- Distribution (business)
Marketing Key concepts Product marketing · Pricing
Distribution · Service · Retail
Ethics · Effectiveness · Research
Segmentation · Strategy · Activation
Management · Dominance
Promotional content Advertising · Branding · Underwriting
Direct marketing · Personal sales
Product placement · Publicity
Sales promotion · Sex in advertising
Loyalty marketing · SMS marketing
Premiums · Prizes
Promotional media Printing · Publication · Broadcasting
Out-of-home advertising · Internet
Point of sale · Merchandise
Digital marketing · In-game advertising
In-store demonstration · Word-of-mouth
Brand ambassador · Drip marketing · Visual merchandising
Product distribution (or place) is one of the four elements of the marketing mix. An organization or set of organizations (go-between) involved in the process of making a product or service available for use or consumption by a consumer or business user.
The distribution channel
Distribution is also a very important component of Logistics & Supply chain management. Distribution in supply chain management refers to the distribution of a good from one business to another. It can be factory to supplier, supplier to retailer, or retailer to end customer. It is defined as a chain of intermediaries, each passing the product down the chain to the next organization, before it finally reaches the consumer or end-user. This process is known as the 'distribution chain' or the 'channel.' Each of the elements in these chains will have their own specific needs, which the producer must take into account, along with those of the all-important end-user.
A number of alternative 'channels' of distribution may be available:
- Distributor,who sells to retailers via direct marketing, or brokers can also be used,
- Retailer (also called dealer or reseller), who sells to end customers
- Direct Distribution(Direct Marketing),where an organization sells its products directly to the end customer. For example in case of online purchases(Internet Marketing and E-commerce) there will be the seller and customer. For this the seller and the customer may depend on various shipping providers.
- Advertisement typically used for the consumption goods
Distribution channels may not be restricted to physical products from producer to consumer in certain sectors, since both direct and indirect channels may be used. Hotels, for example, may sell their services (typically rooms) directly or through travel agents, tour operators, airlines, tourist boards, centralized reservation systems, etc. process of transfer the products or services from Producer to Customer or end user.
There have also been some innovations in the distribution of services. For example, there has been an increase in franchising and in rental services - the latter offering anything from televisions through tools. There has also been some evidence of service integration, with services linking together, particularly in the travel and tourism sectors. For example, links now exist between airlines, hotels and car rental services. In addition, there has been a significant increase in retail outlets for the service sector. Outlets such as estate agencies and building society offices are crowding out traditional grocers from major shopping areas.
Channel Sales is nothing but a chain for marketing a product through different sources.
- Channel strategy
- Gravity & adventure
- Push and Pull strategy
- Product (or service)
- Consumer location
The channel decision is very important. In theory at least, there is a form of trade-off: the cost of using intermediaries to achieve wider distribution is supposedly lower. Indeed, most consumer goods manufacturers could never justify the cost of selling direct to their consumers, except by mail order. Many suppliers seem to assume that once their product has been sold into the channel, into the beginning of the distribution chain, their job is finished. Yet that distribution chain is merely assuming a part of the supplier's responsibility; and, if they have any aspirations to be market-oriented, their job should really be extended to managing all the processes involved in that chain, until the product or service arrives with the end-user. This may involve a number of decisions on the part of the supplier:
- Channel membership
- Channel motivation
- Monitoring and managing channels
Type of marketing channel
- Intensive distribution - Where the majority of resellers stock the 'product' with convenience products, for example, and particularly the brand leaders in consumer goods markets (price competition may be evident).
- Selective distribution - This is the normal pattern (in both consumer and industrial markets) where 'suitable' resellers stock the product.In this case retailers can keep the competitors products in their outlets e.g. furniture etc.
- Exclusive distribution - Only lam-bard specially selected resellers or authorized dealers (typically only one per geographical area) are allowed to sell the 'product'.
In this retailers are restricted to keep only one manufacturers products e.g. exclusive outlets of cars,apparels and jewellery etc. Marketing plans
It is difficult enough to motivate direct employees to provide the necessary sales and service support. Motivating the owners and employees of the independent organizations in a distribution chain requires even greater effort. There are many devices for achieving such motivation. Perhaps the most usual is `incentive': the supplier offers a better margin, to tempt the owners in the channel to push the product rather than its competitors; or a compensation is offered to the distributors' sales personnel, so that they are tempted to push the product. Julian Dent defines this incentive as a Channel Value Proposition or business case, with which the supplier sells the channel member on the commercial merits of doing business together. He describes this as selling business models not products.
Monitoring and managing channels
In much the same way that the organization's own sales and distribution activities need to be monitored and managed, so will those of the distribution chain.
In practice, many organizations use a mix of different channels; in particular, they may complement a direct sales-force, calling on the larger accounts, with agents, covering the smaller customers and prospects. These channels show marketing strategies of an organization. Effective management of distribution channel requires making and implementing decision in these areas.
- Agricultural marketing
- All commodity volume
- Channel Value Proposition
- Document automation in supply chain management & logistics
- Extended Enterprise
- Good distribution practice (GDP)
- Liquid logistics
- Online Channel Management for hotels
- Channel Management for Hotels
- entrepreneur.com Get Your Product to Market in Six Steps, You're the best person for the job, so get started,by Tamara Monosoff, May 7, 2009
- entrepreneur.com Thinking Outside the Big Box, Check out these alternatives to major retail stores that can help your new product reach your target audience, By Tamara Monosoff, February 19, 2007
- entrepreneur.com Beam Me Up, Companies that can help you get your product onto direct-response TV stations and into retail stores, By Don Debelak, June 17, 2007
- state-university.com, Looking Into Marketing and Distribution - MARKETING A PRODUCT, PACKAGING, ADVERTISING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS, SELLING THE PRODUCT, SERVICES MARKETING
- wilsonweb.com, Developing an Internet Marketing Plan, The 4Ps of Marketing:P2 Distribution,Issue 82, June 1, 2000
- on-time.org Oil Distribution
- iris.edu The Uniform Product Distribution System
- mplans.com Product Marketing & Distribution
- indiahowto.com How to design a good distribution system
- preserve-articles.com, 5 factors that governs the selection of a good product distribution system
- forestry.ubc.ca Japanese distribution system building products
- Udell.edu 15 Channels & Wholesaling Class
- know this.com Distribution Systems: Indirect
- pierce college.edu PDF, Product Distribution
- entrepreneur.com Distribution Models
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