Don’t Forget the Second “P”: The Changing Face of Distribution

Business students often learn about the four P’s of marketing: product, place, price, and promotion. In order to make a sale, all four principles must line up for the potential buyer. Today, these four principles are adapting to a world with lightning-fast technology and international audiences. Businesses that don’t take advantage of the global online marketplace will find that brick and mortar stores are lagging behind their technologically partnered competitors.

Potential Customers

Marketers can use the internet to capture a wider net of customers. Once you open the virtual doors to your online store, your potential customers grow from locals and seasonal tourists to anyone with internet access. Placing your merchandise online will help keep highly specialized items in demand. Niche items can be a tough sell in a physical store, but when you acquire an international clientele, the right customers can easily be matched with the right product.

Rethink Your Dying Products

Movie rental stores have been losing their traditional business for years. Maybe one of your formerly beloved products has been losing popularity too. Giving up is the wrong idea; you just need a new approach, maybe a new place. Movies can now be “rented” online: through Netflix, through iTunes, and soon, through Facebook. Warner Brothers recently announced that they will be making their movies accessible through one of the most visited social networking systems. Which product of yours can you move online to boost sales?

Once your business is already online, you can continue to expand the placement of your products. Smart phone applications and Google TV, an innovation that joins together internet and television, offer businesses creative and instant ways to connect with their customers and attract new ones.

Merging Place and Promotion

Your online store isn’t located solely at your own website. Wherever you promote your business online, instant access to your products and services is available. Online promotion isn’t like television commercials or roadside billboards. You won’t have to hope that potential customers remember your name or get your jingle stuck their head. Instead, customers can click a link to your site the moment their interest is piqued, creating a seamless transition from promotion to place.

Leveraging online distribution and promotion are a part of the marketing mix that is here to stay. Whether it is opening an ecommerce store or making sure that you have optimized your Google Place for each and every one of you physical locations, you must be aware of your options. Staying in the know is easier with some help from, and networking with, other marketing professionals. These opportunities and more are available with an AMA Tampa Bay membership.

Sources:

Warner Brothers to Deliver Movies on Facebook (Cnet)

Google TV Review (Engadget)

Marketing’s 4 “P’s” (Purdue University)

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