Marketing Issues Essay

2482 Words Nov 17th, 2010 10 Pages
Buying a computer in the post, petrol at a supermarket, mortgages over the phone and phones themselves from vending machines are just some innovations in distribution which create competitive advantage as customers are offered newer, faster, cheaper, safer and easier ways of buying products and services.
Without distribution even the best product or service fails. Author Jean-Jacques Lambin believes a marketer has two roles: (1) to organise exchange through distribution and (2) to organise communication.
Physical distribution, or Place, must integrate with the other 'P's in the marketing mix. For example, the design of product packaging must fit onto a pallet, into a truck and onto a shelf; prices are often determined by distribution
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Channels change throughout a product's life cycle. Changing lifestyles, aspirations and expectations along with the IT explosion offer new opportunities of using distribution to create a competitive edge.
Controlling the flow of products and services from producer to customer requires careful consideration. It can determine success or failure in the market place.
The choice of channel includes choosing among and between distributors, agents, retailers, franchisees, direct marketing and a sales force.
Deciding between blanket coverage or selective distribution, vertical systems or multi-channel networks, strategic alliances or solo sales forces, requires strong strategic thinking.
Decisions about levels of stock, minimum order quantities, delivery methods, delivery frequency and warehouse locations have major cash flow implications as well as customer satisfaction implications.
All of these questions are considered in more detail in the sections on channels and strategies. Meanwhile remember Lambin - "distribution is one of the two main roles of marketing."
Distribution Strategy
Distribution strategy is influenced by the market structure, the firm's objectives, its resources and of course its overall marketing strategy. All these factors are addressed in the section on selecting Distribution Channels.
The first strategic decision is whether the distribution is to be: Intensive (with mass distribution into all outlets as in the case of confectionery);

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