Automated teller machines (ATMs) and, more recently, online banking, were thought to provide such a valuable service alternative that customers would need far fewer personal banking services with human tellers in traditional bank branches. In short, these new technologies were supposed to reduce drastically the number of bank tellers and branches. But things did not work out that way. Between 1995 and 2005 the number of bank branches grew from 50,000 to 70,000, an increase of 40 percent. The number of tellers to staff the branches also increased in roughly the same proportion during this decade. This happened despite the fact that the number of banking firms actually decreased dramatically from 10,000 to less than 8,000 during that same period. What do you think is going on here? Why do you think so many consumers still demand “old-fashioned” bank branches and tellers in spite of new technological alternatives? Discuss.
Answer to relevant QuestionsWhat is contactual efficiency? Can you think of examples of contactual efficiency that do not occur in a marketing channels context? If so, list. What is the difference between channel strategy and logistics management? Discuss some of the major factors that have made growing numbers of U.S. firms seriously consider international marketing. “Business and social relationships don’t mix very well.” How does this statement hold up outside of the U.S. environment? Discuss. Ethan Allen Interiors Inc., one of the leading U.S. furniture manufacturers, is restructuring its Japanese marketing channels. Originally, Ethan Allen sold its products in department stores and they, in turn, bought the ...
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