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A distribution channel refers to the means by which a product or service reaches the consumer or potential customer. Distribution channels in management entails all the different aspects aimed at efficient and timely delivery of products and services to potential customers. Aaker and Biel argues that distribution channels are an element of the marketing mix that includes the product, price, place, and promotion (21). All these elements interact with each other to influence the promotional activities in a company.
Distribution channels in management therefore involve the communication or interactions that ensure establishment of appropriate ways a firm can deliver what the customers want effectively and efficiently. An important consideration to determine a distribution channel is the buyer behaviour. The way buyers want to purchase the product or service is a very important consideration as well. Distribution channels involve the support of other people in order for a marketer to deliver to the target. Distribution channels involve activities such as ordering, promotion and selling as well as feedback about a product or service.
Advertising refers to the process by which communication about a product or service to a prospective customer is carried out. Advertising is one of the elements in the promotional mix. The marketing process entails aspects of how a product is produced, designed, branded, tested, packaged, distributed, priced, and promoted. The role played by advertising in the marketing process is therefore very important. An advertising activity makes a product not only valuable, useful of attractive but also increases its consumption. This is through the reinforcement of the brand image thus creating awareness about a particular product as well as new brands in the market (Aaker and Biel 17).
With the increased importance of media globally, advertising role has also grown in marketing. The marketing process involves continuous search by a company to achieve a competitive advantage. This refers to a unique or special aspect in an organization that makes it better than its competitors do. Advertising is one of ways an organization may achieve a competitive advantage. Through advertisement an organizations create and maintains differentiation of its product as well as its brand equity. Strong brands have given companies a competitive advantage over their competitors in their respect target markets (Batra, Myers and Aaker 10).
In addition, advertising has played a role in market segmentation as a marketing strategy. This involves dividing a market into target groups in an effort to understand their needs better and respond to them appropriately. Advertising has therefore been used to communicate to target markets about a product or service. This is because advertising communicates to the target audience the promotional message concerning the product through different media. These media may include the television, newspaper, internet, brochures, and posters among others.
According to Batra, Myers and Aaker , the creation and maintenance of brand equity is an important role of advertising in branding methods (7). Brand name is an intangible asset derived from an appealing image that develops customer attachment to a company name or brand name allowing the particular brand to acquire increased sales volume. In addition, advertising is used to reinforce a brand name to make it enjoy sustained and strong equity position.
In conclusion, the relationship between the marketing mix elements is very important for any company. The product quality, advertising, and competition interact to determine the price of a product. For instance, premium prices may be charged to those brands having relative advertising budgets. Therefore, pricing and advertising are inseparable elements in the marketing process. Distribution and advertising ought to be integrated to the other marketing mix decisions in order to for a company to achieve the overall desired product image or brand that is appealing to the customers and offers a competitive advantage to the firm. Reinforcement of the brand name ought to be carried out to ensure brand maintenance.