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Marketing Intermediaries - Meaning, Importance & Types

Published by MBA Skool Team in Marketing and Strategy Terms Last Updated: April 01, 2023Read time:

What is Marketing Intermediaries?

Market intermediaries are the bodies involved in transacting the product from the producer till the time it gets purchased by the ultimate consumer can be termed. Market intermediaries can be individuals or firms. The products keep changing the possession at each level where subsequent transporting and inventory costs get added. Finally the product gets available at the retail outlet at a certain price.

Though intermediaries pose a challenge to firms when they compete on the prices yet they are indispensable as a vast distribution network cannot be handled by the company alone.

Importance of Marketing Intermediaries

A marketing intermediary is the link in the supply chain that links the producer or other intermediaries to the end consumer. The intermediary can be an agent, distributor, wholesaler or a retailer. These parties are used in the selling, promotion or the availability of the goods/services through contractual agreements with the manufacturer.

They receive the products at a particular price point, add their margins to it and move it to the next link in the supply chain at the higher price point. They are also known as middlemen or distribution intermediaries.

Types of Marketing Intermediaries

The four types of marketing intermediaries are :


The agent is an independent entity that acts as the manufacturer’s representative for the buyer. Agents have possession of the products without actually owning them. They work on commission basis.


Distributors are different from wholesalers in that the wholesalers carry many product lines, say Tide and Surf Excel, but distributors carry only one of complementary lines, either tide or Surf Excel products. Distributors will carry these products to points of sale and they maintain very close working relationships with suppliers and buyers.


Wholesalers purchase product in bulk and resell it. They own the products that they sell. They usually sell these products to retailers at a profit.


A retailer can be independent, like small convenience stores, or they can be supermarket chains, like Tesco, Walmart, Big Bazaar or Reliance Fresh. They own the products that they stock. The retailer is usually the last link of the supply chain, reaching products to the end consumer for a profit.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Marketing Intermediaries along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team which comprises of MBA students, management professionals, and industry experts. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

Browse the definition and meaning of more similar terms. The Management Dictionary covers over 1800 business concepts from 5 categories.

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