One traditional framework that has been used to express the channel mechanism is the concept of flow. These flows, touched upon in Exhibit 32, reflect the many linkages that tie channel members and other agencies together in the distribution of goods and services. From the perspective of the channel manager, there are five important flows.
• Product flow
• Negotiation flow
• Ownership flow
• Information flow
• Promotion flow
These flows are illustrated for Perrier Water in Exhibit 32.
The product flow refers to the movement of the physical product from the manufacturer through all the parties who take physical possession of the product until it reaches the ultimate consumer. The negotiation flow encompasses the institutions that are associated with the actual exchange processes. The ownership flow shows the movement of title through the channel. Information flow identifies the individuals who participate in the flow of information either up or down the channel. Finally, the promotion flow refers to the flow of persuasive communication in the form of advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, and public relations.
Exhibit 32: Five flows in the marketing channel for Perrier Water.
Source: Bert Rosenbloom, Marketing Channels: A Management View, Dryden Press, Chicago, 1983, p.11.