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Distribution Channels & Integrated Marketing Communications

1. How will the distribution channels differ for an organization that primarily provides a service from one that produces a tangible good? What similarities will exist? What examples can you provide from your own experiences and your readings to illustrate these differences and similarities?

2. Integrated Marketing Communications are the practice of developing a message that will combine the strengths of several different tactics across numerous media to ensure that maximum market penetration is achieved. This can include, but is not limited to, coordinated campaigns consisting of advertising, public relations, direct selling, product demonstrations, trade shows, and sales promotions like coupons and volume discounts.

How can we utilize and incorporate all of the marketing information available to us as an organization (including research, sales history, knowledge of distribution channels, and pricing strategies) to develop an Integrated Communications campaign? How can such a campaign invoke an emotional response with the target market, lower the market's sales resistance, and persuade the market to purchase the product? Be sure to include examples from your own experiences and/or the readings to provide support for your answers.

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Distribution Channels

Distribution channels refer to the chain or group of intermediaries wherein a product passes to reach the market/target consumer. Dependent on the product being sold, a distribution channels attribute can differ greatly. An organization selling a tangible good will have a different distribution channel from that of an organization selling services. Both will have access or are using distributors and resellers and will use advertising and promotions. The channel could be an intensive channel wherein the products will be stocked alongside competition, it could be a selective channel wherein a selected partner or reseller resells the product, and it could be an exclusive distribution channel wherein only authorized dealers and franchises are allowed or given access to the products for consumption. Now let's take an example of a service being distributed. Travel is a service industry. It's all about experience. An airline ticket for example is part of a service provided to the consumer by an airline company. The airline will sell their seats directly; it could be via their own website, via their own ticketing stores and offices, via travel agents or via selected partners. Thai airways for example sells via their own online ticketing website and via their own ticketing offices. They also sell via IATA and travels agents like STA, Thompson Travel, Thomas Cook and various other travel agencies both offline and online. The more they reach the better. When they resell their service to these companies, said companies get a percentage of the sale. Some airline companies provide a more competitive cut to travel agencies so they will book them more often than their competition. In the end however it boils down to customer ...

Solution Summary

The solution is a 1,172-word essay that discusses and provides answers to the 2 questions listed in the original problem (distribution channels & integrated marketing communication practices) - see long description. References are listed for expansion. A word version of the solution is attached for easy download and printing.