Principles of Marketing: "Chapter 8: Using Marketing Channels to Create Value for Customers"
Read this chapter, which explains that a direct marketing channel consists of just two parties: the producer and the consumer. By contrast, a channel that includes one or more intermediaries (wholesalers, distributors, brokers, or agents) is an indirect channel. Firms often utilize multiple channels to reach more customers and increase their effectiveness. Some companies find ways to increase their sales by forming strategic channel alliances with one another. Other companies look for ways to cut out the middlemen from the channel, a process known as disintermediation. Direct foreign investment, joint ventures, exporting, franchising, and licensing are some of the channels by which firms attempt to enter foreign markets.