Marketing is important to every small business, helping companies increase revenue and profit by meeting customers’ needs effectively. Although one person or one department is generally responsible for managing the seven functions of marketing, it’s important for all employees to understand customer needs so they can develop the right products and provide the highest standards of customer service.

Marketing Information Management

Managing marketing information helps you understand your customers’ needs. You can gather information by reviewing published market research reports, asking your sales team for feedback or carrying out a survey using a market research firm. You should also monitor product review sites and social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, where you can find information on consumers’ needs and attitudes toward products.


Your distribution strategy determines how and where customers can obtain your products. If you market products to a small number of business customers, you may deal with them directly through a sales team. If your business expands to other regions or countries, it may be more cost effective to deal with customers through local distributors. Companies marketing consumer products distribute them through retail outlets or, increasingly, via the Internet.

Product/Service Management

Marketing provides valuable input to product and service development. Information on customers’ needs helps to identify the features to incorporate in new products and product upgrades. Marketing also identifies opportunities to extend a product range or launch existing products into new sectors.


Pricing plays an important role in determining market success and profitability. If you market products that have many competitors, you may face strong price competition. In that situation, you must aim to be the lowest-cost supplier so you can set low prices and still remain profitable. You can overcome low price competition by differentiating your product and offering customers benefits and value that competitors cannot match.


Promotion makes customers and prospects aware of your products and your company. Using promotional techniques, such as advertising, direct marketing, telemarketing or public relations, you can communicate product benefits and build preference for your company’s products.


Marketing and selling are complementary functions. Marketing creates awareness and builds preference for a product, helping company sales representatives or retail sales staff sell more of a product. Marketing also supports sales by generating leads for the sales team to follow up.


Successful marketing provides a regular flow of revenue to pay for business operations. Marketing programs that strengthen customer loyalty help to secure long-term revenue, while product development programs open new revenue streams. Financing also plays a role in marketing success by offering customers alternative methods of payment, such as loans, extended credit terms or leasing.