What Are Marketing Channels And What Do They Mean For Your Business?

Whether you’re a new or experienced business owner, you’ve likely heard your fair share of jargon when it comes to marketing. If you’re like me, you probably spend a lot of time reading blogs and listening to podcasts and webinars about marketing and trying to figure out what you should be using and what you shouldn’t.

But the truth is that marketing channels are just a way to divide up the different ways you can market your business. And the more you understand what each channel is and how it works, the easier it is to figure out which ones will work best for you.



What are marketing channels?


Before we talk about why each of these marketing channels is important for your business, let’s start by talking about what they are.


Strategic – strategic marketing is a marketing approach focused on a specific goal and reaching an intended audience.


Containory – containory marketing is advertising that helps establish a link between a brand and the consumer.


Responsive – responsive marketing is marketing that responds to and responds to differently according to the needs of the consumer.



The three main marketing channels


You might be thinking, “OK, we all know about those. How come I don’t know what those are?” And the answer is that they’re fairly simple, and if you’re starting a new business, probably the first thing you’ll want to learn is what to use for your product and/or service.



But the three channels I’m going to talk about here are all really interesting, and they’re useful to keep in mind as you navigate your way through the maze that is today’s e-commerce industry.


Shoppers search for your products online and visit your website.


Products are purchased through one of your online stores or through your website.


Your customers return products for free or for a small discount.



What do each channel offer?


Most of these marketing channels you can use any way you like, but some of them (like SEO and social media) really need a certain focus and discipline to make them work best for your business. So here are the marketing channels that you can probably expect to see your company using on a regular basis.


Email Marketing


If you’re like me, your inbox is probably full of stuff you never want to see, and that’s mostly just junk mail. But if you have a targeted email list, then you can take advantage of email marketing to get you the business leads and leads to your website and other parts of your website that you need.



With email, you can pretty easily segment your list based on demographic, including gender, age, location, and other factors.


Marketing Channels as a whole


Before you dive into the different marketing channels, you should first take a step back and see how each one works in the first place. Marketing channels are different depending on the channel you use, but you’ll find that the same principles apply.


Sales


When it comes to marketing, sales is often the first step that most people think of. And it’s true that you’re usually selling something on a business level. But that doesn’t mean you’re marketing your product or service directly to consumers.


You’re not selling the business as much as you are selling the end customer’s problem or what your company offers them.

This is what typically happens in business.You build a customer profile for the end customer.


Paid Marketing Channels


For most companies, paid marketing channels make up the majority of what you spend on marketing. The problem with paying for your marketing isn’t that you don’t have money to spend; the problem is that you don’t have control over your marketing.


This is where you have to rely on a company to create content for you, give you ads to place in the right places, and send you sales emails to you so you can eventually buy your product or services.


The nice thing about this is that it’s the most cost-effective way for companies to get their message out. Because of the investment you make upfront, the company has the power to get your message to the right people. This doesn’t mean it’s the easiest, though.


Free Marketing Channels


These are the most basic marketing channels that almost everyone is familiar with:


  • Social media

  • Email marketing

  • Magazine ad placements

  • Review copies of your product or service

  • Product demonstration


As your business grows, there will inevitably be more ways for you to market your brand, but these are the very first places you should look when considering marketing channels. If you have a physical location, you could also consider direct mail and newspaper ads, but you’ll need to consider that marketing channel before you do.


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