I have chosen to analyze Wiper as by doing so will get the opportunity to start thinking like the Chief Marketing Officer of Wiper. This paper will highlight Wipers Marketing efforts in the past, the current competition/challenges and recommended strategies to overcome the challenges. Past Managing Strategies – Focus on Branding and New Customer Occultation As per the brand tracking survey conducted In 2006 Wiper’s awareness level among the survey population of key non- clients was 35%, whereas the leading Indian competitor, Informs, had an awareness level of 50%.
International competitors such as MM and Accentuate were way ahead tit near perfect awareness levels. It was certain that If Wiper wanted to be recognized among the Top 5 global IT companies, Wiper needed to scale up Its branding efforts and achieve a distinctive positioning. Highlights of Wiper’s Brand Campaign * Branding efforts were focused on grabbing the attention of Coo’s or In other words the organizational decision makers. Since a Coo’s Job required considerable travel, airport lounges, cabs and hotels became the primary channels for the * Wiper organized global academic and industry events to improve campaign. Usability among current and future Coo’s. The Applied Innovation Council comprising of Wiper, Industry experts and thought leaders was launched to analyze Industry trends and work on innovative solutions to address new consumers, markets and business challenges. Wiper Council for Industry Research was set up in partnership with leading business schools such as Harvard, Wharton, LBS and INSTEAD to run Joint thought leadership research studies.
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The focused branding efforts helped Wiper move to a new level as reflected In the Brand Audit by Penn, Schooner and Bernard Associates which showed that Wiper ranked second only to IBM in affordability 1 OFF customer acquisition rates. Wiper currently adds an average of 45 customers every quarter. Current Situation Competitor Strategy Data Consultancy Services and Informs are Wipers main rivals. Tic’s strategy for longer-term growth is to expand its geographic reach, industry coverage and service capabilities.
It also plans to deepen existing client relationships. Informs is moving towards a non-linear growth model, which is the norm among its peers. It has undergone major restructuring, wherein it has consolidated businesses into three distinct service lines to aid its transition from a pure-play technology company to a insulting firm. Apart from the major rivals there are numerous smaller, low cost IT service providers. These providers deliver “Good Enough” services and leverage their low prices as the Unique Selling Proposition.
They are often able to sway away customers from premium service providers such as Wiper. Current Challenges * Low-Cost Competition and Customer Retention Wiper has achieved high brand recognition and a strong customer base however it struggles against low-cost competition. While Wiper has established price floor limits and does not agree to cut prices below these limits , low-cost IT service providers are usually ready to service clients at prices that are 15-20% lower than Wiper prices.
Customers are on the lookout for vendors offering cheaper prices and are willing to shift to low-cost providers if their services are “Good Enough”. Wiper needs to devise a strategy to tackle low cost competition. * Shift from IT-Outsourcing to Business- IT Consulting Wiper has developed high-end business advisory & consulting capabilities, however majority of the customers still perceive Wiper as Just a technology service provider. The Marketing Function needs to advertise Wipers consulting services and transform customer perceptions.
Recommendations for the Future (Next 2 Years) – Wiper needs a dual-pronged strategy – one that both challenges low-cost competitors in the “good-enough” segment, while also letting Wiper compete as a premium player leveraging value and performance leadership. Wiper needs a marketing strategy that achieves following objectives * Develop long-term ties with existing customers, maximize customer satisfaction and achieve “Zero Customer Attrition”.
In comparison to the earlier strategy which was focused on customer acquisition, there should be increased emphasis on customer retention. Wiper should not lose customers to low- Promote Wipers deep Business Advisory and Consulting cost competition. Expertise as its key competitive differentiator from rivals. Proposed Marketing Campaign – “Bring the Friends Closer” Maximize Customer Satisfaction and Service Value -Customer feedback has always reflected the notion that Wiper Teams are excellent at delivering quality software do their businesses better.
With the formation of the Wiper Consulting Services (WAS), Wiper can now provide high value Business Advisory and consulting services as an add-on to the regular technology services and therefore maximize customer satisfaction. The Marketing team will advertise Wipers consulting services and change current perceptions of Wiper as a mere provider of software services. Based on the customer retention requisite existing customers will be allowed discounts on availing consulting services. 2.
Strategic Partnerships – Account Managers/Client Engagement Managers will be incentive to establish strategic alliances with top customers. The Wiper DIMMITT framework that helps define and measure value from IT investments will be used to demonstrate the benefits of a long-term alliance with Wiper. Wiper will fulfill the entire Information Technology needs of the partner. Deep ties will minimize the chances of customer attrition. Partners will be expected to share domain knowledge and industry best practices with Wiper. Wiper will leverage these insights and best practices while servicing other customers. . Top Ten Focus – The Top Ten customers account for 22 percent of the total revenues. These are our priority customers and we can’t afford to lose them. The Wiper Marketing Team will evaluate the customer perceived value by performing detailed customer value analysis of the Top Ten customers. This will reveal Wipers strengths and weaknesses relative to its competition. All functions within Wiper will work together to eliminate exposed weaknesses and build on the strengths leaving no scope for customer defection to competition. 4.
Increase Focus on Client Frontline Teams – Marketing Teams will target frontline client teams. As mentioned earlier Wiper Marketing/Branding campaigns have been mainly targeting C-Suite executives. However from my experiences working at the client side in the US, I have learnt that frontline customer teams that work directly with the Wiper Teams are equally important as their feedback forms an important part of the vendor selection process. As per my recommended approach Wiper will constantly seek feedback from the frontline clients and ensure all feedback is acted upon adequately.
To build deep relations with its clients , Wiper will also organize “Experience India” programs in which clients will be invited to work out of Wiper facilities in India so that they can understand the Wiper culture and meet their offshore(Linda based) Wiper colleagues. The customers will also be offered Holiday packages to tourist destinations in India. Wiper Teams working at the client side will be educated not only on the importance of understanding the voice of the customer UT will also be trained on the basics of client engagement and relationship building. . Institutionalize Customer Defection Management Program -Wiper Teams will perform surveys to extract and investigate the reasons of customer defections. Defected customers will be incentive to participate in these surveys. Special the findings to devise strategies to pursue and win back the lost customers. 6. Standardize the Referral System – Wiper will perform loyalty/influence analysis on its customers. The analysis will result in a list of Wiper customers who are not only ailing to provide good referrals about Wiper but also have strong industry influence.
Wiper teams will pursue these customers to get recommendations that can be shared with prospective customers. 7. Networking -Wiper has a large and highly diversified customer pool of nearly 970 customers. Wiper will organize quarterly business networking events that will facilitate interactions among the customers. This will be a good opportunity for customers to meet senior leaders and possibly make business leads. These networking events will also be a platform for Wiper to provide customers deeper insights into Wipers business values, objectives, strategy and future value offerings.
Conclusion While most Indian IT vendors are still employing transactional/short-term customer engagement models I believe my recommended strategy to position Wiper as a long term – high value player will yield high dividends in the next 2 years. Low-Cost competitors may be able to provide services to the clients at lower prices but will not be able to replicate Wipers high-value consulting/technology service offerings. Therefore these small players will find it extremely difficult to cannibalize Wipers customer base.