This has resulted in a cost-benefit matrix, covering sizes and types. Capital costs, life expectancy, installation costs, operation and maintenance costs have come to play a significant role in product marketing, customers being knowledgeable and demanding. The new Centac-200 compressors of Ingersoll-Rand (IR) are meant for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) / direct customer applications.
In B2B sales effort for new products, while deciding on the channel(s) of distribution, one needs to analyze the existing marketing operations, demand analysis, and buyer behavior, product segmentation, targeting, positioning, and services marketing. The decision-making process of the potential buyers, their needs and the supplier’s own expectation from the product, are also to be taken into account. At the same time, a supplier like IR has also to sustain the loyalty of the existing distributors, who may feel threatened by the new product impacting their sales, in their own territory.
Air compressors are industrial products with a ‘consumer twist’ in the lowest range. IR marketed the smallest compressors (under 5 hp) through its merchandising manager (MM) who in turn appointed manufacturer’s representatives for sales through well-known retail chain stores.
Rest of the products are marketed through three channels namely, direct sales force, independent distributors, and company-owned ‘air-centers’. Since the independent distributors also handled competitors’ products, IR followed the policy of direct marketing for the higher range and newer products. The rationale for the direct sale of large size or newer model machines is justified by the buyer behavior.