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e-Marketing (MAR3880) By Kanghyun Yoon Topic 9 Place Strategy Discuss how the Internet technology has changed the way of implementing place strategy. Review the essence of distribution channel. Discuss which types of channel structures are suitable for marketing online.

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topic 9



By Kanghyun Yoon

Topic 9

Place Strategy

lecture outline
Discuss how the Internet technology has changed the way of implementing place strategy.

Review the essence of distribution channel.

Discuss which types of channel structures are suitable for marketing online.

Discuss how to maximize the customer value online utilizing the internet technology.

Lecture Outline
issues regarding e place strategy
Consider the following issues when it comes to designing e-place strategy that can be based on the Internet technology.

Issue 1: How does the Internet technology change the way of implementing traditional place strategy?

Issue 2: What is distribution (e.g., place)?

Issue 3: Which types of channel structures are more suitable for marketing over the internet environment?

Issue 4: How to utilize the internet technology to maximize the performances of place strategy?

Issues Regarding e-Place Strategy
impacts of internet technology
Disintermediation and New Types of Intermediaries

Appearance of new direct-distribution model (e.g., disintermediation).

New e-business intermediaries (e.g., reintermediation).


Changing Perspectives on Disintermediation

From disintermediation to consideration of efficiency.

Multi-Channel Structure

Composition of offline and online channels.

Channel cannibals.

New Aspects in Channel Management and Power

Changing the power relationships among channel members.

Structural relationship with buyers by the sellers.

Automatic replenishment.

Electronic data exchange (EDI).

Impacts of Internet Technology
importance of place strategy
Role of Distribution Channel

A distribution channel is defined as a group of interdependent firms that work together to transfer product and/or information from the supplier to the end users.

A distribution channel is an important part of the Value Delivery Network (VDM), e.g., the Value Chain System.

Value Chain System = Supply Channel + Distribution Channel.

Why are marketing intermediaries important in the distribution channel?

Match supply and demand

Exchange efficiency: Cost reduction (disintermediation)

Various value-added activities by specialists

Benefits and Drawbacks of the Internet Channel

Benefits: 24/7/365 continuous availability, reach, interactivity, information repository, and so on.

Drawbacks: Heavy investment for small business, information overloading, need for intensive customer service, and so on.

Importance of Place Strategy

The Value Chain System












Supply Chain Function

Distribution Channel Function

functions of distribution channel
Why are marketing intermediaries required?

Since distributors perform many value-added functions.

There are three different types of functions (Lamb, Hair, and McDaniel 2002)

Transactional Functions:

Contact with buyers

Marketing communications

Matching product to buyer’s needs

Negotiating price

Process transactions

Logistical Functions:

Physical distribution

Aggregating product

Outsourced logistics

Last mile problem

Facilitating Functions:

Market research


Functions of Distribution Channel
key issues on channel design
What customers want from the Internet channel?

Convenience, product depth, experience, content, value, service, interactive tools, and novelty (Forrester Research).

Different Impacts of the Internet on Channel Design

Low-cost delivery due to disintermediation

Increase of personalized experience with maximum accessibility

Two Issues Regarding the Role of the Internet

Issue 1: How to deploy the right channels?

It is the issue of optimal design of the channel structure.

In other words, it is about designing the optimal multi-channel distribution structure.

Issue 2: Whether and how to complement current channel structure with the Internet technology?

We can consider the issue of separation vs. integration.

Key Issues on Channel Design
optimal channel structure
Previous studies show multichannel offerings increase sales. However, the challenge is how to improve customers’ total experiences across all channels.

Factors to be consider toward optimal channel structure:

Characteristics of Target Customers

Understand their needs and buying patterns offline and online.

Company Objectives

Low-cost delivery vs. accessibility to maximize personalized experience.

Types of Product

Search Goods (Digital Products) vs. Experience Goods.

Value Proposition

What value can be added by using current portfolio of the right channels.

Channel Conflicts

Does the inclusion of the Internet as a new channel increase the channel conflicts.

Optimal Channel Structure
separation vs integration
In the Internet Age, there are two crucial questions:

Should we integrate our Internet business with our traditional business?

The matter of either integration or separation.

How many channels are required to reach final consumers?

The matter of multichannel distribution strategy.

Benefits of Integration

Cross-promotion of established brand, shared information, purchasing leverage, and distribution economies.

Benefits of Separation

Greater focus, more flexibility, and access to venture funding.

Multichannel Distribution Strategy

Gateway: uses three channels with own retail stores, online, and direct sales using telephone.

Compaq: uses multiple distribution channels with online, physical stores, and catalog.

How many channels and what kind of channels?

Separation vs. Integration
separation vs integration14
Separation vs. Integration



Strategic Partnership

(Rite Aid and

Joint Venture


In-House Division


  • Integration
  • Established brand
  • Shared information
  • Purchasing leverage
  • Distribution efficiencies
  • Separation
  • Greater focus
  • More flexibility
  • Access to venture funding
road map for decision making
Brand Dimension:

Q: Does the brand extend naturally to the Internet? (A: Integration)

Q: Will we target a different customer segment or offer a different product mix online than in stores? (A: Separation)

Q: Will we need to price differently online than in stores to stay competitive? (A: Separation)

Management Dimension:

Q: Do current executives have the skills and experience needed to pursue the Internet channel? (A: Integration)

Q: Are they willing to judge the Internet initiatives by a different set of performance criteria? (A: Integration)

Q: Will there be major channel conflict? (A: Separation)

Q: Does the Internet fundamentally threaten the current business model? (A: Separation)

Road Map for Decision Making
road map for decision making16
Operations Dimension:

Q: Do our distribution systems translate well to the Internet? (A: Integration)

Q: Do our information systems provide a solid foundation on which to build? (A: Integration)

Q: Does either system constitute a significant competitive advantage? (A: Integration)

Equity Dimension:

Q: Are we having trouble attracting or maintaining talented executives for the Internet division? (A: Separation)

Q: Do we need outside capital to fund the venture? (A: Separation)

Q: Is a certain supplier, distribution, or other partner key to the venture’s success? (A: Separation)

Road Map for Decision Making
Blackwell, Roger D., Paul W. Miniard, and James F. Engel (2001), Consumer Behavior, 9th ed., Harcourt College Publishers. (see chapter 3 - 6)

Hanson, Ward (2000), Principles of Internet Marketing, South-Western College Publishing, Ohio.

Kotler, Philip and Gary Armstrong (2004), Principles of Marketing, 10th ed., Prentice Hall. (see chapter 1 and 2)

Siegel, Carolyn (2006), Internet Marketing: Foundations & Applications, 2nd ed., Houghton Mifflin, New York.

Strauss, Judy, Adel El-Ansary, and Raymond Frost (2006), E-Marketing, 4th ed., Pearson: Prentice-Hall, New Jersey.