Getting wrapped up in the daily minutiae of marketing is so easy until you can miss out on the bigger picture. Instead of sounding like a current crisis, it can be helpful to take a step backward and ask yourself what all this means. That is why we will be looking at the 7 functions of marketing in this article.
When you understand the seven core functions of marketing, it will help you to focus your strategies and efforts better so as to support your business. Besides, it is much easier to show the relevant KPIs and ROI if you are aware of what your marketing department should be able to deliver.
This is only possible if you have a clear understanding of the marketing functions. Before we look at the 7 core functions of marketing, let us begin by analyzing the marketing strategy and structure.
Marketing Strategy and Structure (The 4 P’s of Marketing)
The basic macro marketing strategy is very simple. You develop a service or product that has a competitive or unique benefit and then communicate it consistently to your target customers.
Within the framework, you will use the four P’s of marketing to implement the micro tactics and strategies. Using this strategy takes away any form of the guesswork from your marketing so that you can maximize your profits.
The 4 P’s of marketing include product, promotion, price, and place. You will discover that all of the following are parts of the marketing function except the element of space.
The Product is the first of the 4 P’s of marketing. It entails creating a product around a competitive or unique selling benefit by eliminating or adding features that are based on your specific target market.
For instance, if a restaurant serves affluent diners, it can offer benefits like a wine list, trained servers, valet parking, and reservations. Restaurants that serve moderate-income diners may offer a buffet, self-seating, coupons, and daily specials.
The marketing activities that are related to the product strategy include evaluation of the competition, review of industry statistics, and carrying out surveys and customer focus groups. You cannot look at the features of marketing unless you understand your product.
You will discover that promotion is also among the universal functions of marketing. It is critical to send a consistent message to your customers to make sure that the effort you have put in creating the right products, setting the right prices, and choosing the right selling location will pay off.
Your social media activities, event sponsorship, in-store promotion, and advertisements should complement each other to avoid any form of confusion in the market. For instance, an upscale restaurant can sponsor a golf restaurant, bring a renowned guest chef, or advertise on the leading radio station.
On the other hand, family-style restaurants may advertise on country stations, sponsor youth sports leagues, and give early bird discounts. We will discuss more about promotion in the 7 functions of marketing section of this article.
You need more than just math to set the prices of your products as the process calls for strategic planning. You should know your costs and sell your product or service at the desired profit margin in order to determine your selling price.
You should set your price to maintain the desired image for your brand depending on your target customers and product strategy. You can set the price to be higher than necessary to be profitable to help convey a higher perceived value image in comparison to the competition.
You can also set your price to be lower than your competitors to show that you are the best in the market and make profits from the increased volume of sales.
Determining where to sell your products depends on brand management and cost-effectiveness. Since the message that you send to your target audience about your brand should be consistent, you should evaluate different methods of selling based on how your target clients will view you.
For instance, selling in a ‘big box’ location will send a very different message in comparison to selling in boutiques. Selling online can be cheaper but in case you have older clients; they will prefer to buy from a local retail store or through a print catalog.
What Are The 7 Functions of Marketing?
Now that you understand the structure, strategy, and purpose of marketing, we can now go-ahead to look at the 7 functions of marketing. You will discover that these seven marketing functions are closely related to the 4 P’s of marketing.
When mapping out your marketing goals, promotion normally comes near or at the top of the list. It is among the most important 7 functions of marketing. You need to get your brand name in front of prospective clients, raise the profile of your company, and build brand awareness.
These are some of the main priorities for any marketing department. In most cases, promotion strategies overlap with the other awareness-building activities and business units like public relations and advertising.
From the marketing point of view, promotion may include everything from performing email marketing and content marketing to influencer marketing and social media.
These efforts are very important in generating qualified leads and inbound marketing. It explains why promotion remains to be an essential component within the marketing mix.
Second, on our list of seven functions of marketing is selling. However, your marketing content should never come out too salesy or strong. When you consistently deliver over sales pitches to your target audience, you risk alienating them. It may appear as if the only goal you have is making people buy a product from your company.
One of your responsibilities as a marketer is selling your products to customers. However, you have to make sure that you do so with more nuance. All marketing decisions, from your campaign themes to brand messaging, must support the ultimate goal of increased sales.
After grabbing the attention of your potential customer, you should work towards nurturing the lead and guide him through your sales funnel so that they can easily make a purchase when they get in contact with the sales team.
Therefore, you should continually make the case for your business and include more product-centric talking points gradually in the marketing communications. By the time prospects are ready to speak with a sales representative, they should be knowing how your products stack up against the competition.
Product management is another crucial point when looking at the functions of marketers. It is not sheer luck or a coincidence to design new products that meet the needs of your customers better and fill a gap in the market.
Figuring out the needs of customers takes a lot of thorough research and this will help you deliver the best products possible. To identify new opportunities, you need to run competitor analysis and speak with prospects. You should also incorporate the feedback that you receive from your customer support services into your marketing strategies.
Thus, marketing research acts as the fire for fueling product development. No one else understands your target market better than your marketing team.
Marketing Information Management
Strategic marketing efforts are driven by data. Good marketers strive to gather as much information as possible from their industry competitors, target customers, and market trends. It is the best way to make your marketing efforts more powerful and to develop a successful business.
That is why you cannot leave out marketing information management from the list of 7 functions of marketing. All the juicy information is as good as gold and you should not lock it away. Collecting this valuable data is one of the main purposes of marketing.
From here, you need to distill it down to useful takeaways and action items and then share the same with the other departments that find the information to be useful to their operations.
Marketing research will also help you to set the price of your products. Effective marketing is more of an art just as it is a science. As a marketer, you need to find a sweet spot that balances between how clients value your products with the cost of producing and delivering.
You also need to account for the prices of your competitors. The perceived value of your business has a direct effect on your pricing strategy. There is a big price difference between budget-conscious retailers and luxury fashion brands within the same industry.
Customers pay for the brand as well as the product. Marketing research will give you valuable insights into the reputation of your brand. It will tell you the extent to which your target audience values your brand.
Financing is among the less-discussed functions of marketing. What you may not know is that financing is very important in overarching business objectives. Initially, financing may not appear to be a top concern for the marketing team.
However, if the marketing department does not secure a place in the budget to support the next marketing campaign, it will be hard to meet your goals. Therefore, budgeting goes beyond the up-front costs to help a new business break even.
Financing is an ongoing concern for company leaders and business owners as they have to make tough budgeting decisions each quarter and year. The marketing department demonstrates its value to the organization by generating more revenue, expanding to new markets, and reaching out to more potential clients.
Therefore, it is easy to secure the finances that you need at the departmental level. Therefore, effective marketing is crucial in that regard. Thus, marketing programs should get the most value from the available resources.
It will help them apply the right strategies to nurture and engage qualified leads hence increase the ROI. Therefore, you should never look down upon financing as one of the 7 functions of marketing.
You could be thinking that distribution is a problem for the supply chain. Even though that is true, how to get your products and services in the hands of customers and where to sell them is also a problem of marketing.
It does not matter whether you are talking about physical or digital distribution. Therefore, distribution is among the key functions of marketers.
To choose the right distribution channel, you need a clear understanding of your target audience. You should also understand where they expect to find you and how they view your brand. These are basically all marketing-centric issues.
Thus, you need to understand your market demographics to choose the right place to sell your products. Both the marketing and supply chain department should work hand in hand in the distribution of your products and services.
When marketers do their work well, they can generate a lot of business from the input that they put in the distribution of the product. It is easy to turn the marketing win into a public relations nightmare if the supply chain is not prepared to meet the demand.
Marketing can create all the needed awareness but poor product distribution can have adverse effects on the brand. The other challenge is when the company fails to anticipate the high level of demand in the market.
It can lead to frustrated customers and a negative brand reputation. Marketers should work hand in hand with the supply chain managers and distributors while planning for the next big campaign. It is good to make sure that the distribution channels are adequately prepared.
From these 7 functions of marketing, you will discover that marketing basically touches on each and every part of your business. The insights that you gather from your marketing efforts will inform and improve your business operations day by day.
It is the best way to guide the long-term decision-making strategy for your brand. Understanding these functions of marketers will help make your business more successful.
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