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Chapter 7 Marketing Channel Strategy and Management What is a marketing channel? A marketing channel consists of individuals and firms involved in the process of making a product or service available for consumption or use by consumers and industrial users.

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Chapter 7

Marketing Channel Strategy and Management


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What is a marketing channel?

A marketing channel consists of individuals and firms involved in the process of making a product or service available for consumption or use by consumers and industrial users.


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Role of the channel in marketing strategy

  • Links a producer to buyers

  • Performs sales, advertising, and promotion

  • Influences the firm’s pricing strategy

  • Affects product strategy through branding policies, willingness to stock and customize offerings, install, maintain, offer credit, etc.


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The Channel-Selection DecisionFundamental Questions

  • Who are potential customers?

  • Where do they buy?

  • When do they buy?

  • How do they buy?

  • What do they buy?

    • Avon Cosmetics example

The marketing manager must answer the following questions:


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Brokers or Agents

Distributors or Wholesalers

Retailers or Dealers

Traditional Marketing Channel Designs

Producer

Ultimate Buyers


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INDIRECT DIST.

vs.

DIRECT DIST.

The Design of Marketing Channels

  • Use intermediaries to reach target market

    • type

    • location

    • density

    • number of channel levels

  • Contact ultimate buyers directly

    • using its own sales force or distribution outlets

    • using the Internet through a marketing Web site or electronic storefront


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The Design of Marketing Channels

  • Buyers are easily identifiable

  • Personal selling is a major component of the communication mix

  • Organization has a wide variety of offerings for the target market

  • Sufficient resources are available

Direct distribution is typically used when:


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The Design of Marketing Channels

  • Intermediaries are not available for reaching target markets

  • Intermediaries do not possess the capacity to service the requirements of target markets

Direct distribution must be considered when:


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The Design of Marketing Channels

  • Intermediaries can perform distribution functions more efficiently and less expensively

  • Customers are hard to reach directly

  • Organization does not have resources to perform distribution function

Indirect distribution must be considered when:


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The Design of Marketing Channels

Electronic marketing channels employ some form of electronic communication, including the Internet, to make products and services available for consumption or use by consumers and industrial users.


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Auto Manufacturer

Book Publisher

Airline

Dell Computers

Auto Dealer

Book Distributor

Auto-By-Tel (Virtual Broker)

Amazon.com (Virtual Retailer)

Travelocity (Virtual

Agent)

Representative Electronic Marketing Channels

Autobytel.com

Amazon.com

Travelocity.com

Dell.com

Ultimate Buyers


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The Design of Marketing Channels

Disintermediation is the elimination of traditional intermediaries and direct distribution through electronic marketing channels.


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Channel Selection at the Retail LevelChannel Selection Decisions

  • 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 the most profitable?


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Rolex

Faberge

Levi’s

Sony

Wrigley’s

Coke

Channel Selection at the Retail LevelTarget Market Coverage

Intensive

Exclusive

Selective


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Channel Selection at the Retail Level

Effective Distribution occurs when a limited number of retail outlets account for a significant fraction of the market potential.

Example: A marketer distributes the product through 40% of available outlets, but these outlets account for 80% of the market.


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Channel Selection at the Retail LevelSatisfying Buyer Requirements

  • Information

  • Convenience

  • Variety

  • Attendant services


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Channel Selection at the Retail LevelProfitability

  • Margins = Revenues – Channel Costs

  • Channel costs are:

    • Distribution costs

    • Advertising costs

    • Selling costs


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Channel Selection at Other Levels of DistributionTypes of Wholesaler

  • Specialty wholesaler

    • Limited line of items within a product line

  • General-merchandise wholesaler

    • Wide assortment of products

  • General-line wholesaler

    • Complete assortment of items in a single retailing field

  • Combination


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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

  • the main consideration is whether it will provide incremental sales revenue or cannibalize existing sales


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Dual Distribution

When is it used

  • own brand and private store brand

  • distribution to large and small retailers

  • multibrand strategy

  • geographic factors


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Dual Distribution

Example

Hallmark

  • Sells Hallmark brand cards through Hallmark stores and selected department stores

  • Sells Ambassador brand cards through discount drugstore chains


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Multi-Channel Marketing

Multi-channel marketing involves the blending of an electronic marketing channel and a traditional channel in ways that are mutually reinforcing in attracting, retaining, and building relationships with customers.


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Multi-Channel MarketingJustifications

  • An electronic marketing channel can provide incremental revenue (Victoria’s Secret)

  • An electronic marketing channel can leverage the presence of a traditional channel (Ethan Allen)

  • Multi-channel marketing can satisfy buyer requirements (Clinique division of Estée Lauder)


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Multi-Channel MarketingConsiderations

  • Actual incremental revenue or merely cannibalization?

  • Incremental cost to launch and sustain an electronic forefront

  • Disintermediation – a traditional intermediary member is replaced by electronic storefront


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Satisfying Intermediary Requirements and Trade RelationsIntermediary Requirements

  • Improvements in product assortments

  • Trade discounts

  • Fill-rate standards

  • Promotional support

  • Lead-time requirements

  • Product-service exclusivity agreements


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Satisfying Intermediary Requirements and Trade RelationsTrade Relations

Channel Conflict arises when one channel member believes another channel member is engaged in behavior that is preventing it from achieving its goals.


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Satisfying Intermediary Requirements and Trade RelationsSources of Channel Conflict

  • Channel member bypasses another member and sells or buys direct

  • Uneven distribution of profit margins among channel members

  • Manufacturer believes channel member is not giving its products adequate attention


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Satisfying Intermediary Requirements and Trade RelationsChannel Power

Channel Captain is a channel member that takes on the role of coordinating, directing, and supporting other channel members.


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Satisfying Intermediary Requirements and Trade RelationsForms of Channel Captain Power

  • Ability to reward or coerce other members

  • Expertness

  • Identification with a particular channel member (Referent Power)

  • Legitimate right to dictate the behavior of other members


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Channel-Modification DecisionsReasons

  • Shifts in the geographical concentration of buyers

  • Inability of existing intermediaries to meet the needs of buyers

  • Costs of distribution


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Channel-Modification DecisionsBasic Objectives

  • Provide the best coverage of the target market sought

  • Satisfy the buying requirements of the target market

  • Maximize revenue and minimize cost


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Channel-Modification DecisionsQualitative Factors

  • Will the change improve the effective coverage of the target markets sought? How?

  • Will the change improve the satisfaction of buyer needs? How?

  • Which marketing functions, if any, must be absorbed in order to make the change?

  • Does the organization have the resources to perform new functions?

  • What effect will the change have on other channel participants?

  • What will be the effect of the change on the achievement of long-range organizational objectives?


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