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Place as a component of the marketing mix

Part of our 12 Ps Marketing series blogs, this week we discuss Place.

What is a place?

When we think of place, also known as distribution, what comes to mind is the saying “Location, location, location!”. Location can refer to a company's actual office space or to the channels it uses to distribute goods or services to customers. The location of the product's manufacturing and storage are also included.

Choosing a location to sell your goods or services used to be as simple as choosing the ideal brick and mortar locations for your goods and those that complement your brand strategy. But in today’s technology driven economy, online marketing strategies are as crucial, as the internet serves as another platform for advertising and sales. In fact, as marketers pay more attention to e-commerce, digital advertising expenditure has exceeded conventional advertising spending.

Finding the ideal place to reach consumers and the most profitable location is the key. Retailers, agents, wholesalers, e-commerce sites, online marketplaces are some examples of distribution channels. Selling at physical and online sites simultaneously is an additional choice.

Marketing decisions made about place

Not all locations are appropriate for product promotion and distribution. As a result, it is crucial to provide customers with what they need at a location that is simple to find. So, when choosing a location to promote a product or service, the following issues should be considered:

  • channels to market, i.e., direct, or indirect.

  • geographical distribution and territorial coverage.

  • retail outlets and market locations.

  • catalogues.

  • inventory storage.

  • logistics.

  • order fulfilment.

Questions usually asked when making the decisions are:

  • Which locations or venues do customers frequently use for comparable goods and services?

  • Where does the competition market its goods?

  • What are the target market's purchasing or buying preferences?

  • Would a sales crew be needed for product placement and distribution, or will a salesforce suffice?

  • How are the appropriate distribution channels reached?

In summary, the basic goal of an effective distribution or "place" strategy is to attract the consumer's attention and make it simple for them to purchase the product or service. For the ideal location, retailers would cough up a premium.

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