Logistics and marketing are complementary business operations that enable a company to ensure that it can offer the right products to the right customers in the right place. Place is one of the five P's of marketing, which also includes product, price, promotion and people. By coordinating logistics and marketing, companies can build the highest levels of customer satisfaction.
Logistics in Action
Logistics management is the activity that plans, implements and controls the efficient, effective flow and storage of goods, services and related information between the point of origin and the point of consumption to meet customers' requirements, according to The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. The key term is “to meet customer requirements.” Market research identifies where customers prefer to purchase their products, which might be in stores, on the Internet or by telephone. Logistics ensures that the products are available from those sources.
Improving Customer Experience
Companies aim to retain their customers by ensuring they are satisfied with the complete customer experience, from initial ordering to final delivery. An effective logistics operation ensures customers receive the products they order quickly and in the right condition. Retail customers want to know products will be in stock when they visit a store. Customers who order online or by telephone expect fast delivery to their homes or business locations. If a customer needs to return a product, an efficient logistics operation ensures that the process is quick and convenient for the customer.
Supporting Distribution Strategies
Choosing the right distribution strategy enables companies to reach different sectors of the market and increase market share. A store that serves a local community can increase its business by offering a delivery service to customers outside the area who order online or by telephone. Companies can appoint wholesalers, distributors or retailers to sell and deliver products to smaller customers, rather than use its own sales and distribution facilities. Companies may also acquire distribution outlets so that they can control the quality of sales and customer service.
Enhancing Customer Benefits
Companies can use their logistics services to increase market share by improving benefits to customers. They may, for example, offer customers free delivery on purchases over a certain value or offer enhanced delivery services, such as next-day or weekend delivery.