New Channel Development

Channel marketing and channel management are important aspects of market development. Before launching into new channel development, though, it is vital that you consider your channel strategy and how that fits with your business strategy. How do your different channels work together, what are the strengths and weaknesses of each, and how would any new channel fit into the mix?

There are a number of options with regard to new channel development.

Sales force development

You might be considering bringing in a sales team for the first time, restructuring the sales team or building the sales team. Key considerations for this channel are:

  • Skills and experience of the members of the team
  • Territory definition
  • New business specialists vs customer development specialists
  • Sales training
  • Sales remuneration and incentivisation schemes
  • Sales support and collateral
  • Measurement and reporting

Direct marketing

An alternative new channel to a sales force is to transact directly with your customers, and at least one very successful company moved from a sales team to a direct mail model with dramatic success. Of course, it does not have to be one or the other, direct marketing can complement the sales team. Implementing direct marketing as a channel would involve:

  • Defining the mailing list
  • Defining the best way to reach customers – mail, email etc
  • Call centre implementation to accept orders
  • Measurement, including RFM (Recency, Frequency and Monetary Value)
  • Customer acquisition, development and retention programmes


According to Google over 95% of people who are looking for a local service search for it on Google first. While the economy is flat, online sales are growing. For a company without an eCommerce solution this has to be a crucial new channel. Getting into eCommerce involves:

  • eCommerce platform selection
  • Planning and specification, including planning for SEO
  • Website development
  • Content writing (and this is often the biggest part of the project)
  • Integration with other systems within the company
  • Logistics – how will you get your product or service to the customer
  • Online advertising
  • Measurement

Distributor/Dealer networks

Building a distributor or dealer network can make a big difference. Suddenly you have many more organisations promoting your product, there are more places where a customer can go to find your product, and other organisations can break volume and handle the smaller orders for you, allowing you to concentrate on manufacturing. Using a distributor/dealer as a new channel involves:

  • Defining the ideal distributor or dealer
  • Finding the distributors or dealers that can help you
  • Promoting your product or service to them, getting agreement to get stocked
  • Training
  • Promotions, including discounts, rebates and loyalty schemes

When considering a new channel a key issue is often the reaction of any intermediaries in current channels such as distributors, wholesalers and dealers, so careful planning is important.

New Market Development

Identify new markets, developing them and building market penetration are important options for growth.

New market development can be most easily split into two options: new customer segments for your product or service, and new geographies (i.e. export).

It is very easy to decide to take a current product/solution to a new group of customers, and it is easy to assume that they will be similar to current customers. However, there are a number of considerations that will help to ensure that any product launch in a new market will be much more successful:

  • What is the market segment you are launching into, and what are their specific needs?
  • How are those needs currently being met?
  • How does your product/solution compare with the current solution?
  • How will you reach and communicate with the new market?
  • What are the clear benefits (not features) of your solution?
  • What channels do you need to have in place to service the new market?

Consult Yorkshire has a wealth of experience of working with clients with regard to both developing new channels to market, and to developing and launching products within new markets.

If you would like to talk to us about the ways we can work with you to then please visit our contact us page and get in touch. We will be delighted to help.