The topic of company expansion came up during my last radio program, during the discussion I went on to give an explanation of some of the

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options open to corporations looking to expand their businesses internationally.

Of course – the assumption is made that the company is making the moves to expand internationally for all of the right market driven reasons !

In terms of dealing with the path to deliver the product overseas, the company will typically make one of two choices :-

  • setup office in the target country
  • select a distribution partner to deliver the goods

Of course, in order to setup a direct organisation with sales force and all of the other necessary staff, the business would have to be able to justify this by the amount of revenue that it proposes to generate. On the other hand – by selecting a distributor the company will be able to enter into the market at a much lower cost.

On the surface – hiring a distributor and letting them get on with the job of selling seems quite straighforward – however, this is where we get into the sometimes complex, frustrating and challenging field of international distributor management.

Note that part of the battle will be in being able to gain distributor mindshare – this is because your products could well be one of literally hundreds that your new channel partner is selling. With that various products may well be providing your international channel partner with greater margins, more market share, more support and close relationships that what you currently have.

With so much of the cost of products being taken up by the delivery network and management, it is interesting to see how little time is spent dealing with this oh so necessary topic. Certainly when I studied my MBA and, specialised in International Trade and Finance there we minimal focus on this compared to topics such as the marketing mix for example.

Some of the greatets challenges facing companies today is in this area of international disributor channel management and; with very few managers being able to say how much cost of serving up the product through the channel …

  • gross margins ?
  • margin mix ?
  • contribution margin ?

… actually costs [and I mean documented quarter by quarter – and not anecdotal]; this will continue to be a management area that will by itself demand more focus and attention.

The financial section of my distribution channel management training is always one that provokes much discussion and with the international distributor being by definition removed from the supplier company – process management and data flow plays a significant part in the field of international partner channel management.

Questions, comments ? would love to hear from you.

-Stephen C Campbell

Intere

Internet marketing training programs are growing in demand as more and more corporations are correctly placing the internet in its correct

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position in terms of the overall business strategy development activities that will determine where the company is going.

The question is, where is the internet to be placed in terms of the development of the corporations marketing strategy and the answer is as a marketing channel.

Channel marketing is a component of the ever popular marketing mix, more commonly known as the 4 P’s and comes under the Promotion and Place P’s :-

  1. Promotion is for getting the message out to the world at large
  2. Place is for the channel where the user purchases the product and/or service

For the small business owner and work from home entrepreneur – I have developed the Internet And Direct Marketing blueprint which is an internet marketing training course designed to give the internet marketing entrepreneur the tools to market their product making full use of the internet.

As for the corporates – they should look at the internet in two ways :-

  • As a marketing channel to promote the products and services of the organisation
  • As a distribution channel from which the end user customer will end up consuming the products/services as developed by the organisation

If you are reading this as a result of you wanting to gain some expertise in making use of the internet as a marketing channel, check out the internet and direct marketing blueprint.

Any thoughts, comments ? get in touch and let me know.

To your Internet Channel Marketing success,

-Stephen C Campbell


During my radio program today we discussed the marketing mix [many people know this as the 4 P’s] as this was requested by one of the listeners. For those of you who are not familiar with the Marketing Mix, the 4 P’s stand for :-

  • Product
  • Price
  • Promotion
  • Place

… now when we talk about distribution channels in marketing, this topic falls under that P of Place. That is to say, where will the end user customer actually end up purchasing the product and/or service that is produced by the company in question.

If you consider a company like coca cola and how you can go almost anywhere in the world and purchase this soft drink, you can begin to get an idea of how important channels of distribution in marketing are for businesses of all sizes. Of course none of us ever purchase Coca Cola from the company itself – instead we purchase from a retailer who would have in turn purchased from one of many possible distribution channels. There can be many intermediaries in the supply chain which of course all adds to the final price paid by the end user.

In my consulting and training work – this topic of distribution channel management is continuing to be an ever important one. How is your company doing in terms of actively managing your distribution partners ?

  • Are you working in partnership ?
  • Do you know their margins ?
  • Do you know their fixed costs ?
  • Do you know how much your products are contributing to their fixed costs ??

As the price that the end user pays for a product continues to be tied to the costs incurred in getting that product to the end user, training and consulting requirements on this subject matter will rise and those companies that make the incremental necessary changes in this respect will be those that take more market share and ultimately be the ones that excel.

As always, any thoughts, comments or consulting requirements ? don’t hesitate to get in touch.

-Stephen C Campbell

When we look at the makeup of corporations, we can readily identify the different functions that makeup the organisation. Some of the more common functions are :-

  • Research And Development
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Human Resource Management
  • Finance
  • Manufacturing
  • Logistics
  • Facilties

.. and we could go on adding to the list. Now if we are to ask the question as to what most important functions are, we would most likely get different responses depending on who we posed the question to.

As the reason for the existence of any organisation is to provide its products and services to specific end user customers and; no matter how fantastic the research development engineers are, how streamlined the manufacturing department has become, how well the employees are looked after – if not enough attention is put into the Sales and Marketing functions; there will of course not be enough clients who are purchasing from the corporation.

I’d like to make the statement that Sales and Marketing is the Heart and Soul of every business and the failure to pay significant attention to this part of the business will ultimately end in the failure of the organisation.

To illustrate the point – let’s talk about my favourite company at this point in time when I am looking to illustrate excellence in the Sales and Marketing function – that company is Apple. To learn more about Apple’s latest and fantastic release I suggest you read apple ipad reviews by following the link. In recent years we have seen changes in Apple’s distribution strategies and walking into any Apple store will enable anyone to see what every company looks for – Raving Fanatics – who are passionate about the organisation’s products and services.

During my business radion program when going through the Marketing Mix – I posed the questions :-

  • Were there smart phones before the iPhone
  • Was there downloadable music before iTunes
  • Were there MP3 players before the iPod

and …

  • Were there Tablet PCs before the iPad ?

… the answer to all are Yes and yet Apple, through excellence is Sales and Marketing Strategies dominate in each specific Marketing Category. Time will tell as the iPad starts to sell internationally. At the time of writing – the iPad is yet to be release here in the UK and I for one cannot wait to get mine !!

To summarise – never fall so much in love with the products and services of the organisation so that you lose focus in constantly engaging with the targetted end user clients – they at the end of the day are the ones who must be depended upon to make consistent purchases from the organisation in order to keep the company in business.

The constant ongoing refinement and development [and execution] of the Sales and Marketing Strategies of the company – from large corporate to Small and Medium Enterprise, right down to the Solo Preneur will ensure the success of the business endeavour.

Any thoughts / comments.

Let me know,

Stephen C Campbell


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