Service Organization’s Attitudes Toward Marketing: Citigroup Pakistan Report
SERVICE ORGANIZATION’S ATTITUDES TOWARD MARKETING
In recent years, marketing in services industries both for profit and nonprofit has changed considerably. Consumer profits, new laws and court decisions have removed many of the governmental and professional association restrictions on marketing in some services industries. These changes along with increased competitors have a growing awareness of marketing challenges and opportunities in services industries in general.
Services are marketed in same way as goods. There are four services characteristics – Intangibility inseparability, heterogeneity and perishablility – that differentiate services form goods. These distinctive opportunities that lead to strategies and tactics different than those used in the marketing of goods.
Intangibility, because services are intangible, it is impossible for customers to sample-taste, feel, see, hear, or smell – a services before they buy it. Consequently, a company’s promotional program must be explicit about the benefits to be derived from the services rather than emphasizing the services it self.
Services typically cannot be separated from the creator-seller of the service. Moreover, many services are created, dispensed and consumed simultaneously.
A service’s inseparability means that services provide are involved concurrently in the production and the marketing efforts. And customers receive and consume the services at the production.
Consequently, consumer’s opinions regarding a service frequently are formed through contact with the production – marketing personnel and impressions of the physical surroundings.
From the marketing standpoint, inseparability limits distribution. It frequently means that direct sale is the only possible channel of distribution and individual seller’ s services cannot be sold in very many markets. These characteristics are the scale of operation in a services firm.
Services are high perishable because they cannot be stored. The combination of perishability and fluctuating demand poses promotion product – planning, scheduling, and pricing challenges to services executives
Citibank have revolutionized the consumer banking system in Pakistan since it has arrived. It is the Citibank offers more Liberal, Realistic and Customer oriented products than any other public or private financial institutions have even offered.
Citibank has now started working all over the country. Having his Head Office at KARACHI along with Five branches, Citigroup as also started his branches operational in LAHORE, ISLAMABAD and FAISALABAD.
Citibank believes in customer oriented products so they can optimize the customer satisfaction.
Demographic is vital statistics that describe a population. The changing demographic signals in the country influence the Citibank to alter its strategies accordingly, because of the unemployment strategies the potential the people get to avail the Citibank product is changing. Now in the country people establish themselves late, their average marriage age has become higher and also they get the ability to pay back at the last stages of their carriers.
Citibank is aware of how the population is changing with respect to age. Although, in the last 15 years the average age of the population has gone down to 53 years but also they (Citibank ) take into account the deteriorating financial candidates, as peoples got the job after at least 25 years o f age, and they take at 5 to 10 years to settle down, and only then they able to pay back.
Most of the Citibank products for use the Middle aged Married peoples, because these are the people who, in his life cycle, are more eager to avail the Citibank products such as.
- CITIBANK HOME LOANS
- Citibank Own-A-Home
- Citibank Home Power
- Citibank Car Financing
- Citibank Visa Card
- Citibank Master Card
- Citibank Gold Card
Some of the Citibank products like Citibank personal loan and Citibank Home
Loan and Citibank Home Power are the products, which are designed by keeping in even the young married peoples.
It is the factor which is considered as the Policy driver, when the product is been designed. Each of the Citibank products is designed by keeping the different income groups of the Population. Some of the products focuses on the people who have higher level of income; such as Citibank Visa and Citibank Car Financing are the product which causes the higher level of income group of people.
Because Citibank has to price its product realistically in the market and also they want to have the competitive edge if once its competitors both in terms of price and quality.
It is a critical factor to be evaluated when Citibank designs its products. For the last 15 years the inflation rate has always been creeping Citibank Price its product after analyzing the focus income group’s average saving whether they are able to pay back the loan in monthly installments.
Interest rate on borrowing money is quite high in the country. They also take into account the prevailing interest rate on the treasury bills.
Citibank policies are quite liberal, they offer loans and other schemes at least 3% lower than its competitors like ABN-AMRO (16%).
POLITICAL AND LEGAL FORCES:
Govt. monetary and fiscal policies make a significant impression on the Citibank consumer finance products.
Recent reduction in the raporates by govt. has influenced Citibank to alter its interest rates on loans accordingly.
Because of the security and servicing issue the people are not engage to have the loan from public DFI’s.
Banks in Pakistan have been in tremendous political influences since the last 3 deeds so the people who are really honest to invest by borrowing do not have the real opportunity to borrow. That’s why they are coming towards Private banks such as Citibank.
They are providing the better and more efficient services than any other Bank in Pakistan.
- CITIBANK CREDIT CARDS
- CITIBANK VISA
- CITIBANK MASTER
- CITIBANK GOLD
- CITIPHONE BANKING
TARGET MARKET STRATEGY
In targeting the potential market Citibank adopts Multiple Segment Strategy.
In multiple segment strategy market segmentation is accomplished without any change in the Product. But separate distribution channels and promotional are used every segment.
Citibank exactly does that, it strategy covers the Business Men, Professionals and salaried people at the same line with different distribution channels and promotional appeals which will be described in detail later.
Psychographic Segmentation involves examining attributes related to have a person thanks feels and behaves.
Some of life style relates & activities, interest and opinions. Some of the Citibank products like Citibank Credit Cards are instrumental in showing the people life style as they regarded as STATUS Symbol.
Values are a reflection of one need adjusted for the relatives of the World. Citibank Credit Cards not only create an element of self-respect but also enhance the security of money.
In the stiff competition prevailing in the market Citibank tries its product to be most productive in the market for the customer. They place its product lower than the its rivals like ABN-AMRO, and provide better services than HBFC.
Most of the Citibank products are acquired once in a lifetime. So, the benefits which consumer would desire out of the product are clearly defined.
Citibank also emphasizes more on benefits to the consumers. In most of the their ads and promotion campaigns they signified that on the interest rates they offer, easy pay back installments and other flexibility of enhancing the credit limit and extending the pay back periods.
Citibank is offering the financial services in Pakistan. They aimed at the people who are willing to have loans, cars and credit cards in order to finance and service themselves.
CITIBANK OWN – A – HOME
Owning a home is one of the most important ambitions in one’s life. A home where you and your family can be sure of a safe and comfortable future.
In Pakistan unfortunately growing inflation, currency devaluation and rising property prices mean that you not only require a large amount of money to purchase a property, but also that with time, properties will became more and more expensive.
WITH CITIBANK OWN-A-HOME
You can buy the home of your dreams on easy and affordable monthly installments instead of saving money for years while properties become more and more expensive.
The intangibility, high perishability and inability to store services present significant product-planning challenges in services marketing. In terms of product planning a marketer of services must make strategic decision.
The emphasis in product planning is different for services than for goods, packaging in nonexistent in services marketing. However, other features branding and quality management, present greater challenges for services industries.
FEATURES OF CITIBANK OWN-A-HOME
- Flexible Loan Terms – Tailored to Customer Requirements.
- Re – payment period:
From 3–15 years.
- Re – payment period depends upon the amount of loan consumer is willing to borrow.
- Re – payment can be re-scheduled if a customer has some genuine reasons, also a 4 year loan can be extended to re-pay in 5 years, with an extra amount of interest.
- LOAN AMOUNTS.
From Rs. 3 Lacs to Rs. 50 Lacs.
Loan amounts are issued on the basis of the Income groups. In order to have a minimum 3 lac loan the person should have at 25000 or above.
For the salaried class Citibank go by there payrolls ranks, and seniority at the specific job.
- UPTO 60% loan against property value.
Citibank also offers the scheme to the people whose property worth 5 lacs or above, and they want to shift their current property in order to have the non 3 lacs loan.
Citibank shows flexibility to reduce re-payment period on monthly installment through partial pre-payments a (for a nominal fee) according to the size of the loan.
- Flexibility is also shown by the Citibank to fully re pay the loan after a delay of some installments.
- LOW PROCESSING CHARGES :
Citibank Processing charges are as low as 1.5%, while rivals are
Charging up to 5% (ABN – AMRO)
- MARK – UP RATES :
Mark up rates is competitive in the Market. Since they are more
Liberal Bigger fish as far as private banks are concerned they are offering lower mark – up rates than its competitors.
POSITIONING THE PRODUCT:
Positioning ‘OWN-A-HOME’ was a real challenge at the Citibank. OWN-A-HOME was first launched in 1994 but because of the higher prices attached to it and in the different segment it was not successful enough to compete in the market but, again in 1999, it was launched and positioned differently.
They adopt multiple segment strategy and published ads in the Newspapers, and posters at professionals’ doorsteps such as in order to focus on Doctors they published and pasted the posters at hospitals gates etc.
POSITIONING IN RELATION TO COMPETITION.
Now Citibank is positioning its product in relation to its competitors. Specifically the HBFC, they (Citibank) are offering their loans at as competitive polices as HBFC and providing so much better services to consumers which are generally belongs to a higher income group and believe in quality as much as they do in prices.
PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE.
- Since the product is launched again in 1999, it is still in introduction stage characteristics of product life cycle stages:
- Customers are handpicked by the Citibank most of the time, they believe that it is not beneficial to them to run the ads at Television, so they pick the people from industry and from the multinationals employees who are eligible enough according to their set standards and then they to make them aware of owning the product through direct marketing and constant letters etc.
- Sales were indifferent at the beginning as they could be, but after the gouts reduction in repurchase rates, the people are reprocess are becoming encouraging.
Branding is another challenge to Citibank like any other services industry.
Since the product is again in infancy stage the Citibank has not yet develop and bank name which is known to every one Although, they say that.
TURN YOUR DREAMS INTO REALITY
But still very few people knows this slogan, this is the one area where bank should improve.
MANAGEMENT OF SERVICE QUALITY.
Citibank can be proud of giving better quality of services then any other of its competitors. The easy availability of loan, constant reminding of your scheduled dates, not to deviate from the given standards is some of the differential advantages of the Citibank.
Mr. Shehzad Jahangeer the Brand Manager of Own-A-Home signifies that they are cashing the Citibank name to its product as well. Because Citibank is one o the largest private sector Bank and Internationally recognized also, which give people a sense of satisfaction while having this product.
Also, they made on interesting point, that since the present Govt. came into helm. Because of Finance Minister’s Association with Citibank America, the people’s interest has developed quit distinctively in the Citibank products.
TO ACHIEVE A TARGET RETURN:
Since, the product is still in introductory stage, the Price objective is just to achieve a target return, enhance the Brand equity and increasing the awareness among the prospective buyers enough intensive Promotional Efforts. These efforts will direct the Citibank toward the goal of achievement of Target return.
Citibank price its products, like any other consumer finance bank, at cost plus price bases. Citibank price all its products on cost plus price basis. They serve the borrows, form the money the depositors part in the bank and the profits they get out of their investment projects, They also have to pay the interest on the money to the depositor, so they price in a way, so they cover all the depositors and also some service charges over it.
IMPORTANCE OF PRICING
In all services marketing there is a great need for managerial skill in pricing. Because services are perishable, they cannot be stored and demanded for them often fluctuate considerably. Similarly, at Citibank the prices are the factors, which attracts the individual attention.
In Consumer Finance Products Price is most significant as a component of value. Value is the ratio of perceived benefits to price and cost. Citibank price its products in a way that signifies all the benefits and costs of availing the products become unleashed. They clearly define the mark up ratio once the loan, the monthly installments, the pay back period and all the consequences of delay or default or behalf of borrow are clearly define without any hint of misleading.
Designing a distribution system in a services organization involves two tasks. One to select the channels of distribution and the other is to provide physical facilities for the distribution of the services.
CHANNELS OF DISTRIBUTION
The channel for most services is short and quite simple because of the inseparability characteristic. That is a service usually cannot be separated from its producer.
A good location is essential when a service is distributed directly from producer to consumer, especially today because consumers are so convenience – oriented to some extent the limitations imposed by the inseparability factor.
The physical surroundings and the atmosphere in the distribution of a service influence considerably a prospective customer’s perception of that service and its creator look to the service facility itself at the people working there to form of repurchase evaluation.
STRATEGIC USE OF PHYSICAL DISTRIBUTION.
Citibank has the real competitive advantage of our its competitors in terms of Physical distribution facilities. Their services are the differential edge they have or their rivals.
IMPROVE CUSTOMER SERVICES
Citibank always emphasize more on the customer services improvements. They are efficient and responsive to each of the query or problem to every customer. People can get the real time information about their contract / agreement or accounts.
The Citibank provides Balance transfer facility, now you can encash your cheques anywhere in the country.
24 hours Citibank phone banking, it is the most unique (in Pakistan) and efficient step by Citibank, which also ensures the prospective development of accurate and efficient banking in Pakistan.
So, like all the services Industries Bank also have not much of a problem of distribution. Customers come to the bank and finalize either deals and the cash is transferred into their accounts.
One more channel, which has been quite production for Citibank is one agent middleman. Alignment the Citibank’s sales force that agents where are not the regular employees of the bank, sell the Citibank products of same commission charges.
Since these people are not the regular employees of the Citibank they have also been cost effective for them the only drawback of these people is that customers hesitate to rely on these people very quickly.
Another advantage of these on contracts peoples is that the customer who do not feel comfortable to go to Citibank now car be served at their offices, people (customers) also have linguistic problems so these people also can collaborate the terms and conditions even in their our regional languages.
One of the attributes of a free market system is the right to use communication as a took of influence.
Promotion objective is to increase the strength of the promotion is the one fact of marketing mix with which services marketers are most familiar and adept.
Citibank adopts selective promotion campaigns in order to sell its product, and because they sell services the methods they choice are somehow different than the products promotion.
FACTORS INFUENCING THE CITIBANK PROMOTIONAL MIX.
Most of the Citibank products do not focus on the entire market. They emphasize only those people who are able to pay back its loans, and those who lower element of risk involved with.
Most of the Target Market of the Citibank comprises of professionals, like doctors, employees of MNC’s and the people who belong to the income group of above 30 thousand monthly.
AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS.
The Amount of fund available is the ultimate determinant, also at promotional Mix.
Since the savings are low and the profitability on investments is also shrinking, Citibank provides the loans on certain terms and conditions in order to ensure the security of funds. These factors also affect the promotional campaigns of the bank, they can’t go over board in there promotional campaigns, they choose selective measure (elaborate latter) in their promotional campaigns.
CITIBANK PUSH STRATEGY.
Unlike tangible products promotional push strategy, services industry lacks in the distribution channels, because of inseparability of the product into producer.
Citibank has appointed some relationship officers who assists and provide personalized service throughout the processing of the loans.
REDUCE DISTRIBUTION COSTS.
Since Citibank provided services the distribution of funds is directed towards the respective customers the distributor cost is almost negligible (except service charges).
CRATES TIME AND PLACE UTILTIES.
The atmosphere and responsiveness provide by the Citibank definitely create the time and place utility.
Their locations are very well suited to the customers (I.I. Chundrigar Road and Main Share-e-Faisal) and provide customers the time utility, so they can access the bank into their way to offices or back to home.