Place: 5 A’s of Distribution of Product in Social Marketing

20/05/2020 0 By indiafreenotes


Place refers to where the product/service of the business is seen, made, sold, or distributed. In essence, place decisions are associated with distribution channels and ways of getting the product to target key customers.

It is important to consider how accessible the product or service is and ensure that customers can easily find you. The product or service must be available to customers at the right time, at the right place, and in the right quantity.

For example, a business may want to provide their products over an e-commerce site, at a retail store, or through a third-party distributor.

Distribution can make or break a company. A good distribution system quite simply means the company has greater chance of selling its products more than its competitors. The company that spreads its products wider and faster into the market place at lower costs than its competitors will make greater margins absorb raw material price rise better and last longer in tough market conditions. Distribution is critical for any type of industry or service. The best price product, promotion and people come to nothing if the product is not available for sale at the points at which consumers can buy.

Types of Distribution Channel

  1. Indirect distribution

Indirect distribution is when the product reaches the end customer through numerous channels in between. For example The product goes from manufacturer to C&F, then to the distributor, then to the retailer and finally to the customer. Thus the chain is long.

  1. Direct distribution

Direct distribution is when the company either directly sends the product to end customer or when the channel length is very less. A company selling on an e commerce portal or selling through modern retail is the form of Direct distribution.

Further more, distribution strategies are also decided based on the level of penetration that the company wants to achieve. This level of penetration is decided again by the remaining 3 P’s of the marketing mix – Product, price and promotions. However, based on the level of penetration, the distribution strategies vary as follows.

  1. Intensive distribution

When the company is having a mass marketing product, then it uses intensive distribution. Intensive distribution tries to cover as much of the market as it can. Typical FMCG and consumer durable products are best example of intensive distribution strategy. You can read this detailed article on Intensive Distribution.

  1. Selective distribution

A company like Armani, Zara or any other such branded company will have selective distribution. These companies are likely to have only limited outlets. For example: In an urban city, Armani might have 2-3 outlets at the maximum whereas Zara might have 4-5. You can read this detailed article on Selective Distribution.

  1. Exclusive distribution

If Zara has 4-5 outlets in a city, how many outlets would a company like Lamborghini have? Probably one in a region of 5-7 cities. That’s exclusive distribution for you. If a company wants to give a big region to one single distributor then it is known as exclusive distribution strategy. In some cases, a distributor might be appointed for a complete country. There would be no one other then that distributor operating in that company. You can read this detailed article on Exclusive Distribution

Overall, distribution strategies depend a lot on the various products which the companies might have. A single company might have multiple product line and lengths, each with its own distribution strategy.

Some products, which are premium, might need selective distribution whereas others which are mass products, may need intensive distribution. The strategies for both types will be different. So, in the end, the distribution of a company is dynamic in nature and it contributes a lot to the competitive advantage of the company.