development in the field of organizational marketing, the need of the hour is breakthrough in thinking. The complex relationship between customers and business can be understood better if we look at it as one discipline. Simple Business-tobusiness relationship does not exist today. Considerations Taken For Developing A New Model Focus on Stakeholders Marketing concepts and approaches need to expand their focus to suppliers, distributors, employees, shareholders, end consumers and others on whom the business decision has an impact. Companies must develop strategies for all stakeholders keeping in mind their corporate social responsibility. Industrial marketing decision should not be taken in isolation.

Recognizing new forms of relationships and empowered consumers Business-to-business relation (B2B), Business-to-customer relation (B2C or C2B) and peer-to-peer relation (P2P) needs to be recognized in order to exploit opportunities for innovation. Since the focus is on relationships, trust and fair play has a crucial role in these transactions. The advent of latest technology has empowered customers and he plays the role of a co-producer. So firms are able to establish a strong relation with them. Re-examine role of outsourcing and traditional make-buy decision Enhancement of low-cost manufacturing in China and emergence of BPOs in India has transformed the nature and scope of business relations. The development of global market and expansion of MNCs has affected industrial marketing. Firms are moving to Hybrid Marketing Systems and are creating value network based on strategic alliances. Bridging disciplinary silos Vertically integrated firms have to operate in both consumer market and industrial market in different parts of the organisation. It limits their learning and coordination. Thus by bridging these silos these firms can have more opportunity to acquire better insights to operate in both the markets. There is also need to reduce gap between the business functions. Importance of Brand Equity Building a strong brand equity pays off in the long run. Brand equity of a firm in a particular market can be beneficial in another market as well. But building brands can be expensive for firms. Firms like IBM, Dell have built strong brands across B2B and B2C markets. Information and Communication technology Companies have access to large databases of clients and prospects and so they are in a position to create data-driven strategies for specific buyers. The web-based platforms have transformed the relationships between buyers and sellers in both consumer and industrial markets. Rise of blogs have changed the flow of communication and made it more informal and intense. Shift from products to services and transaction to total customer experience Firms are focusing on shaping the entire customer experience starting from pre-purchase activity till the post-purchase disposal. In order to have interactive relationships, firms are bundling their offerings. It leads to a stronger and deeper relationship between company, corporate customers and end users. Designing products, service, business models for Developing world

Firms need to adopt new approaches to reach to the population of developing countries. Since 86% of world population are in developing nations, these markets need rethinking business model, produce and service offering, relationships. These emerging markets offer new opportunities but also pose challenges for the firm in forming relationship in a domestic market. Rethinking role of marketing research and modeling In the ever changing and complex business environment firms require more effective marketing research and modeling approach while taking business decisions Thus firms must develop and adopt more effective data mining and other analytics in their Decision Support System (DSS) and marketing research. Tools like simulations, game theory, Analytic network process (ANP) are helping in better decision making. Rethinking metrics and dashboards Dashboards are used as measures to track and evaluate investment in business and industrial marketing. Other than monitoring market effectiveness of the firm towards its clients and prospects, dashboards must also track the key indicators of the clients customers.

Conclusion The writer concludes by taking a clear stand by stating that he is not suggesting to discard the breakthrough and advancement made in business and industrial marketing over the past decades. But he is recommending the need to build on the foundation that has been established. It is time to think of marketing that encompasses both consumer marketing and industrial marketing and the changing nature of relationships. Finally Yoram (Jerry) Wind asks the readers to rethink about the mental model of the entire marketing world.