Therefore,it is clear from this case study that marketing is critical in ensuring thelongevity of a railway company as winning the public’s trust is key to runningthe business. With heightened competition and various policy making, eitherrail operator might lose the deal should the government perceive that they areunqualified to be awarded the rail contracts in future.
1.1 CroatiaIn 2013,Croatia became a member of the European Union and liberalised its railtransport market, thus threatening the Croatian Railways Cargo’s (CRC) positionas the railway freight transport (RFT) monopoly which used to have the abilityto choose the goods it wants to carry (since it is the only rail freight operator).Although CRC faces significant competition from both the domestic and foreignoperators, the opening of the rail transport economy has also benefitted thecompany through fewer trade restrictions which provided tremendousopportunities for freight movement. Nonetheless, supply still remained inexcess of demand in this context and CRC had to become more market-oriented to safeguardits dominance in the industry (Verhoef, Heijnsbroek and Bosma, 2017).
Wheremarketing is concerned, CRC can better cater to their clients’ needs by havingregular meetings with major clients to understand their preferences, buildrelationships and improve customer retention. Instead of just sending the goodsfrom station to station, CRC can also advertise its inclusion of supportingservices such as door-to-door delivery to differentiate itself from the other operators.By engaging its customers and highlighting the contrast in service between CRCand its competitors, such marketing strategies will be beneficial in adding thepersonal touch for CRC’s clients, which might otherwise be tempted to switch toor seek cheaper means of transport since every rail freight operator isproviding the same service. However,one thing to note is that competition with other modes of transport such as bytruck or air is not included in the discussion as RFT is much cheaper for longdistances. Unless the client requires immediate dispatch or delivery within a closerange, RFT will remain as the primary mode of moving cargos because otherwise,the extent of product differentiation achieved through marketing would befutile due to the inherent distinction of each mode.