mmt agri spread
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.'
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.'
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.'
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.'
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.