BUS203: Principles of Marketing
Unit 5: Distribution and Promotion
Once marketers have identified the right product and determined
appropriate pricing, they must decide how to effectively raise awareness
and distribute the product. This unit will focus on these decisions.
You will learn that distribution is a complex process that involves
taking a product through the manufacturing process, shipping to
warehouses, distributing to sellers and customers, and taking returned
products. Marketers must work with supply chain managers to determine
the best method to route products. If marketers expect that sales will
be heavier in the northeast than in the west, additional resources will
need to be allocated there to meet demand. There are a number of
strategies for moving a product through various distribution channels.
These vary based on anticipated demand, actual demand, and the
competition. Marketers must have a proactive strategy: They cannot sit
on inventory and wait for orders because inventory storage is expensive
and a lack of sales is disruptive.
The final and arguably most vital aspect of marketing is the actual
promotion of the product. This can take for the form of giveaways,
competitions, advertising, sales, and anything else a creative manager
can think of. Marketers must take a number of aspects into
If you employ a sales staff to promote the product, how do you
compensate them? If you pay a commission, how much commission will be
paid per unit? Will the sales staff be given discretion on price, or do
you want to send a uniform message that the price is locked in? If a new
company has limited funds available for advertising campaigns, might
they use public relations tactics to gain free media coverage?
These are just a few considerations that marketers must consider.
This final unit will provide you with the tools you need to make the
best possible promotion decisions.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 18 hours.
Please click on the link above and read the entire chapter. Note that the push and pull strategies are based on how the customer perceives a product. For example, if the company really wants to sell a product, it may aggressively push it through the distribution channel and into stores with pricing incentives. This is often seen with products the customer does not have a perceived need or desire for yet. A pull strategy is based on satisfying a customer's want or need. It is almost as if the customer is pulling the product through the distribution channel. Channel membership is a distribution strategy based on the type of product in question. If quality and reliability is important, marketers will use exclusive distributions, i.e. "authorized resellers." An intensive distribution is the opposite; a marketer will allow just about anyone to carry a product. Convenience foods are a good example. Just about every check-out line in a store now carries snacks and sodas.
Read this article on branding your company. This article describes in branding an architecture firm, but the rules are applicable to a variety of different types of companies.
Promotion gets to the heart of a marketing campaign. Once you have developed your product or service, identified a target audience, and crafted a selling proposition, now comes the time to let the world know about it. This may be accomplished through a number of means ranging from paid advertising to public relations outreach to direct sales. This subunit provides useful detail on this most critical 'P' of the marketing mix.
Please click on the link above and review Chapter 11, which you read earlier in the course. It discusses different methods of communication employed by businesses to reach their customers, the types of message strategies commonly used, and budgetary issues that must be considered. This time, please answer the discussion questions at the end of the chapter.
Read Sections 13.1 through 13.6 and answer the review questions at the end of each section. This chapter discusses the role selling plays in marketing strategies.
Read this article on tactics of sales people to win customers and get new product lines on store shelves for sale.
Read the section titled "Sales Promotion and Public Relations” (pp. 204-220) to gain an understanding of the sales force.
Read this chapter. Answer the review questions at the end of each section. The material explains the various public relations (PR) concepts and tools used by organizations. Public relations are the activities organizations engage in to create a positive image for a company, product or service, or a person. Press releases, sponsorships, and product placements are three commonly used PR tools. Press releases are designed to generate publicity, but there is no guarantee the media will use them in the stories they write. Sponsorships are designed to increase brand awareness, improve corporate image, and reach target markets. Product placements are designed to generate exposure, brand awareness, and interest.
Visit this interactive resource. You should briefly review each of the eight primer modules and make a note of any resources or templates you find especially useful. These resources and templates may be useful at a future date as you undertake a public relations campaign. We will refer back to this primer elsewhere in the course for specific examples supporting subunit topics ahead, but for now it provides a useful overview of the public relations craft and some tools at its disposal. This primer was prepared to help government and business leaders in the former Soviet Union make the transition from a centralized system to a market system, where they were expected to interact with a freer and more independent media. The concept of "public and media relations” was new to many of these leaders, so this primer provides a fundamental overview of the basic ideas and tools of PR.
Read this article about international communication tactics, using themes and images that transcend cultural differences. If you publish a website, then you are positioned to reach a global audience. English may connect those in global business with a common language, but we still need to be sensitive to cultural differences.
After reviewing the unit materials, please click on the link above and post and respond to the following topics on the course discussion forum. Feel free to start your own post and respond to other students' posts as well. If you haven't done so already, you will need to create a free account at the link above to participate in the discussions.
Observe an advertising campaign for a new product or service. Did you notice the same product or service advertised in different media? Who was the target audience? What was the marketing message? Why did the marketers select the particular medium (or media)? Think of a product or service you might promote with your own marketing plan. Who will be your target audience? What media will you select and why? What might your marketing message be? Find an example of a marketing campaign that may have relied more on public relations and free media placements than on a paid advertising campaign. Assess it for its strategies and effectiveness.