9 Different Types of Marketing Channels

9 Different Types of Marketing Channels

Marketing professionals use different channels to communicate with potential customers about their products and services. Marketing channels include a variety of strategies ranging from distribution practices to modes of communication. If you're interested in marketing, you may benefit from gaining a deeper understanding of these different types of channels.

What is a marketing channel?

Marketing channels are tools that marketers use to build a connection between a manufacturer or company to a group of potential customers. There are a variety of different channels that help professionals manage sales and develop an effective marketing strategy for their business. Each channel may serve a different purpose such as building a brand identity or communicating information about a new product. 

9 types of marketing channels

There are a variety of marketing channels that professionals may use to effectively appeal to their target audience. Some of these channels include:

1. Direct selling

Direct selling is a marketing channel that involves a professional communicating directly with potential clients. Typically, these interactions happen one at a time and may work best for smaller businesses. Direct selling often includes marketing to people you know. This marketing channel may have fewer expenses for the business since you don't need to pay for advertising space, distribution costs or other types of marketing materials. Because of these reduced costs, you may receive a higher overall profit from a successful product sale. This is a communication marketing channel.

2. Catalog direct

Catalog direct is a marketing channel where a potential customer browses through a printed or digital catalog. A catalog may include prices, product descriptions or images of the options. The viewer then selects the products they want from the catalog and places an order. This channel can eliminate the need to interact with a potential customer face-to-face. It also provides the customer the opportunity to choose from a wide range of options. The catalog direct method may work if you sell a variety of different products and want to give the customer some options. This is a communication marketing channel.

3. Network marketing

Similar to direct selling, network marketing is a channel where sellers use their personal networks to make sales. For example, they might market a product on their personal social media to alert their family and friends to the product. This type of marketing channel focuses on informing people about the product and making a sale directly to them through information, photos or your testimony of the product's utility. Networking marketing is another representation of a communication marketing channel.

4. Value-added resale

This marketing channel may purchase a product and add value to it before reselling it to its target audience. For example, if a company sells custom bookshelves, they may purchase premade bookshelves from a wholesaler before remodeling each unit to meet a customer's needs. By adding value to the original product, the company can market its items as unique, valuable and desirable to the customer. This marketing channel is distributive since it relates to how the product appears to customers.

5. Digital advertisements

This communication marketing channel includes a variety of digital platforms that you might use to promote your products or services. Your company might sell products through a website, using this site to market to a particular audience. Other digital advertisement channels include advertisement space on social media platforms or other websites or using your own social media platforms to market to your specific following. Based on the specific method you use, digital marketing may include a cost to your business. This marketing channel is common and highly effective.

6. Events

An event may serve as a marketing channel, as they allow marketers to communicate with potential customers in a unique context. You might host an event that has a specific purpose, such as promoting a new line of products. It's important to ensure that these events provide the opportunity for customers to ask questions about the product, understand its value and potentially make a purchase. The events themselves require marketing so that people know the location, time and other logistics of the event itself. A marketing event is both a communication and distribution marketing channel since customers may purchase a product while attending.

7. SEO marketing

SEO, or search engine optimization, refers to the results that a potential customer sees when they search for something online. As a marketing channel, it's important to optimize the search engine results page since this can lead to higher traffic to your company's website. There are a variety of strategies that relate to SEO marketing and the specific strategies you implement depend on your target audience, your product and your sales goals.

8. Email marketing

Another type of communication marketing channel is email marketing. This channel refers to promotional emails sent to a target audience that contains a specific message. A marketing email may include information about an upcoming sale, a new product release or changes to a familiar product. Email marketing can help companies provide specific information across a range of email messages, which provide unique opportunities for marketing professionals.

9. Indirect marketing

Indirect marketing incorporates several channels to effectively deliver a product to a consumer. Opposite to direct marketing, where a manufacturer sells directly to a customer, indirect marketing uses multiple participants. For example, a manufacturer may sell to a retailer. Then, the retailer displays the product in their shop, where a customer sees it and decides to make a purchase.


-Queen City Media