Handbook of Marketing and Finance
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Handbook of Marketing and Finance

Edited by Shankar Ganesan

Many organizations have found that the value to business operations and financial performance created by the marketing function has become very important. The need to demonstrate this importance has also become clear. Top managers are constantly challenging marketers to document marketing’s contribution to the bottom-line and link marketing investments and assets to metrics that matter to them. This Handbook relates marketing actions to various types of risk and return metrics that are typically used in the domain of finance. It provides current knowledge of this marketing-finance interface in a single, authoritative volume and brings together new cutting-edge research by established marketing scholars on a range of topics in the area.
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Chapter 8: The Marketing–Finance Interface in Channels of Distribution Research: A Roadmap for Future Research

Katrijn Gielens and Inge Geyskens


Katrijn Gielens and Inge Geyskens INTRODUCTION For each product and service, manufacturers have to set up distribution channels to reach their end-users, be they final consumers or business buyers. The design of these distribution channels can differ considerably and involves three major decisions: (1) a channel length decision, (2) a channel intensity decision, and (3) a multichannel decision. First, manufacturers have to decide on the length of the channel. In some instances, it can be beneficial to cater to the end-user directly, whereas in other circumstances manufacturers will use a set of (independent) intermediaries or resellers to make their products or services available to end-users. When such indirect channels are used, the manufacturer has to decide on the number of layers of different types of intermediaries that are built in between the manufacturer and the end-user. For example, is a wholesale and a retail level necessary or does a retail level suffice? Manufacturers also have to make a channel intensity decision by deciding on the number of intermediaries at each level of the channel. Will the product be offered exclusively through one intermediary per trading area, selectively through just a couple of intermediaries per trading area, or intensively through many intermediaries per trading area? Beyond the channel length and channel intensity decisions within a given channel, manufacturers need to decide on the number of different distribution channels they will be using to reach their end-users. This is the multichannel decision. Once a good channel design is in place, manufactures may...

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