August 13, 2008

Using multiple channels to reach customers

Many companies use multiple channels (hybrid channels) to target the customers in thesame market. It gives more points to the customers for reaching you:
  • IBM uses its sales force to sell to large accounts, outbound telemarketing to sell to medium-sized accounts, direct mail with an inbound number for small accounts, retailers to sell to still smaller accounts, and the Internet to sell specialty items.
  • Charles Schwab enables its customers to do transactions in its branches, over the phone, or on the Internet.
  • Staples markets through its traditional retail channel, a direct-response Internet site, virtualmalls, and thousands of links on affiliated sites.

It is however important that these different channels are integrated well in order to build a sustained advantage. Some examples are given below:

  • The ability to order a product online and pick it up at a convenient retail location
  • The ability to return an online-ordered product to a nearby store of the retailer
  • The advantage of receiving discounts based on total online and offline purchases.


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