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CBS Marketing Strategies

CBS Marketing Strategy

The CBS has decided to focus on marketing as one of the core elements of its activities over the next few years in order to emphasise the fact that the CBS is an organisation that provides services. A separate Marketing and Sales sector has been set up to give form and content to this goal. Marketing should, however, become an important element in all processes within the organisation, and in order to achieve this it is important for marketing activities to take place in the context of close cooperation between marketing staff working at head office, marketing staff working in the field and the staff who generate the statistical products. This principle indicates how the CBS intends to proceed. The marketing strategy for the coming years will be determined in 1996 on the basis of the corporate strategy adopted in 1995 and the experience that the CBS has had with that strategy.

The main principles of marketing in the CBS can be summarised as follows: The central marketing objective of the CBS is to ensure that the range of CBS products and services meets the needs of society and (groups of) clients as closely as possible, in order that a significant rise in the use of CBS information may be achieved.

The marketing strategy employed in order to achieve this objective is derived from the corporate strategy adopted by CBS management at the end of 1995. A strategic marketing plan will be drawn up in this context in the course of 1996. The marketing activities carried out in 1995 and 1996 may serve as an input to this process.

The main aim of this paper is to inform senior CBS staff of what marketing is and how marketing can be carried out within the CBS. Marketing must be carried out in a systematic way and must be visible to groups outside the CBS.

The multi-phase plan included in this paper should be taken as a guideline for more systematic marketing of existing products and new products. The first element to be defined is the target group. Target groups can be classified according to the type of organisation and the type of function of the user. There are four classes of user: intensive, regular and occasional users and dealers. These groups have differing requirements as to the form and content of the products and must be approached in different ways.

Marketing affects all parts of the organisation and all the people working in it. There is a division of responsibility for marketing 3 between the subject-oriented sectors, the I&P (Integration and Presentation) sectors / division staff and PMV, which is determined in the main by the type of product involved (related to a single sector, related to more than one sector, related to the CBS as a whole) and the impact of policy decisions. The PNI division is responsible for coordination throughout the CBS. 1. Introduction Marketing is a philosophy, a mentality. Marketing can be summed up as finding needs and meeting them. It is a market-oriented process of thought and action with regard to products and sales. It means that the fundamental principle guiding a company's policy is to fulfil the wishes and preferences of selected groups of consumers. A customer-oriented attitude is at the heart of the process, and the aim is to build up a lasting relationship with the customer.

The CBS has indicated marketing as one of the core elements of its activities over the next few years in order to emphasise the fact that the CBS is an organisation that provides services. A separate Marketing and Sales sector has been set up to give form and content to this goal. Marketing affects all parts of the organisation and all the people working in it. Everybody must fully comprehend that the purpose of all products are to meet the demand from groups outside the organisation. This is why marketing should not just be the responsibility of a few experts, but should be an important principle that is considered in all processes in the organisation. In order to achieve this it is important for marketing activities to take place in the context of close cooperation between marketing staff working at head office, marketing staff working in the field and the staff who generate the statistical products.

A large number of activities are needed in order to ensure that marketing does become a key part of the organisation's work. The corporate strategy must be established before the medium-term and long-term marketing strategy can be defined. This corporate strategy will give rise to the marketing strategy and related plans of action. CBS management will decide on the corporate strategy for the coming years in the course of 1995.

In anticipation of this process the Marketing and Sales sector worked with the Integration and Presentation sectors to develop the principles laid down in this paper with a view to establishing a strategic marketing plan for the CBS in 1996. The aim of this paper is to inform (senior) CBS staff of what marketing is and how it can be practised. The ultimate aim is for the CBS to carry out marketing activities in a systematic and visible way. Marketing activities should be carried out in such a way that they cause a significant increase in the use of CBS information. This will help to secure the future of the CBS as a central statistical office.

The marketing activities carried out in 1995 and 1996 may serve as an input to the strategic marketing plan that will then be established in the course of 1996.

It should be noted for the record that the word "products" in this paper refers to statistical products such as publications, information etc., that have been or will be produced on the basis of available statistics, and not to the statistics or statistical systems themselves. It should also be noted that guidelines relating to price and distribution policy are contained in separate documents.

2. Key task and vision

The main aim of this paper is to inform senior CBS staff of what marketing is and how marketing can be carried out within the CBS. Marketing must be carried out in a systematic way and must be visible to groups outside the CBS.

The multi-phase plan included in this paper should be taken as a guideline for more systematic marketing of existing products and new products. The first element to be defined is the target group. Target groups can be classified according to the type of organisation and the type of function of the user. There are four classes of user: intensive, regular and occasional users and dealers. These groups have differing requirements as to the form and content of the products and must be approached in different ways.

Marketing affects all parts of the organisation and all the people working in it. There is a division of responsibility for marketing between the subject-oriented sectors, the I&P (Integration and Presentation) sectors / division staff and PMV, which is determined in the main by the type of product involved (related to a single sector, related to more than one sector, related to the CBS as a whole) and the impact of policy decisions. The PNI division is responsible for coordination throughout the CBS. 1. Introduction

Marketing is a philosophy, a mentality. Marketing can be summed up as finding needs and meeting them. It is a market-oriented process of thought and action with regard to products and sales. It means that the fundamental principle guiding a company's policy is to fulfil the wishes and preferences of selected groups of consumers. A customer-oriented attitude is at the heart of the process, and the aim is to build up a
lasting relationship with the customer.

The CBS has indicated marketing as one of the core elements of its activities over the next few years in order to emphasise the fact that the CBS is an organisation that provides services. A separate Marketing and Sales sector has been set up to give form and content to this goal. Marketing affects all parts of the organisation and all the people working in it. Everybody must fully comprehend that the purpose of all products are to meet the demand from groups outside the organisation. This is why marketing should not just be the responsibility of a few experts, but should be an important principle that is considered in all processes in the organisation. In order to achieve this it is important for marketing activities to take place in the context of close cooperation between marketing staff working at head office, marketing staff working in the field and the staff who generate the statistical products.

A large number of activities are needed in order to ensure that marketing does become a key part of the organisation's work. The corporate strategy must be established before the medium-term and long-term marketing strategy can be defined. This corporate strategy will give rise to the marketing strategy and related plans of action. CBS management will decide on the corporate strategy for the coming years in the course of 1995.

3. Market position

The CBS operates in the market for statistical information. The position of the CBS in this market is affected by a large number of groups. On the input side these include investors, reporters, the public authorities, the partners with which it cooperates and its own staff. On the output side there are the channels of distribution and consumers, such as companies, colleges and public bodies. Other influential groups which must be taken into account include other information-providers, interest groups, the media and of course the general public. The market position of the CBS is also affected by economic, technological and legal developments.

On the basis of CBS market research carried out by the Marketing and Sales sector, data collected from clients, other information-providers and data from the client teams it appears that the main opportunities and threats facing the CBS are:

- opportunities a. the information market is a growth market; b. clients are looking for tailor-made advice (consultancy) and are willing to pay for it; c. there seems to be a need for placing CBS data in an international context; d. demand for regional information; e. there is a need for sectoral information; f. technological developments offer the opportunity of carrying out internal processes more efficiently, having better access to clients (distribution) and developing new products; g. cooperation with other information-providers;

- threats a. the information market is a growth market with a low entry threshold; the number of other information-providers may well increase; b. the continuing public spending cuts and the growing power of the EU limit the CBS's scope for policy-making; c. changes in the statistical programme will not take effect rapidly; it takes about five years to develop structural changes to the statistical programme.

4. Internal situation

An analysis of the position of marketing within the CBS must start with a close inspection of the present range. Examination of sales and turnover figures over time shows that the supply of information achieves the largest number of clients. Sales figures for many of the standardised paper products are poor. These publications also cost much more than they earn (see also sales and budget reports for 1994). One of the important functions of our publications has so far been to comply with the obligation to record statistics. Increasing use of electronic data transmission techniques will mean that another solution to this issue must be found.

Analysis of the sales and budget reports, user surveys and the findings of the client teams indicates that the CBS has the following strengths and weaknesses:

- strengths a. the CBS supplies independent, reliable and reasonably coherent information about a wide range of subjects on the basis of scientific methods (strong brand) and this image is seen by the outside world; b. good name recognition. Almost everybody knows the name of CBS; c. only the CBS is capable of producing social, economic, cultural and environmental statistics that can be related to each other; d. continuity of data (series).

- weaknesses a. at the moment there is too much of a one-to-one relationship between statistics and products. If the CBS is to operate in a more client-oriented way, it must be able to generate products that are more closely related to clients' needs; b. the distributor (Sdu) does not contact CBS's target groups well enough; c. the CBS is not well-informed about the consumption and use behaviour of its clients because so far it has not been possible to link the administrative systems; d. inexperienced users have difficulty in accessing the CBS and its products.

5. Definition of problems and objectives

The problems of the CBS in respect of marketing can be summarised as follows: "The CBS operates in a market that is rich in opportunities, but it does not yet fully exploit its opportunities."

The most important failing is the relatively low sales of standard products as a consequence of the failure to adequately meet the needs of the market and the absence of active promotion.

If the CBS wishes to achieve noticeable growth in the external use of its information, its marketing objective must be: "To adjust the CBS range to meet the needs of society and (groups of) clients so that there is a considerable rise in the use of CBS information."

A measuring instrument needs to be developed so that the use of CBS information by target group(s) can be measured on a yearly basis.

6. Multi-phase plan

It is important to have a systematic and clearly recognisable approach in order to achieve the objective defined above. This paragraph describes a multi-phase plan that can be used to carry out marketing activities (especially with regard to product development) which will help to achieve the objective. The multi-phase plan must be seen as a guideline to be used in developing a systematic approach to marketing activities. These product development activities must be announced in advance in the work schedule for that year. The work schedule consists of a summary of all products approved by the DG which are to be produced in the course of that year. If this is not the case, the product must be added once it has been approved by the DG.

- Phase 1. Who is the target group?

Before a product is made or altered it is essential to know for whom it is being made. Market research shows that CBS clients have a variety of needs. It is also true to say that the potential market of users is so large that it is never possible to create one product that will satisfy all these different needs. For this reason we recommend selecting a specific target group for a specific product. It should be noted that less effort is required to contact existing clients than to recruit new clients. Target group classifications that are often used in the information market classify groups according to the position of an organisation in the economy and the position of an individual within an organisation. This gives us the following matrix of level of use.

It should be noted that this matrix gives a rough classification of users by type of use on the basis of user analyses. The general public and politicians are not considered to be a target group for the purposes of marketing. This does not mean that they are not important target groups for the CBS, simply that the actual use of CBS information by that target group does not need to be considered, or can be obtained for specific professional or analysis purposes. The general public is supplied with CBS information through press reports, and CBS senior management have contacts with politicians.

- Phase 2. What are the needs of this target group?

Needs can be identified on the basis of the list of objectives for which the information is to be used (application). Market research is an appropriate method for determining these needs and applications, for example a focus group or a written/telephone inquiry. Desk research, e.g. examining available research reports or the Sales Information System, can also provide a great deal of information about the size, make-up and needs of the target group. It is also important to find out which other information-providers might be competing for the work and to which important umbrella organisations or intermediary bodies the target group belongs. Market research can be used to develop a global product concept.

The product concept need not necessarily be a publication. It may be that the best way to help the target group is to provide a fixed access point in the form of a telephone information line or an account manager, or by organising a course or a discussion on a particular statistic or method. Market research that has already been carried out and feedback from our client teams have enabled us to acquire the following general information about our clients according to the type of use:

a. intensive users have a particular need for large data files for research and further analysis, e.g. micro- and mesofiles; b. regular users need to be supplied with information about their field of work (sector) at regular intervals. They use the information in policymaking, decision-making, analysis, implementation of regulations, for example in journals and standard tables; c. occasional users want to have access to a small amount of information from time to time or as a one-off query. They use the information in decision-making and as background information, for example in information sheets or publications on specific subjects; d. dealers often have specific needs for large amounts of information which they pass on to their supporters.
The CBS has contracts with these organisations.

- Phase 3. What does the CBS have to offer?

Once the global product concept has been established we can look at the statistical information that the CBS has available. A global product idea is determined and an accessible target group is identified. It may be necessary to break down barriers between sectors or divisions at this stage, and then it is essential to bring all the sectors involved together in order to decide whether there is any interest in developing this product together.

- Phase 4. Who is involved?

It is very important to select a project group made up of the sectors affected (or the sectors that are likely to be affected) before active development begins. The project group should contain statisticians, marketing specialists and communications experts. The task of the project group is to design a project proposal, draw up a cost-benefit analysis (estimate) and a plan for the product to be developed, and subsequently to implement the plan.

- Phase 5. Do the work in-house or contract it out?

The purpose of distribution is to supply the right product to the right place at the right time. When other distributors are used it is essential to establish what added value the distributor can contribute in terms of the CBS's marketing targets. The product must clearly indicate that the CBS is the information provider. No exclusive relationship is established and the product of cooperation is laid down in a contract. A separate document is drafted dealing with distribution policy. It is important that when work is contracted out the publisher should be involved in the product development as early as possible so that their knowledge of the target group can be taken into consideration.

- Phase 6. Collecting and incorporating material

In order to ensure that the product meets the wishes of the target group, material should be regularly collected from various sections of the CBS and where possible from other statistical offices such as Eurostat or the OECD. The material collected should be presented in such a way that it can be compared, and the data used in the product must be fully integrated. Then a price for the concept must be fixed on the basis of estimates.

- Phase 7. Product testing

Before the product is actually produced it should be tested on a small part of the target group. The product can then be adjusted to take account of the results of the test. Price sensitivity can also be measured as part of the test.

- Phase 8. Price fixing

The aim of price fixing is to fix a (minimum) threshold price for users without restricting its use. CBS information provides benefits to the general public. In practice this means that the marginal costs of publication must be covered. Price policy is covered in a separate document.

- Phase 9. Production

This is the (re)production phase when the product is created in a predetermined print run (internal/external). There are rules on the style of CBS products and there is a corporate colophon.

- Phase 10. How do I reach the target group?

The aim of communication is to increase name recognition and product awareness and thereby to increase sales and use. From the marketing perspective different methods of communication are used for different target groups. For example:

a. Intensive users should have a high level of personal contact with the CBS. A kind of data-users group should be formed from this group to exchange experiences at seminars or meetings on specific subjects which should be held on a regular basis; b. Regular users should also have a high level of contact with the CBS, either in person or by telephone. The CBS can actively target this group by means of direct marketing such as mailshots. The CBS can organise courses or meetings on specific subjects for this target group, with the aim of promoting use of its products and explaining possible applications; c. Occasional users should normally have contacts with the CBS via the information officers. The CBS can also actively target this group via the mass media (radio, TV and newspapers), advertisements or free publicity; d. Particular attention should be paid to dealers since the CBS has legal contracts with them. The CBS can use personal contacts through account managers and other groups to decide whether closer cooperation with some dealers would be beneficial.

- Phase 11. Sale

Before the product is sold it must be incorporated into the product range and the sales department must be given product information so that it can in turn provide information to clients.

- Phase 12. Evaluation

A few weeks after the market launch the sales and production figures are checked and compared with the estimates. Users can be contacted to find out their reaction to the product. In the light of these results the product can be improved and the multi-phase plan can start again. This shows that marketing is a continuous process.

7. Internal organisation

The three groups which should be actively involved in the practice of marketing within the CBS are the Integration and Presentation sectors, the subject-related sectors and the Marketing and Sales sector. A distinction can be drawn between different types of products: - sector-related products: in the field of a particular subject-related sector - multi-sectoral products: in the field of the division and broader than the area of a particular subject-related sector - multi-divisional products: in the field of the CBS or of more than one division and with a contribution from the area of the division.

Using those terms and that classification it is possible to assign responsibility for the marketing function in the following way:

The Marketing and Sales sector: - is responsible for marketing policy, marketing research and carrying out marketing in respect of products that are produced by the CBS as a whole and products that are produced by the Presentation and Integration division; - coordinates pan-CBS marketing activities; - formulates guidelines with regard to the CBS's marketing policy; - provides support and advice with regard to projects that have already been planned, with regard to:

- marketing research and carrying out marketing for:
-- multi-sectoral products
-- products produced jointly by several divisions
- developing a marketing policy at division level; - builds up a base of information with regard to the CBS market and marketing (research); - provides support and advice to the I&P sectors of the divisions.

The Integration and Presentation sectors / division staff: - are responsible for marketing policy, marketing research and carrying out marketing and coordination in respect of multi-sectoral products within the division; - coordinate divisional marketing activities; - are jointly responsible together with other divisions for marketing policy, marketing research and carrying out marketing in respect of products produced jointly by the divisions in question; - formulate a general marketing policy for the division; - provide support and advice to the subject-related sectors in respect of:
- marketing research and carrying out marketing in respect of sector-related products
- developing a sectoral marketing plan.

The subject-related sectors: - are responsible for formulating and implementing a marketing plan for their sector; - are responsible for marketing research and carrying out marketing in respect of sector-
related products.

This description of the position of the marketing function shows that the Integration and Presentation sectors, the Marketing and Sales sector and the subject-related sectors all have their own responsibility in respect of marketing. Internal coordination is vital if the CBS is to operate in an efficient and customer-friendly manner and achieve an increase in the use of CBS information. In order to avoid CBS clients having problems with the organisational structure of the CBS, intensive internal coordination and evaluation is needed in the following areas among others: a. mailshots; b. client visits; c. product development; d. market research.

The PNI division must act as a coordinator in this context. It should for example ensure that the various departments responsible keep each other informed so that an efficient and appropriate division or combination of tasks can be agreed. It is the responsibility of the division or sector concerned to ensure that what has been decided through coordination is actually carried out.

8. Marketing projects

It is important that the CBS should launch concrete marketing projects in order to achieve a significant rise in the use of CBS information. This paragraph contains a brief description of a number of current or planned projects for each division which can be used as examples of marketing projects. The criteria for marketing projects are: - the project is (should be) initiated on the basis of signals from the market; - the project must be aimed at one specific target group; - the end product of the project must be determined in the light of the target group's requirements; - the target group must be large enough to guarantee successful sales; - marketing specialists (I&P or PMV) must be involved in the project so as to prevent any overlap with other projects; - the project must make a contribution to achieving the marketing objective; - the multi-phase plan must be used in the project plan.

Examples of marketing projects include:

- Division 1 CERES (Centre for Economic Research of Survey Data): this is an RSM/LIP joint venture aimed at developing microdata accessible to external research scientists. The data is held on CBS premises and can be consulted there by scientists who sign a contract with CBS and pay a fee.

- Division 2 .The HVV market access project: the purpose of this project is to create an inventory of the needs of large companies and umbrella organisations in the traffic and transport sector by means of personal visits. The Rabobank project: a publication containing sectoral information is published once a year for the benefit of Rabobank customers. Rabobank used to use EIM data [EIM = Economic Institute for SMEs] for this publication (and often CBS data as well). The CBS now has a direct contract with Rabobank, and the two parties are currently considering setting up a sectoral database.

- Division 3 . Provision of information: an evaluation of the activities undertaken by various sectors of KSL in the field of the organisation and registration of information provision. Around the middle of this year the division intends to submit proposals whereby as from 1996 registration can be carried out in a uniform way and the organisation of the data can be coordinated. Local authority information: division 3 has been working with division 5 on the development of a package of statistical information for individual local authorities. The target group for this package are the policymakers in the local authorities. KSL marketing plan: a phased and systematic approach to marketing, comprising a large number of projects including a great deal of market
research.

- Division 4. Job market day: a job market day is being set up for intensive and regular users of employment data. . Business Process Redesign Information: Work is being done on redesigning the information process so that customers can be helped as rapidly as possible. Account managers for employment and education: The division has appointed account managers to maintain the relationship between the division and the ministries for employment and education.

- Division 5. Electronic products: The division is creating a CD-ROM containing CBS information which can be used by people visiting libraries. StatLine is being developed for intensive and regular users of CBS information. . Education: Division 5 has been working with five publishers and the Pedagogical Study Centre to develop a geographical data diskette for students in higher education. The diskette is an integral part of the method. Division 5 is currently discussing other promising educational projects with Wolters Kluwer. . Start-up pack: The division has been working with Chambers of Commerce to develop a start-up pack for people who are just starting their own business. The product has sold well, and consideration is being given to the possibility of developing similar packs for other target groups.

- Division 6 Feedback to reporters: Reporters often seem to be potential users of CBS information. In order to reduce the perception that too much is being demanded of reporters, division 6 has launched a project whereby feedback can be provided to reporters in the field of international trade by encouraging them to use modems to submit their reports.


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