What are the functions of marketing intermediaries?
Do you know what marketing intermediaries are? This may be a strange word for many people, but with great importance in marketing.
A marketing channel is a group of interrelated organizations that directs the flow of products from producer to final customers. Channels are also called marketing intermediaries. The two main categories of marketing intermediaries are wholesalers and retailers. Wholesalers are individuals and organizations that primarily sell products. Retailers specialize in selling products to consumers. They usually resell products that they get from wholesalers.
Consumers often wonder if products would cost less if one or more marketing intermediaries could be eliminated from the distribution system. Would cars be less expensive if customers could simply buy them directly from the manufacturer? Maybe, but think about the practicalities involved. How many consumers would be willing or able to go to Detroit to buy a car? Or maybe Japan? If manufacturers offered cars for sale by mail order, how many consumers would buy one without seeing or trying it out? It would be impossible for automakers to sell vehicles directly to buyers across the United States or around the world.
Marketing intermediaries are vital in creating the utilities of place, time, and possession. They make sure products are available at the right time where they are needed. Eliminating middlemen does not eliminate the need for their services, such as storage, delivery and supply of a variety of products. The manufacturer, the consumer, or some other organization has to perform these essential services. Without intermediaries, most consumer purchases would be much less efficient. The products would probably cost more, not less.