Samuel Scott






Supply chain crisis a reminder of marketing’s forgotten priority – place

by | Nov 4, 2021 | Marketing Essays

My new column is live in The Drum:

The world is in the middle of a supply chain crisis that is delaying shipments and clogging many ports. In his latest Promotion Fix column, Samuel Scott reminds us that ’place’ is an often-ignored part of the marketing mix and shows what marketers should do in both communications and distribution.

Place (or distribution) is the P in the marketing mix that marketers discuss the least. But the world’s ongoing supply chain troubles show that the industry should continue to ignore it at our own peril.

Why? The same problem that plagues marketing communications today is also harming distribution. More on that below.

The 4 Ps are levers that companies can use. The tech world aims to build the best products. New FMCG brands often have lower prices to undercut the competition. Many advertising executives want to focus on promotion.

But how did Netflix defeat Blockbuster in the early 2000s? By concentrating on distribution with a DVD-by-mail service. After all, the two had the same products, and Netflix could never outspend Blockbuster on ads. A new type of media distribution was the strategic source of leverage.

In 1999, Netflix sold a $16 monthly subscription plan in the US. People could have four DVDs out at a time without any late fees and just mail the watched movies in pre-paid envelopes at their leisure. The company’s insight was that customers hated late fees but could not always return videos on time.

But the marketing industry rarely talks about such issues. So, before I discuss the current global import and export chaos that is seemingly run by George Costanza’s Vandelay Industries, I will introduce the basic principles.

Read the rest here.

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