Distribution Channels and Pricing Strategies

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Distribution Channels and Pricing Strategies

The first step in selecting a distribution channel determines which type of channel will best meet both the producer’s marketing objective and the distribution needs of customers. Fannie Mae does not deal directly with the end user of the Employer Assisted Housing (EAH) program. Rather it is the corporation that has direct contact with Fannie Mae and will ultimately offer the benefit to its employees. In this capacity the corporation acts as a marketing intermediary. A market intermediary is a business firm that operates between producers and consumers or business users.

A firm’s distribution channels play a key role in it’s marketing strategy, because they provide the means by which it moves the goods and services it produces to ultimate users. Channels perform four important functions first; they facilitate the exchange process by cutting the number of marketplace contacts necessary to make a sale. The second important function, is the distributors adjustment for discrepancies in the market’s assortment of goods and services. The third function of distribution channels involves standardizing exchange transactions by setting expectations for products and the transfer process itself. The final distribution channel facilitates searches by both buyers and sellers.

At Fannie Mae, the home is their business. As the nations largest provider of home mortgage funds, they have created the Fannie Mae Employer Assisted Housing benefit program to assist employees in achieving their dream of homeownership. The employer offers the housing benefit, often the form of a forgivable, deferred, or repayable second loan, a grant, a match savings plan, or home buying education that helps the employee achieve homeownership. The employee, who is the potential home buyer, participates by applying for the benefit, meeting the criteria set by the employer to receive the benefit, and fulfilling the necessary qualifications to become a home buyer. The lender provides the first mortgage underwriting and origination, and manages the relationship with the employee. Fannie Mae works with the employer, helping them create an EAH plan and identify lenders and other partners.


An employer may find it hard to find and retain workers at all levels of responsibility. Perhaps they face a shortage of employees with particular expertise. Or, if the employer is located in a high-cost area, they are finding employees are paying high rents to live nearby, or are being forced to live in remote, more affordable locations and face long commutes to work. These situations have a detrimental effect on employee motivation and productivity, which may play a role in turnover rates, thereby increasing recruitment and training costs. Each turnover incident can cost the employer between $10,000 and $0,000 which includes separation costs, replacement costs and training costs. Companies that have strong employee retention save money.

The cost of providing and administrating the EAH plans, from the least to the most expensive version, are minimized or off set by the savings accrued from reductions in turnover, recruitment/relocation and training budgets, and from higher productivity and moral. For example a reduction in the turnover rate by even one percentage point for a typical company with five thousand employees can save the cost of hiring and training fifty new employees. Fannie Mae has also developed a software program to help employers calculate the potential savings their companies could realize from instituting an EAH program.

The purpose of a distribution channel is organization of a system of marketing institutions and their interrelations that promote the flow of goods and services from producer to consumer or business user. The choice of distribution should support the firms overall marketing strategy.


Perrault, Jr.Ph.D, William, and McCarthy, Ph.D. E. Jerome (1). Basic Marketing

A Global-Managerial Approach. New York Irwin McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Fannie Mae (001). Washington DC.

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