Define marketing. Describe the functions of marketing.

 Define marketing. Describe the functions of marketing.

Answer: Marketing: Marketing is defined as the process of determining the needs and wants of consumers and being able to deliver products that satisfy those needs and wants. Marketing includes all of the activities necessary to move a product from the producer to the consumer. Think of marketing as a bridge from the producer to the consumer.

Marketing starts with market research, a learning process in which marketers get to know everything they can about the needs and wants of consumers, and it ends when somebody buys something. Many companies feel that services provided to customers after the purchase also are an important part of marketing. All of these enterprises -- production, advertising, transportation, processing, packaging, and selling -- are included in the marketing process.


Functions of Marketing: 

In order for the marketing bridge to work correctly -- providing consumers with opportunities to purchase the products and services they need -- the marketing process must accomplish important functions. The functions are:

(a) Exchange Functions:


1. Buying: The function of buying is performed in order to acquire quality materials for production. When you design a good product concept, you should also ensure you're buying the essential materials for the product. This function is carried out by the purchase and supply department, but your specifications of materials goes a long way in assisting the purchasing department to acquire the necessary materials needed for production.


2. Selling: Selling is one element of marketing, which is the process of developing a product or service offering, communicating the benefits through promotions and managing the ongoing exchange of value with targeted customers. Selling has some key advantages over other forms of the promotional component, which makes it very important for customer-driven organizations.


3. Pricing: You perform the function of pricing on your product offerings by designing effective pricing systems based on your product stage and performance in the product life cycle. Price is the actual value consumers perceive on your product, so you as a marketer should ensure that your value of your product is not too high or too low to that of your costumers.


(b) Physical Functions: 

1. Production: Production is the function performs by the production department. Though, this is interrelated to the department of marketing, because your product must possess the essential characteristics that can meet the target market needs and want as identified during your market research, such characteristics as in your product Test, Form, Packaging etc.


2. Transportation: Products must be physically relocated to the locations where consumers can buy them. This is a very important function. Transportation includes rail road, ship, airplane, truck, and telecommunications for non-tangible products such as market information.


3. Storage: Products must be stored and protected until they are needed. This function is especially important for perishable products such as fruits and vegetables.


(c) Facilitating Functions:


1. Finance: Financing deals with the part of marketing to providing incomes for your business. It refers to how you can raise capital to start operation and remain in business. It refers to your modes of payment for the goods and services transferred to your costumers.


2. Grading and Standardization: Financing deals with the part of marketing to providing incomes for your business. It refers to how you can raise capital to start operation and remain in business. It refers to your modes of payment for the goods and services transferred to your costumers.


3. Market Information: Information from around the world about market conditions, weather, price movements, and political changes, can affect the marketing process. Market information is provided by all forms of telecommunication, such as television, the internet, and phone.


4. Risk – Bearing: The process of moving a finished product from the point of production to the point of consumptions is characterized with lots of risks, such risks as in product damaging, pilferage and defaults etc. So you must provide effective packaging system to protect your product, good warehouse for the storage of your product until they are needed, effective transportation system to speedily deliver your product on time.


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