At large marketing agencies that work with major corporations, they deal with “channel strategy”:
The entire plan for the process of getting goods from the vendor to the end customer.
Although some companies sell directly to their consumers — an approach known as a direct channel — there are also a multitude of indirect channels.
This can include selling a manufacturer’s products through retail stores, through Amazon, or through value-added resellers.
So what does any of this have to do with internet marketing?
Actually, more than you might think.
Even on smaller scales, like businesses run by a single solopreneur, learning about channel strategy can seed some important key takeaways that can inform your own marketing strategies.
In a recent blog post from Hubspot, the author explains how insights from channel strategy can provide a rich source of information about reaching customers more effectively.
Building Your Own Channel Strategy
Not all marketers work for agencies, but many of us are responsible for positioning our respective products and services as solutions for our target audiences. For example, HubSpot’s Marketing Software provides automation solutions for marketers — what solutions does your organization offer?
In a way, channel strategy could be described as a formal approach to word-of-mouth marketing.
How can you provide solutions to your customers that they, in turn, can share with and provide to their own networks? Ober challenges and encourages marketers to ask that question, find the best answer, and make it a reality.
There’s a “relationship-building aspect” of every marketer’s job, she explains, even for those who don’t work with customers directly.
Chances are, you’re still responsible for crafting the messages and content that’s going to reach customers, and ultimately, that’s one way for brands to build a relationship with a target audience — by establishing themselves as a trustworthy, shareable resource for solving problems and meeting needs.
But where can marketers begin?
“Product knowledge is … imperative,” Ober says. Start by becoming an expert in the solutions provided by your organization — not just the products and services you offer, but also, with the industry at-large.
“We need to be comfortable with usage and training,” she explains, in order to establish that trust with both current and potential customers.
You can read more about how channel strategy can inform your own marketing strategies over at Hubspot.