Whether you’re brand new to marketing or have been in the game for a long time, a solid understanding of the basics is crucial to your ongoing success.
Of course, creativity and innovation are vital qualities in any successful digital marketing campaign.
However, every strategy will always have the same fundamental goals and purposes behind it. That’s where the seven functions of marketing come in.
What are Marketing Functions?
Every profession operates from a foundation of basic rules and objectives, including marketing.
Marketing functions provide this foundation for business owners, advertisers, and marketing professionals of all kinds.
Although every marketing expert will naturally have their own take on the end goals of a marketing campaign, most experts agree on the validity of the seven functions of marketing.
Each function presents its own set of tasks and priorities essential for the success of any associated campaign.
Why are Marketing Functions Important?
Iconic brands and legendary marketing campaigns aren’t born in a vacuum.
They may start with great ideas or spontaneous flashes of inspiration, but they’re fueled by careful planning and methodical execution.
Therefore, marketing functions are essential because they provide a tried and true methodology that gives a great idea a chance to reach its full potential.
Together, the seven recognized functions of marketing:
- Give professionals a reliable guide to refer to through every stage of a campaign.
- Ensures marketers focus on the right areas and don’t leave out anything essential.
- Facilitate a better understanding of critical processes, tools, strategies, and more.
- Support cohesive, consistent execution of fundamental marketing strategies for multiple industries and brand identities.
What are the 7 Functions of Marketing?
Integrating the seven marketing functions into your campaign gives your team a well-traveled road map that will ultimately get you where you want to be with your ongoing goals.
Here’s a rundown of each function and why it’s a must for your campaign.
Promotion is the portion of your marketing campaign responsible for introducing new consumers to your brand in the hopes that they’ll like what they see enough to become customers at some point.
This is also the marketing function that educates both existing and potential customers on the benefits of your products, the principles that make your brand unique, and so forth.
Promotion is all about raising awareness of your brand and laying the groundwork for it to become a household name.
Setting your brand apart from the rest of the competition is also an objective.
Although no two promotional strategies will be the same for every brand, product, or service, the primary goal is to get people excited.
Great tactics get people talking, wondering, and further considering the products or brand at the center of the campaign. Efforts will likely include:
- Email marketing
- Content marketing
- Partnerships with influencers or other brands
- Print or digital advertising
- Promotional events
- Social media promotions
Sooner or later, every marketing campaign must progress beyond simply raising awareness to interacting with leads and getting them converted.
Selling is the marketing function that guides marketers through the process of not only nurturing leads through the decision-making process but also establishing a deeper relationship with them.
Although there have always been pitfalls attached to being too sales-oriented in your outreach efforts, this is especially the case today.
Modern consumers want to feel like more than just another name on someone’s sales outreach list.
They want to feel cared about, considered, and like the brands they buy from are genuinely interested in meeting their needs.
Digital-age approaches to selling work best when they focus on bringing value to the customer. You can educate, you can inform, you can help, and you can entertain.
All are effective ways to show your prospects what your product can do and help them understand the benefits of buying from you, in particular.
3. Product Management
Your brand’s products are ultimately only as good as their ability to meet your customers’ needs. However, this involves more of a process than some marketers are prepared for.
The world’s most iconic products didn’t become what they are after just one lucky attempt at putting something great out there.
Instead, they evolved over time thanks to marketing teams that prioritize:
- Thoroughly researching competitors, as detailed knowledge of competing companies is essential if you’re going to outstrip them.
- Obtaining and listening to valuable consumer feedback, both before and after product launch.
- Making sure feedback comes from a combination of both internal and external sources to help improve production processes.
- Conducting thorough market research on similar products favored by the target demographic, the better to understand what customers want and how to give it to them.
- Brainstorming and collaborating with other teams within the company to facilitate effective, seamless implementation of crucial ideas.
Choosing the right price for a product or service is a delicate balancing act.
Naturally, the company responsible for production needs to not only cover the costs of making it but turn a fair profit.
However, the customer on the receiving end also needs to feel the product brings enough value to the table to justify the price.
Hitting on the right price point isn’t just about offering something as cheaply as possible, either.
Set the price point on a good product too low, and customers will begin to doubt its value.
That said, perceived brand value directly affects the pricing strategy you should adopt for your goods and services.
Who are your customers, how do they perceive your brand, and what do they expect to pay for a product like yours?
For example, are you a luxury brand, like Chanel or Louis Vuitton, or is your brand philosophy all about value, like Old Navy or The Gap?
The answers should guide your pricing decisions.
5. Marketing Information Management
Every successful marketing strategy involves the collection and analysis of data.
Without data, you’re simply left guessing as to how well your efforts are working, and you don’t want to leave the success of your business up to chance like that.
The key to making informed business decisions across your entire company is collecting and storing comprehensive data related to your customers, web traffic, demographics, and so forth.
So not only should yours be discussed in detail throughout your marketing department, but it should be shared liberally with other teams, as well.
Web analytics and sales reports aren’t the only sources for relevant, helpful data. Make sure you also include options like the following in your efforts:
- Online reviews
- Information related to social media engagement
- Market research reports
- Direct surveying of both existing and prospective customers
If you’re a marketer who’s never given much thought to how financing plays into marketing, you’re not alone.
Funding and financing aren’t as widely discussed as the other marketing functions, but that doesn’t make them less critical.
It also doesn’t change the fact that they’re very closely related to marketing.
Without financing, your business doesn’t really exist, nor does your marketing department.
You need funding to maintain product production, open stores, and explore new business initiatives.
Meanwhile, marketing is the key to ensuring customers keep making purchases so that you can keep your doors open.
Financing doesn’t just address the costs of doing business. It’s also about how you’ll handle money when dealing with your customers’ transactions.
For instance, will you offer them credit, loyalty programs, or other payment options beyond the usual?
Once you’ve successfully marketed and sold your wares to your customers, you need to deliver those products into their eager hands.
That’s where distribution comes in — the process of actually transporting what you sell to the people who buy it.
These days, those methods could encompass just about anything, including:
- Traditional retail stores
- Catalogs and magazines
- Wholesale outlets
- Online stores and websites
- Person-to-person sales calls
Although a business may well utilize more than one distribution channel for its purposes, it’s still up to marketers to determine the best fit for a particular product or audience.
For example, where are your would-be customers located, and how do they prefer you to handle distribution?
And as with many of the functions of marketing, successful distribution requires thorough collaboration between all your business departments.
Wrap Up: Ensure Your Success with a Robust Marketing Strategy
Cultivating a successful marketing campaign isn’t the type of thing you do just once.
Trends come and go. Demographics change, and your usual clientele’s core tastes will evolve.
Therefore, regularly evaluating and updating your marketing strategies using key concepts like the seven functions of marketing is an integral part of staying ahead of the game.
The same goes for learning from other experts in the digital marketing field.
So are you ready to kick your marketing strategy into high gear and prepare to have the best year ever?
Check out our comprehensive write-up on the most important marketing gurus to watch this year. Not only will you be inspired and enlightened, but you’ll learn a thing or two, as well.