7 Functions of Marketing – What are the 7 Key Functions of Marketing?

by Maximilian Claessens
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7 Functions of Marketing - What are the 7 Key Functions of Marketing

Many people believe that Marketing is simply using promotional strategies and tactics to sell products. Those who work in the field, on the other hand, recognize the 7 Functions of Marketing that govern almost all aspects of a business and should be considered in all business decisions.

The primary goal of marketing is to attract clients and motivating them to purchase your services and products. Marketing is an entire process that has a direct impact on distribution, production, and all other aspects of delivery and communication.

Read on to learn more about the 7 functions of marketing.

The 7 Functions of Marketing

Promotion

Promotion entails raising awareness of your product using various communication strategies and encouraging people to buy it.

A Marketing campaign’s promotional tactics and strategies can make or break it. Marketers use a variety of strategies such as public relations (PR), direct outreach, social media, and advertising to inform an audience about a new product and why it is important. From content marketing to social media and email, any medium used to raise awareness falls under promotion.

Most businesses choose to promote their products in a variety of ways that are influenced by marketing research. For instance, by celebrating the diversity and inclusivity of sports, Nike’s flagship store in London introduced plus-size mannequins in a very well put and successful campaign for the brand’s full plus-size line.

Selling

Although selling is often considered a separate business function, it is actually also part of the 7 functions of marketing. Selling entails persuading customers to purchase a service or product by explaining how it meets their needs.

The sales team is in charge of talking to customers and guiding them through the sales funnel. However, it is a marketer’s responsibility to sell the product to the customer before even speaking with a sales representative.

Marketing’s ultimate and most important goal is to sell products; however, this is done with tact. The key is not to overpower prospective customers – no one likes to be sold.

This entails capturing the audience’s attention with content marketing and keeping them interested with relevant content. A well-executed content strategy constantly makes the case for your brand and introduces your products in a subtle and helpful manner in order to convert that interest into a lead.

That’s where the salespeople come in to close the deal. Customers will have learned everything there is to know about the product, how it solves their problems, and how it compares to competitors.

For example, Sephora has a Beauty Insider community to attract and engage customers, as well as convert audience interest into transactions and leads.

Many businesses have blogs in order to attract and engage their target audience. Businesses that use blogs receive twice as much email traffic as businesses that do not use it.

Help Scout, as another example, has some very helpful blogs for its customers and readers. Ahrefs is another example of a well developed and comprehensive SEO resource that focuses on its tools and sells them without actually ‘selling’ them.

Product & Service Management

Product & Service Management is a very important Marketing function because it entails developing, designing, and modifying a service or product to meet the ever-changing needs of customers. It is closely related to New Product Development (NPD).

Only those products or services that can keep up with changing market trends survive. Customer engagement is required for product and service management, as is keeping an eye on changing customer perceptions and needs.

By doing continuous research on evolving customer needs, businesses can successfully adapt and redesign products to keep them relevant, developing new versions to meet customer needs or outperform competitors, or identifying new growth opportunities.

The Coca-Cola company is one of the best examples of product management. It has experimented with flavors over the years while keeping the Coke flavor close to the original, which people love.

Management of Marketing Information

The Management of Market information is an important, yet often overlooked part of the 7 functions of marketing. It entails gathering customer data and using it to improve other functions of marketing and facilitate critical business decisions.

Marketers try to understand the needs of their customers and interests prior to product launch so that the product meets their expectations. Companies obtain this information from customers, surveys, and, most notably, social media. This data also aids in the development of targeted promotional campaigns that are effective and yield a return on investment (ROI).

The Management of Marketing information also handles competitor research and monitors market trends. All of this information is critical for the company to make important decisions, whether they are about product design, price point, promotional campaigns, or financing and distribution.

J.Crew, for example, collects its customers’ zip codes with each purchase. This data assists marketers in understanding the distribution of their customers, where their most loyal clients are living, and which areas require additional attention.

The Zip codes also provide marketers with information about which areas are ideal for opening a brand new location. With all of this information, they can zero in on how to make the magic happen.

Pricing

Pricing entails determining the price of a product or service in order to maximize profit while taking into account the consumer’s perception of value, the cost of production, and the pricing of competitors.

This is the most difficult of the seven marketing functions because it requires a thorough understanding of the market. In comparison to the market average, pricing cannot be too low or too high if this is not justified by product features or brand positioning. Pricing must also consider the target audience and how much they are willing to pay for a product given the value it provides.

There are various different pricing strategies available that should be matched to the business and its market environment.

Most of the time, pricing varies according to the season. The marketing department should assist the company in adjusting its pricing in response to these fluctuations while still making the desired profit.

Assume a company sells organic vegetables. Because there are no competitors, this brand can have a price monopoly if it has a unique product. However, it must continue to monitor the purchasing power of its target customers. If it had competitors, it would have to conduct extensive research to determine the appropriate price.

Rolex is a prime example of a brand that can command a premium due to its brand perception. The pricing also reflects the target audience’s purchasing power and the promise of luxury. That is why pricing is a marketing function and cannot be treated as a separate, isolated business function.

Financing

The 7 functions of marketing also include Financing. Financing entails obtaining the necessary capital to run or scale your business, as well as deciding how to spend money to maximize ROI.

Financing is the least discussed function of marketing, despite being a critical aspect of marketing. Marketing has an impact on financial decisions, even those made outside of what is considered the marketing “department”.

A company’s financing can be influenced by effective marketing management in a variety of ways. Budgeting for marketing campaigns is, of course, the most obvious link. Financial constraints can have an impact on marketing decisions, including the marketing channels available to you.

The time when you should offer discounts, free products, or apply price cuts should be decided by the Marketing Department. Excellent Marketing Campaigns can also assist businesses in obtaining financing from banks or investors. Simultaneously, marketers understand which strategies will maximize ROI.

Social Media ads, for example, can be more effective if your target customers are young. However, if you are targeting senior citizens, printed press or television ads may produce better results, even if they are more expensive.

A strong marketing department can also advise the company on when and which new markets to explore, as well as how to spend the funds to maximize profits.

Bodyform, for example, launched Womb Stories in 2020 to raise awareness of unspoken menstrual issues. The ad was a huge success, garnering 1.1 million views and 54.6 thousand likes on Instagram, as well as 1.2 million retweets and 3.4 thousand likes on Twitter. It bolstered the company’s image as a brand that walks the walk and is a growing source of traffic for their website. What a good investment!

Distribution

While considered separate business functions just like Financing, Distribution is one of the 7 functions of marketing. Distribution decisions include when, where, and in what condition the product should be made available.

You are correct in believing that distribution should be handled by the supply chain management team. However, it is also one of the seven marketing functions. This is why.

Where, when, and how your products are distributed is heavily influenced by your target audience and brand perception. For example, if you’re a high-end luxury brand, you’re not going to distribute your goods through Target, are you? As a result, marketing directs the distribution of products based on the promotional campaign and where the target audience typically purchases such products.

The supply chain management team is in charge of logistics. However, the Marketing team must work closely together to ensure that there is no mismatch between supply and demand.

Similarly, a new brand may choose a different distribution channel than an established company. If you are a new business, you may want to sell your products in a well-known shopping mall. When your brand becomes well-known enough, your Marketing team may advise you to open an independent store. They can assist you in determining where the majority of your customers congregate. If the majority of your sales are occurring online, they may advise you to transition to an online store. As a result, the marketing team is ultimately responsible for making distribution-related decisions.

Peet’s Coffee is an outstanding example of commitment to quality and the importance of distribution in maintaining brand image. Despite being a multibillion-dollar corporation, it has a Direct Store Delivery System (DSD). Every week, over 700 reps personally rotate their products on store shelves to keep the company promise of providing the freshest cup of coffee to their customers.

It’s a significant financial and logistical commitment, but it’s well worth it. Certainly, money is well spent because it positions Peet’s to sell premium products and gain customer trust.

Closing Words

As a marketer, you should understand the 7 marketing functions. This helps your marketing career, but also your company. Companies that base critical decisions on marketing insights tend to make more sound decisions. They are usually prepared for unforeseen events and have a better understanding of their company’s growth and future timeline.

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