The New Global Oil Market: Understanding Energy Issues in the World Economy

By Siamack Shojai | Go to book overview

Chapter 6
Marketing of Oil in the United States

Carolyn E. Predmore

This chapter looks at the marketing of oil from the wellhead to the consumer and beyond. Oil companies are not just interested in promoting their oil products, they are also interested in enhancing the image of the company. Oil companies as well as other branded companies try to build brand equity for their products. They want the customer to have a clear picture of what the company products are, how well they work, and what the company stands for. Marketing helps the oil companies achieve a differential advantage within the public's mind.

Using information garnered from the marketing department, the oil company can control the product, its price, its promotion, and its distribution. There are, however, uncontrollable factors including society, technology, government, customers, competition, the economy, and politics. The marketing department in a company may not be called upon to react to all of these influences in order to build brand equity, but certainly it has dealt with all of these issues at different times. The effects of decisions concerning product, price, promotion, and distribution at each stage in the movement of oil will be examined in this chapter. However, the marketing of oil does not stop there. Oil companies are very aware that public opinion can sway governmental regulations either for or against the industry. The oil companies not only market their products, they market themselves to the local community, the country, and the world. This chapter will also look at some of the extensive programs oil companies have to enhance their corporate image in the United States and worldwide.


THE OIL WELL--THE BEGINNING

It is easiest to understand the marketing of oil if the movement of a barrel of oil is followed from the wellhead to the consumer. Oil is found by drilling

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