Channels

The Channel Building Block describes how a company communicates with and reaches its Customer Segments to deliver its Value Proposition. It is important to understand which pathway (or channel) is best for your company to reach your customers. Below is a brief description that will help guide you in finding the right mix of channels to satisfy how customers want to be reached.

                Channels 1

An organization can choose between reaching its customers through its own channels (B2C), partner channels (B2B), or through a mixture of both.

CHANNEL FUNCTION(s):

  1. Raising awareness among customers about a company’s products and services
  2. Helping customers evaluate a company’s Value Proposition
  3. Allowing customers to purchase specific products and services
  4. Delivering a Value Proposition to customers
  5. Providing post-purchase customer support

WHAT YOU NEED TO ANSWER BEFORE GETTING STARTED:                 

  • Through which channels do our Customer Segments want to be reached?
  • How are we reaching them now?
  • How are our channels integrated?
  • Which ones work best?
  • Which ones are most cost-efficient?
  • How are we integrating them with customer routines?

FIVE TYPES OF CHANNEL PHASES: 

  1. AWARENESS- how do we raise awareness about our company’s products and services?
    1. Advertising (Word of Mouth, Social Media, Newspaper, etc.)
  2. EVALUATION- how do we help customers evaluate our organization’s Value Prop?
    1. Surveys
    2. Reviews
  3. PURCHASE- how do we allow customers to purchase specific products and services?
    1. Web vs. Brick and Mortar
    2. Self Checkout
  4. DELIVERY- how do we deliver a Value Proposition to customers?
    1. Over the counter
    2. Delivered/Catered
  5. AFTER SALES-  how do we provide post-purchase customer support?
    1. Call center
    2. Return policy
    3. Customer assistance

 OUR EXPERIENCE:

The DoughJoe – Since a number of our team members had experience in the restaurant industry, we assumed pretty early on that Word of Mouth advertising was going to be the #1 way to create awareness for our business. There’s quite a bit of evidence supporting this on the internet as/is, and our customer interviews confirmed our suspicions. We got some scattered feedback for radio advertising or social media ads, but the correlations weren’t very strong. Nonetheless, we maintained those hypotheses as viable and left them for closer consideration with cost structure.

We also tested the market for customized donuts (think frozen yogurt shop process) versus pre-assembled donuts. Unfortunately, with our limited time, we were able to come up with much better examples of pre-assembled gourmet donuts and less able to communicate the value of a customized one.

Crepe Expectations – In a small (yet rapidly growing) town like College Station, TX, word gets around quickly. Our group decided to test Word of Mouth advertising. We were not surprised to find that a majority of the people we interviewed agreed that they would more likely engage in verbal communication. Word of mouth communication is crucial, especially for the restaurant industry. It is a quick and cost-effective way to create brand recognition, however, it can turn against you very quickly if customers get the wrong first impression. Put your best foot forward and this tool can work to your advantage.

In addition, our team members tested social media advertising through platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The feedback we received while testing these marketing strategies did not meet our expectations. A majority of interviewees were not interested in the idea of advertising through social media. Our group also tested a “mobile app” for our food truck and we received negative feedback.

For more information and further reading, click here.

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