Marketing Channels

You need to get the word out about your company and get your product into the hands of consumers, which is called marketing. Marketing fits into four basic options, called marketing or distribution channels. A marketing channel is a set of practices or activities and all parties necessary to get goods from the producer to the consumer. The marketing channel(s) you chose will, among other influences, link your product to buyers, influence your pricing strategy, and affect your branding.

Direct Selling

This is the marketing and selling of a product directly to the consumer by the producer, without anything in the middle. This generally happens in the consumer’s home or office with an independent sales representative. Examples include: farmer’s markets, home parties, personal demonstrations, and internet sales based on personal contact.

Selling through Intermediaries

This is using an indirect channel to market and sell goods produced through a retailer or wholesaler/distributor. There may be additional via points, including an agent or wholesaler, in the process who will expect to profit. Examples include: anything sold in a department store and grocery store.

Dual Distribution

This is using more than one way to reach the consumer, often through a direct and an indirect channel at the same time. Examples include: franchising or having a direct online store while also selling via a retailers.

Reverse Channels

This is a flow from the consumer to an intermediary or beneficiary, without a producer. It is the resale or a product or recycling of it. Examples include: recycling plastic bottles, trading in electronics to be refurbished.