A key element of the 4P’s is “Place”. Where and how you distribute your products or services is as important as what they are, their price and how you promote them.
There are two ways of looking at your “Place”.
One is the geographic location of where you want to focus your business. Your options could be:
- Stick to your town
- Work in a 10 mile radius of your front door
- Work across your county
- Reach across your neighbouring counties
- Draw a triangle/circle/square joining up local major cities or taking in major motorway networks
- Concentrate on the south/north/east or west of the country
- Reach the whole of the country
- Go international…and if so, where?
The possibilities are many and varied and it depends on your product or service as to the extent to which you want to reach geographically.
The second aspect of Place is to look at your routes to market, or how you are going to reach your intended customers (aka where are you going to sell your wares?).
The internet has revolutionised how we can reach our customers, and this is an obvious consideration when looking at reaching and selling to your customers. But you may also look at distributing via retail outlets, direct sales personnel, or a network marketing model.
Concentrating on the geographic location first will help make the route to market decision much easier.
When you consider your geographic location, you will need to take into account your budget. If you’re just starting out but want to reach an international market, then it can be done but you’ll need relatively deep pockets to do that, plus an understanding of pan-European or international promotion and communication techniques. What is relevant/funny/poignant or makes sense in this country won’t necessarily translate into another country’s language or culture.
If you want to reach the whole of the UK, but only have enough budget to reach the end of your road (figuratively speaking) then you need to create an online offering that can reach a wider audience quickly and in a budget friendly manner, and this is where choosing your route to market decision making comes in.
Having a human sales force will always be more expensive than an online sales structure. But….they may be better at selling the product or service that you have. This is part of the marketing decision making that you need to consider. Some products or services are easily bought and sold across the internet; others lend themselves to the personal touch. You may find that you need different routes to market within your business depending on your product or service portfolio.
Next week we will be looking at your products, the first P of the Marketing Mix. You see, the Marketing Mix is just that. Stop thinking “4 P’s”, which is what is commonly known as, and start thinking “Marketing Mix”. If I was making a cake I would need butter, sugar, flour and eggs. But to make the perfect cake, I need to get the blend of those right; both in terms of the amounts I use and the way that I make the cake.
This is the same with your marketing mix. Each element of it – Product, Price, Place and Promotion – has to blend seamlessly with the other three. Each element has to enhance the other three so that the end result is greater than the sum of its parts.
Just like my cake. Fancy a slice?
If you’d like to get clear about the marketing mix for your business over a cup of tea and slice of cake – obviously! – then please schedule an initial Marketing Insight session with me.
See you next week,
To your success,