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Factors to Consider When Selecting Marketing Channels

Factors to Consider When Selecting Marketing Channels

A marketing channel includes the parties, organizations, and activities required to move the ownership of products from the initial point of production to the final point of sale. It is the conduit through which goods get from their original source to the consumer, the client; and is sometimes referred to as a distribution channel as well. Marketing channels are very important for the creation of brand awareness, customer loyalty, and sales volume. These channels drive business results by creating value for customers and increasing profit margins. They offer multiple functions for organizations and businesses that require a high return on investment.

One type of marketing channel is the direct marketing channel; it is the oldest form of marketing. In this case, producers are the main actors in a marketing process. They must find ways to convince potential customers or clients to purchase their products. Direct marketing channels include mail, telemarketing, face-to-face, catalogues, ads in newspapers and other print media, and price promotions.

Social media is one of the fastest growing marketing channels today. Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Myspace, and Flickr have become important tools for many marketers and businesses. Social media allows marketers to interact with current and potential consumers, showcase products and services, and find partners. Consumers feel much more connected to marketers on social media than they do to other marketers through other marketing channels, according to a survey conducted by Forrester Research.

Another type of marketing channel used by intermediaries are non-traditional direct selling. This category includes bulk dialing, telemarketing, direct mailing, and television advertising. Non-traditional direct selling involves two parties with different goals. One party's goal is to sell a product, while the other party's goal is to recruit new agents.

The other category of marketing channels intermediaries are manufacturers. Manufacturers often have their own sales channels, such as their own stores, websites, catalogs, and websites. They may also work with channel partners to distribute their products. For example, if a manufacturer manufactures a widget, they may engage in an affiliate marketing program. In this program, the manufacturer distributes their widget across multiple retailers or websites to drive traffic to their own site.

The final category of marketing channels intermediaries are third party vendors and affiliates. These individuals spend time and money promoting the products and services of others. Affiliates typically drive traffic to websites that contain content that coincides with their website's theme. Other forms of direct marketing channels are publishing articles and blog posts, creating press releases, submitting articles to article directories, and attending trade shows and conventions.

Each of these categories of marketing channels has its own advantages and disadvantages. While having your own business website is one advantage, having a large range of direct selling intermediaries can be a disadvantage due to expenses. If you have a large investment in inventory, you may have to pay more for shipping costs when sending an item from one retailer to another. Also, if you are promoting the same product repeatedly to different retailers, each visit to each retailer can burn a hole in your pocket.

Ultimately, determining the best marketing channels for your business will come down to your own personal preferences. While it is important to build a strong network of manufacturers and retailers, it is also important to determine which channels will help you reach your desired audience over the long term. Asking the manufacturers themselves can be a good place to start, as they will likely have their own opinions on which marketing channels are most beneficial. Another good place to start may be an internet forum dedicated to the retail industry. Search Google for "commerce forums" and check out the topics that pertain to marketing channels. Alternatively, you could contact the manufacturer directly and ask them about which marketing channels they would recommend.

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