This report is basically based on a case study on the success of Roy Hankinson Company. Task 1 covers the factors contributing to the success of the company which are the personnel of the organization, strategic location of the company, mission, vision and values, top management (CEO), strategic business units, superior customer service, KTP program, advanced technology, web presence and corporate culture of the company. Task 2 offers general description over the key features of the relationship marketing in business to business context. In B2B markets, customer satisfaction and retention are the main features around which relationship marketing is built. Task 3 describes that Roy Hankinson company can make use of internet marketing as an effective marketing tool in the years to come. Online marketing and different advanced technologies will take over the marketing scenario in the next 10 years and therefore, the company should plan to use them accordingly. Finally, task 4 describes theoretically that adding value means making a product or service more useful by the customer. This idea has been explained with few real life examples to support the theory.
There are a number of reasons behind the success and profitability of Roy Hankinson Company which play a major role in bringing the company to the competitive edge. It seems the company’s CEO has carefully used all the valuable management and marketing concepts in bringing his company to the desired state which is proving to be very successful. Because of these very reasons, the company has been able to establish five key business units and be the first to win a BS5750 Quality Standards accreditation in 1991 along with many other national awards. The company has developed a high credibility in the market due to which employees and customers are showing increasing interest in working with the company. The factors responsible for the success of the company come from three categories: personal factors, managerial factors, and product, market, and company factors. These factors are as a result of both internal and external environment of the organization. After careful analysis and evaluation of the success story of the company, there are certain factors which play a critical role behind this success. These factors are discussed below:
1. Employees: Employees are the main source considered to be responsible for an organization’s success or failure. If the employees are hard working, qualified, experienced, intelligent, motivated and committed to the organization then nothing can stop the company from reaching the heights of success. An important factor determining the success of Roy Hankinson Company has been its workforce which consists of 250 employees. It is because of these hardworking individuals that the company has been able to achieve such a high turnover. Moreover, the company also offers training opportunities to both men and women which further strengthen their success factors. Employees are properly trained especially young women to refine their talents in painting and decorative services since they are most talented at this art. These training opportunities make the employees productive, motivated and committed towards the organization and thus, they are able to generate better revenues for the company. Therefore, the workforce and personnel of Roy Hankinson Company is considered to be one of the strategic contributors to the success of the company.
2. Strategic Location: This is one of the external factors contributing to the success of the company. Location also determines whether a company is successful or not which means that whether it is easily accessible by the suppliers, business customers and the final consumers. Moreover, successful location is also determined by easy and cheap availability of natural resources like water, energy and fuel etc. In the case of Roy Hankinson Company, the company is also situated at a strategic location where Liverpool lies only one mile away over the water. Both the suppliers and the business customers have easy and cheap means of transportation available to reach the company for dealing with them. In addition to this, all the major natural resources are easily available to the company with abundant supply of water. Thus, the external factor of strategic location also gives external advantage to the company in its success.
3. Mission, Vision and Values: The goals, objectives and values are critical to the success of any organization. These are shown in the mission and vision statement of the organization. The Roy Hankinson Company’s mission, vision, values and responsibilities are openly declared so that people can develop a positive image of the company. The company believes in fair and honest dealing with every single customer which has helped in gaining it a good reputation. Moreover, it values people’s money and believes in the ethics, morality and has several social responsibility programs to show its concern for the betterment of the society. The company places special emphasis to responsibility programs in the fields of health and safety, environmental, quality, people, equality and diversity and the corporate social responsibility. These initiatives taken by the company give it a positive image and continue to determine its success in the future.
4. Top Management: The top management or more specifically the CEO of the organization is a major contributor to the success of the organization. He is the son of the founder of the organization which means that the CEO is personally committed to the success of the company because it is his company. He has a feeling of inner attachment with the company due to his father and considers it very dear to himself therefore, strives to enable the company to stay ahead of competition. It is the beliefs, attitude and commitment of the top management which has made Roy Hankinson a leading successful company of UK.
5. Strategic Business Units: Roy Hankinson Company has five key strategic business units which continue generating good revenue for the success and profitability of the company. These are blasting and protective coatings, commercial painting, specialist decorations and restoration, property services and high performance coatings. These business units or products become a part of the value proposition of the company. The company has been recognized for quality goods and services and has well experience in the field. Therefore, customers all over UK show an inclination towards its products and contribute to its success. Thus, the SBU’s are an important factor in the contribution of success to the company.
6. Superior Customer service: Roy Hankinson Company has established itself as a successful competitor on account of its superior customer service which includes relationship building and after sales service. Value added customer service is important to distinguish a company from those in the same industry and therefore, the excellent customer service of Roy Hankinson has enabled it to differentiate its services allowing it to stay ahead of competition. Customers not only buy a product and service from the company but an experience for which they pay something valuable to acquire something valuable. Superior customer service adds to this valuable experience of the customer due to which they get satisfied and formed a long-lasting relationship with the company. Customer satisfaction and retention are the key to success of a company which is possible through superior customer service.
7. KTP Programme: Roy Hankinson Company has always taken lead in initiating new and innovative programmes for the success of the company. The CEO, Stephen Hankinson, initiated Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the aim of bringing industry experienced academics into companies to evaluate how to create commercially useful knowledge. In this programme, a two-year plan is created and then a highly qualified graduate is appointed to implement the plan under the guidance of the company. Roy Hankinson Company gained a lot of publicity through this programme as it was used as a marketing campaign by the company which rendered it to be successful. It gave a new way to relationship marketing done through systems improvement and academic thinking.
8. Advanced Technology: A key success factor of the company has been its capability to acknowledge the change occurring in the environment due to changes in technology. Roy Hankinson Company has been always on the forefront to incorporate any technological changes which could bring more success and prosperity to the firm. In order to strengthen its relationship marketing approach, the company purchased a customer relationship management software called “Goidmoine”, which allowed it to systemically track, monitor and analyze its customer relationships and profitability. It also enabled management and staff to assess the effectiveness of how they obtained new customers and retained them. This way the company was able to keep a track of the customer needs and cater to them by binding them into a long-lasting relationship.
9. Web Presence: Effective communication is considered to be one of the most important factors responsible for the success of the company. Roy Hankinson Company has always focused on effective communication with the business customers so that their services could be made more satisfying for them. The company has developed a web presence in order to enhance its communication with the business customers as well as suppliers. An effort was made to treat clients as partners and for this website was used as an effective communication and retention tool. The website was made according to interest, relevance and needs of the business customers so that the experience becomes worth it.
10. Corporate Culture: An emphasis has been seen on the traditional values in the company which make up the corporate culture of the company. These cultural values give the company prestige and reputation which makes it valuable in the eyes of the customers. The internal traditional values and business practices of the Roy Hankinson Company have had enough contribution in making it a successful company. The ultimate value of the company includes serving their customers with value added products and services in order to satisfy and retain them. The organization believes is the essence of their corporate culture.
Thus, all these internal and external factors are the actual reasons for the leading success of the company in UK.
Every sort of marketing is concerned about targeting customers to increase the sales and profits of the company. Similarly, relationship marketing also does the same task but places special emphasis and importance on maintaining long-term relationship with the customers and providing them maximum satisfaction. The main purpose of relationship marketing is to bind the customers in a relationship thus, retaining them over a longer period of time. When this relationship is formed with the customers then they show their likeness and loyalty for a company’s brand and eventually the reputation as well as the profits of the company rise. It has always been said that keeping and retaining customers brings more profits to the company instead of attracting the new ones. The two principles around which relationship marketing centers are satisfaction and retention as these are the basis on which a relationship is built with the customers (Kotler and Armstrong 2007). In business to business context, relationship marketing plays an extremely important role. Whereas consumers switch brands and continue to try different ones for a change but the business people often stick to one company’s products for their further manufacturing or production because they rely on their experience and form a relationship with the supplier. Strong relationships with suppliers are important to provide higher quality products and services to customers at a faster rate. In business to business context, relationship marketing is more important as compared to consumer marketing for a number of reasons. Firstly, the business customers in B2B market are smaller in number but larger in potential since a single customer accounts for huge revenue to the supplier therefore, loss of even a single customer would mean loss of a considerable amount of business to the supplier thus, resulting in the loss of revenue. Secondly, business customers require tailored products and services because their needs and desires are specific. Products and services have to be specially designed for them from which they produce the final goods and services for the final consumers. Relationship marketing is supposed to be one of the most valuable tools for B2B marketers in forming long-term relationship with the customers and providing them maximum satisfaction. This discussion sets that there are two important key features of relationship marketing in a business to business market (Kotler and Armstrong 2007). These are:
· The first key feature of relationship marketing is based on the satisfaction of business customers. Satisfaction comes as a result of providing goods and services according to the needs and requirements of the customers tailored specifically according to their demands. Satisfaction comes also by proper communication and setting the right price for the goods and services. Once the business customers are satisfied, they trust the supplier in their future and show their loyalty towards them.
· Secondly, relationship marketing is done to retain the business customers over a longer period of time by forming a long-lasting relationship with them. Retained customers can result in more profits than attracting new customers.
· Business to business markets consist of potential customers who are though small in number but are capable of generating larger amount of revenue for the supplier. It is therefore, important to satisfy and retain every single customer so that they continue making profits for the company.
· B2B customers need tailored products and services because they include them in their further production of final goods and services. Thus, relationship marketing is important in knowing the specific needs and desires of the business customers.
The above discussed key features make relationship marketing important for business to business markets and distinguish them from the consumer markets.
In the next 10 years, the marketing scenario will completely change with every thing being done entirely online. Even today, there has been great development and progress in the concept of internet marketing. In the future, the information and communication will be entirely done through the dynamic world of cyberspace. Customers will be able to design their products on the web space according to their needs and specifications and place an order for it accordingly. The whole world will become digital with people even using artificial intelligence machines for marketing purposes. If we say in one sentence then the future of marketing is the internet. This virtual space would not be governed by rules and regulation and the marketing can be done freely according to the desires of both the company and the customer. Internet marketing is more efficient since it is less costly and will be accessible to every single individual after ten years. The entire shopping can be done with a simple click on the website. This is easier and more profitable for both the parties involved in marketing. Marketing used to be a one-sided activity involving only the supplier but now and in the future, it will become a two-way activity involving both the supplier and the customer. There will be a loop formed between the supplier and the customer through online marketing. The blogs, discussion forums, web pages, search engines etc enable the customer to reveal their desires and preferences to the supplier and the latter designs the products and services accordingly to the customer needs and preferences (Scott, 2008). This is the most important innovation of online marketing. Moreover, there has been a shift in focus and this shift will further increase in the next 10 years. The suppliers will become more customer-focused than being product-focused which they are now. The future of internet marketing is that the websites will become more personalized for the customers and consumers. A trend will be seen of audio newsletters and video advertisements over the internet. There will be use of podcasts, audio blogs and video blogs which will become more personalized than ever. This will all become possible to the latest inventions and innovations in advanced technology. There will be personal software agents who will surf the web instead of the customers and thus, websites will be designed specially for them. Customers will not be merely treated as buyers of goods and services instead they will be given the status of partners in the production process since the goods and services will be based on their preferences. Customer service and relationship marketing will be done through artificial intelligence robots that will cater to the problems and issues facing the customers. These changing and innovative trends will be highly useful for the Roy Hankinson Company since they have to attract new customers and retain them for a long time. Since the company has its aim to be straight and competitive, these future marketing tools and techniques will be highly opportunistic for the company. The company is already involved in doing business electronically and has a website developed for that purpose dedicated to the needs of the customers. For relationship, the company is also using software of CRM. With advancement in technology, more innovative software will be used by the company to track customer needs in order to satisfy and retain them (Scott 2008).
As businesses are becoming more competitive with every one striving to take the edge in the battle, value addition becomes the key to attaining the competitive edge. Value addition basically refers to making something more useful and preferable over others in competition. Organizations and businesses are continuously trying to offer their customers something of superior value to maximize their customer relationships as well as profits. Value-added products are preferred by customers because they offer something of value to them that is the quality and features of the products and services are highly desired by the customers. Sometimes value added goods and services come with a premium which the customers are willing to pay because they are worth purchasing and experiencing. Creating value for customers is considered to be one of the successful business strategies as this satisfies the customers and retains them by binding them into an everlasting relationship. Adding value is important for this satisfaction and retention. The customers always look at the value proposition the brand or the company’s services have for them. They are ready to purchase a product or service if it is offering something of value to them and if it includes additional value then the customers are highly attracted to the product or service (Kotler and Armstrong 2007). Mostly firms have the ultimate objective of adding value and customer satisfaction because this way they are able to make their business profitable and successful. An example of this can be seen in the banking industry where innovative banks are continuously adding new value to the customers by using advanced technology and offering additional services to their customers. They are showing greater interest in innovation, personalization and integration. Proactive and dynamic products are being designed through innovative techniques and being offered to their customers in order to maximize value and customer satisfaction. Through personalization, banks are configuring goods and services to give optimum value to the customers through their comprehensive assets and liabilities. And finally, banks are also integrating with other businesses like insurance and securities business so that they are able to provide a valuable combination of goods and services. Moreover, enterprise, mobile and multimedia technologies are also offering value advantages in designing banking services. Thus, the example of banking industry shows how the concept of ‘adding value’ is being effectively utilized in gaining business. Another example can be seen in the Vodafone’s marketing strategy which is based on providing added value services to the customers in order to satisfy them. They aim to provide value added services and competitive prices in order to gain business and expand into different areas of the world. Value addition is done to specifically target the young people who are very choosy in selecting the mobile phone with the limited budget they have in most cases. Therefore, the company tries to offer quality products and services at competitive prices in order to provide superior value to its customers. Similarly, another example can be taken of Wal-Mart which strives to offer superior value at every stage of the company’s supply chain. This is done through several ways from changing the store design to innovative merchandising techniques. The company tries to save its cost which can be passed on to the consumers in terms of low prices and thus, offering added value to them. All these examples show the importance of adding value in gaining business and satisfying customers in order to retain them for a longer time. The importance of the concept is increasing and today all companies are trying to maximize value offering so that they can become competitive and profitable.
1. Kotler, P and Armstrong, G (2007). Principles of Marketing. 12th ed. Prentice Hall.
2. Scott, D, M (2008). The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing and Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly. Wiley.