Define channel strategy marketing: What is channel strategy? (Part 1)

Let’s start simple by discussing the question, “What is channel marketing strategy?”

In the modern business world, there are many different avenues, platforms, and campaigns that companies use to connect with their target audience. Your “channels” are the routes that you pick when you’re looking for the best way to speak to your customers in the places and environments that they frequent most.

Channel strategy is about finding the best way to expose your services, products and brand identity to possible customers. For instance, if you’re a local company with a simple set of products that require very little support to use – such as a regional bakery, you might use direct marketing and a few digital channels like social media to drive attention to your organisation. On the other hand, if you’re a sophisticated technology company with customers that need support implementing your products, you may work with value-added resellers and partners to boost your sales channel strategy.

There are many different types of channel strategy to consider depending on the kind of business that you run, and the customers you need to serve. One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is whether you’re a B2B or B2C business.

B2B brands typically use a “direct” or “indirect” sales channel strategy to build revenue. Direct sales are the simplest approach because they allow the vendor to sell to the customer directly.

On the other hand, indirect sales involve using “channel partners” and intermediaries to support sales. An indirect sales channel strategy may include using retail to sell through an online or offline store. Additionally, some B2B vendors also sell through “value-added resellers” to improve their access to new customers.

In the world of consumer sales, the question “what is channel strategy?” often leads to different answers. Most B2C, or business to consumer companies will use various direct and indirect marketing strategies both online and offline, including social media, SEO, and content marketing. Much of the time, these channels are connected through either a multi-channel strategy or omni-channel strategy – we’ll discuss those soon.

Importantly, there’s no one-size-fits-all for marketing channel strategy. Though avenues like social media and email marketing strategy started as consumer-based solutions, many B2B companies now use these methodologies too.