Organizational buying behavior


I have often been appalled by the ignorance of marketing personnel of their organizational customers. This lack of knowledge has often affected the marketing philosophy of industrial product companies. It is quite common to come across organization who believe that product quality ,technology and low prices can often help- them win the market In a way these organization follow a combination of production , technology and selling orientation and that’s why they fail in a competitive market situation.

Sometime back I was called in by a leading chemical manufacturing firm to help them usher in an era of marketing in the company. One of the case studies in this company6was of the South-based customer who regularly bought one of the acids from them .The company had almost an 80% share in this customer’s purchase In one of the consignments of nitric acid, sent by the company, the customer had a problem The acid when tested in the customer’s lab reacted in an unpredictable manner .

There was a small fire and the customer’s instruments got damaged .The customer wrote to the company’s marketing chief; who in turn promptly brought it to the notice of the Executive Director(ED) , in charge of works. After examining the complaint in the factory ,the ED concluded that there was nothing wrong in the product supplied to the customer. The marketing chief communicated the same to the customer, who refused to accept this explanation and sent another telex message, this time asking for immediate replacements of the consignment .When he did not get a positive response, the customer threatened to sue the firm. It was at this time that the matter went up to the young Managing director (MD) After considering all points , the MD decided to sent out a team which had representative fro quality assurance, marketing, finance and production department The team returned, after satisfying the customer that it was a problem at his end. Though the matter got resolved the customer did not forget it. And when a competitor’s plant manufacturing the same product came in the South, the customer shifted its purchases to this new supplier. The firm lost its leader positioning this customer’s purchases .Looking back at this case, one may conclude that that industrial product suppliers are equally, perhaps more vulnerable to competition as consumers product companies .In an increasingly competitive and liberal market condition, industrial suppliers are realizing that to win the market without competing, they will have to go back to the basic of marketing, namely the CUSTOMER No longer will the price or company image or technological supremacy help them win and retain customers This is the story being heard in L&T, IPCL, Batliboi, Ion Exchange and other engineering , chemical, petrochemical and project firms.