The Distribution Approach to Marketing Exchange

Marketing is about creating value through exchanges, but mostpeople view marketing as only a small portion of those exchangeprocesses. Using a distribution approach to marketing exchange —one that focuses on making the flows of information, innovation,and compensation more effective and more efficient — will increaseyour ability to see the “big picture” as well as focus on whatneeds to be improved.

Reviewing the 4 Ps

Marketing often is described in terms of the “marketing mix,”which for years has been considered “the four Ps” of marketing:Product, Promotion, Price, and Place. Let’s review them briefly(skip past this section if you’re already a 4P pro).

Product consists of not just the actual physical good (ifthere’s a physical good involved), but all of the services andancillary goods that go along with it. Thus, “product” could referto a good, service, information, entertainment, experience,location, political candidate, idea, etc.

Promotion is often thought of as the message moving from theseller to the buyer. It could include formal advertising as well asother methods by which information is transferred for the purposeof selling the product. It also is sometimes considered toencompass tactics that help to sell the product (such aseducational campaigns, co-branding, price reductions, etc.).

Price of course refers to the price of the product—how much thebuyer will pay. But it also can include additional costs ofacquiring the product.

Place, also referred to as Placement or Distribution, considerswhere the product can be purchased (from as general as the basicgeographic area to as specific as where on the shelf it’s located)as well as the path from the various sellers (e.g., manufacturers,assemblers, wholesalers, retailers) to the various buyers.

The Customer-Focused 4 Cs

The 4 Ps are quite straightforward, and they’re often seen asbeing from the marketer’s perspective. That one-sided approachmotivated marketing professor and author Philip Kotler to beginadvocating “the four Cs” to consider marketing more from thecustomer perspective. The four Cs (note that there are multipleversions of these) are:

Customer Value (somewhat analogous to Product) should includethe customer’s view of what’s valuable, beneficial, and pertinentto the customer’s needs and wants.

Communication (compared to Promotion) is more of a dyadic(two-way) approach to information transfer rather than Promotion’sseemingly unidirectional view.

Cost to the Customer (includes Price) would include all costsexperienced by the customer, whether paid to the seller or to otherfirms that help facilitate the transaction (e.g., to shippers,inspectors, etc.).

Convenience (a reference to the accessibility of Place) is basedon the idea that from the customer’s perspective, the convenienceof acquiring the product often is more relevant than thetransportation path (distribution channel) that made the productaccessible.

How does or could the material in this video/article (orsome portion of it) apply to the mortgage industry if you were amortgage lender?