Marketing: Features and Functions
The social process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating, offering and freely exchanging products and services of value with others is known as Marketing.
Marketer works hard to discover the needs and wants of customers and try to develop products or services, which are needed to satisfy the needs. All the firms try to produce the products and services, which are in demand to satisfy the needs and wants of consumers.
According to the American Marketing Association, “Marketing is the performance of business activities that direct the flow of goods and services from producer to consumer or user”.
According to Philip Kotler, “Marketing is a social and managerial process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and value with other”.
Features of Marketing:
- Need and want: Marketing focuses on need and wants of customers. All the activities in the market are carried out with the motive of satisfying needs and wants of customers.
- Creating a market offering: Offering a product or service by specifying its features, shape, size, colour, etc., is known as market offering. A good market offer should keep in mind the satisfaction of customers. For example, Detergents are available in various sizes depending upon the needs of the customers.
- Customer value: A customer is ready to give a price for a product only when he is satisfied or when the product is offering utilities matching the price. On the basis of satisfaction and service offered, a product is valued by customer. Customers prefer a product over the competitors’ product only, when a marketer adds to the value of product.
- Exchange mechanism: The process involving exchange of products and services for money or money’s worth is known as exchange mechanism. It can take place either between manufacturer and customer or through middlemen.
Conditions which are necessary for Exchange Mechanism:
- There should be involvement of both the parties, like buyers and sellers or consumers and middlemen.
- Both parties should be capable of offering something of value to each other.
- Both parties should have the ability to communicate and deliver the product or service.
- Both parties should have the freedom to accept or reject the offer.
- Both parties should be willing to enter into transaction.
What can be Marketed?
Anything that can be of value to the buyer is termed a product in marketing. A product is a bundle of utilities which satisfies the needs and wants of humans. All the products, which are of some value to the people can be marketed.
Following are examples of all that can be marketed:
- Physical Products like TV, fridges, mobile phones, etc.
- Services like insurance, banking, warehousing, etc.
- Ideas like Covid Vaccination, family planning, etc.
- Persons for election of candidates
- Places like Visit Kashmir – the Heaven on Earth
- Experiences like trekking Mt Everest
- Events like food festivals, exhibitions, etc.
Functions of Marketing:
- Gathering and analysing market information: Collecting adequate, reliable and timely market information about the market is one of the most important functions of a marketer. It involves studying market conditions, to determine needs, priorities and preferences of the customers. The main motive behind gathering and analysing the market is to identify products and services which lead to customer satisfaction.
- Market planning: After gathering and analysing the market information, the next step is to develop plans according to the market conditions so that marketing objectives can be achieved. Making plans for increasing production level, plans for promotion, etc. are included in market planning.
- Product planning and development: The main aim of a product is to satisfy the needs and wants of people. If the product satisfies the needs and wants of people, then it is said to be successfully marketed. All the decisions regarding feature, shape, size, etc., are involved in product planning and development. Unique design, features, colour, etc., make a product attractive and more demanding.
- Standardisation and grading: Producing goods of predetermined specifications to achieve uniformity and consistency in the output is known as Standardisation. Assurance about the quality, price and packaging of the product is provided by standardisation.
Classifying products into different groups having the same characteristics is known as grading. It is done on the basis of quality, size, shape, etc. It is usually done in agricultural products like wheat, oranges, dry fruits, etc.
- Packaging and Labelling: The act of designing and producing the container and wrapper of a product is known as packaging. It plays a very important role in today’s world as packaging can be a reason for the success or failure of many products. Appropriate containers and wrappers provide protection and convenience in handling the products. For example, juices, soft drinks, etc., are packed in containers, milk, oil, etc., are packed in tetra packs.
The part of the product or a tag which is attached directly or indirectly and carries information about the product or the seller is known as a Label. Labels provide information to the customer. The process of putting identification marks on the package is known as Labelling. Labelling includes information like the name of the products, expiry and manufacturing date, instruction for use, weight, price, etc.
- Branding: Banding is one of the most important components of product mix as a marketer has to make an important decision on whether the product of the firm will be marketed under its generic name or brand name. Here, the Generic name means the name of the whole class of the firm’s product. For example, laptop is a generic name but Dell, Acer, and Lenovo are brand names.
- Customer support services: Customer support services play a very important role in the success of a firm in this highly competitive world. To achieve repetitive buying and develop a brand image, services like after-sale services, handling customer complaints, providing credit facilities, etc., are used by the firms.
- Pricing of product: Price is the value of a product or service passed on by the buyer to the seller. As a customer is very sensitive about the price of a product, it is a crucial element of the marketing mix. Price Mix is an important decision and is related to the fixing of the price of a product or service. The decisions under price mix are related to demand of the commodity, price of competitors, etc.
- Promotion: Promotion includes activities undertaken by the marketer to communicate with the customers and distribution channels so that they can enhance the sales of the firm. Through promotional communication, an organisation’s aim is to inform and persuade the customer to purchase the goods and inform him/her regarding the benefits of the product. The four major elements of the promotion mix are Advertising, Sales Promotion, Personal Selling, and Public Relations.
- Physical distribution: Physical distribution involves deciding the distribution of goods and services from the place of production to the place of consumption. Decisions regarding channels of distribution and physical movement of goods are two important decisions to be taken by the marketer. It makes the product or service available to the customer at the right place and at the right time.
- Transportation: The physical movement of goods from one place to another is known as transportation. It is one of the most important elements of physical distribution as it adds value to the products by making them available at the required place. Different modes of transportation, like airways, railways, waterways, pipelines, etc., are used to transport goods from one place to another. Various factors are considered by the marketer while transporting goods, like nature of goods, cost, location of market, etc.
- Storage or warehousing: The process of holding and preserving goods till they are delivered to the buyers is known as warehousing. Warehousing is needed when there is a time gap between the production and consumption of goods. This time gap is bridged by warehousing and time utility is created. The efficiency of the firms in serving their customers is directly affected by warehousing. For example, if the number of warehouses is more, then better services are provided to customers, as less time is required to serve customers at different locations.
Please Login to comment...