The nature of the marketing structure in today’s world is very different from 10 years ago especially for the company Cisco systems. Technology is a big part of everyone’s life now days, which makes the need and the market for products like the ones Cisco manufactures to be in high demand. Most of what Cisco systems manufactures in not for the average consumer, but the business to business market, although recently they have gotten into the consumer market for home internet tools which has been for the most part successful.
Over the past decade according to the case study in Principles of Marketing “Cisco has pioneered the next generation of networking tools, from cyber security to set top boxes to video conferencing”(1 PG 186). The major buying implication for Cisco is system selling especially with the collaboration and services industry. Cisco offers the complete package for these services, which allows its customers to shop in one place rather than buying from many different suppliers to get to the same end product.
The services product they offer gives them an edge because they are implementing and supporting their own product. Cisco’s reputation in hardware has enabled them to move into other high demand markets with ease, one of which is the area of collaboration and services. With over 63 million employees worldwide, Cisco setup internal collaboration communities to test their collaboration products, which they are now selling to external customers. With the economic downturn, more companies are looking into ways of saving money and collaboration will save companies millions.
Instead of flying a team out to a work site, they can just interact through these collaboration tools. These tools also save companies money by allowing employees to work from home eliminating the need for office space and high price real estate. For the buying process of one of its products like the collaboration tool, let us look at problem recognition, which is the first step in the buying process with someone recognizing their company has a problem with collaboration and they look to Cisco for answers.
During the proposal process, Cisco might put together a team of experts to give a presentation about their product and how the product could be used to solve the company’s issues. If the companies have been involved with Cisco in the past and have buyers confidence in them, some of these steps might be skipped but for an big expense like the collaboration tool they are expected to go through all of the motions. Even though the collaboration tool is different then the home router the buying and selling process is not that much different. The consumer realizes they have an issue and go to the store to find a solution.
The customer service rep explains the options available and the consumer makes a choice, most of the time they go with a company’s product they have used in the past. The relationship between Cisco’s own collaboration culture and the products it sells probably would not work for all customers. The close relationships all their product have with one another contributes to their success. For example, a company like P&G, which would benefit from the Cisco’s collaboration product but probably, would not want to get into the market of trying to compete with Cisco with their own version of the tool.
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