6.1 The Channel Prioritization Model

Learning Outcome:

To learn how to select the most appropriate channels to focus on when designing an effective marketing program for retail


In our last unit we learned how to define our channels, now we must decide which channels will deliver the best bang for our buck: we must learn how to prioritize our channels when setting our high quality objectives.

The Importance of Prioritization

The whole idea of clustering shopping environments into channels is driven by the need to reduce complexity. Unfortunately, creating a clear channel segmentation is not a panacea for complexity in itself. Many consumer goods companies sell brands and products in multiple categories. In each category, shoppers behave differently; additionally, channels play different roles for the shoppers in each of these categories. The nightmare facing shopper marketers is where to focus. Imagine for instance that your company sells 10 categories and you identify 10 discrete channels. That’s 100 different combinations in which shoppers may be behaving differently, as illustrated below:

In this environment, prioritization becomes essential.

Prioritization Models

Managers must use a relatively simple model that enables them to define which combinations of channels are most important to their business. The simplest approach is the prioritization matrix, which has been a common management tool since Boston Consulting Group (BCG) introduced the “Growth/Share” matrix in 1968. These matrices let managers decide where to focus by mapping potential options against two variables. The famous BCG matrix allows marketers to prioritize brands by comparing market share with growth rates.

Our channel prioritization matrix takes a similar approach by comparing the relevance of each channel to target shoppers with the relative barriers to implementing in-store marketing activities in each channel:



Let’s apply the Channel Prioritization Matrix to a case study about milk powder.

Now let’s look at where the two channels discussed, pharmacies and hypermarkets, fall in the Channel Prioritization Matrix. Click on the below to see whether you have them in the right quadrants:


Now it’s your turn to decide which quadrant two channels fit into. First read Toby’s blog for the context.

A Tale of Two Shoe Stores

About eight years ago, I got it in my head that I needed a physical challenge–a very large physical challenge. I decided that I would compete in a triathlon. Considering I hated running, this was perhaps not the best choice, but I decided to do it anyway.

Having read the blog, use the following interaction to test your knowledge.



Now that the prioritization model is well understood, the next unit will look more closely at how to practically utilize it when considering where to focus your marketing efforts in retail.


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