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(Last Update : 15 November 2020)

Marketing Channels refer to the entire ecosystem required for getting products (tangible goods and intangible services) from the point of production to the point of consumption; this includes people, organizations and all the required activities. Channel Management is defined as the process where the company develops various marketing techniques and sales strategies to reach its customer base.

The Four Types Of Marketing Channels

There are basically 4 types of marketing channels: direct selling; selling through intermediaries; dual distribution; and reverse channels.

  1. Direct selling is the marketing and selling of products directly to consumers away from a fixed retail location.
  2. An intermediary (or go-between) is a third party that offers intermediation services between two trading parties.
  3. Dual distribution describes a wide variety of marketing arrangements by which the manufacturer or wholesalers use more than one channel simultaneously to reach the end user.
  4. A reverse channel may go from consumer to intermediary to beneficiary.

Examples of Marketing Channels

    Marketing channels help organizations expand their reach and their revenue. However, each marketing channel will offer a different combination of coverage and performance, and so they may be used in combination. Marketing channels may include traditional distribution models — which include producers, wholesalers and retailers — or variants that cut out one or two components. For examples, companies like Dell and Avon avoid wholesalers and retailers by using their own warehouses and salespeople to sell to consumers. Examples of marketing channels include: 

  • Wholesalers 
  • Direct-to-distributors 
  • Internet direct 
  • Catalogue direct 
  • Sales team 
  • Value-added reseller 
  • Consultant 
  • Retail sales agent 
  • Manufacturer’s representative 
In practice, companies often use a mix of marketing channels, such as internet sales and an on-the-ground team.

The Best Marketing Channels in 2021

  1. Word of Mouth  ,Only 4% of consumers believe marketers practice integrity. So what’s a marketer to do when the very people they need to persuade don’t trust them? They need to rely on their customers’ recommendation of their brand. People trust customers over marketers because marketers have an agenda -- they promote their product or service to generate sales. On the other hand, customers will only rave about a product or service if it truly benefited them. To create as much word of mouth marketing as possible, you need to stay laser-focused on developing the best product or service possible and providing top-notch customer service. In other words, you need to serve your customers needs before your own. Only then will your customers turn into a loyal, passionate tribe that will recommend your brand to their friends and family.
  2. SEO  ,Search engines are arguably the best marketing channel for acquiring attention -- most people discover new brands and publications through Google. In fact, according to Google, 89% of B2B buyers and 81% of online shoppers use search engines to research new products and services. Search engines are also one of the highest converting marketing channels. Since people actively search for answers to their questions and solutions to their problems on Google, they’re likely to download your offer or sign up for a free trial if you can provide them with what they’re looking for. To build a thriving organic presence online, consider implementing the pillar-cluster model into your blog. Using this strategy, you’ll create a single pillar page that provides a high-level overview of a topic and hyperlinks to cluster pages that delve into the topic’s subtopics. This signals to Google that your pillar page is an authority on the topic. Hyperlinking all of the cluster pages to the pillar page also spreads domain authority across the cluster, so your cluster pages get an organic boost if your pillar page ranks higher, and your cluster pages can even help your pillar page rank higher if they start ranking for the specific keyword they’re targeting.
  3. Social Media as Marketing Channel,  Most people surf social media to escape everyday life, entertain themselves, and connect with others. Sometimes, though, brands forget why people use social media in the first place, blindly pushing their content to as many people as possible. With over 2.7 billion social media users across the globe today, millions of brands have promoted their content on these platforms for years. But the popularity of social media has flooded each platform with heaps of articles, photos, and videos, skyrocketing the supply of content while the demand for it has plateaued. So how can brands cut through the noise? One strategy is to publish engaging videos, interact with fans as much as possible, and post content that doesn’t direct users to another website, like insightful status updates instead of links.

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