There is much more to marketing than you might initially think.
A company – for the purpose of this blog I shall use the fictional example of ‘Great Medicine Company’ – could approach Holdsworth Associates and explain that they want to sell more of their product, ‘Pain Relief Bracelets’, to their customers. Holdsworth Associates would then write a proposal of how they could help the company do this, by analysing the various routes to market.
The customers of ‘Great Medicine Company’ are old people suffering from Arthritis. These customers can buy ‘Pain Relief Bracelets’ directly through the company website. They may also want to purchase the bracelets from pharmaceutical stores such as Boots, so Holdsworth Associates could suggest that ‘Great Medicine Company’ approach Boots and try to encourage them to stock ‘Pain Relief Bracelets’, thus making Boots another direct route to market. Arthritis sufferers might also get pain relief solutions as prescriptions from their doctors, so this could be another route to market, as doctors could be made more aware of the benefits of ‘Pain Relief Bracelets’.
Sounds fairly simple so far, but…
…there are other less obvious marketing techniques that Holdsworth Associates explores in order to increase sales, such as communication channels. These ‘channels’ are types of media that can be used to influence the consumer into following the route to market, so Holdsworth Associates has to consider what the customer reads, what they look at online etc. For example, Boots has a membership magazine which regular customers, some of which will be Arthritis sufferers, subscribe to. So this could be a communication channel, as articles and advertisements could be displayed in the magazine, raising awareness amongst customers of ‘Pain Relief Bracelets’ and their benefits. Other communication channels could be Doctors’ magazines, sports magazines and specialist arthritis websites, on all of which information and adverts could be displayed.
So, although on the surface one would think that HA’s proposal for ‘Great Medicine Company’ would be pretty simple, in fact it would be extensive, as there are so many different routes to market and communication channels that need to be considered.
The reason I found this information interesting is that, when I flick through a magazine and see an advert for a product, I am completely oblivious to all the research and decision making that has occurred in order to make me, the target audience, see that particular advert. Market researchers have spent a lot of time trying to understand what I, as a customer, am like, where I like to shop and what I might read.
– Victoria Attwood, University of Birmingham