'Eight Basic Functions' for small businesses
(Editor's note: Tom Egelhoff, well-known small town marketing expert, radio host and educator, offers the following suggestions gleaned from a study published in his book, "101 Best Marketing ideas for Small Town Business.)
People are always amazed to find that their new business will require them to spend 80 percent of their time marketing the business. This is because marketing encompasses many different aspects of your business.
Most people think marketing falls in with advertising, but marketing is much more than just advertising. After reviewing the eight basic marketing functions, you'll understand why you'll spent 80 percent your time marketing your business.
The real marketing starts when the customer shows up. Does customer referral, customer service, repeat business and customer satisfaction ring a bell? All are marketing functions.
As the new marketing manager, you - must use the Eight Basic Marketing Functions.
A responsible marketing manager identifies the target market for products and services and creates an advertising or promotional strategy that will not only appeal to the target market but also expose the message to the customer. Hopefully, this will result in a sale and profit to the company.
In addition, the marketing manager has eight other functions that must be addressed and cannot be eliminated is a business is to become successful.
Exchange Functions - Buying and Selling (Functions 1 and 2 of 8)
These two functions go hand in hand. First, it takes more than just a good product to be successful. I'm sure the last company to make buggy whips probably made the best darn buggy whip you ever saw. The product was superior - it was also obsolete. You must have a product that fills a present and - most importantly - a future need.
You must buy the best raw materials available at the best possible pricing to produce your product. Pricing will be covered later. If you don't produce a product then you need to select products that will fill your target market's needs that your sales staff - probably you - can sell at a profit.
Distribution - Transportation and Storage (Functions 3 and 4 of 8)
If you purchase products for sale or resale, you will pay for shipping and then storage. If you have it stored until purchased by your customer, shipping time becomes a factor.
Each of these two functions will have an effect on your marketing and advertising message.
Facilitating - (Functions 5, 6, 7 and 8 of 8)
Four other areas for consideration that complete the basic marketing functions include:
• Quality and Quantity - You may carry quantities of products with a varying degree of quality. Your marketing will help determine how much of each will be kept on hand and in what amounts.
• Financial - Your financing arrangements with suppliers will affect marketing by increasing or decreasing your pricing. Volume discounts or extended terms that affect pricing will, in turn, affect your advertising and marketing budget.
• Risk - Three risks concerning the products or services you provide include: customers won't want your product or service; customers may want it but won't pay the price you are asking or new products or services will make yours obsolete.
• Marketing information - In this fast moving world of the Internet, faxes and new technology, it is important to keep abreast of new advances and changes in the market place. You must be prepared to change your message as news or changes in market information become available. If your products or services are the "buggy whips" of this century, your company could be in trouble. Don't let lack of information stop your company in its tracks.
Which of the eight are the most important to your business? Each can have a positive or negative effect on various parts of your business. Each will affect different businesses in different ways.
The point is to be aware of each of them, how each affects your specific business and include them in your marketing decisions.