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How Many Marketing Functions are There?

Marketing management can include a wide range of activities, from monitoring analytics to crafting the perfect social media post. So you might be wondering how many marketing functions are there and what do they involve? There are seven core marketing functions, as outlined here: 

1. Marketing information management
In addition to the more commonly understood marketing functions, one of the most important functions of marketing is collecting, analyzing, and storing various channels of data about the company’s customer base, trends in the industry, and competitor activities. Marketing information management and the data gleaned from it impacts all of the other marketing functions, making it vital to a marketing department’s remit. Marketing tools are used to monitor and collect this data and enable more informed decision-making about promotion, selling, pricing, and more. 

2. Promotion
Promotion is the most commonly known function of marketing. It includes the traditional and digital marketing activities most audiences would be aware of. Promotion involves activities designed to communicate with customers, inform them of the brand and products, and convince them to purchase goods or services. Promotional activities include a wide range of tasks, including designing print ads and other collateral, planning and managing social media campaigns, hosting events or webinars, producing eBooks or infographics, and even public relations press releases or interviews. 

3. Selling
Marketers aren’t standing behind a cash register at a check-out line, but they are the people driving customers to those cash registers or online shopping carts. Marketers work consistently to nurture potential customers through the buying process, showing and explaining the value that the product or service has to offer and how it meets their needs. Whether marketers are generating leads for B2B products or reaching out to the customer directly via personalized email communication, they are intricately involved in the selling process. 

4. Pricing
While pricing is determined in part by the cost of making a product or delivering a service, it is also by market research around customer demographics and the customer’s willingness to pay a particular price point. Marketing departments should have detailed information on both of these categories because of their management of marketing information and data. 

5. Product management
Marketers are responsible for the above-mentioned marketing information management. They affect product management in a few key ways. First, they receive and quantify feedback from customers about their needs and desires that could affect your company’s product mix. Second, marketers regularly conduct research into their target audience and their competitor’s offerings and relative success. These two pieces of information, regularly aggregated by marketers, can directly affect the products a company offers and the price points at which they’re offered. 

6. Financing
Marketing and financing are interlinked within a company, and indeed, neither can operate without the other. Marketing decisions greatly impact financing decisions, and vice versa. A marketing department’s ability to effectively promote and sell products can directly impact funds or loans a finance department can secure. On the other hand, without the funds to carry out marketing activities, marketers would be left without the resources they need to do their jobs. 

7. Distribution
Finally, distribution is the act of getting products and services into customers’ hands, which is an essential marketing requirement. Distribution typically involves decisions about the routes that products or services take to get to market. This element is important for marketers because they need products to get into the hands of their customers in order to successfully complete their mission of selling. 

These marketing functions are all essential areas marketing departments will be required to engage with. Individual marketers will often specialize in one of these functions.