PR and Marketing: A 2020 Model (1)

The following model (by Cornelissen, 2020) shows the relatedness and constituent activities of marketing and PR. The C area intrigues me most. According to the author, activities in C concern price, distribution, and product development. Of the solid rings in the model, C is by far the largest. Does this mean therefore that a company's marketing is achieved through operations? Distribution (another name for "logistics") is typically managed as an "operation". Product development - although influenced by marketing - usually occurs as a separate operation (series of operations, to be specific), i.e. outside a marketing department, usually in a technical or engineering function.


(source: Cornelissen, 2020: 22)

A: corporate advertising (promotion of the brand, not a specific product)
B: direct marketing and sales promotions (e.g. e-mail and freebies, respectively)
C: distribution, pricing, and product development
D: corporate PR (internal communications and public affairs)
E: marketing PR (publicity and sponsorship, i.e. traditional public awareness activities)
F: mass media advertising (traditional advertising)

This seems odd until you consider the possibility that the public's opinion of a company is possibly influenced more by the physical experience of a product or service than by any conversation of information about the product or service. In other words, fulfillment seems to be a larger marketing concern or influencer of marketing performance than the traditional activities associated with marketing, such as advertising (B, E, and F). There are of course collateral marketing opportunities that can piggyback on distribution and product development, such as bundled goods and offers, service packages with products, and mobile billboards courtesy of trailers. Logo visibility and the appearance of both the product and the individuals involved in the brand's presence - particularly at the points of customer interface - are relevant marketing considerations. Even so, I find it difficult to comprehend how area C can constitute so many marketing activities that all other areas seem minor by comparison. In most companies, the sum total of the logistics department's marketing contribution rarely amounts to much more than punctual delivery and vehicle liveries. However, it might be that marketing theorists have co-opted what were once traditional operations activities. This is likely to be true in marketing-driven organisations. I can understand why pricing is a major marketing concern. Product development - at least at the very early stages - is (or should be) marketing informed, so I understand that too. An agile, pro-active marketing department identifies products or services for which there is demand but limited or subpar supply, and passes this information to Research and Development, for example.


For the sake of clarity, should C perhaps be internally divided to indicate relative scale or the marketing intensity of its three constituent activities, i.e. distribution, pricing, and product development? The three appear too distinct to be reconciled under a single category.

There is another important point to note: the term "distribution" when used by marketers usually refers to channels, the places and ways through which consumers encounter the company's products, i.e. retailers, wholesalers, and these days possibly e-retail or other online windows.

When an operations or supply chain manager uses the "term" distribution, it is usually in reference to physical conveyance, storage, and handling of goods.

Hence, if we apply the marketer's definition, C becomes more comprehensible.

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