Explain what a marketing channel is and why intermediaries are needed. A marketing channel is a business structure of interdependent organizations that reach from the point of product origin to the consumer with the purpose of physically moving products to their final consumption destination, representing “place” or “distribution” in the marketing mix, and encompassing the processes involved in getting the right product to the right place at the right time. Members of a marketing channel create a continuous and seamless system that performs or supports the marketing channel functions. Channel members provide economies to the distribution process in the form of specialization and division of labor; overcoming discrepancies in quantity, assortment, time, and space; and providing contact efficiency. Questions 1.1 Your family runs a specialty ice cream parlor called Scoops. It manufactures its own ice cream in small batches and sells it only in pint-sized containers. After someone not affiliated with the company sent six pints of its ice cream to a popular talk-show host, she proclaimed on her national TV show that it was the best ice cream she had ever eaten. Immediately after the broadcast, orders came flooding in, overwhelming your small-batch production schedule and your limited distribution system. The company’s shipping manager thinks she can handle it, but you disagree. List the reasons why you need to restructure your channel of distribution.
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