Marketing Channel Strategy: Purpose, Types, & How To Create Your Ideal Strategy (2023)


August 11, 2022

/ Updated

December 15, 2022

What Is A Marketing Channel Strategy?

A marketing channel strategy is a plan for how a company will reach its customers through various marketing channels. This strategy includes selecting which channels to use, allocating resources to each channel, and setting goals.

The Purpose Of A Marketing Channel Strategy

(Video) Distribution Channel Marketing Strategy - Case Study (Starbucks)

Find New Ways To Sell To Your Customers

By carefully analyzing the channels through which customers purchase goods and services, businesses can identify new opportunities for marketing their products. For example, a beauty business that sells products through Etsy may find that many people are searching for similar products via Google. Therefore, investing in an ecommerce platform and search engine marketing may make sense to help drive more sales.

Choosing the right ecommerce platform can also help you save on transaction fees, unify your inventory data, and provide your shoppers with a more branded experience. For instance, the health and wellness brand, Olly, saw a 61% increase in year-over-year salesand saved a forecasted 15k on transaction fees by switching to Shop Pay.

Meet Your Audience Where They Are At

By understanding where your audience spends their time and what type of content they consume, you can more effectively meet them where they are. For example, if your target audience is young adults, you may want to focus your efforts on social media. On the other hand, if your target audience is older adults, you may want to focus on print ads and direct mail.

According to SmallBizGenius, consumers in the 45-54 age bracket are most likely to respond to direct mail. In contrast, those in the Generation Z age are more reachable via social media platforms like Snapchat.

Maximize Your Existing Channels

By taking a holistic view of your business’s marketing channel strategy, you can identify which channels are working well and which need improvement. Let’s say you’re looking to add more budget to your social media marketing campaigns and notice that your Facebook ads are performing twice as well as your Twitter ads. You might consider allocating more of your marketing budget to Facebook and less to Twitter. But don’t stop there! By constantly monitoring your channel performance, you can ensure that your marketing budget always goesto the most effective channels.

Provide A Branded Experience Across All Your Channels

You can ensure that your brand messaging is always on point by developing a clear plan for how you’ll use each channel – from email and social media to your website and blog. Your customers should always know who they’re dealing with when interacting with your brand, no matter what channel they’re using. By providing a consistent experience across all channels, you’ll create a stronger, more recognizable brand that will resonate with your target audience.

Recommended Reading:

6 Types of Marketing Channel Strategies

Social media is an essential part of any marketing channel strategy. With billions of users worldwide, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram provide unparalleled reach for businesses of all sizes.

Moreover, social media is a highly effective way to connect with potential and current customers. Through engaging content and targeted ads, businesses can build relationships with their audience and cost-effectively promote their products or services.

(Video) Types of Marketing Channel Strategy Tutorial Video

Barkbox,for example, does a great job at using social media to share funny dog videos and images that get them tons of engagement.

Marketing Channel Strategy: Purpose, Types, & How To Create Your Ideal Strategy (1)Marketing Channel Strategy: Purpose, Types, & How To Create Your Ideal Strategy (2)

In addition to their organic social media efforts, they also run scroll-stopping adsfor their dog toy subscription service to target their ideal customer.

Marketing Channel Strategy: Purpose, Types, & How To Create Your Ideal Strategy (3)Marketing Channel Strategy: Purpose, Types, & How To Create Your Ideal Strategy (4)

Social media is such a powerful customer engagement and relationship-building tool; it’s no wonder it’s one of the most popular marketing channelsin the 2020s.

2. Email & Direct Mail

Email and direct mail both have advantages and disadvantages, so choosing the right one is essential for your business. Or use a combination of both.

Email is a fantastic way to reach a large audience quickly and easily. However, it can be challenging to stand out in a crowded inbox, and if you’re part of a sales team looking for leads, you better have a rock-solid email template.

Craft store Michael’sdoes a stellar job at creating eye-catching emails that offer their customers value. Their emails are the perfect blend of content and design and are filled with bright colors, easy-to-read text, product suggestions, and hefty coupons.

Marketing Channel Strategy: Purpose, Types, & How To Create Your Ideal Strategy (5)Marketing Channel Strategy: Purpose, Types, & How To Create Your Ideal Strategy (6)


Direct mail, on the other hand, allows you to send a physical piece that recipients can hold onto and refer back to. It’s also less likely to be immediately ignored than an email. However, direct mail can be more expensive than email, and you must execute it properly to be effective.

(Video) Marketing Channel Strategy - 1-25-2023

Handwritten thank you notes, for example, can be an effective way to increase customer retention. According to an article from Helpscout, Renee Morris from Wufoo said, “out of the roughly 800 customers who received handwritten cards from us last year, 50% fewer folks left our product than those who did not receive cards.”

That’s a meaningful improvement in retention, all thanks to direct mail.

3. Search Engine Marketing

SEM is the process of using paid advertising to improve the visibility of a website on search engine results pages (SERPs). Through effective SEM, businesses can ensure that their website appears prominently in SERPs for relevant keywords, driving more traffic to their site.

The following is an example of search engine marketing at work when you type something like “sustainable shoes” into the Google search bar.

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Search engine marketing can prove valuable if your potential customers search for what you’re selling. Google wrote a case study about TravelSmith Outfittersand how they increased e-commerce sales growth by 200% with SEM.

4. Direct To Consumer

Direct to Consumer(DTC) marketing allows companies to build stronger customer relationships by communicating directly with them. Not only does this provide companies with more control over their message, but it also allows them to gather valuable data about their customer’s preferences and needs.

In the past, many companies would wholesale their products to a large retail store which would then markup the cost of their products to be sold to consumers. However, with the rise of digital media, many companies have turned to DTC marketing to reach their target audiences directly. You can use everything from SMS marketingand influencer partnershipsto a solid social media presence to reach consumers and sell them products without the need for a middleman.


Retail and ecommerce stores that sell their products are examples of the direct-to-consumer strategy. Online stores can implement various ecommerce marketing strategiesto help boost sales, increase trust, and maximize customer lifetime value. Fashion Nova,for example, has created a massive online presence with 21.4m followers on Instagram thanks to their customer relationship-building efforts.

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(Video) Creating a Go-To-Market Channel Strategy

5. B2B

Business-to-business (B2B) describes commerce transactions between businesses, such as when a manufacturer sells component parts to a retailer. The key characteristics of B2B markets include high transaction value, formal contracts, multiple decision makers, and relationships between buyers and sellers. Because of these factors, B2B markets are often much more complex than business-to-consumer (B2C) markets.

Chip manufacturer for Apple products, Taiwan Semiconductors Manufacturing Co., has large contracts to fulfill a certain number of chips every year to Apple. According to Digitimes, TSMC is expected to bring in just over $17 billion from Apple in 2022.

Although B2B partnerships are typically harder to land due to the higher stakes and more stringent expectations, the payoff can be worth the extra effort. After all, a good B2B partnership can open up new doors, help you reach new markets, and boost your bottom line.

6. Partnership Marketing

Partnership marketing is a type of marketing that involves two or more parties working together to promote one business’s products or services in a mutually beneficial way. Partnership marketing can take many different forms, including:

Public Relations

By supporting a good cause and building a PR plan, businesses can create a positive buzz around their products or services. For instance, Coca-Cola partnered with WWFin 2007 to help reduce the environmental impacts of their business by improving water efficiency, reducing carbon emissions, growing sugarcane more sustainably, and more. This helps improve the overall public image of the company while also contributing to a good cause.


By partnering with affiliates, or people who promote your products or services in exchange for a commission, you can reach new customers and grow your business. Affiliates can be effective because they’re often passionate about your products or services and have a built-in audience they can reach. Transferwise, now known as “Wise,”grewits affiliate channel by 15-20%month-over-month by partnering with a high-quality affiliate platform that provides clear reporting, partnership opportunities, and granular analytics.


Ambassadors are similar to affiliates because they are motivated to share a brand’s products with their followers. Ambassadors aren’t typically paid on a commission basis. Ambassador agreements can range widely in size and scope. From Tiger Woods being an ambassador for Rolexto micro-influencers receiving discounts to shop at their favorite clothing brand in exchange for a shout-out.

Omni-Channel Marketing Strategy Vs. Multi-Channel Strategy

Omni-Channel Marketing Strategy

The purpose of an omni-channel marketing strategy is to focus on creating a seamless customer experience across all channels. This experience means building a consistent brand identity and message across all touchpoints, from online to in-store.Marketing Channel Strategy: Purpose, Types, & How To Create Your Ideal Strategy (11)Marketing Channel Strategy: Purpose, Types, & How To Create Your Ideal Strategy (12)Amazon is an excellent exampleof an omni-channel approach. They have a variety of channels to keep the user experience integrated, such as Alexa, a mobile app, their online marketplace, Amazon Prime, and more.

Multi-Channel Strategy

Multi-channel marketingis the practice of using multiple channels to reach and engage customers. This might include using a combination of traditional and digital channels, such as TV, radio, email, and ads.Marketing Channel Strategy: Purpose, Types, & How To Create Your Ideal Strategy (13)Marketing Channel Strategy: Purpose, Types, & How To Create Your Ideal Strategy (14)Indestructible Shoesuse a multi-channel strategy to target potential customers on platforms like Facebookand Google. They provide similar messaging but use different channels to reach a wider audience.

(Video) What is Marketing Channel Strategy | Types of Marketing Channel Strategy

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Marketing Channel Strategy: Purpose, Types, & How To Create Your Ideal Strategy (17)

How To Create Your Ideal Channel Strategy

  • Identify your target audience: By understanding who your target audience is, you can more effectively create content that resonates and reaches them where they are most likely to see it. Several ways to identify your target audience include market research, surveys, paid ad testing, and social media analysis.
  • Match customer needs with your channels (put your customers first): Being in tune with what your customers are searching for is essential. For instance, if your potential customers are looking for how to rank higher in the SERPs and your SEO agency can create explainer videos around that topic, starting a YouTube channel might be a valuable strategy.
  • Understand the use and best practice for each channel: With various marketing channels, you need to understand the intricacies of each. For example, if you’re using social media, you’ll need to determine the best time to post. You’ll also need to consider what you should post and how to position your brand’s voice.
  • Have clear goals for each channel: One way to streamline your marketing efforts is to set clear goals for each channel. If you’re using social media, your goal might be to increase brand awareness or drive traffic to your website. Alternatively, if you’re running an email campaign, your goal might be to generate leads or boost sales. By taking the time to define your goals upfront, you’ll be able to create more targeted and effective marketing campaigns.
  • Measure your progress & refine your strategy: Any successful marketing campaign must be evaluated and refined for effectiveness—several critical indicators can measure progress and determine whether or not a campaign is on track. Consider the goals set for the campaign. Are they being met? If not, why not? Keep measuring and refining your strategy until you see the results.


Marketing Channel Strategy: Purpose, Types, & How To Create Your Ideal Strategy? ›

Today, the most popular types of marketing channels are websites, email, targeted digital advertising, and events (digital or in-person). In the past, people usually used a direct distribution channel (like mailers) or an indirect marketing channel (like television).

What are the 4 types of marketing channels? ›

Today, the most popular types of marketing channels are websites, email, targeted digital advertising, and events (digital or in-person). In the past, people usually used a direct distribution channel (like mailers) or an indirect marketing channel (like television).

What is the purpose of a marketing channel strategy? ›

Channel strategy is a marketing plan. The plan's details vary business to business, but the goal is the same: to deliver marketing messages to existing and potential customers where they are, to get them to buy, and to give them the experience that results in a positive perception of the brand.

What are types of channel strategy? ›

Direct, indirect, and dual channels are the types of channel strategies.

What are the 4 types in effective marketing strategy? ›

4 Types Of Marketing Plans And Strategies
  • Market Penetration Strategy.
  • Market Development Strategy.
  • Product Development Strategy.
  • Diversification Strategy.

What are the 4 types of channels with examples? ›

Types of Distribution Channels – 4 Important Types: Direct Sale, Sale through Retailer, Wholesaler, Agent
  • Direct Sale:
  • Sale through Retailer:
  • Sale through Wholesaler:
  • Sale through Agent:
  • Intensive, Selective and Exclusive Distribution:

How do you create a marketing channel strategy? ›

7 steps to develop a stellar channel strategy
  1. Know where your audience is, and your select channels accordingly. ...
  2. Match customer needs with your channels. ...
  3. Run a competitive analysis. ...
  4. Go omnichannel, with a consistent message across all channels. ...
  5. Set goals for each channel you choose.
Mar 28, 2023

How do I choose a channel marketing strategy? ›

To help devise your strategy and determine which channels are most appropriate for your business, consider the following five factors.
  1. Consider your goals. ...
  2. Know where you customers hang out. ...
  3. Talk to your consumers throughout their journey. ...
  4. Scope out the competition. ...
  5. Work your strategy + analyse the results.

What are the 6 C's of channel strategy? ›

The six Cs of strategy include: concept, competition, connectedness, continuity, conviction, and the capacity to change.

What is a channel strategy example? ›

Thus, a channel strategy may involve market segmentation. For example, a vendor could target only large enterprises with its direct sales force, while reserving small and midsize businesses for its channel partners.

What are the three main types of marketing channels? ›

The three marketing channels that are the most popular today are email, social media, and text marketing.

What are the 5 ways of marketing strategy? ›

The 5 areas you need to make decisions about are: PRODUCT, PRICE, PROMOTION, PLACE AND PEOPLE. Although the 5 Ps are somewhat controllable, they are always subject to your internal and external marketing environments. Read on to find out more about each of the Ps.

What are the 5 A's of marketing strategy? ›

Philip Kotler, the five stages (Awareness, Appeal, Ask, Act and Advocacy) allow marketing and sales professionals to create a map of the customer's needs and priorities during the different parts of their purchase process.

What are the 5 elements of marketing strategy? ›

The 5 P's of marketing – Product, Price, Promotion, Place, and People – are a framework that helps guide marketing strategies and keep marketers focused on the right things. Let's take a deep dive into their importance for your brand.

What are 5 example of channels that we can use for communication? ›

For example, phone calls, text messages, emails, video, radio, and social media are all types of communication channels. In a company, communication channels keep information flowing efficiently.

What are the main channel types? ›

There are three basic types of channels, straight, meandering and braided. Describing a channel by one of the aforementioned terms does not mean that the entire channel is straight or otherwise. It simply means that some portion of the channel can be described in such a way.

What are the four 4 functions of marketing channels? ›

Marketing channels perform the following generic functions: collecting market information, stimulating demand, carrying inventory, physically distributing products, supporting transactions, and providing after-sale service.

What are the 8 types of digital marketing channels? ›

Digital marketing can be broadly broken into 8 main categories including: Search Engine Optimization, Pay-per-Click, Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Marketing Analytics and Affiliate Marketing .

What are the 9 functions of marketing channel? ›

Marketing functions are elements of work, performed by members of the marketing channel. The nine channel functions are: physical possession, ownership, promotion, negotiation, financing, risk, ordering, payment, information sharing.

How to create a content marketing strategy in 7 easy steps? ›

How to Create an Effective Content Marketing Strategy (7 Steps)
  1. Define your goals.
  2. Establish your target audience.
  3. Identify keywords by establishing the problems your business solves.
  4. Run a content audit.
  5. Determine which content types you will use.
  6. Create a content calendar & publish.
  7. Measure results.
Aug 20, 2020

What is the simplest marketing channel? ›

The simplest marketing channel consists of just two parties—a producer and a consumer. Your haircut is a good example. When you get a haircut, it travels straight from your hairdresser to you. No one else owns, handles, or remarkets the haircut to you before you get it.

What is the most effective approach to channel design? ›

Straight Qualitative Judgment Approach

The qualitative approach is the crudest but, in practice, the most commonly used approach for choosing channel structures. The various alternative channel structures that have been generated are evaluated by management in terms of decision factors that are thought to be important.

What are the four forces of channel strategy? ›

Recognize the four overarching forces affecting channel strategy (4 Cs) in mapping the industry: customer requirements, competitive actions, channel capabilities & costs, and channel power.

What is the concept of channel strategy? ›

What is a channel strategy? A channel strategy refers to a vendor's plan to move a product or service through a chain of commerce to the end customer. Channels serve two primary functions. The first is to sell a product or service to a customer, and the second is to deliver a customer experience.

What is channel structure strategy? ›

the way in which a network of participating intermediaries is constructed in the delivery chain to perform the required activities to achieve an organisation's distribution goals and objectives.

What are 2 examples of marketing channel? ›

Types of marketing channels
  • Digital advertisements. ...
  • Email. ...
  • Events. ...
  • Why is Event Marketing Important? ...
  • Influencer marketing. ...
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) ...
  • Content marketing.

What is a channel in marketing example? ›

For example, a marketing channel is a target audience member's email inbox. Marketers may leverage this channel for pay-per-click (PPC) marketing tactics, referral marketing tactics, event marketing tactics, and more. Similarly, a social media network such as Facebook is a marketing channel.

What are channel influence strategies? ›

The term “influence strategies” refers to the structure and content of communications by boundary personnel in a “source” firm that are intended to change behaviors in a channel partner dubbed the “target” firm (cf.

What is a 3 level marketing channel example? ›

A third level channel, as the name implies, encompasses three intermediary levels – a wholesaler, a retailer and a jobber. In the poultry industry, products like mutton, chicken, eggs etc. are first sold to wholesalers; he then sells it to jobbers, who sell to small and unorganized retailers.

How many types of channel marketing are there? ›

Types of Marketing Channels. There are basically 4 types of marketing channels: direct selling; selling through intermediaries; dual distribution; and reverse channels.

What are the 7 marketing strategies? ›

The 7Ps of marketing are – product, pricing, place, promotion, physical evidence, people, and processes. The 7 Ps make up the necessary marketing mix that a business must have to advertise a product or service.

What are the 7 C's of marketing strategy? ›

Encapsulated within the 7 Cs Compass Model is the Four Cs, which include customer focused success factors. These are commodity, cost, communication and channel. Notably, the Four C's are the more customer-centric version of the Four P's supply side model (i.e., product, price, place and promotion).

Which marketing strategy is most effective? ›

Most effective marketing strategy: Content marketing

If you are looking for the overall most effective marketing strategy for small business, content marketing is the winner.

What are 6 main points of marketing strategy? ›

The building blocks of an effective marketing strategy include the 6 P's of marketing: product, price, place, promotion, people, and presentation.

What are the 4 main distribution channels? ›

Distribution channels include wholesalers, retailers, distributors, and the Internet.

What are the 4 main categories of content marketing? ›

There are four content categories used in content creation and marketing—attraction, authority, affinity, and action.

What are the major channels in marketing? ›

Types of marketing channels. In 2022, the answer to the question "What are marketing channels?" includes digital advertising, events, influencer marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, word-of-mouth, and traditional marketing through mass media and print.

Which of the 4 P's is often called channel of distribution? ›

Place – the third P of the marketing mix

The third P of marketing is about where you will sell your product or service. This encompasses both your distribution channels and your place in the market. Your distribution channels are the avenues through which you reach your target market.

What are the 3 traditional types of distribution channels in marketing? ›

There are three types of distribution channels: direct, indirect and hybrid.

What are the 5 core marketing functions? ›

5 key functions of marketing
  • Research. In the research stage, marketers uncover consumer behaviours and practices. ...
  • Product. This involves planning for new products and analysing existing ones to find out if there is still a market for them. ...
  • Distribution. ...
  • Management. ...
  • Sales promotion.
Mar 20, 2023

What are the three 3 functions of marketing channels? ›

Marketing channels, such as distributors, wholesalers and retailers, provide your business with three kinds of functions: buying products for resale to customers, distributing products to customers and supporting sales to customers through financing and other services.

What are the 4 C's of marketing content? ›

The 4 C's of Marketing are Customer, Cost, Convenience, and Communication. These 4 C's determine whether a company is likely to succeed or fail in the long run.

What are the 4 steps of content strategy? ›

Content Marketing Strategies: The Four-Step Approach for Success
  • Step one: Identify your goals. ...
  • Step Two: Customer research. ...
  • Step 3: Leveraging the right content management system. ...
  • Step 4: Identifying what form your content should take.
Apr 15, 2019

What are the 3 C's of content marketing? ›

Successful content marketing programs hinge on the 3 Cs – content, context, and communication.

What is an example of a channel strategy? ›

Thus, a channel strategy may involve market segmentation. For example, a vendor could target only large enterprises with its direct sales force, while reserving small and midsize businesses for its channel partners.

What is the structure of a marketing channel? ›

Marketing channels can be categorised into direct and indirect channels depending on the structure of the channel. The indirect channels are further divided into three types: one-level, two-level, and three-level channels based on the number of intermediaries present.


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