Determinants of the Choice of Marketing Channels by Corporate Clients: an Analysis of the Information Technology Sector
Based on a survey of 505 corporate clients from the information technology industry, this study uses a logit statistical model to analyze whether such factors as loyalty, trust, client importance, intimacy between customer and supplier and the cost of changing suppliers may affect the choice of the marketing channel used by the client. The results show that the greater intimacy between a supplier and a corporate client is a determining factor for the client’s preference for being served by the manufacturer rather than an intermediary. In contrast, clients’ perception of their own importance to the supplier is not very relevant to their preference for being served directly by the manufacturer, and the other factors were not identified as (statistically important) determinants of the choice of the marketing channel. These results suggest that the real advantage of the direct sales channel over the indirect sales channel lies in its ability to strengthen the client-manufacturer relationship, thereby contributing to the development of solutions that better serve the needs of corporate clients.
Marketing channels; Buyer-supplier relationship; business-to-business (B2B); Information technology