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Agilent Technologies Marketing Management

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Marketing Management | Term 01

CASE STUDY ANALYSIS ON

AGILENT TECHNOLOGIES

Submitted by

Sonika Krishnan

Sourrendere M

Sridharshini T

Sritama Ghosh

Srivatsav S

Steven Sam

Agilent Technologies - Case Summary

In 1939, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, started Hewlett-Packard to provide test and measurement equipment. Later on, HP diversified into printers, imaging equipment, computers and servers. Different business models prompted HP to split into two separate, independent companies. The consumer/computer business retained the name of HP and the original company, now called Agilent Technologies. The businesses of Agilent Technologies are the test and measurement, semiconductor products, health-care solutions and chemical analysis businesses.

Agilent competes in and is a market leader in high-tech business to business sector. Agilent operates in 40 countries and serves customers across 120 countries. Agilent's provide new technology, solutions and services to customers in the communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis industries.

To meet the needs of the diverse customers, the business was divided into four groups by Agilent Technologies. The four groups are Test and Measurement, Automated Test Group, Semiconductor Products Group and Life Science and Chemical Analysis. These businesses are supported by Agilent's Research Laboratories. The mission of these business groups is to meet the changing needs of customers and create new opportunities.

The Test and Measurement group has two segments:

Electronic Products and Solutions Group (EPSG) provides services, systems and solutions to electronics and wireless communication industries.

Communications Supply Group (CSG) provides solutions to communication industry.

The market share varied by segment but could range from 35 to 70 percent of the market. Agilent aimed to rely on new products to drive orders and gain large share in existing markets. Test and Measurement group was global market leader in different product categories.

The strategy for growth was fivefold:

1. To identify customers' business and technology needs, then leverage across the value chain,

2. To introduce emerging test technologies to accelerate customer progress,

3. To satisfy customers through operational excellence,

4. To focus on leading-edge customers,

5. To build new capability in solutions, systems and services.

During the interim between 1990's and 2000, the emergency of internet changed the way marketing and communication activities were done. Agilent was at the forefront in implementing new technologies because of tighter economy, competitive environment and more technology driven approach. It was followed up with a tracking study to ensure that whether customers were satisfied with Agilent's technology driven approach.

Due to economic slowdown in 2000-2003, the Agilent's customers were under pressure to reduce their operating cost. Being a capital equipment provider and an expenditure driven company, the delay in purchase changed the "perception of money" under tough market climate.

Despite market slowdown, customer wanted to know that the company was going to be around as a supplier for the long term and could be trusted to provide an after-sale partnership. Hence Agilent continue to invest in marketing and did not make changes to its advertising budgets as it may have an impact on the customer's perception of long term viability.

After the split, brand tracking studies revealed that Agilent's customers had a fierce loyalty to the HP brand. The primary conjecture for the higher awareness numbers for the HP brand was that these customers had spent many years building trust with the HP name and what it stood for. This was particularly true for Agilent's "heritage HP businesses", ESPG and ATG.

Trust and value were two key attributes that Agilent was using for tracking customer satisfaction and loyalty across its customer base. Agilent felt that reliability, reputation and price also featured significantly in forming customer perceptions. Their assumptions are supported by studies that found that customers base their purchasing decisions on perceived value, rather than on levels of satisfaction. So "better brand name, better selling."

Agilent's knowledge base offered them a competitive edge by delivering expertise, ability and credibility to all touch points with customers. The knowledge related to the ability of Agilent's sales and customer service personnel to understand its customers' needs and provide them with advanced technical solutions to meet those specific needs. Knowledge also related to the ability to provide information, education, service and solutions about the latest technology to their customers. These activities helped shape Agilent customers' attitudes and perceptions toward the brand.

Agilent runs ongoing semi-annual awareness and preference studies in which EPSG customers participate. Questions included in these studies cover products, price, quality, service, documentation, delivery and so on. Some of the attributes that are tracked are reputation, reliability, leadership and commitment to customers.

Agilent also conducted focused studies among a smaller segment of its customers such as Agilent customer satisfaction (ACS) by their e-Business team and unique customer satisfaction surveys. Ratings were on a zero to 10 scale with 10 being the highest. The studies showed More than half the visitors rated the Web site between 8 and 10. Nearly one third of the respondents suggested that overall satisfaction could be further

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