How To Develop a Channel Strategy

Your business needs to have as many effective channels as possible.  These serve as avenues through which your products pass in order to reach the end-users or consumers.  Certainly, you may already have one but because you take these for granted, you are not able to maximize these and consequently get higher sales.  That is why you need to develop your channel strategy.  This means laying out a plan and systematizing your dealings with the channels involved.  In so doing, you do not leave your sales channels free to sell your products without your intervention.  By making a plan, you can ensure that these channels will work to achieve your targets.

Developing a strategy for your channels is not something that can be done in just one sitting.  You may need to have your best marketing minds in the company with you in the boardroom as you make your designs.  You will need to have all the necessary information so that you will have a factual basis for your decisions. Consider doing a SWOT strategy in this planning stage.  Once the strategy is set and implemented, any mistakes may be difficult to undo.  Below are the major steps you will need to take note.

  1. You will have to grasp fully the situation of the channels available to you.  These will include both the direct and the indirect channels.  The direct channels are those that belong or a part of your company. The indirect channels are those third-party entities such as retailers, resellers, distributors, and telemarketers. This is important because each type may require a different strategy.  A direct strategy, for example, works only for the marketing units that belong to your company.
  2. Determine what you want to achieve and what your customers wish.  This may require you to do some math regarding costing and target profits.  However, the important thing here is to try meeting both.  Draw out a value strategy in which you product’s worth is based on both the customers’ demand and your particular target revenues.
  3. Create a list of possible partner companies or individuals who will be your channels.  Do not make your complete your list randomly.  Ensure that these are the ones that can really work to your company’s advantage. Get rid of those who only become liabilities during the actual marketing. Meet with those on the list and establish solid business relations.
  4. Competition is something you cannot avoid in a free market.  Therefore, you should consider making a competition strategy as well. You will need to design tactics to beat the competition in building a market base.  A part of this is to post the Internet with articles about your product, which is called article strategy by some people.

However, these steps do not yet guarantee you immediate success.  Of course, you will still have to make bigger part of the efforts in the implementation of your channel strategy.   It is important that you monitor the progress and make some evaluations of the strategy. If necessary, introduce changes.


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