What is channel marketing and its characteristics

To understand what Channel Marketing is, it is important to be clear about some concepts.

Find out more about channel marketing and its characteristics. Learn about the challenges and strategies for improvement.

Joaquín Flores Follow

Reading time: 2 min

The first is the Distribution Channel which are the routes that products and services follow on their journey from the manufacturer or service provider to the end customer.

The second is the Channel Partner, which are companies that sell and distribute a manufacturer’s product or service. In addition to making the product available to a wider audience, channel partners serve a similar target buyer and have material or content that appeals to that buyer.

Finally, a Channel Partner Programme is a strategy to motivate and engage partners to create more value for customers.

Therefore, Channel Marketing is about establishing long-term relationships with our partners (in Telefónica’s case the COs) through a structured programme that helps them to sell our products and services with maximum autonomy.

All of this will result in the growth and expansion of the business, in the case of our company, Telefónica Global Solutions, extending our commercial capillarity and accessing new end customers that we could not have reached directly.

Our Channel Marketing programme covers many initiatives such as: contracts, processes, segmentation, incentive plans, promotion, branding, training, events, campaigns, etc.

Channel marketing, also known as channel distribution or channel management, is a fundamental strategy in the marketing of products and services. This strategy focuses on the way goods and services move from the producer to the end consumer.

Components of Channel Marketing

  • Intermediaries: Include wholesalers, retailers, agents and distributors who help move products from the manufacturer to the consumer.
  • Channel Strategies: Can be exclusive, selective or intensive, depending on the scope and control the company wishes to have over distribution.
  • Exclusive: Few intermediaries authorised to sell the product, common in luxury products.
  • Selective: Selection of specific intermediaries, suitable for products that require more controlled distribution.
  • Intensive: The product is distributed through as many outlets as possible, ideal for mass consumption products.
  • Relationship Management: Involves collaboration and continuous communication between the producer and intermediaries to ensure effective and efficient distribution.

Channel Marketing Strategies

  • Vertical Integration: The company controls more than one stage of the distribution channel, either forward (consumer integration) or backward (supplier integration).
  • Strategic Alliances: Collaboration with other businesses to exploit synergies and improve channel efficiency.
  • Technology and Automation: Use of supply chain management (SCM) systems and other technologies to optimise the distribution process.

Channel Marketing Challenges

  • Coordination: The need to maintain smooth and efficient communication between all members of the channel.
  • Channel Conflicts: Can arise when the interests of different channel members are not aligned.
  • Control and Monitoring: Ensuring that intermediaries maintain the quality and service standards set by the manufacturer.


Channel marketing is an essential discipline for any company seeking to maximise its market reach and optimise its distribution. Proper management of distribution channels not only improves operational efficiency, but also strengthens business relationships and customer satisfaction. Understanding and effectively applying distribution channel management strategies


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