Business-to-business marketing and the marketing of innovations in the South African diamond cutting and polishing industry

Tonkin, Ryan Michael (2006-04)

Thesis (MComm) -- University of Stellenbosch, 2006.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The South African diamond beneficiation industry is currently undergoing considerable industrial, regulatory and legislative reform. The Precious Metals and Diamonds General Amendment Bill and other government initiatives will result in growth in the local industry. In order to answer Government's call for increased processing of locally produced rough diamonds, polished diamond manufacturers will be continually searching for ways to improve production output and quality with greater efficiency and effectiveness. The study has been performed in conjunction with innovative research and development being conducted by HBO Venture No 7 (Pty) Ltd, a local company formed to design an innovative diamond sawing and polishing machine for the diamond beneficiation industries of South Africa and abroad. The company members believe that a strong market opportunity exists for the development of a more efficient, flexible and cost effective machine, whose predecessor's design has remained relatively unchanged for a century or more. It is also believed that a unique opportunity has presented itself as a result of favourable environmental factors arising from impending industry changes which will serve to promote the local processing of rough diamonds thus taking advantage of South Africa's rich potential for downstream value-creation. The overall purpose of the study is to assist South African innovators of new and improved diamond beneficiation machinery [specifically the technological innovation being designed by HBO Venture No 7 (Pty) Ltd] to achieve a successful product design as well as commercial marketing success. This will be accomplished by enhancing their understanding of the perceptions, needs and purchase intentions of the population of South African diamond cutting and polishing firms that influence the adoption and diffusion of an innovative technology. Furthermore, the study seeks to provide innovators with an understanding of the processes and theory involved in the field of business-to-business marketing and the marketing of innovations. The empirical study seeks to achieve the following five objectives: 1) To identify the factors, if any, that characterise firms as potential adopters or non-adopters of the technological innovation 2) To determine the optimal benefit bundle that will improve the probability of success in terms of the marketability of the technological innovation 3) To determine the most effective conduits for marketing communications in order to generate product awareness and promote the technological innovation 4) To determine the market potential for the technological innovation at various possible selling price ranges 5) To determine the radicalness of the technological innovation's impact and its effect on the organisational adoption thereof Findings indicate that the study was unsuccessful in profiling potential adopters based upon the operational and demographic variables used. The optimal benefit bundle should include features that result in increased cutting accuracy and less wastage of the rough diamond. Personal sales calls should represent the impetus of marketing communications efforts. The empirical research suggests that the technological innovation should be priced between R20 001 and R30 000 to ensure that it is within the willing purchase price ceiling of 88.23 percent of potential buyers. Finally, the product is perceived by respondents to be semi-radical which has implications for the firm's market orientation.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die Suid-Afrikaanse diamantverwerkingsindustrie ondergaan tans merkwaardige industriele, regulatoriese en wetgewende reformasie. Die Edel Metale en Diamante Algemene Wysigingswetsontwerp en ander staatsinisiatiewe sal lei tot plaaslike industriele groei. Om aan die staatsaanvraag na verhoogde prosessering van plaaslik-geproduseerde ruwe diamante te voldoen, gaan diamantslypers aanhoudend op seek wees na maniere om hulle opbrengs en kwaliteit te verbeter deur die verhoging van doeltreffendheid en effektiwiteit. Die studie is uitgevoer in samehang met vernuwende navorsing en ontwikkeling uitgevoer deur HBO Venture No 7 (Edms.) Bpk., 'n plaaslike maatskappy wat gestig is met die doel om 'n nuwe diamantsny- en slypingstoestel vir die Suid Afrikaanse en buitelandse diamantverwerkingsindustrie te ontwerp. Die maatskappylede glo dat 'n sterk markgeleentheid bestaan vir die ontwikkeling van 'n meer doeltreffende, veelsydige en lonende toestel, aangesien die bestaande ontwerp vir 'n eeu of langer relatief onveranderd gebly het. Hulle glo ook dat 'n eenmalige geleentheid horn voordoen as gevolg van gunstige omgewingsfaktore. Hierdie faktore onstaan uit opkomende industriele verwikkelinge wat die plaaslike verwerking van ruwe diamante sal bevorder deur gebruik te maak van Suid Afrika se ryk potensiaal vir stroom-af waardeskepping. Die algehele doel van die studie is om Suid Afrikaanse innoveerders van nuwe en verbeterde diamantverwerkingstoerusting [veral die tegnologiese innovasie ontwerp deur HBO Venture No 7 (Edms.) Bpk.] by te staan om 'n suksesvolle produk te ontwerp en suksesvol te bemark in die kommersiele arena. Dit kan bereik word deur die maatskappylede se kennis uit te brei in terme van die persepsies, benodighede en aankoopvoorneme van die populasie van Suid Afrikaanse diamantsnyers- en slypers wat 'n invloed het op die aanvaarding en verspreiding van vernuwende tegnologie. Die studie wil verder innoveerders voorsien van 'n begrip van die prosesse en teoriee betrokke by inter-bedryf bemarking en die bemarking van innovasies. Die empiriese studie poog om die volgende vyf doelwitte te bereik: 1) Om die faktore te identifiseer wat firmas kenmerk as potensiele aanvaarders of nie-aanvaarders van hierdie tegnologiese innovasie 2) Om die optimale produkvoordeel-groepering vas te stel wat die moontlike sukses in terme van die bemarkbaarheid van die tegnologiese innovasie, sal verbeter 3) Om die mees effektiewe opsies vas te stel vir bemarkingskommunikasie met die doel om produkbewustheid en reklame van die tegnologiese innovasie te genereer 4) Om die markpotensiaal vir die tegnologiese innovasie teen verskillende voorkoopspryse vas te stel 5) Om die radikaalheid van die tegnologiese innovasie se impak en die invloed daarvan op organisatoriese aanvaarding te bepaal Dit is bevind dat die demografiese en operasionele veranderlikes van die studie nie geskik was om potensiele aannemers te profileer nie. Die optimale produkvoordeelgroepering behoort kenmerke in te sluit wat sal lei tot verbeterde sny-akkuraatheid asook verminderde vermorsing van die ruwe diamant. Persoonlike verkoopsbesoeke behoort die dryfkrag agter bemarkingskommunikasie-aktiwiteite te wees. Die empiriese navorsing dui aan dat die tegnologiese innovasie tussen R20 001 en R30 000 geprys moet word om te verseker dat dit binne die gewillige aankoop-prysplafon van 88.23 persent van potensiele kopers sal val. Laastens beskou respondente die produk as semi-radikaal, wat implikasies teweeg bring vir die firma se bemarkingsorientasie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/50585
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