4.1 Marketing system
In broad terms, market system is a network which
consists of buyers and sellers. By being part of this network, they interact
and thus are able to exchange information with the ultimate goal to close a
deal. However, expressed like this the
term appears to be more economics oriented. Therefore, Edwin Lee has offered a
slightly modified definition adapted to companies. He explains the marketing
system as the organisation and process a company uses to sell its products or
services. It includes three parties – the marketing and sales organisation of a
business, the customers and one or more external third party organisations. The
latter are also referred to as marketing intermediaries. These firms help the
company to promote, sell and distribute its products to the end user. Common
types of intermediaries are distributors, value-added resellers (VAR), system
integrators, OEMs etc. (Lee 1996).
Depending on the type of the business and the
products, a marketing system operates through one or more sales channels. The channels are seen as a specific kind of
connecting path between a business and its customers. There are a couple
general types of channels i.e. direct where the business sells directly to
consumers and indirect when a third party gets involved. Hence, one can say
that the aforementioned intermediaries are part of the indirect channel which
is also used by Belden.
4.2 Channel management and marketing
As already stated, the channel is the link that
connects the business and the customers. For this purpose, the manufacturer in
the face of Belden and the intermediaries work together to meet the end user’s
needs. Therefore, this cooperation could also be named partnership and the
companies involved – channel partners. In order for this to work though, the channel
has to be carefully managed. This involves the process of development of
marketing techniques as well as sales strategies. By doing this, companies are
able to reach wider customer base which provides more opportunities for growth.
Additionally, channel management deals with the design and development of a
program for channel partners. The primary goal of this is to streamline
communication between the business and the customer which enables sales
When it comes to channel marketing, this function is
responsible for managing each aspect of the partner relationship. This includes
handling communication, sales enablement, ADD!
4.3 Relationship marketing – rephrase the second part of
the sub chapter!
The concept of relationship marketing first appeared
in the fields of industrial marketing and service marketing. It can also be
viewed as a sub-area of market focused management. This is an approach that
encompasses the process of establishing, maintaining and enhancing long-term
associations with customers and other stakeholders (Koiranen 1995). In essence,
relationship marketing determines that it is more effective to invest in
long-term interactions as opposed to relying on series of unrelated one-time
exchanges. According to Grönroos, marketing as a process includes several
parties, the objectives of which have to be met. Indeed, the key assumption is
that all parties will be able to meet their objectives through this partnership.
The way to achieve it is with the help of mutual exchange and fulfilment of
promises. This fact alone supposes that trust is an element of crucial
importance in marketing. Therefore, organisations make sure to manage their
channel partnerships by providing value to all stakeholders. Thus, companies
are able to create competitive advantage.
Furthermore, relationship marketing is quite a generic
concept. The reason is that it integrates many seemingly unrelated aspects of
the marketing concept. Examples of these include customer relationship,
database marketing, sales management, strategic thinking, B2B marketing and
legal relationships. Each of these has the potential to offer valuable benefits
to all members of the partnership. However, in reality implementing
relationship marketing is seen as quite a challenge. This is the reason why.
In practice, buyers form judgements about the value of
marketing offers and then make their buying decision based on these judgements.
Satisfaction with a purchase depends on the products performance relative to
the expectations. Expectations in turn are based on the customers past buying
experiences. Therefore, marketers tend to almost all resources in their
importance to increase customers’ satisfaction. This is where successful and
unsuccessful marketing differ. Although
a customer-centred firm seeks to deliver high customer satisfaction relative to
competitors, it does not focus solely on maximizing customers’ satisfaction. In
addition to customers, the company has many stakeholders including employees,
dealers, suppliers and stockholders. Spending more to increase customer
satisfaction might divert funds from increasing the satisfaction of these other
partners. Hence it should focus on satisfying both