17 - Improve distribution with your promotional mix...

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Unformatted text preview: Improve distribution with your promotional mix Promotional techniques are available to manage selling through the channels, not just to them Benson P. Shapiro A major question facing marketers of industrial and consumer goods alike is how to gain greater support from their dealers and distributors. Because of the increasing expense involved in distribution, it is important for mar- keters and manufacturers to devote their efforts to improved management of their channels. In this article, the author shows how companies, by using various sales promotional devices, can move their merchandise through the distribution pipeline. Mr. Shapiro is associate professor of business ad- ministration at the Harvard Business School, where he teaches industrial market- ing. He has written a number of HBR articles, including "Manage the Customer, Not Just the Sales Force" (September- October r974), and is author of Sales PwgTam Management [McGraw- Hill, r977). His current research concerns indus- trial product policy. One of the most frustrating problems facing many marketers is the management of their distribution ehannels. As an industrial marketer reeently told me, "While I don't want to dictate to my distribu- tors, I darn well want them to be eooperative. We pay them well but we don't seem to gain the sup- port we need." A consumer goods marketer stated that same eon- cern a bit differently: "If I could gain more help from my distribution channels, we eould substantially increase volume and have even greater impact on profits. But when I press the button whieh says, 'Get the distributors to increase sales of product A immediately,' all too often I get a push on product C in three months. Our ehannels are so long and eomplex that we have little effect on them." While there is no easy solution to gaining better distributor support, astute use of the promotional mix makes it possible to accomplish goals at min- imum expense. Aecordingly, the essenee of the pro- gram I will propose here is: 1 The manufacturer should manage his channels of distribution in a cooperative manner to sell thxough and not to his distributors and their salespeople 2 There are many promotional techniques whieh can be used to accomplish this. 3 Each level of the channel needs its own mix of pro- motional devices. Harvard Business Review March-April 1977 Each product has its own needs that require a tailored set of promotional devices. 5 The program must he coordinated in a coherent fashion which considers marketing objectives as well as budget constraints. The remainder of this article is devoted to a discus- sion of the distrihution channels, and a review of the many ways of promoting an industrial or con- sumer product. Finally, I will show how to use the promotional mix-that is, the various promotional techniques as a way to manage distributors....
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This note was uploaded on 11/10/2010 for the course MAR 4803 taught by Professor Allen,j during the Spring '08 term at University of Central Florida.

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17 - Improve distribution with your promotional mix...

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