This is why those service providers to other businesses often stress customer results in the core industries they compete in. These customer successes show the depth of expertise in a given area. These success stories make services tangible to customers. Marketing strategies used to support this approach include the widespread use of video and interactive online materials to show the problems solved and results delivered with a service. The greatest proof point any business can have is their customer base explaining how they were able to solve a major problem or issue using the service.
Response to Question #4
The strategy for pricing the GasEnhance device needs to be more focused on how to create a long-term competitive advantage, and less about how to penetrate a market quickly to gain market share. This product needs to be launched with a premium, highly defensible pricing strategy that takes full advantage of how unique, differentiated and valuable the GasEnhance is. The more differentiation and unique value a product delivers, the higher the overall level of price inelasticity it achieves (Choudhary, Ghose, Mukhopadhyay, Rajan, 2005). As the GasEnhance is at a very high level of differentiation at launch (the only one in existence) the pricing strategy can be defined with the objectives of quickly capturing costs of development while also establishing a firm price/value relationship, which is consistent with Kotler's principles of pricing to a given market. With an uncontested market that doesn't have any competitors, the GasEnhance needs to capitalize on its unique first mover advantage, pursue an aggressive pricing strategy to recover both R&D expenses and generate the maximum amount of profit before competitors enter.
Response to Question #5
Wolfe Corporation is relying in a traditional, hierarchical sales model to compete in an industry that is very complex, requires a high level of expertise with the sales team and their support staffs, while also having expert-level knowledge of customers as well. The turnover of 15% annually is being driven by the fact that the sales teams are having to do three or four jobs at the same time. The existing structure, even with the small teams, is still unrealistic for any sales organization to manage. Instead of having their sales team organized with both product and customer expertise in the same roles, there needs to be a break-out of just product experts and pre-sales engineering with their bonuses tied directly to the sales success of the teams they support. The presales engineers also need to completely understand the needs of customers as well, so the sales managers and sales representatives can concentrate on strategies for aligning their complex instrumentation systems to the needs and preferences of customers. This strategy also needs to be supported with much better analytics and scorecards of performance as well, all focused on creating greater shared accountability over accomplishment. By doing this, sales organizations' structure will be much more effective over the long-term.
Response to Question #6
All of these factors inclusive of lot size, waiting and delivery time, spatial convenience, product variety and service backup and many others have a direct effect on the distribution channels chosen and implemented for a business. Lot size will have a major impact on the size and location of distribution centers, as will the spatial convenience of a given distribution outlet. The large-scale retailing centers from Wal-Mart seek to create a competitive advantage by centralizing all products and services in one physical location to save on logistics costs and promote convenience to the customer. The skill sets and expertise of distribution channel partners also are evident in how well they orchestrate all of these factors together as well. Being able to bring a greater degree of product variety and service backup are two different skills that being able to expedite waiting and delivery times for example. All of these factors are often combined into a unified distribution channel strategy that seeks to differentiate on services delivered (Lusch, Brown, 1982). The essence of creating an effective multichannel strategy is also predicated on creating alliances with distributors and dealers who can compensate for the weaknesses of a manufacturer or services provider (Rao, Goldsby, Iyengar, 2009). All five attributes mentioned need to be orchestrated as part of a broader strategic distribution channel plan that seeks to unify the many diverse aspects of selling indirectly, making them all part of a platform for future profitability and growth.
Response to Question #7
Demand chain planning seeks to align every aspect of the supply chain strategy to customer actual and anticipated or forecasted demand. The focus on accuracy and responsiveness is critical as it can completely re-define the overall performance of a firm. Demand chain planning also will typically use advanced supply chain frameworks including Collaborative Planning Forecasting and Replenishment (CPFR) to ensure that there is greater accuracy and execution throughout a company with regard to demand chain planning and execution (Holmstrom, Framling, Kaipia, Saranen, 2002).
Response to Question #8
I would immediately recommend an audit of all activities as it relates to financial reporting and financial statements, followed by a thorough vetting of financial statements. As the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) defined many of the specific strategies for reporting material financial events, I'd recommend the company have a Chief Ethics Officer in place, reporting both the Board of Directors and to the CEO (dual reporting structure) to ensure no potential conflict of interest. Next, I would put into place a comprehensive series of metrics that he Chief Ethics officer would use to evaluate the level of compliance to internal ethical and financial reporting standards. All of these factors would be aligned with the specific audit goals and objectives of the company. I'd also make sure all of these steps were taken even if the company was public, ensuring a high level of ethics despite the financial structure of the firm.
Response to Question #9
The four advertising media for the Robo-Mower would need to be balanced between print and digital or online media. The print media would be in home and gardening magazines that had demographic profiles of high income homeowners who loved to garden yet also faced time pressures in getting more work done around the house. The digital media would include both a website and banner ads on key related sites, and a social media account on Facebook. The three advantages of the Robo-Mover are accuracy of trimming complex yards (which would give it differentiation), fuel efficiency because it only cuts the grass that is high enough to be shown, and cost of ownership over its lifetime relative to other convention lawnmowers. It is cheaper to own over the long-term. The three disadvantages are the programming required to make it work correctly in a sloping, difficult-to-cut yard, the cost of unique blades and rotors, and the need for preventative maintenance on the electronics.
Response to Question #10 The sales being down is a symptom of a much greater problem, and one that needs much more analysis that just the anecdotal observation that enough sales aren't' happening. What's needed is a root cause analysis of where sales are falling off, and why. This focus on actual factors lead to a sales decline will be a much more effective framework for evaluating overall performance. The problem statement also doesn't include any mention of what customers need or want, or what their behavior has been.
Response to Question #11
In marketing a line of computer jump drives to channel members, the dominant strategy would need to concentrate on promoting the potential for channel partners to earn greater profits from selling them. Channel partners and members will be more concerned with how to earn a profit on them than any other aspect. The strategy would be a push-based approach to make the jump drives as attractive financially as possible for the resellers to sell to their customers. A push strategy is predicated on pushing products to resellers or to a customer, and is best used in reseller situations to promote the product. A pull strategy will concentrate on cash and product incentives to pull a product through a channel. Of the two, a pull strategy is much more expensive in that it seeks to generate user demand and literally pull products right through a channel.
Response to Question #12
Pricing a product based on perceived value is vitally important to preserving its financial stability, long-term gross margins and also underscoring its unique position in the market. The key to value-based pricing is concentrating on the perceived replacement or substitute product of a consumer, in addition to concentrating on the perceived value. Companies typically create a value-based pricing strategy based on extensive customer interviews and field research, including pricing studies and programs.
Response to Question #13
I would expect Atlantic at a minimum to provide the following six channel functions to Meyerkord Cable Company. These include sales call support, ongoing marketing planning programs, development of ongoing…