Sitecore defines marketing taxonomies as
A taxonomy is a hierarchical structure that you can use to identify and organize information. In the Sitecore Experience Platform, you can use taxonomies to classify marketing activities, such as campaigns, goals, and events.
I find it easier to understand when i think of it more like "tagging" the Sitecore activities.
The are four types of marketing taxonomies available out of the box:
- Campaign groups
Channels are only used in Campaigns. So in order to have channel data on your experience analytics, you will need to have pages that are tagged to a campaign with a channel. You can start by
- Creating a campaign and set the channel field to your desired channel. (Remember to Deploy the campaign through the workflow)
- Associate the campaign to a page.
- Visits to this page will be associated to the campaign/channel in your experience analytics dashboard.
You can read more about Marketing Taxonomies here
You can also create your own custom channel if you want
Update 1 : Traffic Type vs Channels
You might have gotten confused with Traffic Type vs Channels. They are essentially the same thing, just different terms/system used in Sitecore versions.
- Traffic Type is the term and system used in versions earlier than Sitecore 8.0
- Channel is the new term and system used in Sitecore 8.0 and later
The process of mapping Traffic Types to Channel is only applicable if you are upgrading CMS from earlier versions (e.g 7.5 to 9.0), so that the information is not lost after the upgrade.
Sitecore's documentation quote
In the Sitecore Experience Platform (xDB) version 8.0 and later, the Marketing Taxonomy includes channels that replace traffic types. Channels enable you to classify the different paths that contacts use to interact with your website.
If you have upgraded from an earlier version of Sitecore or have created your own custom traffic types, then you need to map your existing traffic types to channels