According to a fierce discussion on Facebook under well known network marketing professionals:
Fred Stege stated:
Network marketing is not an industry. Direct selling is not an industry. MLM, multilevel marketing is not an industry.
It’s a philosophy and method of marketing and distribution. That’s all it is.
It’s a marketing strategy through a, in case of MLM, multi-tier layer of distribution. It’s also a growth strategy just like Franchising…
And what is marketing? Marketing is a certain strategy you use to get the customer’s attention so that he eventually ends up buying your product. That is all marketing is.
So companies that market products and services directly to consumers through an independent, entrepreneurial sales force use direct selling or MLM as a METHOD OF DISTRIBUTION & MARKETING. What’s left is the product or service, for instance; travel, nutrition, skincare, insurance etc. That’s the factual “industry” you’re in.
DSA states “industry” on their website. I dare to differ…
An Industry is any general business activity or commercial enterprise that can be isolated from others.
If you remove all the noise… It’s the *product* that determines the industry you’re in. (…) And if it’s not about the product, be careful…
Troy Dooly stated:
Well stated Fred! I’ve been yelling this for years.
The channel is made up of companies who themselves are in many different industries!
However my friend, tell a lie long enough and people start to believe it!
Most independent professionals in the field are not distributors… heck I’m trying to think of one company where reps might still fit the bill, and the only ones would be companies where they allow the reps to buy products and retail it at for markets and retail stores… those are few and far between.
Mel Atwood stated:
Amen… I would like to say that MLM itself is not a Method of Distribution.
It’s only a method of Marketing. Where Direct Sales may include a method of Distribution.
Larry Cantrell N AmberLynn stated:
I agree! We are an “Economy” not an industry. (An entire network of producers, distributors, and consumers of goods and services in a local, regional, or national community). Great point!