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May 14, 2002 | 1235 IST
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Marketing skills to set fortunes of oil firms

BS Energy Editor

The fortunes of oil firms in the post-administered pricing mechanism era would be determined by their marketing skills rather than their refining skills, because one would be able to buy products from anywhere and sell them at a profit, provided one had a strong retail and institutional network, said the first downstream petroleum retail marketing conference organised by the Indian School of Petroleum.

With the changing marketing scene, the customer end of the supply chain would become "friction free", and customers would move from one company to another easily.

The relationship of oil companies with their reseller network may have to be redefined. While a marketing company may continue maintaining the supply line and ensuring that the required product is made available with the dealer, the responsibility for customer satisfaction will rest with the dealer.

However, the dealer cannot work in isolation, and the motivation and training has to be provided by the oil company. The first step towards achieving a truly motivated dealer network is to work for aligning the company's vision and goal with that of the dealer.

To ensure that the dealers change their strategies, companies have to constantly upgrade their marketing skills to meet the ever-growing demands of the consumer, the conference suggested.

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