Microsoft Corporation’s Marketing Channels





Microsoft Corporation’s Marketing Channels

A marketing channel, also known as a distribution channel, is a method used by a firm to sell its products or services (distribution channel). According to Moore and Pareek, large corporations prefer to use intermediaries within their marketing channels to ensure a high level of convenience and variety for their customers (91). The use of well-established marketing channels also helps large corporations like Microsoft to cut down on costs because they service a wide customer base with clients all over the world. When corporations transfer the responsibilities of shipping and selling to second parties, they transfer the logistical nightmare to those parties as well. In doing so, they increase the efficiency in the process of distribution and decrease the costs of production (Moore and Pareek 91).

Microsoft Corporation employs the use of three different channels to market its products (Distribution, Sales & Marketing). The first channel that the company uses is the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). OEMs, in this case, are the companies and firms that manufacture the devices (laptops, desktop computers and tablets) on which Microsoft’s software packages are used. Microsoft uses these OEMs as a marketing channel by having them install Microsoft software on their devices before they sell them to the consumers (Distribution, Sales & Marketing). The Windows operating system is an example of a Microsoft product that is distributed primarily using OEMs.

Microsoft also uses distributors and resellers as a marketing channel (Distribution, Sales & Marketing). Many of the distribution chains that sell Microsoft products to the end-user deal with the main firm itself. Microsoft guides these distributors in their interactions to the customers to maximize the customer’s experience. Microsoft also uses large account resellers, who market the products to large organizations, and value added resellers, who market the software to small companies and individual users (Distribution, Sales & Marketing).

Microsoft also uses the internet as a marketing channel. Through the internet, the firm sells products to individual users and provides services for those who already use Microsoft software (Distribution, Sales & Marketing). Products and services are also distributed to companies and organizations, but the platform used to distribute to companies is separate from the one used to distribute to individual users (Distribution, Sales & Marketing). An additional advantage of using the internet is that it allows Microsoft to build their brand by maintaining a strong presence on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter (Apple vs. Microsoft on Facebook: Does Apple win?).

All three marketing channels used by Microsoft are integrated. Some of the OEMs that Microsoft uses double up as distributors as they help the firm to sell products directly to end-users (Distribution, Sales & Marketing). Additionally, some of these firms are involved in the installation and setting up of computer networks and they sometimes use this capacity to distribute Microsoft software to the firms and organizations that they are servicing. Both the OEMs and the distributors sometimes market Microsoft products on the internet. This is done by either directing clients to the official Microsoft websites or selling the products to the end-users themselves (Distribution, Sales & Marketing).

The promotion techniques applied vary in each marketing channel. This is because in each channel, the firm is dealing with a different type of clientele. In the OEMs, there is very little need for rigorous promotion. This is because most of the promotion is carried out by the OEMs as they try to sell their devices. When dealing with the distributors and resellers, the firm has to be aggressive in the promotion of its products because in this it is competing with rival software manufacturers. On the internet, the firm is again competing with rival software manufacturers. However, the clientele that the firm is dealing with on the internet is relatively younger than in the other channels. This means that there is a need for the promotions and marketing campaign to be trendy and alluring.


Works Cited

“Apple vs. Microsoft on Facebook: Does Apple win?” Socialbakers. n.p., 2010. Web. 6 Sept. 2013.

“distribution channel.” Cambridge Dictionaries Online, 2013. Web. 6 Sept. 2013.

“Distribution, Sales & Marketing.” Microsoft. Microsoft Corporation, 2011. Web. 6 Sept. 2013.

Moore, Karl and Niketh Pareek. Marketing: The Basics. London: Routledge, 2006. Print.


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