ChannelsA plan to reach customers through various distribution channels. This is often a hybrid strategy whereby you use multiple channels.
Channel StrategyYour overall plan to use channels to achieve objectives.
Channel coverage is the extent of distribution in a channel. Channel conflict is where channels start competing with each other in some negative way. For example, an ecommerce partner who undercuts your retail promotions by aggressively discounting and advertising.
Preventing channel conflict
Managing channel partners
Marketing support for channels
Market CoverageThe level of distribution for each product or service.
Intensive distribution - making products available in as many places as possible
Selective distribution - making products available in select channels in order to defend your brand and provide a specific customer experience
Exclusive distribution - making the product or service available in one place for an area
Multi-channel distribution - using multiple channels such as a brand that sells only from its own stores, website and app
Direct distribution - distributing without intermediaries in order to control the customer experience
Indirect distribution - distributing completely through intermediaries in order to achieve sales without major investments
Distribution StrategyOther parts of your distribution strategy beyond channels and coverage.
Next read: Examples of Distribution Channels
Logistics and transportation
Exports and customs
Geographical channel coverage
Reverse logistics such as returns
Customer service and support
Regulatory compliance such as labeling requirements in other countries
Adapting distribution for different cultures
Competitive positioning in each channel and market
Inventory management such as avoiding stockouts in a channel
Measuring performance of partners
Measuring overall distribution with KPIs