Marketing activities is common in our economic affairs. Thus, an average businessman claims that he/she is a marketer. This unit attempts to define and state the functions of marketing in any economic domain.
The functions of marketing can be classified into three: namely merchandising function, physical distribution and auxiliary function.
1. Merchandising Function
The function is subdivided as follows:
i) Product planning and Development- product planning starts with idea generation, idea screening and development of a prototype product. It also takes into consideration the purchasing power of consumers, taste and market segmentation. Research and development is established for the analyses of ideas generated.
ii) Standardization and Grading- This is concerned with setting certain standards / levels to accomplish the produced goods. This is carried out by the production department and regulated by some government agencies.
iii) Buying and Assembling- Here, we are concerned with the marketing institutions that purchases goods or services at a cheaper prices in order to resell at a minimum prices to end-users. These marketing institutions include the wholesalers, retailers and agents.
iv) Selling- This is concerned with selling of finished goods to end-users, either through the manufacturers or the marketing channels.
2. Physical Distribution
Physical distribution encompasses the following:
i) Storage – Storing of goods to meet future demands, and for time and other utilities.
ii) Transportation- the movement of goods from the manufacturer down to target consumers. This includes material handling, warehousing etc.
3. Auxiliary Function
Auxiliary function encompasses the following activities:
i) Marketing Finance – This can be by way of allowing credits to customers and as well as obtaining credits from other customers, such as banks, individuals, etc.
ii) Risk-bearing – Risk means ‘uncertainty’; entering into a business entails risks, such as loss, loss of items, road mishap, weather risk, etc.
iii) Market Information Gathering – This relates to necessary information about the markets, the target consumers in terms of their purchasing power, taste, colour, choices, competition, and products.
In summary, marketing functions include – product planning and development, standardization and grading, storage, transportation, marketing information, and risk bearing.
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