What is Marketing?
Marketing has been defined in many ways. The traditional definition of marketing is that marketing is the performance of business activities that direct the flow of goods and services from producer to consumer.
This definition is too narrow as it ignores consumers’ needs and the ultimate good of business concern. “The new approach covering the above drawback defines marketing as the process of getting the rights goods to the right consumer at the right place and time and at the right price”.
Functions of Marketing:
Marketing is associated with the exchange of goods and offerings. Through its medium, the goods and services are brought to the place of consumption. This satisfies the desires of the customers. The subsequent activities are undertaken in appreciate of the exchange of products and offerings:
The activities falling under the scope of marketing are grouped under ten universal functions. Some of the marketing functions are performed by manufacturers, others by wholesalers and still others by retailers. I have written detailed article to explain the functions of marketing
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The main and universal marketing function are as under.
I make classification of marketing functions in groups to understand the topic well;
- Merchandizing Functions:
- Standardizing and grading
- Market research
- General business functions
- Risk taking
- Sales functions
- Collecting and Analyzing Market Information:
The first functions of marketing are collecting and analyzing market information. Accumulating and studying market facts is a critical feature of advertising. Beneath it, an attempt is made to understand the client thoroughly within the following approaches:
- What do the consumers want?
- In what amount?
- At what rate?
- While do they need it?
- What form of commercial do they like?
- Wherein do they want it?
What form of distribution device do they like? All of the applicable data approximately the client is accumulated and analyzed. On the premise of this evaluation, an attempt is made to discover as to which product has the nice opportunities within the market. This marketing function is related to Market Research, I just put this in the start because this is a very important function to understand at the beginning.
Buying is the first most important step in the process of marketing. It is the process of acquiring goods at the right price, at a right time, in right time, in the right quality and from a right source of the supplier.
Buying may be done directly or through middlemen. The manufacturers buy goods for processing or converting it into other products. The trader purchases goods for resale in the market. The buying of goods for the purpose of converting into semi-finished or finished goods well brought are half sold.” The profits of the business, to a large extent, depend upon efficient buying.
Assembling means collecting of goods from various places in small quantities and making them available in sufficient quantities at some central places. In most of the agricultural as well as industrial raw materials, assembling is done by middlemen. The assembled goods are bought by manufacturers and wholesalers.
- Standardizing and Grading:
If the goods are properly standardized according to their size, shape, color, design, and material and graded according to their quality and characteristics, they can be bought and sold by reference to their standards and grades on telephones, telegrams. The standardized goods can be purchased and sold easily. Standardization and grading of goods are thus helpful in marketing.
Branding means giving a trickle name to a particular good so that the consumer is easily able to distinguish it from other products in the same line. For example, soap may be branded as Lux, Safeguard, Dettol soap etc.
Most of the goods are produced in anticipation of demand by the manufacturers. The manufacturers, wholesalers hold sufficient stocks to sell as and when needed by the consumer, storing of goods helps in regulating the prices of the products by creating time and place utility.
Transportation is an essential marketing activity. Transportation gives place utility to the product making it available at the place where it is demanded or consumed. The main modes of transport are.
- Land transport
- Water transport
- Air transport
Transport has helped a lot in a widening of the markets, increasing the movement of capital and labor, facilitating specialization and large scale production stabilizing prices of the producers and providing employment to the people.
Efficient sale depends upon the market research. Market research for a good helps the supplier in finding out the quality and quantity of goods wanted by the customers, the time when the customers want it, the attitude of the customer towards price. Discovering potential markets for products etc.
General Business Functions:
The financing function is very important in the marketing process. It involves the use of capital for maintaining inventory and providing of marketing services. A marketing concern finances its activities from two sources.
- Owned capital
- Borrowed capital
The manufacturers need finance for keeping sufficient stock of goods in anticipation of demand. The manufacturers also make a sale on credit to the middlemen. The wholesalers need finance for storing sufficient quantity of goods and sometimes making payments to the producer. The retailers also require funds for selling goods on credit to the trusted consumers. The main problem involved in marketing finance include finding the sources terms of credit, a cost of credit and collection of debts.
Risk are involved in almost all stages of the marketing process. Risks are possible due to changes in demand and supply conditions of the goods, loss in storage, transport and other natural calamities. The risks in marketing cannot be avoided. However, they can be reduced. The successful marketer is that who takes a calculated risks or tries to transfer the risks or eliminates the risks. Risks due to price fluctuations are usually covered by ‘hedging’. Risks attached to natural calamities may be transferred to the insurance companies.
Pricing functions is an important marketing activity for a business. The pricing decisions should be based on a number of considerations. The price of goods should be set at a point which covers all direct and indirect costs of a business and also yields a profit. The reaction of the competitors, the elasticity and inelasticity of demand for good, the discount offered by other manufacturers of the same class, sale made on cash or credit basis, the policy of the state etc are to be carefully examined by a seller to survive and prosper.
The heart of marketing is selling. In the words of Pyle. “Selling comprises of all personal and impersonal activities finding, securing and developing a demand for a given product or service and in communicating the sale of it.” With the manifold increase in the volume production of goods, selling of goods at a profitable price is now a problem with a producer. The main elements involved in selling are.
- Product planning and development.
- Establishing contact with the buyers.
- Creation of demand.
- Negotiation with the prospective buyer to settle terms.
- Entering into a contract for the transfer of goods from the seller to the buyer.
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