Thursday, April 26, 2012

Marketing 101: Microenvironment - Suppliers

Last week, we examined the Company in the Marketing Microenvironment.  Your relationship with other departments within your business can greatly effect whether or not you are able to successfully get a product to market, communicate the right message, create customer value, and get value from your customer.  Now let's examine Suppliers.

In the Marketing Microenvironment, Suppliers form a critical link in the company's overall customer value delivery system.  Suppliers provide the resources you need to produce the products and services that you are selling.  Supplier's not only supply you with resources, they also can partner with you in the customer value delivery system. 

When it comes to actual physical resource management, Marketing Managers must watch supply availability.  Resource shortages, delays, labor issues, and other unforeseen events can cost sales in the short term, and damage customer satisfaction in the long term.

However the real key to delivering customer value with your suppliers is partnering with them.  Partnering with them allows them to receive value from you other than payment for goods.  For example, have you considered offering to test new products and goods from your supplier?  What are you doing to help your supplier work with you?  What kind of customer service are you providing to them?  Good partnership management results in success for not only you, but for them, and in the end, your customers.

Take the next week and honestly evaluate the state of your supplier relationships.  It might be a good idea to send them an impromptu survey with carefully worded questions that will help you assess how good (or bad) of a job you are doing maintaining your relationships.

Next time we will examine Marketing Intermediaries.


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