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Marketing Functions are easy to get so wedged up in the little details of day-to-day marketing that you start to lose the big picture. At the risk of looking like an existential crisis, it is sometimes helpful to take a step back and ask yourself, “What’s the point of all this?”
Understanding the essential functions of marketing can help you better focus efforts and strategies to support your business. Not to mention, it’s much easier to show ROI and related KPIs if you know exactly what to expect from your marketing department.
So, let’s dive into 7 marketing functions without further ado and see how they align with overall business goals.
- Product management.
- Marketing information management.
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When people outline their marketing goals, the promotion is usually at or near the top of that list. Getting your name out of your prospects, building your brand awareness, and raising your company’s profile are top priorities for all marketing departments.
Promotion strategies often overlap with other business units and awareness-raising activities such as advertising and public relations. In terms of marketing, promotion can include everything from content marketing and email marketing to social media and influencer marketing.
We don’t need to tell you how significant these efforts are to inbound marketing and lead generation. Unsurprisingly, promotions have long been considered an essential component of the marketing mix.
We often warn readers about the dangers of being too strong and selling your marketing content. You run the risk of disaffecting your target audience by continually offering open suggestions in your content and giving the impression that your only goal is to get people to buy from you.
In truth, part of every marketer’s job is to sell their products to customers; however, ideally, this should be done with many nuances. From your brand messages to your campaign themes, every marketing decision must support the ultimate goal of increasing sales. Once you’ve grabbed the attention of a prospect, be it a consumer or a B2B prospect, marketers need to get to work nurturing that prospect and guiding them through the sales funnel so they’re ready to purchase touch with your sales team.
This means constantly protecting your brand and gradually incorporating more product-oriented topics of discussion into your marketing communications. By the time they are ready to speak with a sales rep, potential customers should know how your product or service compares to your competitors.
3. Product management
The development of a new product that better meets customer needs and addresses market gaps does not happen by accident or sheer coincidence. It takes thorough market research to figure out what people want and create the best possible product. That is why investing in the best product management software that is capable of managing your internal processes, workflow, or manufacturing process is a great idea. Marketing teams can identify new growth opportunities when:
- Talk to potential clients.
- Analyzing competitors.
- Incorporate customer service feedback into your marketing strategies.
In such cases, market research is the flame that fuels product development. Who understands your target market better than your marketing team? That’s why inside a custom web development company it’s essential for the marketing department to have close contact with the design and development teams.
4. Marketing information management.
Strategic marketing is data-driven. Every good dealer knows that the more information they can gather about their target customer, industry competitors, and market trends, the more successful their marketing efforts will be.
All this juicy information is as good as gold, so there is no reason to keep it locked up. One of the main (albeit sometimes overlooked) marketing functions is to collect this valuable data, summarize it into practical actions and conclusions, and share it with other departments who may find it helpful.
For example, sales teams can always use more detailed marketing information to improve their presentations to:
- Reaching out to the latest industry trends.
- Respond to messages from participants in the competition.
- Be direct about pressing customer issues.
Marketing research can also provide information on how brands set the price of a product. Effective pricing is both an art and a science. Brands must find a sweet spot that balances the way shoppers value their products or services with the cost of production and delivery and the current price of competitors’ products.
The perceived value of your brand directly affects your pricing strategy; look at the price difference between a luxury fashion brand like Hermès and more thrifty retailers like Old Navy. The difference in price per bag of several thousand dollars cannot be explained solely by manufacturing costs and quality control. Hermes customers pay for both the brand and the product itself.
Marketing research cabins light on your brand’s reputation and helps you better understand how much your target audience values your brand. This is in addition to all competitor analysis and industry research critical to establishing a fair selling price for your product.
We’re now diving into some of the less-discussed marketing functions, although they are still essential for general business purposes. Funding may not seem like one of the top concerns of your marketing team at first, but think about it this way: If your department can’t budget space to support your next marketing campaign fully, how are you going to get the job done? goals?
When people think about funding, they often focus on the upfront costs of starting a new business. But financing is a constant concern of business owners and CEOs who have to make tough budget decisions year after year, quarter after quarter.
Successful marketing activities also help companies obtain third-party funds, such as getting a bank loan or investing from a venture capital firm. Any organization, be it an independent company or a financial institution, wants companies to have a comprehensive marketing planning template that helps build a brand, enter markets, and generate stable long-term revenues.
“Distribution?” You may ask, “Isn’t this a supply chain management problem?”
Yes, but where you vend your products or services and deliver them to your customers is also a marketing issue, whether digital or physical distribution.
Marketing managers and their supply chain partners need to be aligned every time a new product, promotion, or campaign is launched so that companies can track all of their distribution channels. If marketers do their job right, they will generate a lot of buzz before a product launch or promotion, pushing consumer demand to the limit. This marketing victory can quickly turn into a public relations nightmare if the supply chain isn’t ready to meet demand.
Don’t leave your distributors or supply chain managers in the dark when planning your next extensive marketing campaign. If it’s half as good as you think, you’ll want to prepare your distribution channels accordingly.