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Segmenting industrial markets by the strength of the supplier-buyer relationship using the transaction cost analysis theory constructs: Supplier investment in transaction-specific assets and environmental uncertainty.

Опубликовано на портале: 25-12-2003
Подтип: Докторские
Тематические разделы: Менеджмент, Маркетинг

Market segmentation, due to its ability to provide market focus and targeting, has been at the core of much market planning and strategy development. The process of segmenting markets recognizes that not all customers have the same needs and desires while, at the same time, there are certain market-specific needs among sub-groups that have commonality. There have been scores of approaches to segment markets, particularly in consumer markets where demographic and psychographic profiles of buying behavior have been extensively developed by researchers. Industrial market segmentation, likewise, has experienced a variety of approaches, but not to the extent that the work has developed in consumer markets. The restraints to industrial market segmentation can be identified as (1) the lack of conclusive proof that market segmentation is useful in an industrial setting, (2) the question as to whether the cost is justified, (3) the difficulty in dealing with the complexity and diversity of industrial requirements and, (4) the problem of obtaining segmentation research results that can readily be applied to a market strategy. This research addresses the issue of measuring the strength of the existing supplier-buyer relationship and using it as a basis for segmenting industrial markets. It proposes that a buying group's perception of the uncertainty in their surroundings and a firm's investment in transaction specific assets, i.e., those investments in equipment and human resources that are dedicated to a specific supplier relationship, predict which segments will likely have a propensity to establish stronger, closer, and longer term relationships. This research attempts to address the question of “Does understanding the extent to which buyers must work through greater or lesser issues of uncertainty and invest in an existing relationship serve as a means for a supplier to identify and predict which customer segments are more likely to switch to a new supplier?” The value of the research is that ultimately a supplier can use group segment profiles based upon these two predictors matched with other demographics to establish priority targets and achieve greater market share.