Wholesaling, the role of the middleman and marketing costs: some forgotten concepts in marketing thought

Sylvain Charlebois


Most introductory or intermediary marketing courses present marketing from a manufacturer's perspective, in which product distribution is treated as one of the marketing mix variables under the complete control of the manufacturer. Product distribution is assumed by a wide range of middlemen and various distribution agencies that operate in a distinct and separate market.  Wholesaler - distributors represent one such type of middlemen and their marketing agenda do not always coincide with the one set out by manufacturers.  Thus, the need to form partnerships or alliances via the use of marketing programs and other incentives in order to assure smooth product distribution from points of the production to end users.  This paper, then, briefly explains the role of wholesaler-distributors in general, and specifically spells out what they actually do for their suppliers based on the types of marketing functions they perform.  The functional approach is also used to analyze the various marketing tasks which are assumed by the wholesaler when taking on a new supplier's product line.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jmr.v1i2.114

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