Marketing Channel A marketing channel is the structure linking a group of individuals or organisations through which products are made available to the consumer or industrial user. The structure of channels may vary depending on the type of market, needs of the end consumer and type of product.
Intermediaries Play an important role in increasing efficiency and reducing costs. There are several different types that come together to characterise distribution channels between manufacturer and consumer. Each intermediary adds a margin to the price of the products handled. Not all intermediaries take legal title or physical possession of the products. Different functions are performed by the different intermediaries.
Types of Intermediary Wholesalers are intermediaries that buy products in bulk, usually from manufacturers, and resell them to trade customers, usually small retailers.
Types of Intermediary Retailers sell direct to the consumer and may either purchase direct from the manufacturer or deal with a wholesaler, depending on purchasing power and volume. They come in many different formats, sizes and locations.
Channel Structure Channel structure concerns the route selected to move a product through different intermediaries.
Rationale for Using Intermediaries
The channel selection decision Manager must conduct a through market analysis to identify the target markets that will be served by a prospective marketing channel. Managers need to ask: Who are the potential customers? Where do they buy? When do they buy? How do they buy?
The design of marketing channels Direct Versus Indirect Distribution: Use intermediaries to reach target markets or Contact ultimate buyers directly using its own sales force or distribution outlet or the Internet.
The design of marketing channels Direct Distribution: Target market is composed of easily identifiable buyers When personal selling is the major component of the organizations communication process When the organization have a wide variety of offerings for the target market When sufficient resources are available to satisfy target market requirements When intermediaries are not available for reaching target markets When intermediaries do not poses the capacity to service the requirements of target markets
Channel selection at retail level Which channel and intermediaries will provide the best coverage of the target market? Which channel and intermediaries will best satisfy the buying requirements of the target market? Which channel and intermediaries will be most profitable?
Target Market Coverage Intensive distribution Selective distribution Exclusive distribution
Intensive Distribution Characteristics Maximum number of outlets Maximum availability Convenience products High number of potential purchasers High purchase frequency Low level of planning for purchases Low price
Selective Distribution Characteristics Number of outlets varies Specialist retailer knowledge Shopping products Medium number of potential purchasers Occasional purchase frequency Medium level of planning for purchases Medium price
Exclusive Distribution Characteristics Few outlets Close retailer/consumer relationship Specialty products Low number of potential purchasers Low purchase frequency High level of planning for purchases High price
Satisfying buyer requirements/Intermediary benefits Information: In store displays, Demonstration, Personal Selling, Convenience: Delivery, Proximity or driving time, Sorting, Storage, Web page: easy to locate & navigate Variety: Both breadth & depth of products. Attendant Services: Installation, Credit, Technical assistance, Post sale service
Dual Distribution & Multi channel Marketing Dual distribution occurs when an organization distributes its offering through two or more different marketing channels that may or may not compete for similar buyers. E.g. Using both direct distribution and indirect distribution Multichannel marketing involves the blending of an electronic marketing channel & a traditional channel.
Channel Relation Actively managing your agents and distributors is a vital part of getting the best results from these sales channels. Keeping them up to date with product information and selling the benefits to them of any new initiatives you want them to be involved with. Regular communication Regular visits Product training Joint promotions