There are eight functions are essential to the marketing of all goods and they are: buying, selling, transporting, storing, grading, financing, risk taking, and securing market information.
Name a product for which all eight marketing functions listed above do not need to be performed by someone somewhere in the marketing system. Explain your thinking about what functions do not need to be performed?
While most of these functions are important for most kinds of goods, there are certain goods for which one or more of these functions are not necessary. This is becoming truer and truer in our “new economy” that is dominated by the internet.
As an example of this, we can think about the selling of digital goods. These are things like downloads of a season of some television show. There are two of these functions that do not really need to be performed when this sort of good is being sold. First, there is not really much storage needed. Of course, there do need to be servers somewhere that have a master copy of the season of shows so that copies can be sent to those who buy them. However, this is a very minor amount of “storage” when compared to something like physical DVDs or books. Second, there is little need for grading of these goods. Grading is something that is done when a firm has large numbers of a product and needs to be sure they are all up to standard. With computer files like that of the television show (or Windows 8.1), there is no need for this. Thus, even though these computer files are goods that can be sold for large amounts of money, they do not need all of these marketing functions.
In today’s economy, there is also a good deal of buying and selling that is done between consumers and very small merchants who are using eBay or Etsy or some other online means of selling their products. Again, there are two marketing functions that are not particularly necessary to such small merchants. One of these is likely to be financing. Last month, I bought an embroidered sew-on patch from a merchant on Etsy. I doubt that she needed to finance her inventory of these patches. When inventories are so low, financing is not necessary. In addition, securing market information is likely to important for small merchants like this. These sellers do not do enough volume in sales to make it worth it to them to try to determine who their customers are or what their competitors are doing.
Thus, our new economy has brought about the rise of electronic computer files that do not need much storage or grading and has allowed for the existence of many small merchants who do not need financing and do not need to secure market information.