Challenges with Successful Marketing : A study to identify challenges and opportunities with introducing services of value-added-sales to customers within the prevailing steel manufacturing industry

University essay from KTH/Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM)

Abstract: Marketing is an essential part of the overall organization when it comes to introducing a company’s new offerings to the market. Therefore, customers need to be informed and aware of the company’s entire portfolio to be able to make correct decisions that benefit them. From a company’s perspective, an extended portfolio provides opportunities to explore new markets and improve the scope of its operations. The growing demand of additional services enables development of a more service-oriented business with value-added-sales for the industry. Consequently, the importance of finding an appropriate marketing strategy that promotes communication and long-term relationships with customers is relevant. Value-added-sales may be introduced to a greater extent, in order to maintain competitiveness among others. The purpose of this study is to contribute to an increased understanding of how marketing affects steelmaking companies to provide and inform customers with value-added-sales. Opportunities and challenges have been identified from employees’ point of view concerning the process of introducing value-added-sales, to later mitigate them with support factors to promote favorable marketing. To fulfill the research purpose, a case company was used, which is an official global steel company that traditionally provides product-based services based in Sweden, however, now focusing on extending their portfolio with value-added-sales, e.g. with supplementary services. The thesis has a qualitative approach by including internal interviews with the case company’s employees, as well as employees from an additional company that has a strong connection to the case company. Furthermore, a literature study was conducted to analyze existing theories in the research field to obtain suitable results. The results have emphasized the importance of education and training as well as decent relationship with the customers. The main findings contributed to factors concerning challenges with providing value-added-sales, which aimed to be mitigated: Cost-focused customers, Time-consuming, Internal knowledge, Outperform the customers, Internal support, and Sales focus. Accordingly, appropriate support factors were proposed to promote marketing of selling value-added-services.

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