Standard Article

Marketing Channel Strategy

Part 1. Marketing Strategy

  1. Anne T. Coughlan

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444316568.wiem01038

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

How to Cite

Coughlan, A. T. 2010. Marketing Channel Strategy. Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing. 1.

Author Information

  1. Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


Marketing channel strategy – one of the “Four P's” of the marketing mix (“place,” along with product, price, and promotion) – comprises the set of decisions made, and structures created, that help move a manufacturer's product or service from its place of manufacturer to the ultimate end-user. Channel design and management involves long-term attention to end-users' demands not only for the firm's products, but also for the services the channel can offer; the necessity to manage the significant costs that distribution inflicts on the company, through judicious allocation of responsibility for channel flow performance to the chosen members of the channel; and the ability to maintain channel partners' positive incentives and motivations to execute on the specified channel design. Unlike the other three “P's,” it inherently involves collaboration and interaction among multiple corporate entities, all in the pursuit of a single goal: profitable end-user sales. This article lays out the key elements of effective channel design and channel management.


  • marketing channels;
  • distribution;
  • routes to market;
  • service output demands;
  • channel flows;
  • channel conflict;
  • channel power