Marketing Mix of West Liberty Foods -
December 6th, 2010
West Liberty Foods, L.L.C. is a US meat processing company owned by the Iowa Turkey Growers Cooperative and formed in 1996 by a group of Iowa turkey growers, and now owns four meat processing plants. The company mainly produces products for customers to sell under their own brand names. As of 2006, West liberty Foods was the 12th largest turkey company in the United States.
Each plant, located in the three Iowa towns of West Liberty, Mount Pleasant, and Sigourney as well as Tremonton, Utah, focuses on specific aspects of the meat packing process. The West Liberty plant participates in the entire process by slaughtering animals, further processing meats into products, and packaging finished products, and the Sigourney plant focuses on the further processing step only, and the Mount Pleasant plant only packages finished product.
While West Liberty Foods has experienced growth and received industry recognition since its inception, it initially faced a difficult market for turkeys, and has experienced problems with labor discontent. Employees remain with the company for an average of nine years, with more than 1500 employee
But then of course times, change and the business-to-customer market use of marketing mix should be extended more that this area. In fact, the conventional paradigm of marketing mix has started to lose its hold on the marketing world. In marketing research, the emergence of several extended uses of marketing mix has been substantial. Perhaps, the most well-known of these extended uses is its ability to improve the perception of the public and create greater understanding and communications. Brought about by the emergence of globalization in the business industry, the recognition of most companies on the significance of customer retention, market economies as the popularization of customer relationship economics, such factors had enforced the changes occurring within mainstream marketing mix.
One way of using the marketing mix in generating greater understanding and communications is through the establishment of long lasting customer relationships. For years, there has been a growing interest on the study of customer relationship economics. It has been introduced by (1994) that understanding the concept of market economies means the achievement of understanding the customers rather than focusing on the development of scale economies. One example cited by (1993) was the result of his study at MBNA, a US credit card business, wherein the integration of this extended use of the marketing mix resulted to a 5 percent increase in retention rate, which in turn provided the company a marked 60 percent increase in profit on its fifth year.
Similar results from industrial studies conducted by (1990) were reported as well. Greater understanding and communications eventually results to the establishment of long term relationships. This is an effective use of the marketing mix as its employment enables parties, the company and its customers, to learn how to effectively interact with one another. More importantly, such extended use of marketing mix leads to the reduction of the relationship costs for the customers and the service provider or supplier. Based on the suggestions of (1994), the relationship cost theory is characterized by the quality costs as well as the transaction costs. Applying this theory, when the relationship shared by the company and customers is mutually satisfactory, significant transaction costs can be avoided by the customers. In the same way, suppliers are able to avoid suffering needless quality costs.
Batelco, one of Bahrain’s major telecommunications company, may similarly utilized its marketing mix to generate greater understanding and communications. The focal point of the proposed market mix of the telecommunication company is on the enhancement of its customer and consulting services through the utilization of customer relationship management systems as well as the improvement of its human resource structure. The mix itself being directed to the enhancement of the company’s services to the customers is way of utilizing the mix in generating greater understanding and communications.
The marketing mix of the company is not solely focused on the knowing the needs of the customers, but the company is also extending effort in knowing its customers more through the establishement of a better customer care and consulting services. The company’s marketing mix is not only on directed toward the customers. The restructuring of the HRM system can also be utilized as a provider of greater understanding and communication as its personnel will be more equipped to establish long term relation with their customers.
Utilizing the company’s marketing mix also results to the improvement of its reputation based on the public’s perception. For instance, its efforts of showing the customers their sincerity of serving them better through their customer-oriented marketing mix, generally gives a good impression. The significance of using the marketing mix to improve public perception can be further explained through an actual corporate case.
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