Intensive distribution is a type of marketing strategy that involves placing the goods and services offered by a company into as many markets as possible. The idea is that by making the products readily available to as many consumers as possible, the chances of generating sales are increased. There are a number of situations in which this approach allows consumers to easily purchase products from any number of different outlets, ranging from supermarkets to drugstores to the local gas station.
With intensive distribution, the focus is not necessarily on targeting specific consumer demographics for the purpose of deciding where to distribute those products. While a company may in fact have a core or target consumer base in mind, the business will also make it a point to sell its products in venues that are frequented by consumers other than that target audience. For example, a soda manufacturer may currently be focusing on older teens and younger adults as its primary market thrust, but will continue to distribute the soda products to outlets that are not necessarily destinations of that targeted demographic. This means that in addition to selling sodas at convenience stores, malls, and supermarkets, there is a good chance those same sodas will be found at retirement resorts, golf courses, and other locations that are traditionally visited by consumers outside that key demographic.
A number of different products are sold using an intensive distribution approach. In addition to sodas, it is also possible to find candy bars at a wide range of outlets. The same is true with some of the more common over the counter medications. Rather than being found solely in drugstores, aspirin is also sold in supermarkets, convenience stores, discount retail stores, and a range of other retail outlets.
When successful, an intensive distribution approach can greatly enhance the sales of a given product. As part of the process, the manufacturer builds recognition of the brand with consumers, which in turn increases the chances that those consumers will reach for that particular brand over another, no matter where they happen to be shopping at the time. Intensive distribution does not interfere with other marketing and promotional approaches, but can often function as an ancillary approach that helps to raise awareness of the product and entice consumers to pay more attention to commercials, print media ads, and other types of advertising that tout the benefits of a product, simply because consumers see the product everywhere they go.