This series of articles discusses the “health factors” regarding the macroscopic global marketplace, the microscopic local marketplace, and those things that directly and indirectly affect the previously mentioned health factors. Ironically, we live in a time where those health factors are becoming more and more “holographic” in nature; as the local marketplace (as a result of the internet) is transforming into the global marketplace. Eventually, (unless inhibited by detrimental environmental change) the microcosm and the macrocosm will be one and the same. The local marketplace and the global marketplace will be indistinguishable.
The major catalyst for this metamorphosis is what I refer to as the “Triple A Factor.” The Triple A Factor consists of the terms “Attention, Accessibility and Availability”. As these factors collectively and simultaneously increase, the conditions for the microcosm to grow into the macrocosm comes into being. In this article I will briefly discuss each factor and how it affects the marketplace (either microscopic or macroscopic).
Attention – In any marketplace it is imperative that product/service providers capture the attention of its target group to whom it wants to sell its product/service. With the advent of the internet and the perpetuation of Web 2.0 technology (social networking) the ability to capture the attention of a target audience has increased exponentially in comparison to the previously dominant marketing tools (radio, television and printed media). There is an even increased capacity to do this as our consumers become more “mobile” and the “smartphone” (which incorporates social media via apps) becomes more readily available for the vast majority of the population. The “industry” has labeled this attention grabbing phenomena as “viral marketing”.
Accessibility – In previous times it was a significant challenge for a consumer to get the best product, at the best price and with the desirable service that she/he expects for their money. Traditionally, you had to settle for what was reasonably accessible to you; and this typically meant within a certain square mile radius to where you lived and worked. Mail order companies expanded the opportunities to reach further out; but typically could only focus on luxury items (jewelry, electronics, fashion, etc). With the advent of the internet the environment came into being that allowed fulfillment of products/services deemed as necessities by consumers with almost no boundaries or restrictions regarding proximity. Although this environment has not been fully cultivated to being cost effective in all areas and all industries, it is intuitively obvious to even the most casual observer that the local marketplace is becoming more and more border-less in terms of access.
Availability – This factor is more tied into the dynamics surrounding “Accessibility” than “Attention”; although it is closely related to each. The most significant aspect of this factor that I would like to point out is that the challenges faced in the past for the fulfillment of products/services that were beyond traditional borders were the wait times associated with acquisition. Many companies could fulfill a consumers needs; however, the delivery times were absolutely outrageous compared to what we experience today. The increased accessibility and the ability to make marketing and promotions “viral” have created the cost justification for larger inventories, leveraged distribution agreements and higher service levels. The greatest benefit of this factor to consumers is that if one product/service provider is “out of stock” or over allocated for a particular product/service it is easier than ever to find that very same product/service at another vendor; and in most cases not sacrifice your service expectations.
When small businesses, in particular, are able to understand (in detail) all of the dynamics of these three factors and use that information to apply to their own operations (in terms of both procurement and fulfillment), they will be better able to survive in the new global connected economy. Luxury cars