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What is Channel Marketing?

Girls with Marketing Channels buzzing around her head.

Jargon can unfortunately become a default language in business. It may provide comfort with assumed shared understanding but can also alienate those unfamiliar, closing doors and discouraging diversity. No one wants to ask a silly question do they?

So, I have to fess up about ‘Channel Marketing’. It’s a term I’d seen from afar. Although I could probably guess what it meant, I wasn’t totally confident because it wasn’t part of my day-to-day lexicon. Was I ignorant? That would be embarrassing, but why?

In our role as local marketing experts for multi-location brands, a 'Channel' refers to a 'Media Channel,' such as Social Media, TV, Radio, or Press. So whilst I was familiar with the term 'channel', I had a nagging curiosity about what 'Channel Marketing' meant.

A conversation with an American friend of We Are Acuity last week suggested we're already delivering Channel Marketing for our clients right now. We just aren’t using the right jargon to be recognised for that in certain sectors.

So let’s dig a little deeper.

A ‘Sales Channel’, is a route to market. It's as simple as that and pretty 101. So I guessed Channel Marketing must be marketing strategy that suits that channel, right? Seems like I was on to something...

Channel marketing is when businesses partner with 3rd parties to reach customers, be they individual shoppers (B2C) or other businesses (B2B), often utilising one or multiple paths. It's simple, effective and it turns out we've been doing it for 25 years.

Let me explain with an example from one of our hashtagautomotive clients:

1. Indirect Selling. A familiar channel involving resellers, wholesalers, dealers, third-party distributors, affiliates, and various retail forms. Cars are traditionally sold through a network of local franchised dealers, and so that's one place where we've been delivering channel marketing support for 25 years!

2. Direct Selling. Also known as direct to customer (DTC), the seller engages with customers through channels, such as face-to-face, telemarketing, catalogue sales and now ubiquitously online. Car sales, services, accessories, and parts all are now sold direct in B2C and B2B and we’ve been involved across the board there too!

3. Dual Distribution. Have a guess? That’s right, a mix of all of the above. And yes, the automotive sector does that too! And because our experience crosses all of these sales channels that’s why brands partner with us for their marketing!

4. Reverse Channels. Lastly this is where goods flow backwards from customers to manufacturers for resale, recycling, or repurposing. A focus for sustainable businesses today. Guess what? We’ve done that too with our marketing support for Approved Used Car Programmes!

There you have it! We're your friendly Channel Marketing experts. Don't let sector jargon get in the way. If you're seeking jargon-free marketing experts, get in touch today! We're eager to partner with ambitious businesses in 2024. You can get in touch with We Are Acuity today for a FREE marketing audit just click right HERE.

Or if you'd like to read more about Local Marketing have a look at our blog page "Local Thinking': https://www.weareacuity.com/local-thinking-our-blog

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