The function of marketing is to identify and source potentially successful products and/or services a company should develop for the marketplace the business operates in, and then promote the solutions through various media channels to share it’s benefits and differentiate the solutions from competitors.
Here, we examine the core functions marketing and the key roles that define the vertical.
Key Marketing Functions
The function of marketing can be divided into 11 specific ares of activity which all serve to enhance the economic performance of a company.
These 11 marketing activities include:
Marketing teams conduct significant research to generate valuable information about the market a business operates in. This activity includes identifying your competition as well as defining your customer base by distinguishing the size, behavior, culture, beliefs, and typical customer profile of the company’s target market. Through research, marketing teams discover what customers want and how to develop effective products that satisfy and potentially exceed their expectations.
Marketing teams play a significant role with the procurement/purchasing function of manufacturing companies in order to acquire the right raw materials for product development. When products are designed to meet customer requests and needs, marketing teams are responsible for making sure that the solution meets the description and benefits of the promotional materials that are used to market the solution. They accomplish this by providing the procurement department with details specifications of the materials that are needed to produce the solution.
3. Product Development & Management
Marketing teams are expected to work closely with the product development or manufacturing teams to identify what the market demands and then facilitate the design and develop of solutions that meet customer expectations. Marketing teams follow the product development cycle closely so that solution match their promotional materials.
Marketing teams also participate in the management of product development efforts by tracking how the market responds to the solution and then providing suggestions for future product changes.
Marketing teams are responsible for ensuring that the solution developed by a company meets the specified characteristics defined by management and expectations of customers. Standardization ensures that all of the materials integrated into the product meet executive policies and positively represent the company brand.
Grading involves classifying company products into specific categories of size and quantity that match different market segments, while maintaining product standardization.
Marketing teams are responsible for identifying the appropriate pricing of individual products or services developed by a company. Pricing involves tabulating the costs associated with developing a solution, implementing a desired mark-up to produce a positive profit margin, and examining what price points would represent a value that is either too high or too low in the eyes of customers. The price is what the customers see, so marketing teams must be sensitive to customer habits and expectations to market products at an appropriate price point.
Marketing teams are responsible for designing all of the promotional materials of the solution developed by the company to effectively communicate what the solution is, it’s core features, and how it is beneficial to customers. Marketing teams develop strategies to advertise this information across a variety of media channels including; TV, radio, search engines, social networks, SMS, sponsorships, billboards, and events.
To effectively price, promote and sell solutions, marketing teams are responsible for identifying the variables could negatively affect the sales of a company’s product or service, and then creating strategies or methods to minimize those risks. An element of this effort is conducting frequent quality control to measure how a company’s solution stands up against the competition.
Company’s that develop physical products run the risk that their products become damaged when shipped from the factory to suppliers and customers. Marketing teams are therefore responsible for creating packaging systems that ensures that the products do not break during transit. For high-end and luxury products, marketing teams are responsible for developing not only safe, but distinctive packaging systems that are uniquely representative of their brand.
With product development, promotion, pricing and packaging finalized, marketing teams are responsible for finding distribution channels to make sure that the product/service is easily accessible to customers where they regularly purchase products and/or services. Distributions channels are often serviced by intermediary distribution companies that include the internet such as app stores and online marketplaces, as well as transpiration systems such as; road, rail, water or air.
Marketing teams are responsible for defining the acceptable ways in which customers pay for the solutions developed by the company. This includes purchasing by cash, check or credit and the specific terms of purchasing the company must implement in order to maintain it’s solvency and positive cash flow. Terms can include 30-60 or 90 day payments, with varying % of the price due upon the date of purchase.
12. Customer Service
Once sales are made, marketing teams are responsible for providing customer support services to assist any customer questions or needs. For large physical and/or industrial products and equipment, marketing teams are responsible for establishing terms to provide installation and product maintenance services to customers.
To manage all of these key functions, marketing teams must delegate responsibilities to specific individuals with prior experience or with significant understanding of the role and how it contributes to the marketing function.
Marketing teams are typically lead by the Chief Marketing Officer, who is responsible for overseeing all of a company’s marketing functions.
The first task of Chief Marketing Officer’s is to delegate responsibility over the advertising, promotional, branding, market research, customer service, product distribution, and public relations efforts to specific personal within the marketing team.
For startups and young companies a marketing team should include the following roles:
- Chief Marketing Officer
- Senior VP of Marketing
- Brand Officer
- Digital Officer
- Affiliate Distribution Officer
- Community Manager
How these individuals contribute to the broad function of marketing can be described in the following structure:
Chief Marketing Officer:
Oversees and manages all marketing functions and reports to the Chief Executive Officer of a company.
Reports to C.M.O, and is responsible for developing and executing a clearly defined marketing and communications strategy that supports business growth and enhances brand equity and awareness. Their responsibilities include; planning, organizing, staffing, training, evaluating, and market analysis.
Reports to S.V.P of Marketing and is responsible for managing a company’s brand image. Their responsibilities include defining the brand, improving the experience, establishing company promises, and is heavily involved in all advertising, design, public relations and customer service efforts.
Reports to S.V.P of Marketing and is responsible for managing a company’s digital marketing strategy. Responsibilities include monitoring and increasing website traffic, creating online marketing campaigns, managing social media channels, budgeting for digital marketing efforts, and improving the website design, content and usability.
Affiliate Distribution Officer:
Reports to S.V.P of Marketing and is responsible for managing the relationships between a company and it’s affiliate distributors to ensure that the products are properly stored, shipped and represented by the distributors.
Public Relations Officer:
Reports to S.V.P of Marketing and is responsible for monitoring and managing the public opinion of a company. Their responsibilities include developing public relation strategies, responding to public inquiries, writing & editing publications, and procuring sponsorship opportunities.
Reports to S.V.P of Marketing and is responsible for managing the online presence of a company across it’s social network accounts.
As a company grows, marketing teams must expand to account for and fill additional specific responsibilities. The typical marketing roles of large and established companies include:
- Market Research Officer
- Department Administrator
- Creative Graphic Design Officer
- Product Pricing Manager
- Marketing Strategy Manager
- Promotional Officer
- Partner Relations
- Image & Video Production Specialist
Each role fulfills specific responsibilities that fit into the 12 functions of marketing departments.
It is important that entrepreneurs keep in mind that the marketing function is the forward facing element of a company. It is what the public and customers see first about your business.
Therefore, it is crucial to closely manage and define what your company does and the solutions your business offers to the market.
Your company’s brand and narrative must be clear and consistent across every single marketing element.
Marketers should carefully review all of the language and visual representation to make sure that everything properly represents the company’s brand in a positive way.
Lastly, it is important to hire individuals who display a strong sense of personal branding for your marketing team because they will be the human representation of your company. Looks, speech and conduct matters.
Culturally sensitive individuals with high emotional awareness and a strong sense of design and fashion are best suited for marketing roles. Thankfully this profile is typically driven towards roles within the marketing function.
The trick is to be observant and hire the people who already represent your brand before they even join your company.
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