Essential functions of marketing are: 1. Gathering and Analyzing Market Information 2. Marketing Planning 3. Product Designing and Development 4. Standardization and Grading 5. Packaging and Labelling 6. Branding 7. Customer Support Services 8. Pricing of Products 9. Promotion 10. Physical distribution 11. Transportation 12. Storage or Warehousing.
1. Gathering and Analyzing Market Information:
The most important function of a marketer is to gather and analyze the market information.
This is essential to find out the needs of the customers and to take various decisions regarding successful marketing of products.
Marketer tries to understand what do customers want to buy and when, in what quantity and at what price etc.? He also tries to understand the motive behind this purchase i.e. whether the customer is buying the product as a necessity or for style. On the basis of all this information and analysis, the product is designed. Labelled, branded, packed, promoted etc.
2. Marketing Planning:
It involves making plans for increasing production and sales, promotion of product etc. and also laying down a course of action for achieving these objectives. For example, if a product has become popular in Punjab, the target of an organization should be to make it popular in rest of North India first, followed by remaining states. For this, proper plans are to be made.
3. Product Designing and Development:
Another important function of marketing involves product designing and development. Product designing includes decision related to the quality standards to be used for shape or design of the product, packing, etc in order to make the product attractive to the target customers and better than the competitors’ product. For example, product designing for a color television includes shape, size, quality standard, technology etc.
4. Standardization and Grading:
Standardization is a process of producing goods of predetermined standards so as to achieve the uniformity and consistency in products. This assures the buyers of the quality, price and packaging of the product.
Grading refers to a process of classifying products into different groups on the basis of their features like size, shape quality etc. It is mainly done in case of agricultural products like wheat, rice, potatoes etc.
5. Packaging and Labelling:
Packaging means designing the package for the product while labelling is concerned with putting label on the package. Packaging and labelling have been recognized as pillars of marketing. They not only provide protection to the product but also act as a promotional tool.
Sometimes, the customers assess the quality of the product from its packaging. Packaging has played an important role in the success of many consumer brands like Colgate tooth paste, Taj Mahal tea. Lays potato wafers etc.
Branding is a process of giving a brand name to a product to differentiate it from competitor’s products, in building customers’ loyalty and in promoting the product. The most important decision under this strategy is whether to give a separate brand name or same brand to all products of a business firm. For example, (i) LG television, A.C and washing machines (ii) Philips bulbs, tubes and television, A.C and washing machines.
7. Customer Support Services:
The key to marketing success is the satisfaction of the customer. Therefore, an important function of marketing i.e. to provide various customer support services like after sales service, procuring credit services, handling customer complaints, consumer information etc. These services help in getting, keeping and growing the number of customers.
8. Pricing of Products:
The amount of money which a customer is required to pay for purchasing the product is known as product price. Pricing has a great effect on the demand for a product. A little variation in price may increase the demand for competitor’s product. Thus, while determining the price for a product, various factors like, types of customers, their income, firm’s objective, product demand, and competitors’ policy etc should be considered.
Promotion of product and services refers to providing information to the customers about the firm’s products, their features, uses, prices etc and persuading them to buy these products. Advertising, Personal selling. Publicity and Sales Promotion are the main tools of promotion. A marketer has to decide about the promotion budget, promotion mix (i.e. combination of promotional tools) etc.
10. Physical distribution:
Another important function to be performed by marketer is the physical distribution of goods and services. The important decision areas under this involve selection of channel of distribution, transportation, inventory levels, storage and warehousing.
Transportation means physical movement of goods from the place of production to the place of consumption. For example, Maruti cars are produced at Gurgaon but are available all over the country. Not only the finished goods are to be transported but also the raw material needs to be transported.
A business firm analyses its transportation needs on the basis of factors like nature of the product, cost, location of the target market etc. and then take decisions regarding mode of transportation and other related aspects.
12. Storage or Warehousing:
There is a time gap between production and consumption of goods. Thus it is an important function of marketing to provide for proper storage of such goods until they are demanded. For example, apples are produced in winter are stored in cold storages and sold even in summer.
Moreover, there is a need for storage of adequate stock of goods to meet the demand in case of contingencies and to avoid unnecessary delays in delivery. Retailers, Wholesalers and Manufacturers perform the function of storage. Also, Warehouse help in stabilizing prices by checking fluctuations. They also facilitate regular & even supply of products throughout the country & throughout the year.