Choosing a distribution channel is essentially answering the following question: How do you best deliver your product or service to your customer when he or she wants it, where he or she wants it, and at the price he or she desires? The selection of distribution channels is a key element to a successful marketing plan. If you're not able to put your product or service in front of your consumers in a manner that appeals to them, how are you going to generate sales?
It is imperative that you take a good look at your distribution strategy. Once chosen, it is as easy to change as pricing, packaging, and media mix. Furthermore, distribution affects the selection and utilization of all other marketing tools.
The following are examples of distribution channels:
- Retail outlets
- Wholesale outlets
- Sales force
- Direct mail
Both services and physical products can follow the same distribution choices. For example, cellular companies have retail, direct mail, and telemarketing. Similarly, credit card companies deliver their services by direct mail and by banks. Think which one is best for you and your customers.