A marketing channel (hereinafter, the Channel) is any channel that is necessary to transfer the ownership of one or more marketables. In other words, the Channel is the medium through which marketing endeavors are undertaken. Marketing is the primary discipline that studies the Channels.
According to Marketing Management by Keller and Kotler (15th edition),
- Marketing channels. Sets of interdependent organizations involved in the process of making a product or service available for use or consumption.
The Channel shall belong to one type or be a combination of several.
- Main wikipage: Communication channel
- A communication channel is the medium that data or data collection such a message travels along. In marketing, these channels are used to send, deliver, and receive messages between buyers and sellers. They may include newspapers, magazines, radio, television, mail, telephone, smart phone, billboards, posters, fliers, other handouts, and the Internet. Beyond these, sellers may communicate through the look of their retail stores and Web sites and other media, adding dialogue channels such as e-mail, blogs, text messages, and URLs to familiar monologue channels such as ads.
- Main wikipage: Distribution channel
Distribution channels help display, sell, or deliver the physical product or service(s) to the buyer or user. These channels may be direct via the Internet, mail, or mobile phone or telephone or indirect with distributors, wholesalers, retailers, and agents as intermediaries.
- Main wikipage: Service channel
To carry out transactions with potential buyers, the marketer also uses service channels that include warehouses, transportation companies, banks, and insurance companies. Marketers clearly face a design challenge in choosing the best mix of communication, distribution, and service channels for their offerings.