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.