Marketing Functions and How to Apply Them to Your Business

Marketing concept torn newspaper headlines reading marketing, stSo you just bought a new generation iPod.  That is wonderful, but why?  Your answer might be that it is a “cool” and “easy to use” devise.  Great, but why do you think that?  Additionally, from where, from who, and how did you come up with this information?  It is likely that you might have seen an ad on television or walked into an Apple store and was approached by a salesman.  One or all of these techniques worked effectively into making you want to buy the product. This is marketing at work; it is a business or a company working with one or all of the seven functions of marketing to sell their product.  Many consumers are not aware of the seven functions of marketing, mostly because they are busy being on the receiving end of the business model.  To help you get better acquainted with the purpose and function of the seven functions of marketing, read on!

Why is Marketing Important

Marketing is important, because it is the way in which a business, company, or seller reaches out to their customers.  If you are selling a wonderful product, brand, or service – but no one knows about it, then you will not be able to profit financially from your efforts.  Marketing is ultimately about understanding what people want, and then applying that data to the marketing activities of your company or business.  Let’s take a look at the Seven Functions of Marketing that make business wheels turn.

The Seven Functions of Marketing

When applying marketing, there are seven functions that pop up in at least one type of marketing tactic.  They are as follows:

  1. Financing
  2. Information Management
  3. Pricing
  4. Product and Service Management
  5. Promotion
  6. Selling
  7. Distribution

Let’s take a closer look at these in a bit more detail.

  • Information Management:  Marketing information management is the collection of data and analyzing it to be able to determine what your consumers want.  Before you begin collecting data, make sure you know who your consumers are.  Ask yourself, “What are my customers going to want?” and then set out to collect and analyze your data to find those answers.  You are going to want information pertaining to trends, buying habits, and attitudes of consumers in your specific demographic.  Do not forget to use the internet and social media sites to monitor what customers are talking about, clicking on, and searching for.  This will say a lot about what they want to see.  Get out there and get your information!

Example:  Providing surveys either through mail or online to determine customer satisfaction.  If a burger franchise from the United States is thinking of opening a store in China, they will collect data and analyze habits of Chinese consumers to try to cater their food to meet the needs overseas.

  • Distribution:  Distribution in marketing is where you make your products available.  The first step here is getting your products to the places you want them to be.  If you want to sell online, then you will conduct businesses via Internet.  If you are looking to sell overseas, you will have to adjust your business marketing model to deal with distributors.  Again, you are going to have to do research to determine the best places to make your products available, and how your customers are going to want to make a purchase.

Example:  A company that sells shoes will want to get their products to malls and online.  They will target stores such as JCPenney’s, Macy’s, Amazon, and possibly work to create their own website that customers can directly buy from.

  • Product and Service Management:  This can be fun.  Product and service management in marketing deals with updating, changing, and catering your product to what the consumer wants.  You can do this by changing how your product looks, creating different styles or colors, or completely changing out a part of the product’s function.  Any of these will be useful as long as they cater more to the customer’s needs and wants.

Example:  If you have noticed, the shape, coloring, and font style of Pepsi bottles have changed over time to comply with customer needs and wants.

  • Pricing:  The pricing of a product often times directly determines whether or not a customer is going to buy it.  If you want something, but cannot afford it—you are out of luck.  In marketing, you have to be able to price your products so that you will make a profit.  All of these factors depend a lot on your competition.  If there are a lot of other brands, companies, or sellers offering the same product as you, you need to aim to offer customers the lowest price possible while still generating a good enough profit.  There are different ways you can go about this.  For instance, you can offer certain benefits or perks that other sellers do not.  Be creative and think of ways to set yourself apart.

Example:  During NBA Basketball season, ticket prices can go through the roof because of the supply and demand.  There are a limited number of tickets and seats, but people love being entertained by basketball, and there will always be hardcore fans ready to pay.

  • Promotion:  If you walk into a mall, open your mail, or click into an online store, chances are you are going to be hit with some promotional signs or offers.  This is promotion marketing at work.  Promotional marketing does what it says it does: it uses promotions to bring awareness of your product or brand to consumers through various marketing techniques.  These can be anything from internet advertising to telemarketing—whatever you believe will be the most effective in reaching out to your consumer demographic.

Example:  Free limited edition teddy bears are given out to the first 100 customers who buy a company’s new watch.

  • Selling:  Because of the increase in internet sales, selling has changed over the past few years.  Selling used to be simply direct communication between a customer and a seller, but now things can be done virtually online.  Either way, marketing works to help companies, retailers, or sellers sell their products.

Example:  A salesperson at a mall helps a man choose a suit for a wedding.  They assist him with choosing the right colors, fit, and style.  This helps and encourages him to make a purchase.

  • Financing:  There are two parts of finance marketing.  The first has to deal with financing the marketing department.  With marketing, a successful marketing plan will be able to create consistent revenue for a company.  Therefore, marketing will ultimately pay for itself.  The second part of finance marketing deals with providing customers alternative and easier ways to obtain their goods.  This can be done through offering loyal customers loans, leasing options, or credit terms.  This helps to develop trust between and good business relationships.

Example:  A woman wants to buy a computer for her college-bound son.  However, she cannot afford to pay the entire sum at once.  A company offers her a loan that she is required to pay back within the next 2 years.

Let’s Get Marketing!

By understanding and applying these seven functions of marketing, you will see the importance of marketing as a whole.  Not only does the marketing team within a company or business need to understand marketing, but so does everyone involved in a brand, product, or service – as they are all essential to its success.   There are some wonderful online courses that will help you develop your own marketing strategies pertaining to your own business models, so check Udemy for help on supplementing your marketing needs.