Distribution strategy has become an increasingly visible and important aspect of marketing in recent years. It is generally assumed that the brand, or individual product line, is the appropriate focus for the development and implementation of channel strategies. However, this ignores the mutual impact between channel policies and other aspects of corporate strategy that range far beyond the marketing function. Effective channel management requires clarifying the role of a product line within the corporation's product portfolio, and managing the implications of interrelationships among product policy, product lines, and channel strategy. This, in turn, has significant organizational implications. For many companies, it requires a shift in who makes important channel decisions, the types of information and experience used in making these decisions, and the measurement systems used to evaluate managers.
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