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Business Expectations: Are You Using Technology to its Fullest? by Jeffrey Blander, Bryan Bergeron

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Chapter 7. Marketing

 

People may or may not say what they mean . . . but they always say something designed to get what they want.

 
 --David Mamet

Bryan's first practical exposure to marketing, including the concepts of product, price, promotion, and place, the laws of supply and demand, the herd mentality, and business ethics was as a stock clerk working one summer for a large dry goods and grocery chain. He was amazed at the accuracy with which the chain's central office could predict the demand for virtually every product in the store. Every Monday morning, the store manager, a wiry man with a constant glower, received a printout from the central office that detailed the number of pallets of products that would be in the day's shipment, where each product was to be placed on the shelves, and expected sales figures, based on national and local promotions. Sure enough, by the end of the week, the aisles were filled with only enough products to make the store seem stocked; rarely was there a pallet of anything left in the warehouse. He learned that soap on the middle shelves outsold the soap on the bottom shelves by two to one, and that items in floor displays outsold competing products on the shelves by three to one, and that these phenomena were highly resistant to fluctuations in sales based on differences in price and brand.

The store manager, a shrewd marketer, entrepreneur, and opportunist, often overrode the suggestions from the central office to reflect local conditions. For ...

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