Place – One of the Elements of a Well-Conceived Marketing Matrix
Finally, where you sell your product can have a profound impact on your success. For many years, IBM equipment was not sold in any retail outlet. In the late 1970’s, with personal computers growing in market acceptance, the company made a strategic decision to open their own retail stores, carrying chiefly IBM products and representing the only place these products could be purchased. As more and more stores offering a wide array of computer equipment and accessories became fashionable, IBM was forced to reassess its strategy. Today, IBM equipment is available through many competing retail outlets alongside most of its major competitors’ products.
For many years, doctors made house calls. Today, if you want to see your doctor, there is a high probability you will have to go to his office. Depending on the patient, i.e., customer profile, the office décor will vary widely – homey and comfortable with a range of toys and children’s books in the case of an obstetrician, to severe and even simple in the case of a radiologist. Lawyers specialising in corporate law and dealing primarily with large corporations are normally located in downtown high rise office buildings and their office décor is usually tasteful, elegant and expensive. Smaller law firms might be located in suburban areas and their décor less ostentatious.
Every effort should be made to ensure that the location where you conduct business is convenient for your customers. The facility should be appointed in a fashion that will make them feel comfortable. The object is to make it as easy and as inviting as possible for them to do business with you.
In the late 1900’s, a new, previously unimaginable location emerged. Today, the Internet is one of the fastest growing marketing channels. You should follow its development carefully. Does your product lend itself to marketing on the Internet? If so, do you have a website? Has it been professionally designed? Have you taken the same pains to tailor its appearance to appeal to your ideal customer as you have with your office décor?
Does your site have an e-commerce capability? Do you have someone on staff, or perhaps an outside contractor, who stays abreast of changes in technology and updates your site accordingly? Do you or an employee or outside contractor specialise in the business as opposed to the technology of your site? Do you have a marketing plan for your website? In the 21st Century, the Internet has become an indispensable and ever more important location to conduct business and if you do not keep abreast of it, you will run the risk of getting left behind, a relic in a modern and progressive world.
As you move forward in designing and implementing your marketing plan, be sure to carefully consider the final three P’s of marketing: Packaging, Positioning and Place. Combined with Product, Price, People and Promotion, they form the matrix of a successful marketing initiative.
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