Most digital marketers consider marketing as a set of tactics and techniques to generate more sales and revenue. In reality, marketing is much more than generating. It has 7 key functions that you must understand to make the most of your marketing efforts. What are the seven functions of marketing and how you can use them in your marketing strategy and campaigns, let’s find out?
What are the Seven Functions of Marketing?
When you know the functions of marketing, it makes your job easier as a marketer. You’ll be in a better position to create more effective strategies and campaigns that cover all the functions. If your marketing strategy overlooks any of these functions, you’ll eventually pay for it.
Here are the 7 marketing functions:
- Product management
- Marketing information management
It is a core marketing function that we all are familiar with. It covers all the marketing activities whether digital or traditional. Any activity geared towards informing, persuading, and reminding potential customers of your product, service, or brand is a promotional activity.
For example, a social media marketing campaign created to generate leads is a promotion function of marketing.
All the promotional activities that you can use to reach and connect with your ideal customers are termed a promotional mix. It includes tools and channels such as advertising, digital marketing, sales promotions, etc.:
Yes, selling is a marketing function. But don’t confuse it with the sales department. Marketers need to sell products by understanding and fulfilling customer needs:
It is the responsibility of the marketing team to communicate with the ideal customers and offer them the product they need. Think of buyer personas. They’re used by marketers to understand the needs and pain points of the ideal customers.
A better understanding of your target audience helps you pitch them products that will help them solve problems.
The marketing funnel is a perfect example of selling. At every stage, you try to convince and persuade ideal customers to take a specific action and move down the funnel. And once they become a customer, marketers try converting them into repeat customers.
Here is what selling as a marketing function involves:
- Understanding target audience needs and desires
- Planned personalized communication
- Persuading ideal customers to take action and convert
- Offering support
- Ensuring repeat sales and customer retention.
The sales department does hard sell, while marketers do soft selling.
3. Product Management
Product and service management is a marketing function that involves several key tasks such as competitor analysis, customer surveys and interviews, understanding customer requirements, etc.
It doesn’t matter if you have a separate product development team (most companies have) but what product to create, what features to add, what color scheme to use, etc. are key elements that come from the marketing team.
Once the product has been developed, the rest is on the marketing team to manage it as per customer needs:
Think of a product launch.
It is the responsibility of the marketing team. What tactics to use, what features to highlight, what channels to use, etc. are the tasks that a marketer needs to do.
Product management involves both inbound and outbound activities that range from product vision setting to branding and customer support. Even if most of these tasks are managed by the product team, they can’t do it alone without input from the marketing team.
If they do, it’d turn out to be disastrous.
Pricing isn’t just included in the 4 Ps of marketing but it is also a marketing function. It shows the importance of pricing from a marketing perspective:
Cost-oriented pricing is usually set by the product team with little input from the marketing team. However, market-oriented pricing is based on input from the marketing team.
For example, customer perceived value pricing is derived from market research that comes from the marketing team.
Price isn’t constant. A product’s price changes several times throughout its lifecycle and decisions related to price variation are the responsibility of marketers. They know when to change prices, how much to change, and so on.
5. Marketing Information Management
It is a key marketing function that is all about collecting and using data for decision-making. Marketing information management (MIS) involves data collection and analysis from three key sources:
- Internal data
- Competitive intelligence
- Market research.
The data from these sources are used for decision-making and data-driven marketing. For example, you can use a competitor spying tool to see what keywords your competitors are targeting and how much organic traffic they’re receiving from these keywords.
You can use this data to find and target related keywords to generate organic traffic for your blog.
Thanks to marketing tools that have simplified data collection, integration, and analysis.
Securing a budget for marketing is another function. It involves two key tasks:
- Securing funds for marketing
- Proving marketing ROI.
Both these tasks are interlinked.
If you fail to prove ROI for marketing campaigns, securing a budget will get tough for the next quarter or year. For example, if you need a keyword research tool, it has to be financed. You’ll need funds to pay its subscription fee.
In return, you’ll be required to show how you utilized the keyword research tool and how it has helped the marketing team.
It involves the delivery of the product to the customers. It doesn’t matter if you have an ecommerce store, you sell digital products or physical goods. If you are doing business, you sell something. And your product or service needs to be delivered to the end-user.
Here is an example of a distribution channel:
The marketing team is responsible for distribution-related tasks including:
- Timely delivery of products
- Maintaining stock and inventory
- Running and managing stock clearance campaigns
- Addressing and solving distribution-related customer concerns.
The marketing team needs to work closely with the supply chain management team to ensure customers receive products at their preferred places.
Marketing Must Work with Other Departments
These seven functions of marketing are interlinked with other departments such as finance, sales, supply chain, IT, and others. The marketing team must communicate with other teams to ensure smooth communication. Two-way information is the key to success.
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