SUPPORTING THE MARKET mmt agri spread networking Account managers from all over the world gather annually in Utrecht for an indepth briefing on a major agri-sector.This sector will be their special marketing focus throughout the coming year and after. But how are these sectors selected and how does the indepth part of the briefing take shape. What's NewS asks the agri research team. 1. Heieen Glaudemans; 2. Rick Leander; 3. Arjo van Potten; 4. Rik Reisinger; 5. Joost Verheijen; 6. Arend Heijbroek; 7. Slovenka Ristic; 8. Henk Rijkse; 9. Willemijn Rijnsburger; 10. Hans Reusch. 'When you walk into a prospect's office, you have to know what you're talking about,' says Hans Reusch, who heads up the 10-person research team based in Utrecht. 'If you want to do something in, say, the compound feed industry, or the fruit sector, then you have to have real knowledge of that business at your finger tips. It was that realization which led to the establishment of our team back in early 1992.' At the time, the idea was to produce what Reusch describes as 'calling cards' in Any office in search of a classy, informative agri-related corporate gift should perhaps take a look at artist Marleen Felius' unique book on over 700 cattle breeds worldwide. She spent years travelling the world to re cord the various types of cattle in words and water-colour images. If you would like more information on the book, which is beauti- fully bound, contact Maarten van den Bergh on +31 (0)30 2162331. the form of sector studies with a dual pur- pose. 'Preparing these studies would ex- pand and improve our own knowledge of a particular sector, but it would also show potential clients we knew a lot about the strategie issues in their business.' AUTHORITATIVE STUDIES Over time, these studies have rapidly de- veloped into a lot more than that. Outside the bank, they are considered authoritat- ive insights into specific sectors. 'One of our foreign branches was actually ap- proached by a company asking to become a cliënt because the CEO had seen our Rice study. That's what I call a result,' Reusch laughs. 'And I think one of the mailt reasons our studies are so well-received is that we've got the guts to make forecasts and suggest future strategies within each and every sector we explore. There's no point in just providing a description and, say, statistical data. You have to really go into the essentials of a sector and, based on your experience, analyze what ongoing trends will mean for the future.' SELECTION INPUT While the bank aims to become a dom inant player in global food and agribus- iness, it also realizes you cannot simply jump into every sector at the same time. Careful preparation is a precondition for successful marketing. 'We start by select- ing eight sectors every year,' Reusch ex- plains. 'The selection is made by a team of general managers from all over the world chaired by Hans Megens, which meets twice a year. Before the meetings, we ask every office for a priority list and from that we choose eight. Then the research team gets down to work. Every year, one spec ific sector is also selected for special focus. This means we launch a major strategie marketing effort into that particular sec tor. Two years ago it was fruit, this year was grain, and next year will be sugar.' CLIENT PARTICIPATION Since 1994, the bank has been reinforcing lts push into the special focus sectors by organizing conferences. These bring to- gether important international companies in the field and the aim is to generate real discussion. 'That works,' says Reusch. 'Clients really appreciate the opportunity to talk - both to each other and to the top speakers we invite from the agri-world. The fact that a bank does something like that sends out a message to the sector. And that message is a positive one.' INDEPTH BRIEFING But conferences are essentially the icing on the cake. Special focus sectors are usuallv areas where the bank wants to improve market share. 'They are not necessarily sec tors where we are already very strong,' Reusch says, 'but where we see a lot of op- portunities. And they have to be worldwide because we want our whole network to participate. When the account managers come to Utrecht for the annual meeting, we give them the special sector study, of course. But they also receive two full days of briefings and an internal study on that particular sector. The internal studies are very detailed and very confidential. What the account managers receive is really a De wereldwijde suikerindustrie is het onderwerp van de jaarlijkse accountma nagers bijeenkomst, die wordt bijgewoond I door functionarissen van de Rabobank uit de hele wereld. Hans Reusch van het Agri- Research Team over hoe deze bijeenkomst tot stand komt.

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blad 'What's news' (EN) | 1995 | | pagina 8