One of the 4 elements that make up the ‘marketing mix’ is the distribution channel. The marketing mix is the foundational model that is common for businesses and includes the 4P’s namely Price, place, product and promotion. It is using these 4P’s that allow you to fulfil marketing objectives in your target market be it cosmetics, supply chain and transportation, information technology you name it.
The distribution mix in marketing management is one of the pillars that make it all happen. The meaning of distribution channel has the answer in it itself and is the process of making a product or service available to the person who needs it, or in other words the consumer. The way in which we can get the company’s expertise and services to reach them is by means of these ‘channels’ which are intermediates or otherwise.
Importance Of Distribution Channels In Marketing
A very important aspect of a company’s overall vision and strategy is in devising proper distribution channels. What the distribution channel does is that it adds value to the service or product offered by the company. The company will be failing in its basic fundamental role if it is not able to get its products or services over to the customers in the most direct and cost effective manner.
Now although distribution channels can be understood simply as helping get product to customers quick and easy, there are many other diverse ranges of activities which go behind it: it includes inventory management, warehousing, transportation storage and detailed logistics. Not to forget the selection of good channel members and rewarding the distributors.
The Various Intermediaries In A Marketing Distribution Channel
The Wholesaler: This is the merchant who sells to other merchants or retailers that could be industrial, commercial or institutional for the sole purpose of resale or self-use. The wholesalers typically sell in bulk. This is mostly B2B or business to business distribution channel, and no direct contact with public is involved.
The Retailer: A merchant that sells directly to the public, or in other words B2C (Business to customer). These include the likes of supermarkets and independent stores.
The Agents: The middle men if you may say. The agents do not take hold of the inventory. Instead they simply put both the sellers and the buyers on the same page. The agents are paid by means of commissions or a percentage of the total transaction.
Finally the Jobber, who is a unique wholesaler dealing with only retailers or institutions.
Use of the right amount of each distribution channel is necessary for your business to reach out to the right target audience most efficiently!