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Marketing Functions If you think that marketing only involves selling physical products at a retail store, you are mistaken. Many other activities must take place before a consumer buys a product or service. All marketing activities fall into at least one of seven key functions: 1. Production / Service Management—Step 1 is designing, creating, improving, and maintaining products and services that satisfy customers’ needs. Twenty years ago museums and malls did not have diaper-changing tables in the men’s restroom. But as family roles have changed, many places now provide changing tables in both restrooms. Businesses adapt their goods and services to keep their customers coming back. 2. Distribution—Step 2 involves getting products and services to the customers in the best way possible. Many electronics companies sell their products online and in large electronics stores. Thos way they get the business of those who like to shop online as well as the business of those who like to see a product before purchasing it. 3. Selling—Step 3 refers to direct contact with potential customers to determine their needs and satisfy these needs. A web site that sells income tax software might feature a service where you can talk directly to an accountant or tax lawyer while you are pre paring your taxes electronically. By providing this direct contact, the company hopes that consumers are more likely to buy the product. 4. Marketing Information Management—Step 4 is the process of gathering and using information about customers to improve business decisions. Have you ever answered a phone survey about a product? The company is gathering information from you so they can make product decisions based on what consumers really say. a. 5. This step can also be applied to marketing yourself. In the future, your will probably select a job or higher education opportunity that is appropriate to what you have to offer. You wouldn’t try to convince or organization or recruiter to place you in a role that isn’t appropriate for its needs or your skills and experience. Just as a producer must present a beneficial product to consumers, you must shape yourself into an attractive product that is attractive to future schools and employers. Financing—Sep 5 is the process of acquiring the financial resources to market the product /service. Financing also involves giving consumers payment options. Yvonne wants to buy a motor scooter, but she doesn’t have the full amount. She may be able to get a low-interest loan from the seller so that she can purchase the scooter now. 6. Pricing—Step 6 is the process of deciding how much a product or service will cost the consumer. Price is the value placed on the product. Businesses have to think about many things when determining a price: Is the price low enough to attract a lot of buyers? Is it high enough that people won’t assume the product is poorly made? Price is very important because it is the only marketing function that produces revenues. The other six steps are all costs to the producer. 7. Promotion—Step 7 refers to communications to inform, persuade, and remind consumers of a products benefit and encourage them to buy it. When people think of marketing, they often think of advertising and selling. There are many other types of promotional activities, such as writing press releases for news organizations and sponsoring charitable events. Marketing Society of You We discussed earlier that ever business is involved in marketing, either directly or indirectly. Every business produces a product or service, and that product or service must be made available and attractive to potential customers. Examples of marketing communications are: a. b. c. d. Billboards Television Commercials Store Displays Products being transported by truck or train to locations where customers can buy them. e. We see the impact of pricing decisions at the checkout counter. f. We feel the sense of need and want for particular goods or services. Marketing Ideas Does your family recycle newspapers? Can you describe the ideas of a particular political party? If you answer yes, it’s probably because of idea marketing. Recycling is an accepted social practice because the importance of preserving the environment has been marketed for the past 30 years. Political parties “sell” their plans and values to voters. Marketing Individuals Individuals also use marketing. Star athletes market their athletic ability and success, college applicants market their potential as students, and job seekers market their potential as contributing members of an organization. Actually don’t all people spend some time marketing themselves to the people around them? As a student you market your self to the teacher that is determining your grade. You try to be a responsible student who does their work and turns it in on time. Marketing Yourself in the Workplace You will need to sell yourself to get into college, to get that job you’ve always wanted, to get that scholarship, to get the promotion you think you deserve, or to convince others of your ideas, and more. Remember marketing involves an exchange where two parties see value in what the other has to offer. Employment is one type of exchange. Once you are hired your employer will expect you to add value to the organization. You go to work and in exchange for your time and skills, an employer pays you and perhaps provides benefits such as health insurance and paid vacation days. You will need to understand your employer’s needs and wants so that your job performance meets, or even exceeds, your employer’s expectations. To build a strong, mutually beneficial relationship, you should seek out organizations and positions that can meet your expectations. Through research, you can develop a target market of organizations that are most likely to desire your skills and abilities, as well as determine which companies can most likely satisfy your employment expectations. As we begin to conduct more activities on marketing yourself, we will be setting up information for Your Personal Portfolio. Market Research What are your personal product strengths? Who would want to buy them and why? Developing Your Product You’ll evaluate what makes you attractive to employers and which type of jobs situations you might be happiest working in. Who is your market? You’ll learn how you can get an edge by targeting organizations that offer a good match between their needs and your skills. Promotion How do you present yourself in the best light and showcase your value in your resume, job correspondence, and interviews. How will you set the price for you (the product)? That is defining the wages you believe you can earn?