Is Advertising waste without proper distribution ?

Published by MBA Skool Team, Published on October 30, 2010

Why does a company advertise its product? Mainly to inform the customer about their product so that the customer can remember it and buy it when needed.

So what happens if the customer goes to the shop (where he expects your product to be available) and doesn’t find the product.


Advertising without Distribution


There can be two scenarios now

1) Customer will return empty handed with a bad experience in mind. This would certainly hurt the company's image.

2) The customer might end up buying the competitor’s product.

Let us take an example. These days market is filled with the lemon based drinks. Minute Maid Lemon, Nimbooz and LMN are the three main brands  available in the market. All the three are advertising nationwide. Let’s consider a case wherein the customer saw the ad of LMN and liked it. One day he just goes to a grocery shop, is thirsty and remembers the ad and instantly asks for LMN. The shopkeeper says LMN is not available.

Before the customer thinks anything else shopkeeper suggests that Nimbooz (or minute maid) is available. There is a very high possibility that Customer might end up buying Nimbooz.

So the customer was actually pulled by the LMN ad but the pull resulted in the sale of the competitor. So isn’t it a waste of advertising expense ? Yes it is.

Here we took an example where there was a very close competitor product available .What if it was not available? In that case customer would have returned from the shop with a bad experience and would remember it.

So for any product which is advertised to a certain target audience, it should be made sure that the product is available at the relevant touch points .

The situation can be a bit simple for premium niche products or specific products targeted to a fixed Target Group. But it can be very complex for mass marketed products or services.

The best solution can be a phased approach where in advertisement should be restricted to only those areas or Target Group where the distribution has actually started or completed. The other approach can be start advertising once the Supply chain has covered the entire territory.

So Advertising is incomplete without proper supply chain management or distribution in place. Proper sync between marketing and operations leads to a happy and satisfied customer.



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