Distribution (Logistics) and Promotion represent the third and fourth elements in the marketing mix program. If companies develop a great marketing strategy, an outstanding value, and superb market offerings (products/services) but can not deliver them to customers, all these efforts will be useless. This is the core point of distribution (place) in the marketing mix program. Logistics concerns with the physical distribution of items, so it is an important part in the supply chain or the marketing value delivery network. Because companies can not provide value in the form of products or services by their own, they have to work collaboratively in a supply chain at which each element forms an important part in value delivery. For example, the device that you are using now to read this post is not completely made by the manufacturing company (brand). Tens of suppliers have contributed in making and delivering the various components of the device and then in delivering it to you. In distribution (logistics) and promotion , companies can not convince customers to buy unless the companies promote effectively their corporate value and the value of their offerings. Why are using a specific device from Samsung, Apple, or others to read this post? Why not from another company that you might not be aware of, such as Xiaomi or others? The reason is that the company has promoted its value well and convinced you to buy the product. This session discusses Distribution (logistics) and promotion in companies and apply them on humanitarian context, especially Save the Children International Non-Governmental Organization (U.K.). The session highlights chapters 12 & 13 (Distribution/Place) and 14 (Promotion) in Part 3 (Marketing Mix and Program) in (Marketing 2018) Book by Kotler & Armstrong (1st below figure). The book is the first in the 2nd Year Program within the service of Global English Management & Leadership Books in your channel (Management with Merits – Manage to Prosper). Next session, we will discuss the details of promotional mix tools or strategies and complete Part 3. To download the associated presentation (PDF) and access our related sessions, kindly go to our video at our YouTube Channel and click on the appropriate link in the description section below the video.
Distribution (Logistics) and Promotion – International Humanitarian Non-Government Organizations (INGOs)
Some people think that logistics is only for manufacturing or for profit companies. However, logistics functions are important for all types of organizations, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs). For example, while I was exploring jobs at YemenHR portal, the 1st website for jobs vacancies in Yemen, I found that logistics was a job category that contained 8 active jobs as shown in the first below figure. Almost all of these jobs were at International Non-Government Organizations (INGOs). As you can see in the figure, logistics jobs include several functions, such as logistics support, supply chain, warehouses, and information systems. Going in details to one of these jobs, the 2nd figure below shows the profile of the 1st job in the list (Supply Chain Coordinator) at Save the Children in Aden/Lahj governorates, Yemen.
Logistics and Supply Chain in the Work of Save the Children
The mission of Save the Children Organization is simply to (save) the children worldwide, especially the ones who are in desperate need for help and the ones who are difficult to reach. As per the 1st below figure, the organization relieves the children by keeping them safe, healthy, and educated. Therefore, being (difficult to reach) requires utmost care, competencies, and rigor from Save the Children to be able to reach them and provide relief to them. Thus, Save the Children can not reach and delivery value to the children by its own.
Basic Logistics Functions : Items & Equipment, Inventory, Transportation, and Technology Systems
The organization must first get the necessary items to save, medicate, and educate children, such as shelter, food, non-food items, learning facilities, and so forth. In addition, the organization needs to get the operational tools and equipment that the field teams need to perform their work at the “difficult to reach” locations of these children. Examples include communication devices; safety and security equipment; proper attire; protection needs; data collection materials; and so forth. Definitely, Save the Children can not provide or produce all of these equipment by its own. Thus, it needs to collaborate with trustworthy suppliers to provide the required equipment, tools, and systems. In addition to that, Save the Children should be able to get the equipment and materials from the suppliers to the organization and from the organization to the field teams and finally to the children. Therefore, the organization must collaborate with various transport agencies and companies (air, sea, and land), as well as get a fleet of vehicles and drivers to perform the required operations. Finally, the organization needs proper asset management and inventory systems. Thus, it needs proper warehouses and inventory management systems.
Supply Chain Coordinator Job & Logistics Checklist at Save the Children
The key duties and responsibilities (32) of the (Supply Chain Coordinator) Job stated before explains the logistics functions required for the organization’s work in the 2nd figure below. I have highlighted the key first role of the job, as well as the main functions, such as warehouses, items, and equipment; transportation; and information technology systems. Surely, other functions are included in the job, such as procurement, liaison, safety, security, and so forth. Finally, to enhance the channel’s approach of (practicality) in its services, the last below figure shows a copy of the (Logistics Checklist) of Save the Children Organization. The list demonstrates practically the nature of logistics support and functions required for humanitarian field work in general and Save the Children in specific. I have extracted the checklist from (Child Friendly Spaces in Emergencies: A Handbook for Save the Children Staff), published in 2008 by the organization. The checklist is the topic of (Annex 9) in the document.
Logistics and Supply Chain : Value Delivery Network
From the above example of (Save the Children), we can see that the organization works within a complex network of companies and groups that collaborate to deliver Save the Children’s value of relieving children. Within this chain, there are various means of exchange in dual directions in and out of companies. This includes the flow and exchange of physical goods, services, information, finance, and so forth. Therefore, the traditional approach of logistics as means of physical transport in one direction (usually from suppliers to company to customers) is no more valid nowadays. Logistics includes multi-directional flow of goods, services, payments, and information to ensure prompt value delivery. Therefore, although this chain is known as supply chain, it is actually a value delivery network where each part plays an important role in value delivery. This is the focus point of (distribution) or (place) element, the 3rd component of the customer-value-driven marketing mix program. Definitely, this chain must be carefully managed and coordinated, which is the primary role of the Supply Chain Coordinator stated above. The first below figure illustrates supply chain or value delivery network management. The second below figure shows an example of how the needy children and their difficult to reach places look like, along with the organization’s mission of saving them. Yemen has a dedicated paragraph due to the escalating crisis and violence since the eruption of the war in Mar 2015.
Distribution (Logistics) and Promotion – Save the Children Case
Distribution (Logistics) and Promotion work together in tandem. Even if companies reach customers and offer products/services, the customers will not interact well with the companies if they don’t know the value that companies provide. For example, Save the Children can not reach its beneficiaries (children) and serve them if it doesn’t get sufficient funding from donors. On the other hand, these donors will not fund Save the Children if they don’t understand and get satisfied with the organization humanitarian non-profit business model and value. For this purpose, Save the Children must promote its value and humanitarian contribution effectively in order to get the satisfaction and loyalty of its customers who include beneficiaries (children) and donors. The first figure below shows the financial contribution of donors for the organization in 2019 as well as how the organization utilized the funds. This is one of the strong and persuasive methods of promotion to maintain public relations directly with the current and potential donors (customers). The second below figure shows how donors can support and give the organization, as well as testimonies of donors who realized the value and integrity of the organization. This is also another effective promotion method that utilizes advertising and direct marketing by spreading positive word of mouth (WOM) from current donors (customers). Finally, the 3rd below figure demonstrates how Save the Children focuses on one clear and consistent message in all its promotional tools and channels, which is simply saving children and changing their lives. Not only that, the name, logo design, and brand of Save the Children immediately sends a prompt message about the organization’s value and mission.
Promotional Mix, Integrated Marketing Communication and Buyer-Readiness Process
In the customers behavior session, we explained that customers didn’t buy the products/services immediately without going through a long and complicated process (i.e., customer purchase process). The same applies to the buyer-readiness process, as shown in the first below figure. Buyers go through several stages until they get satisfied with the product/service and its value and then buy it. In Save the Children Case above, donors have gone through several stages until they got satisfied with the organization’s value and performed purchases by giving donations. The key is the marketing function in general and the promotional mix in specific. Effective and strong promotional mix can move potential customers through the buyer-readiness stages until they purchase the company’s product/service and become loyal. Thus, the company builds and enhances strong customer relationships. As explained in Save the Children’s case, the promotional mix must communicate effectively with customers and stakeholders, focusing on one consistent, clear, and compelling message in representing the organizations customers value. This is the point of Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) companies. The second below figure shows the most popular promotional tools or strategies in companies. It states their definitions and some examples about each of them as stated in our book (Principles of Marketing 2018, 17th Edn.). Next session will discuss the details of these promotional tools or strategies.
Distribution Logistics & Promotion : MANWIM Channel and YouTube Supportive Message
Distribution (logistics) and promotion are also paramount for electronic business, such as your channel Management with Merits (MANWIM) – Manage to Prosper. First, the channel has taken a strong value proposition strategy of helping the online audience in the globe to prosper and achieve their goals. That’s why the channel uses its unique bilingual (English & Arabic) content approach of (simplicity, entertainment, and practicality) to deliver managerial and leadership competencies and skills. The channel always insists on its value via its slogan (Manage to Prosper) which is used in all the channels content materials and platforms. Besides, the channel utilizes various content creation and publishing approaches simultaneously. First is the visual (video) format where all our videos are provided with full and accurate same language subtitles, along with some videos with Arabic & English subtitles, such as the promo video. Second is the presentations (PDF) format. The majority of the channel’s videos, including all the videos of the service of Global English Management Books, are provided with associated presentations (PDF) for more textual, graphical, and tabular clarifications at the description section below each video. Finally is the electronic interactive website format that includes text, videos, pictures, graphs, and figures. Each video session has a fully enhanced post in the this website that embeds the video and provides enhanced explanation by texts, pictures, and graphs. Besides, to integrate the posts with videos, a link of the post of each video is shared at the 1st pinned comment of videos at YouTube.
The channel can not provide its value by its own. Thus, the channel works collaboratively within a value delivery network to ensure creation and publishing of its content. The channel’s platforms and service providers include YouTube; WordPress & GreenGeeks (Domain and Server Providers for the channel’s official business paid website and email), Facebook, and Instagram. Besides, the channel ensures that its bilingual content and value reach the widest range of online audience globally via adopting the best Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques. That’s why customers can easily and quickly reach our content via the most popular online search engines, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo, as shown in the first below figure. Furthermore, the channel abides by its (involvement) value to ensure that customers get the maximum value and benefit. Customers can contact the channel around the clock via all its electronic platforms. The (Contact Us) Form of this website demonstrates the channel’s care in value delivery and customers relationships. Besides, viewers can subscribe to any of our platforms (YouTube, Official Website like RSS & Email News Letter, Facebook, and Instagram) either directly from each platform or collaboratively from this website by utilizing the social media widgets at the top right hand corner and bottom of each page/post.
Promotion – YouTube’s Supportive Message
The channel utilizes various promotional tools to deliver its unique and consistent message of “Manage to Prosper”. A great opportunity to promote for the channel is to present supportive messages and testimonies by external parties. A glorious example is the official email that the channel received from YouTube about 2 weeks ago (Sat, Dec 12, 2020). As per the first figure below, YouTube congratulated the channel for the end of year 2020 and expressed the channel’s achievement in general and during 2020 in specific. To augment YouTube’s message, I have attached in the 2nd and 3rd below figures the geographical statistics and views charts for channel’s YouTube and this website respectively from establishment until Dec 2020. The charts emphasize the global message of the channel because of the diverse geographical viewership from various countries around the world, including Yemen – the channel’s origin and publishing location. Having received YouTube’s message, I would like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation for all the channel’s viewers worldwide. I’m also looking forward to enhancing your support, engagement, and loyalty with the channel. Surely, MANWIM will continue its outstanding value and services for the global community, as well as develop its services’ quality & variety.
Distribution (Logistics) and Promotion – End of Session
Distribution (Logistics) and Promotion are not simply parts of the marketing mix program. They are integral functions in marketing and the organizations in general. Effective management of the supply chain along with its logistics functions ensure smooth delivery of the organization’s value to customers. That’s why this chain is a value delivery network that should be carefully managed and coordinated. Besides, strong and effective promotion, using unique mixture of promotional tools mix, is necessary to raise value awareness and convince customers to buy and maintain strong relationships. Moving the customers through the buyer-readiness process doesn’t require only effective promotional mix, but also a united and coherent integrated marketing communication that focuses on one clear and consistent message which reflects the organization’s value as per its marketing strategy and value proposition. Finally, the channel’s effective distribution (logistics) and promotion tools have enhanced the its value, which is demonstrated by YouTube’s supportive end-of-year email, as well as the above geographical viewership figures and stats for the channel’s YouTube and this website.
That was our session for today. Thank you so much for watching us. Please support the channel strongly so we can continue our glorious mission. Our production is every Thursday. Please subscribe to the channel at YouTube and activate the notifications bell there. Please stay with us, follow us, participate with us, and widely share the channel and all its electronic contact platforms.