Channel marketing essentially focuses on the distribution of products from the manufacturer to the consumer. Many manufacturers don’t sell directly to end users, meaning they have to use a marketing channel in order to allocate their products. One good thing about channel marketing is that it really helps businesses expand their revenue. The choice of which channel to use is an important decision for a business and affects all other areas of the marketing mix. It is very common for businesses to use various marketing channels with different strategies for each area they are serving. There are benefits of channel marketing including selling to other places than just a store, meaning more reach and more sales. However, there’s so much more to channel marketing.
Reach customers that don’t intend to purchase
Let’s say a manager is looking online for ways to engage her employees. Perhaps this manager isn’t looking for a product to solve her issue, but rather for content in order to garner some ideas. If this manager stumbles on a reseller’s post mentioning employee engagement. Without this channel, a possible sale could have been lost.
Nitty gritty details on customers
A channel can really help in getting businesses more information about consumer experiences. For example, they may be closer to a customer and positioned at a point where customers can freely give their opinion on a product. An article on Martech Series gives an example of a laptop retailer and software. If you are a company that creates software, a laptop retailer might be a useful channel. People who buy laptops and receive your company’s software will likely give their opinions on what they like or don’t like about the software and if there are any competitor software they prefer to use. This is valuable information that consumers might not give the software company directly.
Gain trust to gain sales
This type of channel marketing can be advantageous for new products. For example, a new sunglasses brand will probably not be easily trusted by consumers because they have not yet tried the product. In order to begin exploring this, marketers must use sites and people that the target market trusts because they already have a good reputation. For example, by using an Amazon retailer, you can begin to gain consumer trust and gain sales as a result.
Save on advertising costs
Let’s face it. By having middlemen promoting your products and services, you save money on advertising. These channels will have people designing their own sales incentives and creating experiences to bring in customers.
Choosing the right channel
Choosing the right channels for your business does not necessarily mean that channel marketing ends there. Businesses must continue to put in the work of engaging those channels if they expect to have them generate leads. By coming up with strategies, you will increase your chances on a channel. On example of this can be to create closer relationships by helping the channel as well. For example, by engaging in some SEO or email marketing for your partner, you are not only helping their business, but yours as well. Determining the right mix should be the first step. There are many options to consider, but the most important thing is to keep it simple and be prescriptive. Channel partners offer huge opportunities for your company to grow.