The third P of the marketing mix is PLACE. The first two are PRODUCT and PRICE. The fourth is PROMOTION and I talk about that all the time!

The third P = PLACE


Where in the world are you? Place is multi-dimensional when it comes to marketing. It’s the dot on the map and expands all the way to the extension of where your customers are, possibly global. 

It pertains to both where your product is produced as well as where it is sold. Place encompasses all the channels of distribution which speaks to your brand as much as any of the other 4Ps (product, price, and promotion).

Location, Location, Location

This real estate adage is one that needs to be considered carefully for any product or service that needs a physical storefront. What’s nearby will have a dramatic effect on your success. Think about these scenarios:

1. There’s an open storefront on Main Street next to a highly successful vegan restaurant that draws a ton of foot traffic seven days a week.

What goes better in that space? A yoga studio or a hunting gear store?

2. There’s an open storefront in a strip center with a Target and a Big Lots. 

If you’re the landlord, what is your ideal tenant for a long lease? A discount shoe store or a high-end jewelry store? 

If you answered yoga and discount shoes, then you get it.

If you don’t exactly align with your neighbors, it doesn’t mean you absolutely won’t survive but going where your presumed target market already goes sets you up better than being a lone orange on an apple tree. 

A shopping center that has a little bit of everything works great, but I’m sure that you’ve noticed it takes a while to get the perfect combination where all thrive together. 

Production and Delivery Can be Different Places

If no one sees where you make your product or where you’re Zooming from to supply them a service, then save money! Work from a place that affords you and your staff freedom, safety, and comfort, even if that means all work remotely. The COVID-19 pandemic taught us that this is a viable option for many businesses. It also provides employees with a healthy work-home balance and no commute. 

Many companies have the worker bees in a lower rent, lower profile office and keep the sales team in areas that match their target markets. For instance, a call center can be anywhere. It doesn’t need to be in a high-rent area to offer excellent customer service over the phone.

Is Your Third P Digital or Brick and Mortar … or Both

What does your customer want and like when it comes to working with you or buying from you? Have you tested the waters? You might need to test both a brick and mortar storefront and a digital platform and then move toward which one is more popular and profitable . It largely is determined by your customer and will dictate your promotional efforts greatly. When choosing a storefront, you then have many more options to consider: mall, strip center, Main Street thoroughfare, industrial park, high-rise, kiosk, mobile office or food truck, and so on.

Either choice has to match your branding. If your brand strategy is upper end, then you need to be present in a swankier locale than if you are a discount mart. Same is true with the look of your website. 

Creating a space where people feel comfortable and can navigate easily is as important as the other elements of the marketing mix. Do not overlook it.

Leslie A.M. Smith founded McCormick L.A. in 1994 offering public relations and marketing consulting to nonprofits and small businesses. She recently published Laws of Promotion. The 50-page promotional guide for small businesses and local nonprofits iavailable now on Amazon.

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