Market Farming is about maintaining a good relationship with a customer. While account selling is about making a one time sale, account management is about creating this relationship.  Over the life time of a relation of a company with its customers Four elemements are of importance:
* Base Business
** Base products and services
* Extended Business
** Cross selling
** Upgrading
* Leveraged Business
** Word of mouth, Referrals
** New knowledge / Open innovation
Personal contact and interactions represent 'moments of truth' for suppliers and customers. When the customers looses and illusions, the supplier may loose its bread and butter. This puts difficulties on doing business in a global context. Global account management must match a diversity of customer requests. Creating the relation is one thing. Keep the relation another. Customer friendlyness is created by good people and good customer processes - there are no shortcuts. Real customer relationsip management is not only about software but about the full customer experience.

A brand cannot become a strong brand without trust. Brand is build based on consistent performance. The objective of relationship marketing is a financial or psychological insurance that a customer neither can nor wants to change supplier. Research has shown that betwen 65 and 85% of customer who switches supplier actually where happy with their current supplier. Marketeers must help teh customer to stay. This can be done by making the psychological cost of change as high as possible. Relationship marketing in an industrial context implies that the supplier facilitates or takes of the customers critical processes: "our best marketing is done by people who did not make it in our office"

Growth markets are in general more interesting than mature markets though this is not necessarily so. With mature markets, increasing efficiency is of paramount importance. A 'shake out' phase can force an incumbent to rapidly cut costs. The sustainability of a cost advantage is usually limited for the following reasons:
# Technology advances create lower cost competitors
# Resources enabling the low costs (personel) may move to the competitor
# The international playground introduces currency risks.
Companies should realize that the value chain is as strong as its weakest link. Another reason to be wary of a 'cheap' / low cost strategy is that the profit of a company is extremely sensitive to its price.
There are alternatives to fight a continuous drop in price; marketeers must learn to sell value, not price. "Quality is remembered a long time after price has been forgotten".

The chapter continues defining [[Rules of engagement]].
Sat, 08 Jan 2011 19:09:29 GMT
Sat, 08 Jan 2011 19:09:29 GMT
M11-S1 - Reading - Marketing Strategy and Organization - Chapter 5 - A Concept of the future