7 Functions of Marketing and Examples to Show It

Functions of marketing cover pic

Marketing is a key strategic consideration for any business, but understanding how deep that strategy runs is important to grasp. The 7 functions of marketing aren’t just about the core drive of promotion, they’re about the framework that ensures a sustainable and successful marketing function.

Financing

Marketing is a revenue growing function. That means successful marketing delivers a return on investment that exceeds initial funding. That ROI comes in many forms, from campaigns that deliver immediate up-swing in sales to the sustainable marketing communications that nurture your core business. It’s important to understand however that the ROI on avenues of marketing can also vary substantially.

Successful marketing is about assessing where your financing can deliver the most efficient returns. Take Facebook campaigns as an example, a clear area where metrics for your financing can be tracked and understood. In driving a promotional campaign for fashion brand Straits Emporium, Content Nation were able to deliver a total reach of almost half a million audience members, generating 33,000 clicks at a cost of just RM0.23 per click. Compare that to as much as RM500 per second for a prime-time satellite TV advert, and you begin to understand the complexity of this function.

Information management

Great marketing is informed marketing. Information management is the element of marketing which forms the foundation for understanding your audience, and the wider market in which you operate. In real terms this is everything from speaking to sales teams to get a personal view of the customer to assessing and analysing increasingly detailed social media and digital demographics. It’s not just about knowing who they are though, it’s about understanding what they want. That means what they want from your product, and how they prefer for you to communicate with them as a brand.

Customer surveys have traditionally been a good way of gathering this data, but with the increasing power of digital insight, marketers have access to even greater information than ever before. Online music platform Spotify revealed how powerful the concept of informed marketing information can be with a recent advertising campaign, utilising user-data to provide a hugely successful advertising campaign that celebrated their audience while gaining widespread recognition.

Pricing

Marketing works closely with other strategic functions to analyse and understand a pricing model that works for your business. It’s not just about market research to understand what the competition has to offer, it’s also about understanding the perceived value of your brand and product. Good information management helps feed into this function.

If you want to understand how pricing goes beyond simple production cost, take a look at arguably one of the most reputable brands in the world – Rolex.  With high-end models coming in at hundreds of thousands of pounds, alongside vintage resales touching the US$18 million mark, pricing decisions are clearly informed by more than just the cost of goods and market benchmarking.

Product and service management

Product and service management is about focusing on delivering the products or services that your customers want. That means designing new product lines or service offerings that utilise audience insight to steer the development process. This process isn’t limited to just creating new iterations of an offering for your existing audience, but also includes the expansion into new markets and audiences.

You can find a great example of this process with one of Content Nation’s clients – e-procurement platform Procurehere. With over a decade of experience delivering procurement solutions to Malaysia, Procurehere embarked on an exciting new product development process to deliver their cloud-based Version 7.0. Thanks to their existing client base and established partnerships, Procurehere were able to develop this new software informed by customer insight at every stage of the development journey. The result was a simplified e-procurement solution that was purpose-built to deliver a user-friendly platform with all the key functionalities essential to their customer base.  

Promotion

Now we’re entering the heartland of marketing, with the all-important focus on promotion. Promotion isn’t just about pushing a particular product or service, it’s increasingly about celebrating and amplifying the story of the brand itself. In real terms this means everything from content marketing, social media advertising, promotional events, celebrity sponsorships, influencer marketing and all the magic in between.

A great example of on-point promotion is the success of L’Oreal Malaysia’s Hari Raya campaign. In purely social media terms they managed to achieve over 1.9 million impressions, a 12.9% increase in engagement rate and over 7,000 mentions on Twitter. In wider perspective they managed to create significantly increased brand recognition in their targeted audience base that could unlock future promotional benefits.

Selling

It’s all well and good telling people about your product, but you need to get the selling done too. While a sales team or e-commerce platform might be the ultimate processor of the transaction, it’s up to marketing to nurture the audience interest and then convert that interest into a result. In modern inbound marketing terms that means attracting an audience, converting their interest into a lead, and closing a. If your marketing team isn’t selling, it’s not doing its job.

So how does marketing ‘sell’? Let’s take an awesome Malaysian example that we love to refer back to – the tantalising tale of McDonald’s Spicy Ayam Goreng fried chicken. One great, viral marketing advert started a chain reaction that led to the entire Malaysian supply of Ayam Goreng running out in weeks. That’s some crispy-quick marketing funnel right there.

Distribution

The McDonald’s tragic tale of failing Ayam Goreng supplies actually leads to our final element of marketing functioanility – distribution. With your market insight and customer understanding, marketing is a crucial part of a brand’s distribution planning. If you’re about to run a big marketing campaign in Sabah, you need to make sure that you’re working with your supply chain peers to guarantee that you’ve got  the goods to backup the hype. Likewise, if you’re a fireworks supplier, you better be stockpiling and ready for the rush in good time for Chinese New Year.

It seems chicken is the king of all examples at Content Nation (and we do all love some fried chicken). So let’s go back to that McD example. The marketing department may not have known how popular their viral video would be, but had they worked closely with the procurement department at McDonald’s to ensure that they were ready to react to a potential surge in demand? It certainly doesn’t look like that way. That’s why distribution is an another essential consideration in the functions of marketing.

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