Marketing consists of all those activities, which involve satisfaction of consumer's need. It is the process by which products are matched with needs and through which the consumer is able to use and enjoy the product.
Functions of marketing :
1. Gathering and Analysing Market Information/Market Research
In order to identify the needs and wants of customers, the marketer gathers market information. He analyses the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the enterprise. Such analysis helps the marketer to take decisions regarding diversification, improvement in product, expanding markets, etc. For this purpose, computers and online sites are increasingly used.
2. Marketing Planning
After market research, the marketer has to develop an appropriate marketing -plan to achieve the marketing objective of the organisation. It involves taking decisions as to what activities will have to be undertaken to achieve a marketing objective.
3. Product Designing and Development
The design of a product not only helps to make it attractive, but also helps in improving its performance, providing it a competitive advantage over the other products present in the market.
4. Standardisation and Grading
Standardisation refers to the process of setting standards regarding quality, price, packaging, technology, equipment, etc for the production of a product. This ensures uniformity and consistency in output and reduces the need for inspection, testing and evaluation of the products.
Grading is the process of classifying the products into different groups, on the basis of quality, size, features, etc.
It is necessary for such goods which are not produced according to predetermined specifications, such as agricultural goods. Grading ensures that the goods belong to a particular quality and helps the marketer to fix prices easily.
5. Packaging and Labelling
Packaging refers to designing and developing the package for a product. Package refers to the wrapper or container, which not only provides protection to the product, but also acts as a promotional tool for it. Labelling refers to designing and developing the label to be put on the package. A label is a carrier of information. It may be a simple tag or a complex graphic providing details about the product.
Branding refers to the process of giving a name, sign, symbol or a combination of all to a product for creating its identification. It helps to differentiate the product from other products available in the market. It also helps to build customer’s loyalty and promoting its sales.
7. Customer Support Services
Customer support services refer to the after sales services, handling of complaints, credit services, maintenance services and consumer information provided along with the product to the consumers.
It aims at providing maximum satisfaction to the consumer. It helps in bringing repeated sales and developing brand loyalty for the product.
8. Pricing of Product
Pricing refers to the process of determining the price of a product. Price of a product refers to the amount of money that the customer has to pay in order to obtain a product from the market.
The marketers have to analyse a number of factors such as pricing objectives, pricing strategies, demand, cost, competition, etc to decide the price of a product. Generally, lower the price, higher would be demand of the product. Therefore, it is considered as one of the most crucial decision in marketing.
Promotion refers to the process of informing the customers about the product and then persuading them to buy it. The popular methods of promotion are advertising, sales promotion, personal selling and public relations.
A marketer uses the promotion mix i.e. combination of various promotional tools according to their budget, nature of customers, nature of product, coverage, cost, etc.
10. Physical Distribution
Physical distribution covers all the activities required to physically move the goods from manufacturers to the customers. The two major decision areas under this function are:
(i) Decision regarding channels of distribution.
(ii) Physical movement of goods from the place where it is produced to the place of consumption. It involves major decisions and activities like storage, warehousing, inventory control, transportation, etc.
Transportation involves physical movement of goods from one place to another. While production of a good takes place at a place, its consumers are spread over a vast area. Therefore, it is necessary to make available these goods to places where they are needed.
Thus, transportation helps to create ‘place-utility’. Various factors such as nature of product, cost, location of target markets, etc are considered while taking decision regarding the mode of transportation to be used.
12. Storage and Warehousing
Usually, there is a time gap between production or procurement of goods and their sales. Therefore, it is necessary to make arrangement for storage of goods, in order to maintain a regular supply of goods in the market.
It also helps to avoid delays in delivery, meeting contingencies in demand and stabilising the prices of products in the market. Thus, it helps to create ‘time-utility’. It is performed by intermediaries such as wholesalers, retailers, manufacturers, etc for the marketer.