Marketing Channel Structure And Physical Distribution
The physical structure of a marketing channel is constructed to be a functional and effective means for moving products from the manufacturer to the user while at the same time achieving the marketing objectives of the manufacturer and each channel member. Learning how one accomplishes these tasks is the objective of this chapter. Identifying and evaluating the most viable channel structures to accomplish the objectives of all channel members while learning the best options for physical distribution to facilitate the marketing objectives are primary goals of this chapter.
An important realization for the student is that a manufacturer may need to develop and maintain more than one marketing channel to sell its products. The second realization is that even though it is necessary to start channel structure options by identifying the consumers, the physical structure of the channel starts with the retail function (whether pharmacists, supermarket, drug store or any other channel member). The next step is to identify the product source for the retailer and other channel intermediaries. Finally, identify the influences of each channel member on the channel structure, physical distribution and in implementing the marketing programs that the manufacturer initiates to facilitate reaching its own marketing objectives.