Journal of Business Chemistry

Journal of Business Chemistry
[    Journal of
     Business Chemistry
     Vol. 14, Iss. 2                            
                                                                                      ]             06.2017

The academic journal for management issues in the chemical industry

Frithjof Netzer
Digitalization of the chemical industry

Andreas Konert and Harald Kaiser
Marketing of chemical parks: Challenges and perspectives

Benedikt Waerder, Sigrid Stinnes and Oliver Erdenberger
Design thinking as driver for innovation in the chemical

Sebastian Eidam, Klaus Kurz and Eva Brockhaus
Implementation of Open Innovation in Chemical B2B

Published on Behalf of the Institute of Business Administration at the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy,
University of Münster and the Center for Industry and Sustainability, Provadis School of International Manage-
ment and Technology
Journal of Business Chemistry
▀   Editorial Board                                          ▀   Publisher
    Editor-in-Chief                                              The Journal of Business Chemistry (ISSN 1613-9623) is
    Prof. Dr. Jens Leker, Professor for Management in the        jointly published by the Institute of Business Admi-
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    of Business Administration at the Department of Che-         macy (University of Münster) and the Center for
    mistry and Pharmacy”, University of Münster                  Industry and Sustainability (Provadis School of Inter-
    Prof. Dr. Hannes Utikal, Professor for Strategic Ma-         national Management and Technology). It is publis-
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    ISSN 1613-9623                                                                            © Journal of Business Chemistry
Journal of Business Chemistry
Vol.14, Iss. 2, June 2017


Letter from the Editors

Digitalization of the chemical industry
Frithjof Netzer............................................................................................................................................26

Practitioner’s Section
Marketing of chemical parks: Challenges and perspectives
Andreas Konert and Harald Kaiser......................................................................................................29

Design thinking as driver for innovation in the chemical industry
Benedikt Waerder, Sigrid Stinnes and Oliver Erdenberger.........................................................41

Research Paper
Implementation of Open Innovation in Chemical B2B Companies
Sebastian Eidem, Klaus Kurz and Eva Brockhaus...........................................................................51

ISSN 1613-9623                                                                                                             © Journal of Business Chemistry
Vol.14, Iss.2, June 2017

Letter from the Editors
Medication for the sick patient

Does the chemical industry lose its future? The ongoing wave of consolidation is profoundly chang-
ing the landscape of the chemical industry. Companies in the industry are more and more focused
on M&A activities. But what are the reasons for this development? One might assume that the in-
terest level is one decisive contributing factor. Another reason could be the lack of embedded in-
novative capabilities within the industry. Overall chemical companies nowadays seem to be more
into financial engineering than chemical engineering. Over the last decade no chemical block-
buster has reached the market. In the wake of this development two trends are apparent. Firstly,
companies focus on improving their operational efficiency by M&A activities. Secondly, players in
the market align and restructure their product portfolios towards higher specialization. The pres-
ent issue of the Journal of Business Chemistry addresses the chemical’s industry current dilemma
and provides some helpful insights for managers.

The first article of this issue is the commentary „Digitalization of the chemical industry“ by Frithjof
Netzer, Chief Digital Officer BASF Group, which on the one hand highlights the importance of digi-
talization and on the other hand presents how an international operating German company is fac-
ing the challenges arising from it. Furthermore, it provides insights into three different approaches
on how the chemical industry can benefit from applying digital technologies.

In the practitioner’s section Andreas Konert and Harald Kaiser from the Infraserv Höchst GmbH
shed light on the topic of “Marketing of chemical parks: Challenges and perspectives”. The authors
present how site managers create and implement an effective and efficient marketing strategy. In
this context, they also emphasize on the importance of defining the target group, specifying ade-
quate value proposition and using the most promising communication channels.

The article „Design thinking as driver of innovation in the chemical industry“ by Benedikt Waerder,
Sigrid Stinnes and Oliver Erdenberger shows the relevance of systematic thinking during the inno-
vation processes. In addition, they present empirical evidence for Design Thinking as an adequate
instrument to overcome barriers as well as including stakeholders in a company’s innovation

Sebastian Eidam, Klaus Kurz and Eva Brockhaus offer in their research paper „Implementation of
Open Innovation in Process B2B Industries“ an overview of applied open innovation approaches
and the motivation for implementing them. In the executed study based on data from 42 online sur-
veys, they assess the potential to use open innovation for exploration and exploitation purposes
and the need of top management support for suc cessful implementation.

Please enjoy reading the second issue of the fourteenth volume of the Journal of Business Chem-
istry. We are grateful for the support of all authors and reviewers for this new issue. If you have
any comments or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact us at contact@businesschem-

Ruth Herrmann                   Thomas Kopel                        Bernd Winters
(Executive Editor)              (Executive Editor)                  (Executive Editor)

ISSN 1613-9623                                    1                                © Journal of Business Chemistry
Digitalization of the chemical industry

                              Digitalization of the chemical industry
                              Frithjof Netzer*
                              *    Chief Digital Officer BASF Group, Project Leader BASF 4.0,
                                   BASF SE, Carl-Bosch-Str. 38, 67056 Ludwigshafen, Germany,

     The chemical industry – much like all other indus-                           The anticipated potential of digitalization in the
tries as well – has entered the digital age. The tar-                         chemical industry is high (see figure 1). Revenue
geted use of data in order to create growth or                                growth of 3.1% p.a. and cost reductions of 4.2% p.a.
increase efficiencies is at the very core of digitali-                        are quoted in a PWC study (2016) focusing on dig-
zation. The term “data is the new oil” describes the                          ital business models, smart supply chain solutions,
strategic importance of access to data, skills to store                       smart manufacturing applications and a digital-
and process it and to turn it into valuable customer-                         ized R&D as sources of such opportunities. Lifting
centric solutions.                                                            this potential requires the skilled use of digital core
     Key trends like an ever-rising connectivity,                             technologies and foremost the readiness of an
increasing transparency, quantification and profil-                           entire company for a digital transformation.
ing as well as mass customization impact the way                                  Digital core technologies typically include cloud
business is done. These trends are fueled by tech-                            technology, IoT (internet of things), big data ana-
nological step changes in computing speed, data                               lytics, mobility devices, augmented reality and arti-
storage and mobile data transmission rates – to                               ficial intelligence. Depending on the industry con-
name but a few.                                                               text 3D printing and robotics can be added to this
     Chemical companies have embraced this devel-                             non-comprehensive list. All of them are enabling
opment at a later stage than many other indus-                                companies to create solutions that differ from the
tries. They often operate several market steps away                           status quo of running supply chains, production,
from end consumers who are closely linked to some                             R&D, marketing and sales.
of the key digital trends. Additionally, enterprises                              Readiness of a chemical company to drive a dig-
place a high value on safety and security issues due                          ital transformation can be linked to four different
to the nature of chemical production (e.g., toxici-                           factors:
ty, risk of explosion, dual use) – a concern that has
impacted the development speed of data-driven                                 1.) Digitalization is reflected in the corporate
applications in the IT and OT (Operations Technol-                                strategy
ogy) environment of these companies.                                          2.) Organizational structure embeds digital

 Figure 1 Digitalization is driving growth (adapted from an internal graphic provided by BASF).

                                             Estimated effects of Industry 4.0 by 2020 (dollars per year)

                                                                                      USD 907 billion
                                                                                      USD 421 billion
                                                                                      Cost Reduction

                                                                                      USD 493 billion
                                                                                      Revenue increase

Journal of Business Chemistry 2017, 14 (2)                              26                                  © Journal of Business Chemistry
Frithjof Netzer

 Figure 2 Digital Transformation at BASF (adapted from an internal graphic provided by BASF).

        increased pro-            ideas inspired
                                                          Agile research & development
                                                                                                                                        new solutions
        ductivity and             by data                 A fertile innovation culture
                                                          ▀    New solutions by integrating data from customers
                                                               and partners
                                                          ▀    Customized application performance
                                                          ▀    New opportunities through modeling, simulation
                                                               and high-performance computing
                                                          ▀    Bridges towards academia, technology providers
                                                               and start-ups                                                                        more satisfied

                                                                             improved pro-
                      Higher efficiency                                      ducts and work-
                                                                                                  Faster growth
                      Digitally connected manufacturing pro-                 places               Business models for the digital age
                      cesses                                                                      ▀   Strengthen existing business via digital services
                  ▀    Support our workforce to access key information                            ▀   Create new offerings
Supplier               by using mobile devices                                                    ▀   Gain access to new customer segments
                  ▀    Predict unexpected plant shut downs and optimize                           ▀   Develop digital ecosystems
                       production processes
                  ▀    Connect manufacturing and business processes for
                       enhanced decision making

                                                                                                                                      more customer
                                                              Superior customer responsive-                                           value
                                                              An integrated, digital supply chain
                                                          ▀     Closer partnership with key customers
                                                          ▀     Improved supply reliability
                                                          ▀     Reduced costs across the end to end supply chain
                                                          ▀     Enhanced data visibility and transparency to sup-
                                                                port decision making

    roles & responsibilities in a sustainable way                                          and adjust important parameters accordingly.
3.) IT systems support agile solutions and                                                     Depending on the need, customers can use one
    safeguard the company with a resilience-based                                          or more OASE connect functions. BASF is current-
    security system                                                                        ly testing the offer together with some of its cus-
4.) Corporate culture embraces iterative                                                   tomers. Their feedback is used to develop and fur-
    improvements, agility and data literacy                                                ther enhance the software.

    BASF has included digitally enabled solutions,                                               Smart Innovations.
horizontal and vertical connectivity as well as work-
force enablement to recognize and capture the                                                  In catalyst research, BASF implements quick
value of data in its Digital Vision (see figure 2). Based                                  tests based on mathematic models and experi-
on this vision more than 15 lighthouse projects with                                       ments. A much simpler view of complex connec-
a dedicated business case were generated in 2015,                                          tions through networked data structures is the
followed by a total of more than 100 projects in                                           result. This enables BASF scientists to test hypothe-
2016/17. A few examples can showcase this                                                  ses much earlier and in a much more targeted man-
approach.                                                                                  ner, making better use of innovation opportunities
                                                                                           and shortening development time.
    Digital Business Model: OASE connect.                                                      For automotive paints, BASF uses real time data
                                                                                           from customers’ painting line to optimally adjust
    In the near future, BASF will be able to support                                       the color based on customer needs. This allows
customers in the gas treatment business through                                            BASF to ensure that the vehicle is painted in exact-
the OASE connect online platform. With the help                                            ly the right color in a shorter amount of time.
of the platform, the business team strengthens its                                             In enzyme research, BASF has combined its own
service and offers BASF’s customers real-time access                                       and external information into huge data records.
to important information. The functionalities                                              On this basis, and using simple tools, researchers
include, for example, a software that helps cus-                                           can quickly identify the most promising candidates
tomers find the optimum settings for their system                                          for further development.

Journal of Business Chemistry 2017, 14 (2)                                           27                                                 © Journal of Business Chemistry
Digitalization of the chemical industry

                                                                  ings, 2016 Global Industry 4.0 Survey - Industry key
         Smart Manufacturing.                                     findings, p. 5

       BASF’s Ludwigshafen Verbund needs roughly
   20 million metric tons of steam per year, which are
   generated by the production plants and the site's
   three power plants. In addition, the power plants
   produce the majority of electricity needed at the
   site – and sometimes more than is required, so that
   electricity can be fed into the public grid.
       However, electricity is a complex business as
   market prices fluctuate every 15 minutes. Comput-
   er programs help to buy and sell at the best times.
   For this, however, a precise forecast is required as
   to how much steam and waste heat the produc-
   tion plants supply at the site, how much steam the
   power plants have to contribute and how much
   electricity is needed. This also fluctuates depend-
   ing on the time of year, the weather and the eco-
  Supplier                                                                                                         Customer
   nomic conditions.
       To date, the total requirements have been deter-
   mined manually combined individual forecasts of
   the plants. A new statistical model, based on large
   amounts of data, now provides even more precise
   calculations: The software takes into account, among
   other things, historical and up-to-date information
   on production shutdowns, weather data and eco-
   nomic indices. The program searches for relation-
   ships and establishes connections with the ener-
   gy demand.
       This has been very successful: The forecast for
   steam demand has already improved by up to 60
   percent. The former procedure will now be gradu-
   ally replaced and applied to other areas. The new
   program supports BASF also in electricity trading
   to make better price forecasts.
       These use cases demonstrate the potential of
   digitalization in a chemical industrial context. Mak-
   ing digital transformation a key priority of the CEO
   is paramount to a successful implementation. BASF
   has started a journey that builds awareness, under-
   standing, practical skills and good practice sharing
   amongst all employees. Different formats and mes-
   sages are used to reach a broad range of commu-
   nities with the overarching claim “We have a chal-
   lenging route ahead but the confidence of the right
       Digitalization is here to stay. It is in everyone’s
   hands to contribute to its shaping.

       PWC (2016): Industry 4.0: Building the digital
    enterprise: Forest, paper and packaging key find-

Journal of Business Chemistry 2017, 14 (2)                   28                          © Institute of Business Chemistry
Marketing of chemical parks: Challenges and perspectives

                              Practitioner’s Section
                              Marketing of chemical parks: Challenges and
                              Andreas Konert* and Harald Kaiser*
                              *    Infraserv GmbH & Co. Höchst KG, Brüningstraße 50, 65929 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

                              Managing industrial parks is a multi-billion euro business with special importance
                              to the asset intensive chemical and pharmaceutical industry. Site managers face
                              many challenges, one of them being attracting new investments to the site. This arti-
                              cle describes how site managers may create and implement an effective and effi-
                              cient site marketing strategy by defining the relevant target group, specifying the
                              adequate value proposition and using the most promising communication chan-
                              nels. The authors illustrate their recommendations with their site marketing expe-
                              rience from one of the most suc cessful industrial parks in Europe, the Industriepark

1 Introduction: Marketing specifics of                                ize learning processes between companies on site
industrial parks                                                      and the relevant external stakeholders (e.g. acade-
                                                                      mia, policy makers).
    Industrial parks can be found worldwide. In Ger-                      Service operators argue that outsourcing site
many, the chemical industry has 37 (VCI, 2012) indus-                 operation activities to a specialized site operator,
trial parks. Industrial parks are clusters of research,               allows companies in the chemical and pharmaceu-
production/manufacturing and service activities                       tical industry to focus on their core competencies
of several companies that share one physical loca-                    of developing, producing and selling goods. Fur-
tion (see for instance, Wildemann 2016, or Suntrop                    thermore, it creates cost and risk synergies in shared
2016). From the outside an industrial park is seen                    infrastructure assets and provides a sufficient mass
as “one entity”. One can distinguish between so                       for holding expert knowledge available at the site.
called major-user parks that are operated and often                   Operationally, industrial park operators highlight
owned by the largest tenant at the site. The most                     the potential for reducing customers’ costs, increas-
prominent example in Germany is the BASF Lud-                         ing their speed and flexibility and improving the
wigshafen site. Sometimes, several large tenants                      quality of services.
provide services to each other and the minor users                        And the leverage site operators are working on
at the site, as is the case at CHEMIEPARK.LINZ. On                    is significant to their customers in the chemical
the other hand, there are multi-user parks that are                   and pharmaceutical industry: Analysis shows that
owned and operated by a professional service com-                     costs of infrastructure and services outlined above
pany that does not have chemical production assets                    are between 10-15% of the revenues of chemical
at the site, as is the case with Infraserv Höchst, the                companies (with core costs in the field of energy,
owner and operator of the Industriepark Höchst in                     waste management, logistics and facility manage-
Frankfurt.                                                            ment) and around 5% of pharmaceutical sales
    Site service companies at industrial parks offer                  (Wildemann, 2016).
a range of different services (see Hofmann/Michel                         In the following, the term marketing will be
2016). The site service company may organize the                      used to characterize (a) the general challenge of
management of the facilities, the treatment of                        creating and managing business to business rela-
waste water, the grids and pipelines for all compa-                   tionships between the industrial park operator and
nies on site, as well as heating and cooling, ware-                   his potential customers and (b) to characterize the
housing, logistics or health and safety services (see                 tasks of the respective department within the indus-
figure 1). In addition, the site company may pro-                     trial park operator company.
vide recruitment and training activities and organ-                       Industrial park operators face specific market-

Journal of Business Chemistry 2017, 14 (2)                       29                                 © Journal of Business Chemistry
Andreas Konert and Harald Kaiser

 Figure 1 Site services at industrial parks (source: VCI Sector Group of Chemical Parks, 2013).

                                                                                            ▀     Analytics
                                                          ▀   Environment/safety/
                                ▀   Vacant land               health
                                                                                            ▀     Authority
                                ▀   Site security         ▀   Warehousing
                                                                                            ▀     Maintenance/
                                ▀   Emergency manage-     ▀   Energies/utilities
                                    ment/fire service
          Production                                      ▀   HR services
                                                                                            ▀     Purchasing
                                ▀   Supply and disposal
                                    networks              ▀   Logistics
                                                                                            ▀     Site restaurants
                                ▀   Roads and railway     ▀   Hazardous goods
                                                                                            ▀     Engineering
                                    tracks                    handling
                                                                                            ▀     Basic and advanced
                                                          ▀   Disposal                            training

ing challenges. They act on business-to-business                     service offered within the park. Changes in quali-
markets and offer their services to customers in                     ty and costs will directly affect the producer’s prof-
the chemical and pharmaceutical industry. The                        it situation. Another important aspect is the path
demand for services in industrial parks ultimately                   dependency of industrial park development. Some
depends upon the development of the consumer                         industrial parks exist for more than 150 years; dif-
markets where chemical and pharmaceutical prod-                      ferent production activities have been built over
ucts are used. If consumers or regulation, for exam-                 the years, hazardous goods have been produced,
ple, decide against plastic bags in Europe, the cor-                 the land has been used in different ways over time.
responding production will decrease and there will                   All these aspects have to be taken into account
be lower demand for the related industrial servic-                   when an industrial park tries to attract new invest-
es. For the chemical industry customer, a buying                     ments. So marketing of industrial parks is interest-
center structure is typical, with multiple persons                   ing from a broad range of marketing perspectives,
on the customer side having influence on the buy-                    encompassing business-to-business marketing,
ing decision. The decision making process on the                     service marketing, information economics, princi-
customer side is highly formalized and profession-                   pal agent theory and path dependency theory to
alized in terms of methods and tools used for select-                name but a few (Hutt/Speh 2003).
ing the right production site. The services offered
are highly individualized and cannot be stored                       2 Case study: Site Marketing at Infraserv
(Peters et al. (2013), Homburg (2017), Zeithaml et                   Höchst
al., 1985). Some of the services may only be offered
within an industrial park (e.g. site security, firefight-                The Infraserv Höchst Group developed from
ing), some others may be offered to external loca-                   Hoechst AG in 1997 and is the operator of the indus-
tions as well (e.g. facility services, consulting). Typ-             trial park in Frankfurt Höchst. In 2016, it had a
ically, long-term relationships between industrial                   turnover of approximately 1 billion Euros and 2,500
parks and their (potential) clients can be observed;                 employees organized in eight business segments,
personal interaction prevails over mass media mar-                   including energy and waste management, site serv-
keting.                                                              ices, logistics and real estate, as well as education
     When an industrial park attracts a new client                   and training specialist Provadis GmbH.
to its location and the client builds his production                     This highly diversified portfolio with at first
facility in the industrial park, a significant lock-in               glance seemingly unrelated services under one roof
effect occurs after the investment in the park, due                  does, however, add superior value to clients. How
to the capital-intensive production assets. Further-                 so? Rather than just focussing on steady site oper-
more, the producer is in some cases bound to the                     ation, Infraserv Höchst puts its focus on partner-

Journal of Business Chemistry 2017, 14 (2)                      30                                    © Journal of Business Chemistry
Marketing of chemical parks: Challenges and perspectives

 Figure 2 Life cycle of an industrial park (source: own representation).

    >> LAUNCH                    >> GROWTH                    >> MATURITY           >> CONSOLIDATION >> EXIT

           Lead Time                  Penetration                Market Share               Cash Flow                    CSR

            Approval                Volume/Quality             Availability/Costs          Marge/CapEx               Present Value

              R&D                   Marketing/Sales               Operations            Finance/Controlling         Communication


    ▀    Site selection      ▀    Relieve Core Business   ▀    Transparency and     ▀    M&A/post-merger        ▀    Site Develop-
    ▀    Approvals, Start-   ▀    Flexible Capacity            Controllability      ▀    Multi-user Concepts         ment
         up, Scale-up             Adjustment              ▀    Standardization      ▀    Cost Reduction         ▀    Dismantling,
    ▀    HR Concepts         ▀    Support Investments          and Improvement      ▀    Outsourcing                 Restructuring,
    ▀    Plan, Build, Run         and Infrastructure      ▀    Bundling/Synergies   ▀    Portfolio Manage-           Conversion
                                                               across Locations          ment                   ▀    Sale, Shutdown
                                                                                                                ▀    Communication

ing with clients to dynamically develop their sites.                         sustainable solutions for the site as a whole. The
Every client business and every client site under-                           site management company may also help with all
goes one or even several cycles over time. One way                           legal and regulatory requirements that need to be
to describe this site development is to differenti-                          fulfilled for creating new factories and may find a
ate between launch, growth, maturity, consolida-                             flexible solution for the infrastructure as well, based
tion and termination/exit phases, as depicted in                             on their experience and reputation gathered from
figure 2. Obviously, however, businesses and sites                           multiple projects with many clients in the past.
have different lifespans, investment cycles, profit-                             The growth phase is characterized by market
risk-profiles and so on. From our understanding,                             penetration. The volume and/or the quality of the
one key to successful site development is to align                           products offered are seen as key success factors.
both aspects – the needs of the chemical and phar-                           Therefore, the marketing and sales departments
maceutical company in a specific phase of the prod-                          lead on this, with production keeping pace as much
uct life cycle on the one hand, and the site param-                          as possible. Site operators must be able to offer
eters on the other hand - in the most effective and                          flexible capacity adjustments while relieving the
sustainable way.                                                             core business activities. During the maturity phase
    For example, in the launch phase a product tran-                         customers are confronted with intensified compe-
sitions from the development/approval stage into                             tition. Thus, availability and costs of products shift
the production phase. In pharmaceuticals, for                                into focus. Infraserv Höchst, for instance, provides
instance, when new active ingredients are involved                           the ability for continuous improvement and stan-
the clock tends to be ticking as patent protections                          dardization as well as the exploitation of synergies
are limited and pharmaceutical companies try to                              across secondary processes. In order to remain com-
sell the patent protected drug as long as possible                           petitive in the consolidation phase customers focus
in order to generate profit. Speed in scale up of pro-                       on cash flow, margin, finance and controlling. The
duction activities is therefore of the essence for                           site service provider’s value proposition consists of
companies in the pharmaceutical industry. But sub-                           developing multi-user concepts after M&A activi-
optimal sizing of production facilities or lack of flex-                     ties, initiating cost reduction processes and adapt-
ibility of infrastructure assets, for example, may                           ing the service portfolio to changing needs. The last
prove to be costly in the future. Site partners like                         phase is described as the termination/exit phase.
Infraserv Höchst can play a vital role in making the                         For customers, present value of their business is of
launch fast, successful and finding flexible and thus                        utmost interest. Accordingly, services like disman-

Journal of Business Chemistry 2017, 14 (2)                             31                                      © Journal of Business Chemistry
Andreas Konert and Harald Kaiser

tling, restructuring and conversion, in addition to                try predicts only 1.5% growth per year until 2030
sale and shutdown, are in high demand. All in all,                 (VCI, 2016). Compared to Asia with a predicted annu-
in the course of the lifecycle the site operator must              al growth rate of 4.5%, we can consider the Ger-
be able to respond to the varying customer needs                   man and European chemical industry to be at a
and must offer an integrated solution to enable                    mature stage (VCI, 2016). Given this macroeconom-
clients to adapt to their changing business needs,                 ic environment, attracting new investments to
not just at Frankfurt-Höchst, but nationwide at                    existing industrial parks in Germany must be under-
other client sites and parks.                                      stood to be a very difficult task.
    One gauge for the success and long-term per-                       Marketing managers at industrial parks should
formance of a site operator is the amount of invest-               be aware that overcoming general investment bar-
ments attracted to the site it is managing. In the                 riers for the chemical industry in Germany is hard-
case of the Industriepark Höchst with more than                    ly possible. To put it simply, most investments in
90 chemical, pharmaceutical and services compa-                    industrial parks stem from existing customers,
nies and approximately 22,000 employees on                         expanding, overhauling or replacing their existing
around 460 acres, this number totals 7 billion Euros               production assets, as well as subsequent invest-
of investments since the year 2000, representing                   ments by the site operating company. Following a
an average of more than 400 million Euros per year.                recent study from German Trade and Invest, on
    Each investment strengthens the site´s base                    average there are 6 new large production facilities
and points to a promising future, attracting fur-                  built in the chemical industry per year out of which
ther investments in turn. Investments are in fact                  only 1-3 are relevant for industrial parks (GTAI, 2014).
very hard to come by, however. Many sites there-                       So site operators are correct in putting a major
fore invest strongly in site marketing activities. But             focus on this most important segment and in close-
what strategies can the marketing department use                   ly following and accommodating the development
in order to attract investments? Chapter 3 will give               of their existing key accounts. Infraserv Höchst, for
some methodological background on finding out                      example strives to achieve close links between man-
“where to play”. Chapter 4 will go into more detail                agement, key account management, sales and oper-
on customers’ decision making processes and ”how                   ations and the various levels of the client organi-
to win” from a marketing perspective. Chapter 5                    zation to best anticipate and support all develop-
will look at the buying centre in more detail and                  ments in order to facilitate growth. Marketing has
offer some guidance on “where to put your money”                   an important but supporting role focused on activ-
in the most cost-effective way.                                    ities advancing customer satisfaction, loyalty and
3 Where to play: Selecting the most prom-                              Beyond that, Infraserv and the business devel-
ising target segments                                              opment agency of the region FrankfurtRheinMain
                                                                   carry out a value chain analysis together with cus-
   Since 2010 the chemical industry has been grow-                 tomers at the site in order to further develop the
ing in Germany and Europe at a rate of 2.5 % per                   production network at Höchst, to identify blind
year. The German association for the chemical indus-               spots or gaps which can be filled by new additions

 Figure 3 Investment in Industriepark Höchst since 2000: approx. €7 billion (source: own representation).

                                                                                   +365   +370
                                                       +644 +496
                                                                                                                     EUR 7 billion

                                    +370 +400


             2000                   2006        2008        2010            2012           2014             2016

Journal of Business Chemistry 2017, 14 (2)                   32                                   © Journal of Business Chemistry
Marketing of chemical parks: Challenges and perspectives

to the value chain. One example of this logic is             tion. This profit function includes the dimensions
shown by one company investing into a small plant            “profit per square meter”, “revenue per square
to capture the surplus CO2 from the production               meter” and “growth potential over the next five
process of another company at the site, as is the            years”. The different dimensions were weighted by
case with Westfalen AG and Celanese Corporation              board room members and applied to the 36 mar-
at Frankfurt-Höchst.                                         ket segment profiles. Eight market segments were
    In order to develop an effective strategy for            excluded from further analysis as they did not sig-
attracting new customers to existing industrial              nify adequate profit potential.
parks, industrial parks need to combine their knowl-
edge about company’s external developments                     Step 3: Estimate the probability of an invest-
(investment probability by industry segments; deci-          ment in Europe
sion criteria for selecting industrial parks; knowl-
edge about buying center structures on the site of               In order to further narrow down the list of poten-
the customer) with the knowledge about internal              tially relevant market segments, the probability of
conditions (knowledge about available land; knowl-           an investment by a company – belonging to one
edge about goals for attracting new investments;             of the prioritized production profiles – was ana-
knowledge about one’s own company profit func-               lyzed in a multi-method, multi-source approach.
tion). Infraserv Höchst developed a five step                While the basic work was done in 2010, the results
approach for attracting new customers to the Indus-          are frequently updated to readjust the site mar-
triepark Höchst – this approach can be individual-           keting activities. This approach screens publicly
ly adapted for use in other industrial parks too:            available data sources such as,,
                                                    In addition a semi-stan-
    Step 1: Define target segments                           dardized questionnaire was used for expert inter-
                                                             views to evaluate the probability of investment in
    Firstly, Infraserv Höchst has identified 7 poten-        production facilities in Europe. As a result, new pro-
tial target segments with 36 sub-segments in total.          duction activity and growth is predicted in innova-
Examples of these segments include pharmaceu-                tive fields such as pharmaceuticals, specialty chem-
ticals (the production of active ingredients), spe-          icals, biotechnology (medical and industrial uses)
cialty chemicals (e.g. construction chemicals, fra-          and green technology (with renewable energy). The
grances, food additives, pigments) and other process         following table summarizes Germany’s competi-
industries.                                                  tive position and lists the strongest competitors.
    These potentially attractive market segments                 As a result investments seemed likely to result
have been profiled according to their patterns of            from around 17 out of the initial 36 industry seg-
consumption of services offered by Infraserv Höchst.         ments analyzed.
Eight profiles with a specific need structure in the
fields of production, energy, waste management,                 Step 4: Identify relative competitive strength
logistics, safety, space (square meter) have been
identified. These encompass, for example, volume                Finally, the competitive position of Industriepark
oriented specialty chemistry with a continuous pro-          Höchst was analyzed from a customer perspective
duction system, a high energy demand and need                (concept of competitive advantage, see von der
for waste management, logistics, safety and space.           Gathen/Simon, 2002). Therefore, in-depth inter-
Another example consists of research based drug              views were conducted with existing customers (site
producers using batch production, with a high                managers) in order to better understand
demand for logistics service and medium need for
energy, safety and space. Production profiles of                a)    the importance of different criteria when
smaller research based entities with lower produc-                    selecting a production site and
tion activities and logistics companies with large-             b)    the perceived performance of the indus
space requirements but little need for energy or                      trial park compared with that of the next
waste management services have also been pro-                         best alternative.
filed. All market segments have been matched to
a specific production type.                                     The results of the interviews were integrated
                                                             into a matrix of competitive advantages. Each deci-
    Step 2: Determine profit potential/customer              sion criterion was depicted according to its relative
lifetime value                                               importance (as evaluated by all respondents in a
                                                             specific market segment) and according to the
   The market segment profiles have been evalu-              industrial park’s relative performance (as compared
ated on the basis of Infraserv Höchst’s profit func-         with the strongest competitor evaluated in a spe-

Journal of Business Chemistry 2017, 14 (2)              33                                © Journal of Business Chemistry
Andreas Konert and Harald Kaiser

cific segment). Consequently, the industrial park’s                 performing” in this area from the customer per-
competitive advantages (above average impor-                        spective.
tance of a criterion and better performance than
competitors), competitive disadvantages (above                         Step 5: A focused marketing strategy
average importance but performance lower than
competitors), fields of overperformance (low impor-                     As a result of this four step approach, 12 mar-
tance of the criterion but performance beyond com-                  ket segments have been identified as most impor-
petitors) and the levels of consistency (low impor-                 tant for active site marketing activities. The list of
tance with low performance) were identified.                        these target segments is updated yearly. It goes
    The analysis showed that the industrial park’s                  without saying that new customer insights are
competitive position varied significantly depend-                   then worked into the industrial park’s value analy-
ing on the market segment studied.                                  sis and marketing and sales materials. In order to
    For example, respondents in segment A – high                    develop a precise value proposition, a matrix of
quality, research intensive development and pro-                    competitive advantages is very helpful: Those
duction of active ingredients for pharmaceuticals                   aspects identified on a segment basis as compet-
– highlighted relevant competitive advantages in                    itive advantages (thus receiving high relative impor-
the field of fast and reliable construction of new                  tance scores and representing a stronger perform-
facilities, and access to high quality personnel and                ance compared with the strongest competitors)
research collaborations in the neighborhood as                      form the basis for the value proposition. These
relevant competitive advantages of the Indus-                       aspects are used in the individual sales pitch and
triepark Höchst compared with all other produc-                     can be adapted to specific customer requirements.
tion sites analyzed. These characteristics support-
ed the company’s goal of ensuring a short time to                   4 How to win: Finding the right market-
market for patent protected new drugs produced                      ing strategy
at Industriepark Höchst. Competitive weaknesses
such as, for example, the higher tax burden com-                       For the selected target segments, a detailed cus-
pared with low cost production sites abroad, were                   tomer acquisition strategy was developed. For each
not seen as very significant. The direct proximity                  segment, the market specifics were identified and
to end consumer market was not seen as an impor-                    answers to the following questions were found:
tant characteristic, the park was seen to be “over-

 Figure 4 Competitive assessment of chemical industry regions (source: own representation).

                         Biotech                    Specialty             Basic                 Bulk       Petroche-
                                             Agro             Polymeres
                        Renewable                   Chemicals           Chemicals             Plastics      micals
      Competiti-                                                           Medium
       veness of                                                         (only if pro-
                                                                                       Medium to Medium to
       Chemical             High             High     High        Medium   duction
                                                                                         low       low
      Industry in                                                          network
       Germany                                                              exists)

        Strong                                                      USA,
                                                      USA,                      Middle       Middle      Middle
       Competi-              USA             USA                   Middle
                                                      Asia                     East, Asia   East, Asia East, Russia
         tors                                                     East, Asia

                           Strong                                 Head on                                   Difficult
                          Position                                position                                  position

                        Germany’s competitive strengths:
                        Process-, R&D-, customer-knowledge and employee qualification

Journal of Business Chemistry 2017, 14 (2)                   34                                  © Journal of Business Chemistry
Marketing of chemical parks: Challenges and perspectives

 Figure 5 Matrix of competitive position (source: own representation).

                                                          Competitive                                 Competitive

                                                         Disadvantage                                  Advantage
                                                 ▀     Higher Tax Burden          ▀        Fast and Reliable Cobstruction of
                                                                                           New Facilities
                                                                                  ▀        Access to High Qualified Person-
               Relative Importance

                                                                                  ▀        Access to Research Collaborations

                                                          „Konsistent“                             „Overperforming“
                                                                                           ▀    Direct Proximility to End
                                            ▀        Higher Labor Costs than
                                                          Sites abroad                             Consumer Market

                                                low                            Performance                           high

    1) Who are the main players in the relevant                                                tial evaluation of the potential sites and the cre-
       market arena?                                                                           ation of a short list of up to 10 sites that will be
    2) What are the phases of the customer deci                                                evaluated in more depth. Most of these activities
       sion process?                                                                           will be conducted undetected and with an air of
    3) How can the industrial park influence the                                               great secrecy, involving only few people within the
       different actors in the buying center?                                                  client organization below board level and maybe
                                                                                               a handful of external partners. This is done with
    In order to answer these questions, internal                                               good reason, as adding capacity is a competitive
workshops were held with Infraserv Höchst sales                                                maneuver in any market and may be subject to
managers, key account managers and relevant mar-                                               counter-measures by competitors. Also, listed com-
ket partners. The decision process and the role of                                             panies may want to pay close attention to timing
different actors were analyzed through semi-struc-                                             their announcements just right so that they can
tured interviews. On this basis, a segment-specif-                                             avoid the need to react to market rumors with ad-
ic marketing strategy was developed.                                                           hoc notices.
    The decision making process of the potential                                                   So by now we have prioritized market segments
customer was taken as a starting point, i.e. the                                               and have a solid understanding of the general deci-
chemical or pharmaceutical company looking for                                                 sion making process. But how can the industrial
a new production site. Even though the chemical                                                park be positioned best in the sphere of the buy-
or pharmaceutical company may have experience                                                  ing center and its influencers without spending
in selecting production sites, this is typically an                                            enormous amounts of money? First off, industrial
extensive and highly formalized decision process                                               parks have to realize that the target segments will
(Robinson/Faris/Wind, 1967).                                                                   share some similarities but will probably be quite
    The site selection process can be structured into                                          different in the detail. Chemical companies, for
seven phases. From the customer’s point of view,                                               example, organize the site selection process in var-
the process starts with the perceived need for a                                               ious ways. Typically a formal team is installed for
new production site (phase 1). Then the relevant                                               screening and selecting potential production sites.
criteria for searching and evaluating potential sites                                          This team consists of experts in the field of pro-
are defined and operationalized by the customer                                                duction planning, controlling, research & develop-
(phase 2) before the customer actively invests time                                            ment and purchasing and is often formally struc-
and money in searching and defining a long list of                                             tured as a project within the company. This team
potential sites (phase 3). Phase 3 ends with an ini-                                           defines the site selection criteria, searches for the

Journal of Business Chemistry 2017, 14 (2)                                            35                                    © Journal of Business Chemistry
Andreas Konert and Harald Kaiser

relevant information (stages 1-3 in the above men-                                industry associations and business development
tioned site selection process) and proposes a short                               agencies. Relevant information sources for chem-
list of potential locations for the new production                                ical companies in the site selection process include
site. While all relevant competencies are represent-                              international databases summarizing the techni-
ed in this team, the final decision on the short list                             cal characteristics of industrial parks (homepages
is made by the chemical company’s board and the                                   e.g. VCI, ECSPP), industry associations conventions,
head of the production units. After this decision a                               industry publications and personal networks and
core team with experts from the production and                                    experiences of the actors involved. The confiden-
purchasing departments is put together to gath-                                   tial nature of the site selection process on the cus-
er in-depth information, make on-site visits and                                  tomer side rules out any direct marketing and sales
start the negotiations with potential production                                  approaches geared at lead generation. Imagine an
sites. Again, the final decision is made by the board.                            outbound marketing campaign centered upon call-
    Sometimes, the process is steered by a compa-                                 ing up companies asking them for upcoming invest-
ny’s “site selection and benchmarking department”.                                ment projects. Chances of not talking to the right
Thus, while the board of the chemical company                                     person are high and even if you were, he or she
may be characterized as the key promoter of the                                   would not want to let you know or even talk to you.
site selection decision, the team also consists of                                Chances of not making a good impression this way
expert promoters and they are coordinated by the                                  are also very high. Regarding these first phases, the
site selection department as expert and process                                   main marketing task is to make as much informa-
promoters (Webster/Wind, 1972; Backhaus/Voeth                                     tion as possible publicly available and position the
2014). Important influencers in the process are plant                             industrial park in the relevant networks so as to be
manufacturers that, together with the chemical                                    in the relevant position to enable the potential
company, develop the new production facility and                                  client to make an informed decision. Chapter 5 will
share their expertise with different industrial sites                             provide more details on this.
worldwide. Further important influencers include

 Figure 6 Phases of site selection process (source: own representation)

                           Phase 1         Phase 2        Phase 3           Phase 4         Phase 5         Phase 6           Phase 7

                                                          Identifi-                                                        Building of
                                         Definiti-                          Call for        Direct        Signing          Production
                        Need                             cation of
                                           on of                            Propo-         Negotia-       of Letter        Site&Start
                      Detection                          a long list
                                         Selection                           sals            tion         of Intent          of Pro-
                                                         of poten-
                                          Criteria                                                                           duction
                                                          tial sites
                                                                                                          Signs toget-
                                         Operatio-       Performs a                           Starts
                        Detects                                                                           her with the      The custo-
                                          nalizes       first evalua-       Asks for          direct
                       the need                                                                             industrial       mers’ pro-

                                         relevant           tion of         detailed       negotiati-
                         for a                                                                            park a letter    duction faci-
                                        criteria for      potential        technical         on with
                       new pro-                                                                          of intent and     lity is finally
                                         selecting        sites and       informati-        industrial
                        duction                                                                            clarifies all     built and
                                        production        craetes a           on           park; many
                          site                                                                           technical and      production
                                            sites       short list of                        interac-      economic            starts
                                                           relevant                            tions      parameters

                                                                           Establish a
     Marketing Objective

      Industrial Park’s

                                                                          with clients’
                            Survive the down selection and lead          key personnel     Closely monitor and manage content and
                            the short list of potential industrial          based on         image of your company and your site
                                             sites                      oppenness and
                                                                        of regardless of
                                                                         the outcome

Journal of Business Chemistry 2017, 14 (2)                                   36                                  © Journal of Business Chemistry
Marketing of chemical parks: Challenges and perspectives

    Marketing objective: Survive the down selec-               site.
tion and lead the short list of the potential indus-
trial sites.                                                   5 Where to put your money: defining an
                                                               efficient communication mix
    The other phases are no longer characterized
by marketing activities but mostly driven by sales                 Even though the most important decision mak-
and top management. The customer makes the                     ers for site selection are the chemical company’s
first move in phase 4 with the call for proposals.             board and the head of the production department,
Here the customer lists his needs and describes his            a broad variety of actors need to be influenced using
requirements in a technical manner. This is also               marketing measures to increase an industrial park’s
usually the first time he or his consultants will speak        success in acquiring new potential production activ-
with the industrial park directly. This will always            ities for its site. Four directions for any marketing
be a lengthy and time consuming process that will              communications mix can be defined according to
go back and forth, but reaching a more detailed                the marketing activity goals (push vs pull market-
level each time. This process helps the client eval-           ing) and the character of the communication activ-
uate the different proposals and reduces the num-              ity (direct vs. indirect customer communication).
ber of names on the list. This process should be                   If the industrial park focuses on a direct com-
used to build up trust and establish viable relation-          munication line with the (potential) customer, the
ships with the potential customer. The goal of the             activities may be defined as:
industrial park in this phase is to be a good host,
give open and honest answers to all potential client              A) customer push-marketing activities (e.g.
questions and ask the right questions in return.                     newsletters; trade fairs; activities of sales
Ultimately, the potential client’s needs are highly                  representatives) which are designed to
specific and often the potential client will not con-               promote the industrial park’s services direct-
tinue to the later stages because their project does                 ly to the customers’ buying center or as
not fit the site. Nevertheless, the industrial park               B) customer pull marketing activities that
wants to leave a good impression in case the poten-                  address a customer need, highlight the indus-
tial client ever comes back or is asked about his                   trial park’s benefits indirectly (e.g. by using
experiences with the industrial park.                               case studies) and thereby create a pull for the
                                                                    industrial park’s services.
   Marketing objective: Establish a relationship
with clients’ key personnel based on openness and                  Another important way to promote an indus-
commitment regardless of the outcome.                          trial park’s service is to work with intermediaries
                                                               such as the agency Invest in Germany, chambers
    In phase 5, the customer starts negotiations               of commerce or business development agencies.
directly with an even shorter list of industrial sites.        Depending on the character of a specific activity,
In phase 6, a letter of intent is signed and all tech-         the activities may be characterized as:
nical and economic parameters are clarified. In
phase 7, the production facility is finally built and             c) push marketing activities which focus on
production eventually starts. These final stages are                 influencing intermediaries directly with the
exclusively driven by top management, sales and                      goal of using the intermediary as an ambas-
finance. However, the number of employees involved                   sador for the industrial park’s services.
directly or indirectly on the client side will grow               d) pull-marketing activities for intermediaries.
during these stages. A good marketer will make                        Typical activities here focus on supporting
sure that client information needs are met in a con-                  the intermediary in creating demand for the
sistent manner and all information promotes the                      industrial park’s services. For this goal, indus-
site in the best possible way. This is a complex                     trial parks may support industry studies, cre-
process as it may range from between 18 months                      ate joint internet sites or become involved in
and five or more years for major projects. A consul-                 joint activities.
tative selling approach is used by Höchst industri-
al park during this process, with the aim of contin-              Infraserv Höchst uses all four options in its com-
uously adapting to the potentially changing spec-              munications mix. The “Site Excellence Newsletter”
ifications of customer demand (Moncrief, Marshall              may be understood as a push-oriented medium
and Lassak, 2006).                                             aimed directly at potential clients. It is a regular
                                                               push medium to engage with the site marketing
    Marketing objective: Monitor and manage close-             network and (potential) clients about current park
ly content and image of your company and your                  developments and best-in-class service examples.

Journal of Business Chemistry 2017, 14 (2)                37                                © Journal of Business Chemistry
Andreas Konert and Harald Kaiser

In addition, a range of other push-oriented activ-                      agent theory and path dependency theory have all
ities focusing on the indirect client are also used.                    been helpful in developing the marketing strate-
Infraserv participates in and hosts regular network-                    gy and implementing it effectively.
ing events with site marketing partners, such as                            As the chemical and pharmaceutical industry
on-site business breakfasts or invitations to trade                     faces more and more pressure from competitors
fairs and events. A pull-oriented approach is illus-                    outside Germany and Europe, site service compa-
trated through the presentation of content on the                       nies have to position themselves in the best pos-
website and via other relevant channels. Here all                       sible manner to be shortlisted by relevant cus-
relevant information that is showcased is high-                         tomers. Growth opportunities exist not only exter-
lighted in such a way which supports screening                          nally through acquiring new customers, but also
processes and builds brand preference. Pull-orient-                     internally through offering extended or better serv-
ed communication activities aimed at indirect clients                   ices to already existing customers. The past has
are also used. Infraserv makes sure that all relevant                   shown that it is very difficult to realize large site
multipliers have access to the relevant informa-                        settlements by companies. Therefore, focusing on
tion conveyed via the various relevant network part-                    gaining “smaller” investments from existing cus-
ner media channels based on standardized tem-                           tomers might be the better option.
plates.                                                                      Marketing of industrial parks is a challenging
                                                                        endeavor, facing a high level of market and tech-
6 Summary and Outlook                                                   nical complexity. Insights from a variety market-
                                                                        ing perspectives can be applied to support practi-
    This paper has presented the marketing insights                     cal decisions in this context.
of a site service operator. The established concepts                        1. Marketing of industrial parks means that
in the field of business-to-business marketing, serv-                   industrial services are to be sold. These services
ice marketing, personal selling as well as the under-                   have a high impact on a client’s profit position and
lying theories of information economics, principal                      are subject to extensive decision making process-

 Figure 7 Effective marketing communication mix (source: own representation).

                                                                                  Indirect customer communication
                                        Direct customer communication
                                                                                       Work with intermediaries
                                        Direct contact with the customer
                                                                                        e.g. Invest in Germany
                                                                                Intermediaries (e.g. German trade and
                                                     Trade fairs                    invest; chambers of commerce)

               Push                   Sales representatives / personal sel-      Incentive programmes for marketing
                                                      ling                                     partners
    Offer the product
  directly to the market Promotion (phone / e-mailing marke-                         Example: Networking Events

                                       Example: Infraserv’s Site Excellence

                                             Focus on image /reputation
                                                                  Collaborate in industry studies with
                Pull                                               economic development agencies /
                        Success stories / publications / presen-    Invest in Germany / Consultants
  Create demand for the     tation at industry conferences
     product/service                                             Be listed in rankings and site-selection
                               Advertising / sponsoring                         data bases

                                       Example: Content on Websites and         Example: VCI chemical parks associati-
                                        through other relevant channels                         on

Journal of Business Chemistry 2017, 14 (2)                         38                               © Journal of Business Chemistry
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