Planning the Path to the User
The types of market channels that will be optimal for your product need to be identified, but there is also a need to analyze the people and organizations involved so that the product and service can be sold/distributed efficiently with control over and integration of selling and purchasing/adoption.
The aim is to make the product and service available at the right price and at the right time. The questions you are looking to answer on the marketing of the product and service are:
- Where will customers be able to get it?
- How will it be sold/distributed?
- How will it be delivered?
- How much will be sold/distributed? In phases/stages?
- How will it be promoted?
- What channels deliver the highest level of reach?
- What are “complimenting” products/services that may cue the purchase/adoption?
- Are there partnership and joint promotions that can be utilized for distribution?
- Which channels offer additional marketing value?
The overall system of SaaS and mobile applications is complicated today with international differences in data plans, Wi-Fi availably, and consumer electronic products that support mobile applications. This makes it necessary that the whole system from the telecommunications and device producers to the final consumer needs to be studied, not just the immediate market channel of the product and service from the company to the consumer. The domination of large multinational corporations in the space means they control — or at least strongly influence — the market channels. But there are still many small companies around the world that need to be reached.
In studying the market channel, the coverage of the target market achieved is determined, the costs estimated, and the sales predicted for the different types of outlets in the market channel.
The launch of a new product and service is an excellent opportunity to study the alternatives for distribution. In the marketing of mobile applications, the Google Play Store and Apple App Store have become the all-important means of achieving distribution. Still, there may be an opportunity to look at additional distribution outlets such as the Amazon AppStore, AppsLib, operator/carrier app stores, and manufacturer-specific app stores.