In its most basic form we can think of channel marketing as a path or route that connects companies to its target market end user customer. Marketing Channels may readily be defined as coming in two main forms – one form is to actually deliver the products and services into the hand of the purchaser, now as we just referred to some basic understandings of this topic – this is where things can being to get really complicated; especially when we consider the business fundamental of distribution channel marketing. In short this is where a company or manufacturer delegates the responsibility for the delivery of goods over to third party companies; we mentioned that things can complicated and this is what we refer to.

In some cases the length of the distribution channel can be very long [when we refer to distribution channel lengths we speak of the number of intermediary companies that sit in between the manufacturer and the end user] so if say there are seven [7] layers to be passed through before the purchaser is able to consume the goods then this within itself will [by definition] present the parent company with certain challenges, not just in terms of maintaining product quality but also in relation to …

… making sure that the message of the brand that relates to the products and services remain strong by the time it passes through to the end of the chain. Before we move on, it is worth considering the last point – as there are a classification of company that along with delegating the transportation to intermediaries, the actual marketing collateral will be given to the third party partners and it will be their responsibility to promote awareness down through the distribution chain.

So without going into any more details in terms of channel marketing development using distribution channel partners [this includes value added resellers, wholesalers, retailers & others] this is a factor that needs to be considered for all businesses especially the small business owner who may not have the strength of brand equity that will serve to counteract any dilution of the marketing messages that may occur whilst passing through the various links of the marketing chain.

So we have spoken about the physical act of placing goods and services into the hands of the customer – we have done this in terms of distribution marketing in order to illustrate the point however the principles should be taken through and applied to the reader’s business development situation. One worthwhile exercise is to consider how many links there are in the chain in terms of delivering your company’s services and goods to your chosen target market segment [and here again I am making the assumption that structured processes have been adhered to in order to assist the organisation in adequately defining the profile of their ideal client] and ponder how well the brand is represented whilst being funneled through the distribution chain.

If the customer is in another country and we are dealing with physical goods then this specific aspect of marketing strategy development needs to be carefully examined and appropriate systems and processes put in place in order to deal with any negative impact that may be encountered and experienced both by the end user and the parent company. So this aspect of channel marketing of actually putting the service into the hand of the customer can be considered in multiple forms such as in the case of a life coach that delivers one on one sessions – if the client is in the same town then of course face to face meetings may be entirely possible, if in another country they internet technologies may be considered or; the strategic decision may be made to only deal with clients within a specific geographical location. These are all top level business fundamental decisions that should be considered and made at the outset.

That which fits hand in glove with the delivery of goods and services is that of the promotion of the company, associated brands that relate to that which is being sold into the marketplace at large. Of course – if no one learns of the existence of that which they may be interested in the matters related to distributing goods will not even come into question. So we now refer to the other aspect of channel marketing which deals with the pushing of the message of the company and its brand in terms of the promotion, advertising and marketing of specific products and services. In line with this and in terms of developing a coherent go to market business development plan the next question to answer is “how do we market to the customers” or “which marketing channels shall we use in order to get brand message into the minds of the target market customers” ?

In short – the most appropriate channels to market to utilise in terms of the advertising and promotion of the company will in some shape or form be roughly defined if the structured systematic ideal client profile exercise is carried out as we touched on above. With that said, let’s imagine that we have developed some sort of widget for a particular manufacturing based vertical industry – in this case the choice may be made to concentrate on the industry specific magazine and publications. Placing advertisements in these paper based brochures will serve to reach intended markets and then one may choose to supplement these activities using direct mail as well as flyers and attending trade shows and other industry specific events. This is channel marketing in action – ensuring that the correct message is crafted for the identified client and then that this message is funneled down through the most appropriate path or route in order to fulfill some top level business objective [as defined by the top level company strategy].

Each business type will have to determine the best course of action and most appropriate methods they choose in order to deliver goods and services as well as promotion and marketing. With that said – no matter the business type, market sectors or profile of the identified ideal client – the how to market a business on the internet – question should be factored into the discussions. At this point the decision may be made to work with a full service digital marketing agency which with the appropriate level of expertise will be able to accomplish defining all of the above in terms of the “who” the customers is; “how” we are going to put the products / services into the hand the customer and the necessary steps for getting the message out to the world.

Search Engine Marketing as well as Social Media Advertising has become a critical component in terms of business development due to the fact that so many customers commence their search for news, information, research and general content related to good and services by using the internet. Even in terms of industrial type organisations looking for machinery [for arguments sake] – the research will start with the internet …..

….. and the forward thinking company will look to respond to search engine queries as well as social media discussions in the form of white papers, video content and other technical information that can serve to act as lead generation through educating the customer and carefully and strategically guiding them through the company’s marketing funnel.

Whilst this is not a discussion regarding how to market a business on the internet per se it is worth noting that any ongoing digital marketing strategy implementation plan ought to be based on content; this definition of content [we say] should be based on keyword research – the data gained from such activity will tell us with certainty that which [prospective] clients have been looking for and researching via Google, Yahoo & Bing – when we are in receipt of such information we [in terms of marketing] will be able to develop articles, blog posts, videos, emails [used in lead generation] and articles that may be strategically used throughout any search engine marketing as well as social media marketing strategies development and execution.

Again – it may make sense in terms of the focus of the company and employees to work with a partner search engine social media marketing company that will be able to use the keyword research identified above as a basis for not only creating content but also in using links within the content that will in turn upon being indexed and spidered by the search engine robots that act to rank company websites and pages within those websites. The complex tasks of ranking company related websites along with targeted Web 2.0 blogging platforms along with various other internet properties such as bookmarking sites and social profiles may well be best left to an expert digital marketing agency that is well versed in performing these complex tasks day in and day out and therefore leaving the partner company to focus in providing excellence in terms of customers satisfaction and improving product quality.

Note that in closing it is important to state that the research and content that may be generated and used for search engine marketing and lead generated can be appropriately repurposed and make use of within the various social media channels. So in conclusion – carefully paying attention to the topic of channel marketing and its two main components and; carefully developing go to market business development planning based around these marketing fundamentals will pay the company in question back in dividends in terms of the leads that it generates, the level of customer satisfaction, product / service enhancements which all related to increasing sales of good and the revenue that gets generated by such activities.

Feel free to share this information with marketing professionals, colleagues or business owners if you find it useful and thought provoking – if you’d like to work with me then please view the marketing strategy business development process that I use as a framework for developing top level company strategies as well as the associated digital marketing planning. Also, if you have any questions or simply wish to discuss any of these topics then please do drop me an email. Regards : Stephen C Campbell

It is safe to say that the majority of the existing strategies that have been developed for small businesses (SMEs) as well as some of the larger corporations were originally developed before rise and rise of the internet in our personal and professional lives.

Now we have to deal with Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, Mobile Optimized Websites as well as the widespread use of Mobile Apps. The point being that to be successful, long standing business strategies need to be modified accordingly or said another way, the online strategies that are developed need to be done so by incorporating more traditional [offline] strategies into every activity that takes place on the internet.

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We like to stress the point that it is not about ranking a video on YouTube, or even ranking a website in Google, or about how many tweets that are put out. This is how we differentiate our services to clients when it comes to working with them to develop their go to market online strategies. It all starts by understanding their core business strategies, i.e. their :-

  • Channel Marketing Strategies
  • Branding Activities
  • Distribution Channels
  • Market Segmentation
  • Category Marketing Choices
  • Lifetime Client Value
  • Unique Value Proposition

… and the list can go on and on, the point is that using the internet does not mean that these core business fundamentals change. This is why we caution businesses that even if they do not work with us, they need to vet carefully who they work with.

The person or company who is the best technically may not be the best at making sure that your business’ marketing strategy is appropriately conveyed via online internet activities in relation to your business.

So in conclusion : your business’ strategy may well need to be modified accordingly to ensure that the internet is incorporated, you as the business owner do not need to know everything about how this is done but you need to make sure that whoever you use understands marketing fundamentals as well as the ins and outs of how to incorporate the internet in the go to market strategies of any corporation.

This is our specialty which we look to continue to develop, any question, comments or thoughts, feel free to get in touch.

To your business success,

-Stephen C Campbell

One of the most common questions that I get asked by those who are starting out in business; also by those who have been involved in business maybe for some time who maybe running a functioning business and making a decent living is : ‘just how to I actually go about developing a marketing strategy’ ??

At a recent networking event when speaking a business owner who by his own admission if well versed in the technology of his business (but not in the marketing) I spoke of the three pillars that I use when thinking about, explaining and developing a marketing or business strategy. They are :-

  • Product/Service categories
  • Channels To Market
  • Market Segmentation

… that is to say, we work on defining the category of the market that the Product or Service fits into, we then work on the marketing Channels. When it comes to channels we consider the channel that we use to deliver the product or service to the marketplace and secondly the channels that we use to push the message to the marker place through. And finally, we have to ensure that our preferred market segments are at the end of the channels that we use. That is the essence of the framework that I work through when refining and developing a marketing strategy.

Now, let’s assume we are you are selling massage therapy services [as one of my previous clients were]. For sure the channel for delivering the service would be in the therapist’s salon but they business owner will have many options in terms of channel marketing for delivering the branding message and services of the business to the market place at large. They can use direct mail, blogging, mobile, articles, newspapers, radio and more to deliver their message to the target market.

Next, we need to ensure that our product/service is positioned appropriately in terms of location, offering and pricing – a particular segment of the market may wish to pay say $15/hour for a massage but other high end clients may be perfectly happy to pay $100/hour if they see the value in what it is that you have to offer. The question is – which market segment is it that you will choose to target ? If this discussion we have covered the market segments and the category of the market that we wish to be positioned in.

So there you have it – an insight into my methodology for developing marketing strategies whether working with $multi billion clients in China [Swatch Group] or with a wedding reception services business such as http://www.lowcostchaircovers.co.uk/ that I consulted for last year.

In summary we want to be thinking of Channels, Market Segments and Product/Service categories.

To your marketing strategy development success,

Let me know if you wish to engage with myself and the team to assist you in your business.

-Success,

-Stephen C Campbell

 

I had an interesting conversation today with a colleague [Mark Stonham] and we were discussing business strategy development and the conversation, for a while became centred around the internet and that of digital marketing. It was then that I started to talk about my concept of how I feel the internet should be viewed and positioned as a key component of a company’s digital [search engine and social media] marketing strategy.

Those of you have read my thoughts before will know that I position the internet and that of digital marketing as a [nother] marketing channel that business, companies and various organisations looking to market their products and services are able to make use of in order to get their marketing message out to the world at large i.e. their target market customers that would have been defined during the business strategy development phase, this particular marketing channel can be used to collect market intelligence, survey customers [nowadays this can be accomplished making of of chatbot marketing] as well as being used to deliver the products and services [or a digital component] of the company to the client.

I also went on to stress the point that I believe that not enough attention is paid to segmenting the internet itself as a channel to market.

What is the exact meaning behind the statement I make above ? well – the internet and digital marketing itself provides multiple sub channels that can be used to communicate with – there are many that can be used for marketing execution for sure but for brevity some of them are :-

  • blogging
  • article marketing
  • video marketing
  • email marketing
  • social media marketing
  • chatbot marketing

… it is through these marketing channels that we as marketers and business leaders need to make sure that we communicate effectively with those who are to become our customers. For that to happen those clients must be interfacing with us through specific sub digital internet marketing channels.

It is here that I can see where many companies are potentially making costly strategy development errors in not taking the time up front to develop their digital internet channel marketing strategies. It is here that they will be told which internet sub channels their clients are interfacing with most and direct them with respect to how much effort, time and energy should be directed towards any one or multiple internet marketing sub channel.

Having said that, I do understand that there are many social media marketing experts that push the idea that using this form of marketing on the internet is all that is necessary – needless to say, I disagree as …

Strategy should precedes execution

… and this stands true for marketing on the internet as it does if you were to be selling products and services into a new country. As always, I hope you find this useful – and do feel free to hit the contact button above and get in touch if you would like to discuss business consulting, training, coaching, speaking or mentoring services.

To your business success.

-Stephen C Campbell

Corporate internet marketing strategy in line with social media marketing strategies seem to be at the centre of most of the questions I get asked when business leaders are enquiring about my Internet Channel Marketing strategy consulting and seminar delivery that I am currently involved in more and more.

The point is that many executives have been told that they must get involved with Social Media Marketing, that they must immediately get training in this area or else they will get left behind.

This is where I start to explain about the concept of …

Internet Channel Marketing

… or, how to effectively incorporate the marketing tools that the internet give us into existing and new business strategies. Internet Channel Marketing is centred around the fact that the internet is but another channel to marketing. I say ‘yet another with the thought in mind that it is a very powerful channel.

We all know that marketing channels are there to enable us to :-

  • Effectively promote our products our services to current and potential end user clients
  • Effectively deliver our products and services to those who choose to purchase from us

… so coming back to Internet Channel Marketing : we like to highlight the fact that there are many tools within the complete internet marketing tools box to enable us to accomplish our channel marketing objectives.

Internet Channel Marketing gives us access to :-

  • Blogging
  • Podcasting
  • Social Media
  • Micro Blogging
  • Article Marketing
  • Forums
  • Directories
  • Joint Venture Marketing
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Affiliate Marketing

…. and the list could go on and on. Effectively using the internet for marketing means that we will use the combination of the above that adequately suits our business in terms of the ..

  • Marketing category of our products and services
  • Market Segment of our target end user clients

… this may mean that we use mainly Blogging, Podcasting or Article Marketing or it may be the case that Social Media Marketing as a key part of our Channel Marketing Strategy.

That is the essence of Internet Channel Marketing where we instruct clients on the marketing tools available to them from the internet and how to effectively use these tools to effect the execution of their business strategies.

This is why I believe it is not the best advice to push companies and executives headlong into throwing money at Social Media when it may be that their target market may be better suites to blogging internet strategies.

As I work with more and more clients on a global basis and apply my consulting skills in different industries, feel free to get in touch if you think I could be of assistance to your in your business endeavours – no matter where you may be in the world, remember the world is flat !! we would be working together face to face in a matter of days.

Hope you found this useful, any questions or comments – feel free to let me know.

To your business success,

-Stephen C Campbell [Shanghai, China]

This is a critical question that is being answered on a daily basis by the most successful corporations, small business, entrepreneurs as well as marketers around the world. This extremely important topic of promotional marketing is one that is relevant for every business and the point can be stressed that it does not matter no matter what industry ]niche or market segment] or size of the organisation for that matter. In other words the question to be answered is that of :-

what is you Promotional Channel Marketing Strategy ?

… of course, we know that when we speak of Channel Marketing this particular aspect of business development can readily be split into two main categories …

1] That of delivering the company’s products and/or services to the end user customer market place and …

2] The specific channel that may be used in order to promote the company’s products / services.

In some cases a company may choose to use the same go to market channel for both the consumption and the delivery but in many cases there will need to be a careful blend of pushing the message of the organisation through specific channels and, using various channels more than others and therefore driving customers to take specific actions in order to get them to enter the top of the marketing funnel.

One of the best things any business can start to do any time is to take some time out and take a blank piece of paper and consider the blend of marketing channels that they are actively using to promote products and services to the world at large [chosen target market segments].

The blend of and between marketing channels is critically important as the combination that is used will in fact be based on the results of the market segmentation development activities in line with who you the company is selling to and where [in terms of marketing channels] they congregate in terms of what the best medium is to use to deliver the unique value proposition’s message to them.

This is but one small part of a component of developing a business strategy.

Thoughts, comments ? want to work together [nationally or internationally] ? feel free to get in touch.

-Stephen C Campbell

The question that many small business owners as well as executives from some of the largest corporations in the world have asked and are asking is, ‘what about the internet’ ?? …

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… My response is that the internet is to be viewed as a marketing channel for the corporation.

That is as a marketing channel to promote the company’s message through as well as using this particular channel to possibly deliver products and/or services to the end user client.

As many organisations are struggling to fully incorporate the internet into the core business strategies, I have devised the Internet Channel Marketing seminar which focusses on the main things that executives need to be aware of in order to go forward and develop their strategies with fully incorporating the internet.

I say that to mean that the internet should not be viewed as an ‘add on but as a key component of the corporate strategy, for this to happen of course, there will need to be certain changes to the organisation both in terms of structure as well as mindset.

If this topic is of interest to you – view the video above and – if I can help you by answering any of your questions, running a seminar, consulting or if you just fancy a chat !!! Feel free to get in touch.

To Your Success,

-Stephen C Campbell

As I was discussing during my radio program a few weeks ago, China is now officially the world’s second largest economy …

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… overtaking Japan and as far as we can see the business opportunities will continue to rise in the coming years. After my very first business consulting seminar in Shangai [in Channel Marketing Strategies] focussing on the Internet and Distribution,

it was very educational for me to learn from some of the executives who I was standing in front of for days delivering the first of many marketing strategy seminars and consulting sessions.

Having managament from different industries all desiring to have their needs met meets with certain challenges, however as I am striving for excellence – I was happy to stretch myself up into new comfort zones.

With there being a shift from China just acting as a manufacturing arm for many of the world’s Multi National Companies to being an economy that is innovating and producing goods and services that needed domestically and internationally, we see a corresponding need to learn from the west in terms of process management and strategy development. The point is that – by learning in the form of taking in business consultants from the West, the country will save itself years in terms of trial and error, not to mention the amount of money that goes with that.

With all of the dynamics that goes into piecing the economies of the world together, as a business consultant I can see many opportunities for strategyt consultants like myself to lending a hand to the development of the economy of China.

With that said, I look forward to many more interactions and learning from as well as assisting Chinese [based] companies to grow and prosper as the dependency on the strength of business China continues to be one that is growing.

channel marketing strategy

Your company’s [Distribution] Channel Marketing Strategy is key to the success of the products that you are selling in the market place, is used to be that technological superiority could be relied upon for market dominance. Looking at companies such as Walmart and Dell, we can see how critical it is for organisation’s to be continually refining the particular [Distribution] Channel Marketing Strategy used for getting their products from Manufacturer to eventual [Business or Industrial] end user.

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The enclosed video gives an overview of the two day Channel Marketing seminar that I run for corporations. Take a look and get an overview of the whole topic and see if you can pull anything from the video to maybe modify some of the actions currently being pursued in your business.

Any comments ? let me know just hit the contact link above.

Success,

-Stephen C Campbell

digital online marketing

A successful internet marketing strategy requires the right amount of resources to be allocated. These resources include funding, technology, and staff levels.

You should first figure out what capabilities you have internally, so that you can determine whether or not you have the skill and knowledge you need internally or whether you will have to outsource some of the work.

After you have determined which type of internet marketing would be the most appropriate you will need to figure out the best way to track your efforts and measure their effectiveness.

You need to find a technology that will help you to keep track of and create reports on your progress in terms of your key progress indicators.

This ability to measure and track your efforts is part of the reason why companies are choosing methods of marketing. You can get a lot of useful information when you use the proper technology to track performance and activity so that you can better tweak your future campaigns to get optimum results.

For the best results, your Internet Channel Marketing

Strategies should be designed to help

with specific objectives of your business.

Your digital strategy will most likely need to be developed apart from the offline marketing strategy. This is due to the fact that internet marketing methods engage audiences and generate responses from them in a different manner than traditional marketing methods.

However, all of the channel marketing strategies you use, whether digital or traditional in nature, should still be complementary to one another and consistent with one another.