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For example, apparel manufacturers are the main customers for zippers. Marketing managers must focus their marketing mixes on prospective customers who exhibit characteristics similar to their current customers.North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes— groups of firms in similar lines of business.The number of establishments, sales volumes, and number of employees—broken down by geographic areas—are given for each NAICS code.Many firms find their current customers’ NAICS codes and then look at NAICS- coded lists for similar companies that may need the same goods and services. Other companies look at which NAICS categories are growing or declining to discover new opportunitiesPRODUCERS OF SERVICES—SMALLER AND MORE SPREAD OUTThe United States has almost 6 million service firms—more than 17 times as many as it has manufacturers.But as you might guess given the large number of service firms, most of themare small.They’re also more spread out around the country than manufacturing concerns.
Service operations, in contrast, often have to be close to their customers.Buying may not be as formalNot a purchasing managerPersonal selling is still an important part of promotion, but reach- ing these customers in the first place of- ten requires more advertising. And small service firms may need much more help in buying than a large corporation.Small service customers like Internet buyingSmall service companies that don’t attract much personal attention from salespeople often rely on e-commerce for many of their purchasesPurchases by small customers can add upA well-designed website can be efficient for both customers and suppliers.RETAILERS AND WHOLESALERS BUY FOR THEIR CUSTOMERSMost retail and wholesale buyers see themselves as purchasing agents for their target customersdo not see themselves as sales agents for particular manufacturers. They buy what they think they can profitably sell.Committee buying is impersonalSpace in retail stores is limited, and buyers for retail chains simply are not inter- ested in carrying every productpresentation to Walmart had to include hard data that showed their marketingmix was already working well in other retail stores and evidence of their ability to supply the large quantities a retailer the size of Walmart would need.26Decisions to add or drop lines or change buying policies may be handled by abuy- ing committee.The seller may not get to present her story to the buying committee in person.
This rational, almost cold-blooded, approach certainly reduces the impact of a persuasive salesperson.Buyers watch computer output closelyuse automated control systems that create daily reports showing sales of every product.f a product isn’t moving, the retailer isn’t likely to be impressed by a salesperson’s request for more in-store attention or added shelf space.Reorders are straight rebuys125,000 products. Because they deal with so many prod- ucts, most intermediaries buy their products on a routine, automatic reorder basis— straight rebuys—once they make the initial decision to stock specific items.