A channel of distribution can be described as being either short or long. Short channel mostly involves few intermediaries and long channel distribution involves many intermediaries working in siccession to move goods from producers to consumers. Channel of distribution of service firms is promarily short because they mostly sell intagible products and need to maintain personal relationships within their channels. Intermediaries in marketing helps in the following;many producers lack financial resources to carry out direct marketing,in some cases direct marketing simply is not feasible,makes/assists in efficiency making goods be widely available and accessible to target market,they smoothen the flow of goods and services.
There are so many factors that a company should consider choice of distribution;product consideratio which are;unit value,bulk and weight,technical nature,age of the product,product line,etc. Market considerations which are nature and type of consumers is an important consideration in choice of a channel of distribution. Companys channel of distribution directly affect every other marketing decision . Sometimes distribution decisions can give a product a distinct position in the market. The choice of retailers and other intermediaries is strongly tied to the product itself.(Philiph,2002)
Understanding customer needs help marketers to manage the market and meet their demands. Customer needs indetifications leads to customer retention whch is important. This also helps in attracting lost customers. When all departments works together this industry will definately improve and this results to integrated marketing. By producing goods which will suit the market and meeting their needs and expectations will help in improving the industry.
Direct channel involves where producer distributes his goods or services to consumers directly or by himself,by doing this the cost of distributing this products is cut short. Only one middleman e.g in supermarket buys directly buys good from manufacturers and sell them to consumers. It is the shortest and most direct,the channel is fast and economical . producer has direct contact with his customers and has full control over contribution.Indirect channel of distribution involves middlemen who assists in promotion,transporting,packaging and grading,storage,selling and dispersing and financing.
Consumer behaviours may also affect the choice of channel of distribution,there is complex buying behaviour where consumer engages in complex buying behaviour ,this is when the product is highly expensive,it is infrequently bought,it is risky and is highly self expressive onother type of buying behaviour that affects channel of distribution is reffered to as variety seeking behaviour,this is when there is low consumer involvment in the purchase because the product is inexpensive and frequently bought.(Irwin,1996)
The first step in selecting a marketing channel is determining which type of channel will best meet both the seller’s objectives and the distribution needs of customers. choice of retailers and other intermediaries is strongly tied to the product itself. Manufacturers select mass merchandisers to sell mid-price-range products while they distribute top-of-the-line products through high-end department and specialty stores. The firm’s sales force and communications decisions depend on how much persuasion, training, motivation, and support its channel partners need. Whether a company develops or acquires certain new products may depend on how well those products fit the capabilities of its channel members.(Kevin,1994)
The best channel members to use in telamarketing industry is that one from producer to retailer,this is because various marketing functions are performed by producers and retailers, in this way the customer also are in a better position to ask questions about the services or products being offered to them. There are many criterias of selecting members of channels of distribution they are:Intensive distribution – Where the majority of resellers stock the ‘product’ (with convenience products, for example, and particularly the brand leaders in consumer goods marprice competition may be evident.Selective distribution – This is the normal pattern where ‘suitable’ resellers stock the product.
Exclusive distribution – Only specially selected resellers or authorized dealers are allowed to sell the ‘product’. The most appropriate channel distributor to use in this industry is intensive distributio because the market share is large.
A number of alternate ‘channels’ of distribution may be available in telemarketing industry, this include;distributor who sells to retailers,retailer who in otherword is known as dealer or reseller who normally sells to the end customer or consumer,advertisement which is typically used for consumption goods.Distribution channels may not be restricted to physical products alone. They may be just as important for moving a service from producer to consumer in certain sectors, since both direct and indirect channels may be used.