Sales and Marketing
Sales of WACKER Products Rise
Overall sales of our products were higher in 2014, and we increased revenues year over year at all of the business divisions.
Our business is characterized by high repeat-purchase rates. 95 percent of Siltronic’s 2014 product sales were transacted with customers we had supplied in 2013. At WACKER POLYMERS, the repeat-purchase rate was 95 percent (by sales), and the rate at WACKER SILICONES was around 90 percent. The repeat-purchase rate at WACKER POLYSILICON is not meaningful, since there are customers who have completely withdrawn from the solar business.
Customer satisfaction is an important criterion at WACKER for ensuring long-term business success. In 2014, we assembled a team to further improve the quality of WACKER’s customer service worldwide.
WACKER customers break down into three groups: global key accounts, customers, and distributors. Key accounts are customers of special strategic significance for WACKER and with high sales levels. WACKER currently has 36 key accounts with whom we generated around 25 percent of our 2014 revenue at the chemical divisions (WACKER SILICONES, WACKER POLYMERS, WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS). Over 55 percent of our chemical-related revenue was from our approximately 8,000 other active customer relationships and around 20 percent from distributors.
The share of sales transacted through electronic sales platforms continued to rise in 2014. Such platforms are in place in 73 countries. Around 45 percent of our sales at the chemical divisions are handled electronically worldwide.
Sales and Distribution Network Expanded
In 2014, we made further additions to our distributor networks in China and India, where we collaborate with local distributors. Our distribution business in Central and Eastern Europe is now mostly centered on our major international partner IMCD. The total number of distributors has increased to approximately 300 (2013: 280), with the top 50 generating some 80 percent of sales. The number of distributor groups with which we collaborate remains unchanged at five. With the aid of new development and management processes implemented in 2014, we are seeking to manage our distributors even better, and to grow our business with them.
Marketing communications is a key element in strengthening WACKER’s branding and providing effective support to product sales. In 2014, we spent € 15.2 million (2013: € 14.8 million) on marketing communications.
Percentage of Marketing Costs
Attendance at 81 Tradeshows Worldwide
WACKER’s tradeshow presence remained at a high level in 2014. We had a booth at 81 tradeshows in total (2013: 88). The most important tradeshows for us in 2014 were in-cosmetics in Hamburg (where we presented new hair- and skin-care products), Compamed in Düsseldorf, and construction application tradeshows in Mumbai (Paint India), Atlanta (ACS) and Dubai (MECS). We analyze the success of our tradeshow communications in both qualitative and quantitative terms, with 24 shows reviewed in 2014 (2013: 24).
Tradeshows in 2014
1 Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK
2 China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam
4 Ghana, Kenya, Morocco