Original Date: 02/03/1997
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Marketing for Standards Development
In 1996, The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) added a marketing function within its Standards Development and Research Division. This capability represents a fundamental change in the approach and focus of the division. Previously, the division developed and updated standards in response to requirements. Now, SAE uses marketing as a proactive strategy for meeting customers’ needs and enhancing SAE's business growth. Marketing is viewed not just as a promotion tool, but also as an active participant in all phases of standards development, from concept through application by the end user. SAE’s marketing plan objectives include meeting users’ needs in industry and government; increasing internal and external involvement with the standards process; and developing business opportunities and products for the division.
SAE wants to ensure that companies are fully participating in and supporting the development process, in addition to understanding the value of the SAE products and services received. Quantitative measurements used to track performance include the number of standards and papers published; the number of standards harmonized with international standards; and the number of international committee members. SAE uses marketing tools to target specific growth opportunities. These include new and emerging technologies for current markets and new markets in areas such as next generation vehicles, cooperative research, intelligent transport systems, and conformity assessment.
SAE targets two levels of customers through its marketing approach. The primary target aims at upper management personnel of those companies that use SAE standards. The secondary target focuses on technical personnel who apply SAE standards in the work place. Through extensive market research, SAE ensures that customers’ needs are being met which results in satisfied and loyal advocates. From its marketing research studies, SAE determined it needed to interface more effectively with top management; become more proactive in international standards development; focus on the development of relevant standards supported by underlying business rationale; and elevate the overall perception and value of standards. To address these needs, marketing is now creating a new image for the Standards Development and Research Division which crosses all markets, addresses different levels of management, and defines SAE as a global leader and catalyst in standards development. SAE selected the gyroscope to symbolize its new image as a dynamic representation of first-class quality and leadership. The symbol will be featured prominently on divisional marketing materials.
The marketing plan also calls for effective use of communication and promotional tools. SAE has designed promotional tools for specific targets and purposes such as showing the benefits of corporate participation, increasing technical participation, and reaching out to all target populations. In addition, an interactive CD-ROM, multi-media presentation is being released to champion the benefits of corporate participation, underscoring the profit-driven value of standardization. The division's newsletter has been upgraded and strongly promoted as an important communication tool. SAE has been communicating its marketing message by using a varied media mix of publications, conferences, meetings, workshops, and forums.
In its brief existence, SAE’s marketing thrust has greatly increased awareness of its standards development capabilities. Increased communication is leading to new partnerships, both internal and external to SAE, such as national and international companies, government agencies, and other standards organizations. Metrics have been put in place to ascertain advertising and promotional effectiveness. Marketing research is helping various standards committees improve their capabilities and take advantage of new business development opportunities. Marketing will continue to play a key role in maintaining SAE's leadership position in a rapidly-developing global marketplace for standards.
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