Your ability versus the ability of other types of organizations that operate in marketing channels can affect your channel choices. If you are a massage therapist, you are quite capable of delivering your product straight to your client. If you produce downloadable products like digital books or recordings, you can sell your products straight to customers on the Internet. Hypnotic World, a UK producer of self-hypnosis recordings, is a company such as this. If you want to stop smoking or lose weight, you can pay for and download a recording to help you do this at http://www.hypnoticworld.com.
But suppose you’ve created a great new personal gadget—something that’s tangible, or physical. You’ve managed to sell it via two channels—say, on TV (via the Home Shopping Network, perhaps) and on the Web. Now you want to get the product into retail stores like Target, Walgreens, and Bed Bath & Beyond. If you can get the product into these stores, you can increase your sales exponentially. In this case, you might want to contract with an intermediary—perhaps an agent or a distributor who will convince the corporate buyers of those stores to carry your product.