The Function of Marketing

by Rick Suttle; Updated September 26, 2017

Marketing is best defined as all the processes involved in getting products from the manufacturer to the consumer. Some companies also market services, and businesses sell to other businesses as well. Whatever the case, the function of marketing involves what you are selling, to whom you are selling and where you sell. However, companies usually conduct focus groups and marketing research surveys to better gauge if what they are selling will be successful in the marketplace. The four P's of marketing are product, price, promotion and place

Product

One important function of marketing is developing products. Product ideas usually start with a product concept. From there, decisions have to made regarding brand name, styling and the packaging of products, according to NetMBA.com, an online reference site. A brand name has to be unique as well as somewhat descriptive. Some companies use different spelling variations of words to create a descriptive brand name. Brand names should also be relatively short and easy to pronounce. Style pertains to the design of a product, including various features. Packaging is also a function of marketing. Companies can enhance their sales and profits using bright colors and graphics on packages.

Price

Price is also an important marketing function. Companies need to know how to optimally price their products so customers will buy them. Companies can use one of many different pricing strategies. Foremost, companies must make sure to cover the costs of producing their products. Therefore, managers will often calculate the costs of raw materials that go into making a product. Labor and advertising also are factored into the prices of products. As for strategies, a company may decide to price a product high initially, especially if there is a high demand for the product. For example, a company selling new cell phone technology may have initial success pricing their cell phones relatively high. Conversely, a company may also price its products relatively low to quickly gain market share or a customer base.

Promotion and Advertising

Marketing also includes the promotion and advertising of products. Companies often use coupons, displays and point-of-purchase materials like shelf pop-ups to promote their products. Some businesses even use sweepstakes or contests. Additionally, there are numerous ways to advertise products or services, including direct mail marketing or television, radio, Internet, magazine, newspaper or billboard advertising. Companies must decide which types of promotions and advertising work best for them. Subsequently, they will test their advertising to determine which media are best eliciting sales and customer visits.

Distribution

Distribution is often called "place" when included as one of the four P's of marketing: product, price, promotion and place. Companies need to determine where to best sell their products so customers buy them. For example, businesses selling products at a discount will likely sell their products in discount mass merchandisers or wholesale stores. High-end or premium kitchen and bath products would likely sell better in kitchen and bath showrooms. Distribution also pertains to geographic territories. New companies may start out selling their products regionally. Eventually, as sales and profits increase, companies may expand their operations to include national or international distribution.