12 Important Functions of Marketing
Marketing is related to the exchange of goods and services. Through its medium the goods and services are brought to the place of consumption. This satisfies the needs of the customers.
The following activities are undertaken in respect of the exchange of goods and services:
- Gathering and Analyzing Market Information
Gathering and analyzing market information is an important function of marketing. Under it, an effort is made to understand the consumer thoroughly in the following ways:
(a) What do the consumers want?
(b) In what quantity?
(c) At what price?
(d) When do they want (it)?
(e) What kind of advertisement do they like?
(f) Where do they want (it)?
(g) What kind of distribution system do they like?
All the relevant information about the consumer is collected and analysed. On the basis of this analysis an effort is made to find out as to which product has the best opportunities in the market.
- Marketing Planning
In order to achieve the objectives of an organization with regard to its marketing, the marketer chalks out his marketing plan. For example, a company has a 25% market share of a particular product.
The company wants to raise it to 40%. In order to achieve this objective the marketer has to prepare a plan in respect of the level of production and promotion efforts. It will also be decided as to who will do what, when and how. To do this is known as marketing planning.
- Product Designing and Development
Product designing plays an important role in product selling. The company whose product is better and attractively designed sells more than the product of a company whose design happens to be weak and unattractive.
In this way, it can be said that the possession of a special design affords a company to a competitive advantage. It is important to remember that it is not sufficient to prepare a design in respect of a product, but it is more important to develop it continuously.
- Standardization and Grading
Standardization refers to determining of standard regarding size, quality, design, weight, colour, raw material to be used, etc., in respect of a particular product. By doing so, it is ascertained that the given product will have some peculiarities.
This way, sale is made possible on the basis of samples. Mostly, it is the practice that the traders look at the samples and place purchase order for a large quantity of the product concerned. The basis of it is that goods supplied conform to the same standard as shown in the sample.
Products having the same characteristics (or standard) are placed in a given category or grade. This placing is called grading. For example, a company produces commodity – X, having three grades, namely A’. ‘B’ and ‘C’, representing three levels of quality; best, medium and ordinary respectively.
Customers who want best quality will be shown ‘A’ grade product. This way, the customer will have no doubt in his mind that a low grade product has been palmed off to him. Grading, therefore, makes sale-purchase easy. Grading process is mostly used in case of agricultural products like food grains, cotton, tobacco, apples, mangoes, etc.
- Packaging and Labelling
Packaging aims at avoiding breakage, damage, destruction, etc., of the goods during transit and storage. Packaging facilitates handling, lifting, conveying of the goods. Many a time, customers demand goods in different quantities. It necessitates special packaging. Packing material includes bottles, canister, plastic bags, tin or wooden boxes, jute bags etc.
Label is a slip which is found on the product itself or on the package providing all the information regarding the product and its producer. This can either be in the form of a cover or a seal.
For example, the name of the medicine on its bottle along with the manufacturer’s name, the formula used for making the medicine, date of manufacturing, expiry date, batch no., price etc., are printed on the slip thereby giving all the information regarding the medicine to the consumer. The slip carrying all these is details called Label and the process of preparing it as Labelling.
Every producer/seller wants that his product should have special identity in the market. In order to realise his wish he has to give a name to his product which has to be distinct from other competitors.
Giving of distinct name to one’s product is called branding. Thus, the objective of branding is to show that the products of a given company are different from that of the competitors, so that it has its own identity.
For instance, if a company wants to popularise its commodity – X under the name of “777” (triple seven) then its brand will be called “777”. It is possible that another company is selling a similar commodity under AAA (Triple ‘A’) brand name.
Under these circumstances, both the companies will succeed in establishing a distinct identity of their products in the market. When a brand is not registered under the trade Mark Act, 1999, it becomes a Trade Mark.
- Customer Support Service
Customer is the king of market. Therefore, it is one of the chief functions of marketer to offer every possible help to the customers. A marketer offers primarily the following services to the customers:
(ii) Handling customers’ complaints
(iii) Technical services
(iv) Credit facilities
(v) Maintenance services
Helping the customer in this way offers him satisfaction and in today’s competitive age customer’s satisfaction happens to be the top-most priority. This encourages a customer’s attachment to a particular product and he starts buying that product time and again.
- Pricing of Products
It is the most important function of a marketing manager to fix price of a product. The price of a product is affected by its cost, rate of profit, price of competing product, policy of the government, etc. The price of a product should be fixed in a manner that it should not appear to be too high and at the same time it should earn enough profit for the organization.
Promotion means informing the consumers about the products of the company and encouraging them to buy these products. There are four methods of promotion:
(ii) Personal selling
(iii) Sales promotion
Every decision taken by the marketer in this respect affects the sales. These decisions are taken keeping in view the budget of the company.
- Physical Distribution
Under this function of marketing the decision about carrying things from the place of production to the place of consumption is taken into account. To accomplish this task, decision about four factors are taken. They are: (i) Transportation, (ii) Inventory, (iii) Warehousing and (iv) Order Processing. Physical distribution, by taking things, at the right place and at the right time creates time and place utility.
Production, sale and consumption-all the three activities need not be at one place. Had it been so, transportation of goods for physical distribution would have become irrelevant. But generally it is not possible. Production is carried out at one place, sale at another place and consumption at yet another place.
Transport facility is needed for the produced goods to reach the hands of consumers. So the enterprise must have an easy access to means of transportation.
Mostly we see on the road side’s private vehicles belonging to Pepsi, Coca Cola, LML, Britannia, etc. These private carriers are the living examples of transportation function of marketing. Place utility is thus created by transportation activity.
- Storage or Warehousing
There is a time-lag between the purchase or production of goods and their sale. It is very essential to store the goods at a safe place during this time-interval. Godown is used for this purpose. Keeping of goods in godown till the same are sold is called storage.
For the marketing manager storage is an important function. Any negligence on his part may damage the entire stock. Time utility is thus created by storage activity.