The marketing mix comprises of the five P’s – Person, Product, Price, Place and Promotion. If you’re new to marketing, you may want to first look up the 5P’s of marketing with this course. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of the ‘place’ factor in the marketing mix, how to choose the right channels of distribution and how the internet is fast changing the way businesses are conducted irrespective of your business location.
To maximize sales and reach out to larger audiences, it is very important for your business to be “visible” to potential customers. The place of business, distribution channels and logistics plays a crucial role in the success of your marketing strategy. While product, pricing and promotions go hand in hand with the place factor, if your business location is not appropriately chosen, the rest your efforts would hardly get noticed! Hence, to get the marketing mix right, select the place where you would set up shop very carefully, choose your channel partners and distributors wisely and then get on with your marketing efforts in an integrated way. You can learn how to create an effective marketing plan for small businesses with this course.
If you are the owner of a small or medium sized business, a business strategist or a marketing professional, then you must first do a thorough market research with respect to the area, customer demographics and preferences, social and economic considerations etc. before you choose your company location. You may have noticed that the neighbourhood coffee shop on the main road is frequently visited by office-goers as well as students on the way back from their work or colleges. The strategic location of the coffee-shop matters; had he opened his business in a narrow alley between two buildings, he wouldn’t have had as much foot traffic as he attracts now.
Factors to consider while deciding on Marketing Mix – Place
- Avoid Competition – If you are an entrepreneur or just starting out on your business venture, avoid setting up shop next to a competitor of yours. Your competition might already have a loyal customer base and this could affect your sales. Think out-of-the-box and select a locale that has enough space for your offerings.
- Visibility – As said earlier, it’s always better to have an office on the main road instead of behind a building on a deserted street of the neighborhood. You may have to pay more for the location but in the long run, the visibility of your business increases and more and more people will find out about your services and products.
- High Footfall – Find out the density of traffic in the area you want to set up your business in. If people rarely visit the place for their purchasing requirements, then even a good business plan wouldn’t be sufficient to ensure growth.
- Accessibility – Ensure that your business place is easily accessible to potential customers to walk-in and enquire about your offerings. If the accessibility is difficult, nobody would make the extra effort to reach you when there’s a similar business that’s easily reachable.
Businessmen often make the mistake of not giving enough attention to the place or location of their business, thinking that everything would be a smooth sail just on the basis of their pricing and product features. But it’s not so. You might have seen that restaurants and cafes are normally located at corners of streets or intersections; this is because people can easily walk-in and is visible from many directions. For a closer look at how to formulate a marketing strategy for small businesses, check out this course.
Importance of Distribution Channels
If you take the classic example of the construction equipment manufacturer, Caterpillar’s growth story, you will be amazed to know that the crucial factor of its success was its ability to create a strong dealer network across the world. The distributors of Caterpillar are not only the front face of the company, but they also provide customer training, sales and service support, maintenance etc.
Choosing your distribution channels plays an important role in communicating your brand value to the end-user. If you choose a dealer, who doesn’t find any incentives to promote your product, then it wouldn’t be a cost-effective channel for your business. The channels you select can invariably affect your other marketing decisions such as price and promotion strategies. So how do you select channel partners or distributors for your business? Here are a few pointers that will help you make key decisions in this regard:
- Evaluate the channels – Before deciding on an intermediary to sell your products, you must find out more about distributors and channel members. Learn about their experience in the domain, reputation, other product lines that they sell, size and quality of the sales force, store location, customer base and growth potential etc.
- Manage and motivate the channels – Your distributor is the face of your company product and is the first point of contact with your customer. You need to build a long-lasting relation with your channel partners, understand their needs and motivate them regularly to bring about a cohesive working arrangement.
Significance of Internet Marketing
You’ll be surprised to know that in today’s age of lightning-fast communication and instant messaging, businesses have grown leaps and bounds even without setting up an office space! People are transacting online, sending business proposals, generating invoices, collecting funds and selling products or services right from their fingertips. Internet and mobile technology has removed many hurdles from the traditional marketing efforts of the bygone era. With the fast-paced world that we live in, customers expect the quickest solutions to their problems, the fastest deliveries and cost-effective transactions from businesses across the globe.
If you are a businessman or a marketing executive of your company, ensure that your business is not only online but also reaching out and engaging with customers on a regular basis. Through digital marketing, mobile apps and social media promotions, businesses can increase their growth potential rapidly. Learn more about managing your digital marketing with this course.
In short, while the place of your business and selection of distribution channels plays an integral part in your marketing success, remember to invest your resources in internet, mobile and social media marketing for greater visibility and customer reach!