Marketing functions go beyond sales and advertising into areas that affect all aspects of a product's characteristics and how it gets to market. Marketing performs studies of potential customers to determine their preferences and matches product appearance and features to their needs. There are five functions that demonstrate the importance of marketing to a company's operations and performance.


Marketing managers identify markets they can access at reasonable cost and segment the markets to group together potential customers with similar needs. Once you know what your customer segment wants, you can design the product to fulfill those needs. Different market segments may value design, functionality or low price, and you have to design corresponding products, or have different versions for different market segments.


Promotion is a key marketing function that helps sell a company's products, but also influences the image of the company. You can create promotional strategies that inform the public about specific products but also create a positive image for the company. Your promotion can demonstrate how a product satisfies a particular need, but also show people with a lifestyle similar to the members of your target market. Such a strategy helps sell the product and promotes the company effectively.


One of the primary functions of a marketing manager is to set a price that customers can afford and are willing to pay. At the same time, the price has to cover costs and generate a profit for the company. The price set by the marketing manager determines how well the company performs and whether it can meet its profit targets. If the marketing manager sets the price incorrectly, the company can lose money and fail.


Deciding how the product reaches the market is an important marketing function. You can choose a convenient retail location to sell products, organize direct sales with sales reps, include an online sales or mail order strategy or choose a wholesale channel. Ensuring that the channel you have chosen is convenient for your targeted customers affects sales and overall company performance.


The packaging of each product, including sizes, type of packaging and package design, is critical for the success of the product. How marketing decides to present the product and the resulting consumer perception of the company affects company image and reputation. If your package doesn't catch the eye, consumers won't see it and sales will be low; if it catches the eye with inappropriate designs, the company's reputation will suffer. You have to ensure that marketing chooses the right presentation for the product.