What is Marketing Channel?

Legal Definition
A marketing channel is a set of practices or activities necessary to transfer the ownership of goods from the point of production to the point of consumption. It is the way products and services get to the end-user, the consumer; and is also known as a distribution channel. A marketing channel is a useful tool for management, and is crucial to creating an effective and well-planned marketing strategy.

Another less known form of the marketing channel is the Dual Distribution channel. This channel is a less traditional form that allows the manufacturer or wholesaler to reach the end-user by using more than one distribution channel. The producer can simultaneously reach the consumer through a direct market, such as a website, or sell to another company or retailer that will reach the consumer through another channel, i.e., a store. An example of this type of channel would be franchising.

Roles of marketing channel in marketing strategies

  • Links producers to buyers.
  • Influences the firm's pricing strategy.
  • Affecting product strategy through branding, policies, willingness to stock.
  • Customizes profits, install, maintain, offer credit, etc.
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
The path from vendor to the consumer of a company’s goods and services, flowing in one direction. Also, this is the path that payments from consumer to the vendor generated by sales flow in the opposite direction. A marketing channel is simple, direct from the vendor to the consumer, or is complex, with several fairly independent but mutually dependent intermediaries, like wholesalers, distributors, agents, retailers. As each intermediary receives the item, it is at one price. The items moves to the next intermediary with a higher price until it reaches the final buyer, the consumer. Also known as channel of distribution or distribution channel.