Characteristics of Marketing Channels
A marketing channel should allow for the transfer of products from one point to another; this is normally from the place the products were produced to where they will be consumed (Dent, 2008, p. 36). Another characteristic of these channels is that they should allow for interaction between a marketer and the consumer. This does not necessary mean a physical interaction as advances in web technology allow the two parties to meet even when they are not in the same geographical location. Marketing channels are also characterized by the fact that they may be short or may include several intermediaries.
Factors to consider in designing a Marketing Channel
In designing a marketing channel, a marketer should consider the cost to be incurred and whether the sales from the product can compensate this cost. Also the marketer should consider the level of intended interaction between the consumer and the seller. For example, computer software can be distributed with minimal interaction between the seller and the buyer while food in a fast food delivery requires some interaction between the two to introduce a human aspect. The concentration of the consumers should also be factored in by the marketer. This is because when for example consumers are widely dispersed, a simple distribution channel may fail to supply all of them with the product.
McDonald’s Marketing Channels
McDonald’s have been able to establish an intricate distribution channel that is able to get the company’s products to people in different states in the US and also to different countries. The company has been able to do this through franchising; where it has allowed interested investors to use its name to set up similar fast food restaurants as long as they adhere to some policies (Bisio, 2011, p. 60). This means that the level of quality is maintained through the distribution channels regardless of the location.
Hotel products such as accommodation and food can be marketed using the interactive form of marketing (Grove & John, 2007, p. 94). This is because though most clients in this industry may change some of their preferences, there is always a trend or routine that most people stick to. For example, Businessman A may choose to eat a Chinese meal served in their room, while on a later day choose to eat from the Chinese restaurant. This means that an interactive marketer may notice the trend that the businessman likes Chinese food and use it to the hotel’s advantage, for example ask the front office to recommend Chinese food first to the guest whenever they ask what they can eat.
Benefits and Disadvantages of Interactive Marketing
This form of marketing is advantageous in that it takes into account the unique trends and responses gotten from a client. This allows the marketer an opportunity to know how to tailor make products for specific customers. Interactive marketing is also beneficial in that it integrates customer preference in brand building. This makes sure that the business is attractive to the market. Interactive marketing also allows a company to be heard by its consumer base more actively.
The main disadvantage of this form of marketing is that it is labor intensive as each client requires someone to track their preferences. However this can be solved by having an efficient information system to collect the data and also to process it to information that can be used to make marketing decisions.
Dent, J. (2008). Distribution Channels: Understanding and Managing Channels to Market.
London: Kogan Page
Bisio, R. (2011). The Educated Franchisee. Boston: Bascom Hill Publishing Group.
Grove, S. & John, J. (2007). Interactive Services Marketing. Ohio: South Western College
Spiller, L. & Baier, M. (2009). Contemporary Direct & Interactive Marketing. New Jersey:
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