Monday, December 15, 2008

Marketing the "when and where"

Taking into account the when and where you are should influence marketing tactics

Scenario #1
If you were a dentist at the opposite end of of a strip mall from a coffee shop, how could you get new patients?

Scenario #2
If you sold coffee, how could you compete with Starbucks on its home turf in Seattle (or any place else, for that matter)?

Though there are various methods to approach each of these scenarios, the marketing tactics selected should take into account where and when the firm is dealing with customers.

A "where" approach to scenario #1
With the drive-thru lane of a popular coffee shop directly behind a dentist's practice, the dentist used the "where" of the practice as an opportunity to communicate with potential patients.

A "when" approach to scenario #2
McDonald's is taking a direct "when" tact in promoting its espresso via billboards in the Seattle area with messages such as "four bucks is dumb". The current economic climate provides an interesting "when" opportunity for McDonald's to move into Starbucks turf with a lower priced product.

Image from 12-15-08 USA Today, 4B
Addendum to original entry -
December 17, 2008:

Another example of a "when" situation dealt with via marketing

What does a retailer do when a major winter storm stops consumers from coming to a major sale? (At least that's what the retailer hoped was the reason.)

Last weekend, a major winter storm negatively impacted a major pre-Christmas sale at a local Macy's as shoppers failed to brave single digit temperatures. Macy's announced a continuation of the sale... and even blamed it on the storm! Below is a portion of the newspaper advertisement announcing the extended sale.

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