Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Monday, July 10, 2006

There's A Time And A Place.

"Cast where the fish are" is great marketing advice, but too often chief executives forget that you also have to cast with the correct bait for hungry fish. This is most evident when it comes to the P of place. Optimising this marketing element is about making it easy for your customers to access your product/service, it is not about casting your net wide.

Many years ago, I was involved with a project in the US which looked at widening video rental distribution and the relative inconvenience of having to make two visits to a rental store to rent and then return a video. The solution was - and still is - to integrate this double drop into the existing life patterns of consumers, i.e take the rental outlet to locations where the customer is likely to be twice in any 24 hour period. Sadly, back then, the prospective automated rental machines (that might have been placed in office lobbies or commuter railway staions) turned out not to exist beyond the drawing board and so the lesser option of rental outlets within supermarkets was trialled.

But, throughout the exercise, the focus was on facilitating the errand aspect of the process and finding the "places" where that fit with the customers' existing behaviour. It's not rocket science. Yet, today I read of a deal by which a major bank will install ATMs in phone booths (in an attempt to save the ailing phone booth network and maximise distribution of ATMs). It reminds me of the piece of dotcom lunacy that led a photobooth company to rebrand itself by offering internet access in their locations. The inevitable failure was an expensive one because people didn't know what the internet was and were certainly not thinking of it while outside their homes or offices.

It seems equally unlikely that people who have lost the habit of using phonebooths will search them out to access their bank account and how long I wonder will it be until the first phone box is removed by thieves with a mechanical digger (as has been the case with hole in the wall ATMs for many years)?

We are each a composite of many different consumers with different mindsets and worldviews dependent upon the time of day and what we're doing. Marketers need simultaneously to tap into that mental "place" in our mind/day and our physical "place." It's the only way they'll get their rod to bend.


Blogger Ken said...

The fish are clearly where the Top 5 Network Marketing Companies are...


12:08 PM, February 03, 2007  

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