A marketing intermediary is a distribution channel and way for producers of various products and services to indirectly sell to the masses. The marketing intermediaries are used to get the product or service to the consumer and are often called "middlemen."
Marketing intermediaries can come in the form of wholesalers, retailers, brokers, agents, financial intermediaries or distributors. The manufacturers are responsible for creating the product or developing the service before it is sent forward to the marketing intermediary and from the marketing intermediary to the consumer.
Marketing intermediaries are used by companies because they keep manufacturers from assuming too much risk while providing financing and information flow. They also eliminate the need for the consumer to negotiate each individual product or service exchange with the manufacturer or seller, which in turn is cost effective for both parties. Some examples of marketing intermediaries include large retailers such as Kmart and JCPenney and grocery stores like Kroger.
Marketing intermediaries also offer distribution practicalities that take care of "when" and "where" the customer will go in order to purchase the product as well as allowing the customer to take ownership of the product. The intermediaries help to create an efficient and cost effective exchange process.