This Marketing Assessment
This Marketing Assessment
In this customer-oriented world of today, one must understand the fact that if quality for a particular product or service is to be maintained, it has to be through a multitude of dimensions. Most of us think of this quality from the supplier's end but it is a fact that productivity and profits also count to a large extent in sustaining quality. The case teaches us that service counts upon a network of relationships where marketing contributors to major degree come under the C2C form. The case of a freezer which needs to be replaced after serving for a period of 10 year extra shows that even in the simplest of cases, a whole network can be involved to prove best for the customers. (Straker, 2010)
KEY LEARNING POINTS
The key learning points of the case have been mentioned as follows:
The foremost importance in this context lies with the fact that service can't be pillared upon single shoulders. The reason for the same is that after it is supplied, there a number of people and processes who are involved in sustaining this quality. Another significant fact here is that many-to-many marketing have a major role to play in providing impeccable quality. The era of linear thinking does not exist any longer. It has to be through components throughout the network that are required from time to time. The part of the supply chain, today are not just the suppliers and the customers. They also include others amongst who the suppliers and customers are embedded. Other than the well-known, B2B and B2C marketing and vice-versa, C2C marketing which involves only customers has become of prime importance these days. Now, customers have a more major role to play in sustaining service. The gap between the suppliers and the customer has at least been partly erased if not totally. Considering the times to come, this would hardly stay. This shows the involvement that quality service requires.
III. CRITICAL ANALYSIS
This case study is one of those examples which explain the fact in the smalle3st of the activities that are involved in our daily lives, the question of service becomes very important. This can be seen from the illustration where a freezer which was 25 years old, had to be replaced. There is no complaining about the supplier of the freezer in this respect. It was supposed to last for only 15 years. But the network attached to service was discovered only after the requirement of a new freezer was seen. The theory pertaining to quality, productivity and profitability suggests that one needs to maintain an optimized relationship between the three pillars for the service to be successful. There is a network which has been shown to prove the fact. It has been mentioned that the attributes of a wide degree of productivity lies in bringing the costs down as compared to the competitors. However, the other dimensions of service (quality and profitability) have not been compared here. But one must understand that as per as this current case, along with the cost, it is the reputation or the public image that matters as well. One can live on a customer focus strategy as given by Porter, but without an integration of good image this can't happen. Good image is a part of quality and the cost of production is a part of productivity. Once one can have integration, it would mean that profits for the suppliers automatically go up. (Gibson, 2006)
Another thing here is the C2C relationship that has been shown here. When the 25 year old veteran got too old to be used, this had to be replaced. So, the owners thought of keeping the contents of the freezer at the neighbor's place. It was supposed to be for a very short period first-up but then went to increase by a couple of weeks as the processing got delayed. The freezer's contents could never have been safe if the customer to customer marketing was weak. This shows that times have changed now. If this can happen to the products of a company as reputed as Electrolux, there are many prone to the same.
While the retailer, transport company and the owner stayed in a triangle as per as the dependencies for service to the owner, the other dimensions that increased the networking were the neighbors. It is a concept of many-to-many marketing. This is because even the neighbors had their respective networks that maintained the contents of the freezer before being replaced. What has happened here is that with the concept of many-to-many marketing, the company got promoted as well. It was known that the owners were looking forward to have an Electrolux freezer and the news spread throughout networks as much as the number of neighbors of the owners.
The case study also gives a very significant learning about the relationship between CRM and CSR. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It makes a company realize the importance of maintaining the relationship with the customers. One very important aspect of Customer Relationship Management is Customer Social Responsibility. This tells us that the marketer, not matter of how big potential he might be, needs to follow a procedure such that it suits best for the society. This is what CSR teaches. Now, if one considers this theory, who have been the learners? The customers have certainly been on the learning side. The reason for the same is that in course of arranging for the new freezer, they did understand the necessities of a proper CSR which could have made the arrangements easier and faster as well. This required the owners to be more positive about the society. But things didn't happen this way. In fact the owners of Electrolux learnt nothing out of this small replacement of the freezer. In spite of this, they were also beneficiaries of the many-to-many marketing concept. In order to make potential companies like Electrolux realize these deficiencies, it would be better if more number of case studies in this respect are done and for the victims, it would be better that they make the company realize of such things themselves. (What is CSR?, 2010)
As far as this case is concerned, the deficiencies in CRM that can be seen with respect to Electrolux and the customers can be seen as follows:
The company has been slow in its services as it had taken it more than four weeks to deliver the freezer. In the meanwhile, the consumer had a very tough time in finding a way out. So, as per as the theory of CRM in relation with CSR is concerned, it would be a wiser deal for the company to make this provision earlier. Or else there are others as well who get to know of the delay and would develop perspectives accordingly.
The company has also been seen to make false promises which were most obviously of an optimistic nature. This is again very annoying from the customer's perspective. So, this also shows the importance of the fact that service is about an integration of quality, productivity and profitability. This could easily be extremely fatal for the company in the long-run.
The theory of marketing also talks of the value proposition concept. This can be realized only once a product malfunctions or it starts to work for the first time. Both conditions have been negative with respect to Electrolux. The reason is that the malfunctioning time has been seen to be very large.
Another important aspect that is important for the marketing of a product or a service is to take care of the simplest and the silliest of the facility that can be put to purpose. Here, there was no sign for the consumer to come to know that the freezer had started to malfunction. Had this feature been included along with faster service, Electrolux would have a better value proposition and a name not only for the consumer but also for the network that was involved in the many-to-many marketing in course of the delay.
There is a lot of learning that is involved in the current case study. The foremost of this is the fact that quality is not dependent on a single facto. There are pillars like productivity, profits, networking, relationships and also contributions from these networks that do matter in the quality of a product or a service. It can be applied once again to Al Futtaim Electronics. The company deals mainly with the trading of the white products like freezers, AC's and refrigerators. If the company can understand the concept of quality as a service-dominant logic, it would be of great significance for the company as well as for the numerous customers that it has. At the moment, the company is a self-oriented company. In today's world, one requires to be a customer-oriented person. There are many aspects that need to be seen here. They would also sort out the deficiencies that were seen in Electrolux. They have been mentioned as follows:
The foremost of these is that if the company can understand the concept of many-to-many marketing, it would be beneficial for them. The company is used to the process of B2B and B2Cmarketing but it has not seen the C2C marketing. As UAE is a place where there is more competition than most others in the world today, the company can certainly promote its services by improving its quality such that the customers themselves can be used for marketing. ( Customer 2 customer (C2C), 2007)
Secondly, the company must understand it is not just the suppliers who are responsible for the quality of the product. There are many other dimensions attached to it as well. They have to maintain productivity and an optimized profitability at their level as well.
Only after this happens, the organization can have better prospects.Islam says that the basic aim of a business even before making profits is the responsibility for the society. The organization is therefore recommended that post-buying customer service needs to be extremely beneficial to make a name above the competitors. This includes the inclusion of CSR in the business. The company should be able to provide consistent services so that the tenure of the products is increased hence helping the company in achieving its mission and vision.
The company is also recommended to understand the value chain of its customers better. This would help it to understand the importance of productivity and profits along with maintaining quality in providing its services. There are three concepts that are used in maintain a good position in the market. They are quality, customer satisfaction and value. Al Futtaim Electronics should understand that they have to be used together. One can't afford to have any one of them individually. The organization must understand that competition of any shape and size is likely to be fatal. It would all start with small steps and if the company lacks in understanding this concept, it would lose to competitors. Even if All Futtaim has tried on similar integration in initial days without being successful, the company managers should change their minds and take it as learning and think in other directions but with a similar motive. One the company is able to sustain its quality on this basis, even its customers would become more loyal as they would have the reason to conduct many-to-many marketing.
Straker, David (2010). Three Pillars of Quality, Retrieved on 7th Feb, 2010 from http://syque.com/articles/three_pillars/three_pillars_1.htm Gibson, Dirk (2006). The Importance of Reputation and the Role of Public Relation, Retrieved on 7th Feb, 2010 from http://www.britannica.com/bps/additionalcontent/18/24990948/The-Importance-of-Reputation-and-the-Role-of-Public-Relations# What is CSR? (2010), Retrieved on 7th Feb, 2010 from http://www.csrnetwork.com/csr.asp Customer 2 customer (C2C) (2010), Retrieved on 7th Feb, 2010 from http://www.123eng.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12808
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