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Functions of Marketing

The marketing process performs certain activities as the goods or services move from producer to consumer. Every firm does not perform all these activities or jobs. However, any company that wants to operate its marketing system successfully must carry them out. The following marketing tasks have been recognized for a long time.

1. Selling

It is core of marketing. It is concerned with the persuasion of prospective buyers to actually complete the purchase of an article. Setting pays an important part in realizing the ultimate aim of earning profit. Selling is enhanced by means of personal selling, advertising, publicity and sales promotion.

2. Buying

It involves what to buy, what quality, how much, from whom, when and at, what price. People in business buy to increase sales or to decrease costs. Purchasing agents are much influenced by quality, service and price. The products that the retailers buy for resale are determined by the need and preferences of their customers.

3. Transportation

Transport is the physical means whereby goods are moved from the places where they are produced to those they are needed for consumption. Transportation is essential from the procurement of raw materials to the delivery of finished products to the customer’s places. Marketing relies mainly

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on railroads, tracks, waterways, pipelines and air transport. The type of transportation is chosen on several consideration such as suitability, speed and cost.

4. Storage

It involves the holding of goods in proper condition from the time they are produced until they are needed by consumers (in case of finished products) or by the production department (in case of raw materials and stores). Storing protects the goods from deterioration and helps in carrying over surplus for feature consumption or use in production. Goods may be stored in various warehouses situated at different places. Storing assumes greater importance when production is seasonal or consumption may be seasonal. Retail firms are called “stores”.

5. Standardization and Grading

The other activities that facilitate marketing are standardization and grading. Standardization means establishment of certain standards or specifications for products based on intrinsic physical qualities of any commodity. This may involved quantity (weight or size) or it may involve quality (colour, shape, appearance, material, taste, sweetness etc). Government may also set some standards e.g., in case of agricultural products. A standard conveys a uniformity of the products. “Grading means classification of standardized products into certain well-defined classes or groups.” It involves the division of products into clauses made up of unit processing similar characteristics of size and quality. Grading is very important for “raw material” (such as fruits and cereals), mining products” (such as coal, iron-ore and manganese) and “forest products” (such as timber). Branded consumer products may bear grade levels, – A B C.

6. Financing

It involves the use of capital to meet financial requirements of the agencies dealing with various activities of marketing. The services of providing the credit and money needed to meet the cost of getting merchandise into the hands of the final user is commonly referred to as finance, function in marketing. In marketing, finances are needed for working capital and fixed capital, which may be secured from three sources – onward capital, bank loans and advances, and trade credit (provided by the manufactures to wholesaler and by the wholesaler to the retailers).

7. Risk Taking

Risk means lose due to some unforeseen circumstances in future. Risk-bearing in marketing refers to the financial risk inherent in the ownership of goods held for an anticipated demand, including the possible losses due to a fall in price and the losses from spoilage, depreciation, obsolescence, fire and floods or any other loss that may occur with the passage of time. From production of goods to its selling stage, many risks are involved due to changes in marker conditions, natural causes and human factors. Changes in fashions or interventions also cause risks. Legislative measures of the government may also cause risks.

8. Market Information

The only sound foundation, on which marketing decisions may be based, is correct and timely market information. Right facts and information reduce the aforesaid risks and thereby result in cost reduction. Business firms collect analyze and interpret facts and information from internal sources, such as records, sales people and findings of the market research department. They also seek facts and information from external sources, such as business publications, government reports and commercial research firms. Retailers need to know about sources of supply and also about customers buying motives and buying habits. Manufacturers need to know about retailers and about advertising media. Firms in both these groups need information about competitor’s activities and about their markets. Even ultimate consumers need market information about availability of products, their quality standards, their prices, and also about the after-sale service facility Common sources for consumers are sales people, media advertisements, colleagues etc.

It may be noted that in addition to the mentioned jobs, the marketing manager is also involved in product planning, pricing of products, selection of distribution channels, framing of marketing objectives, environmental scanning, and target market selection, market programming and developing marketing strategies

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