The main approaches to study marketing are as follows:
- Commodity Approach
Under this approach, the flow of goods from the producers to the consumers is studied. In this study, the emphasis is given to production centre, the involvement of men in selling and purchasing of the products, means of transportation, problems in sale and advertisement of goods, problems in financing, storing and other related matters. The commodity approach of marketing is related to demand and supply of a commodity. This approach is also related to a channel of distribution and transportation. So, this approach establishes marketing system for products. It finds out necessary principle, strategy, and technology for marketing goods and services. The commodity approach of marketing is practiced mostly in agricultural products, in cotton, jute, wheat, etc.
- Functional Approach
The functional approach to marketing indicates the study of the functions of marketing. Whatever function the marketing performs is called marketing as a whole. Marketing performs exchange function, physical distribution function, and other auxiliary functions. The study of these functions is marketing.
- Exchange Functions: Exchange function of marketing include purchasing and selling. These are the basic functions of marketing.
- Physical Distribution Function: Physical distribution function includes transportation and storage. These functions transport goods/products to the right place at the right time as desired by the customers.
- Auxiliary Function: The auxiliary functions of marketing include, standardization, and classification, financing, labeling, packaging, risk bearing, information flow etc. These functions simplify the exchange function.
- Institutional Approach
The institutional approach of marketing emphasis to the study of marketing institutions and agencies. Wholesalers, importers, transporters, exporters, business agents, transport organization, banks, insurance companies, finance companies etc. play their roles in marketing by supplying or distributing commodities from producers to the consumers. So, the institutional approach centres its study on them. The study, ‘how these different institutions and agencies function together for marketing system’ is the institutional approach to marketing.
The institutional approach gives emphasis to the institutions involved in marketing. these institutions achieve different expertise in marketing activities. The cost of marketing can be reduced by selecting proper institutions. Even then this approach cannot give a complete meaning of marketing and does not care the need and wants of costumes.
- System Approach
System approach to marketing supposes marketing as a system which includes input processing, output, and feedback. Goods, price, place, and promotion are included in the input of this system. Environmental effect and buyers’ decision are included in the processing. Similarly, profits, costumer’s satisfaction, and social welfare are included in output and the task of sending a message asking for redesigning input and processing fall under feedback.
System approach gives an integrated picture of marketing and the objectives of marketing can be achieved effectively from it. Similarly, it makes marketing adjustable to the environment by scanning the dynamic environment. But it does not care about the need and wants of customers. It becomes difficult to implement.
- Environmental Approach
According to environmental approach, environment affects marketing. So, marketing should be made suitable for the environment by studying and scanning the environment. The environment always becomes dynamic. It changes continuously. So, it also appears both as an opportunity and as a challenge. The environment of marketing can be classified into two types as micro-environment and macro-environment.
- Micro-environment Of Marketing: Micro-environment is also called internal environment. Production.financial resource, human resource, research and development, a culture of the organization, suppliers, customers, labour organization, a pressure group, competitors, market intermediaries etc. are the micro-environmental components. As these components affect marketing, their scanning is compulsory.
- Macro-environment Of Marketing: Macro-environment is also called external environment. Macro-environmental components do not remain under control of marketing. So, marketing should be suitable for these components. Economic, political and legal, social and cultural and technological components are included in macro-environment.
Environmental approach is important to make marketing suitable to the environment by environmental scanning, But this approach is expensive and gives less emphasis to the achievement of the objective.
- Managerial Approach
A managerial approach to marketing advocates the scientific management of marketing. This approach gives more importance to the activities of managers and managerial decisions on marketing. This approach gives high priority to goal achievement and emphasizes that the marketing managers should always remain active to achieve the goal. These functions are based on planning, implementation and controlling.
- Economic Approach
The economic approach of marketing gives emphasis on an increase of maximization. Buyers and sellers are the important components of marketing. Price commodities or service is fixed through their interactions and activities of selling and buying completes. Marketing helps how to utilize limited resources to fulfil the unlimited needs and wants. It researches markets, studies and analyzes demand and supply. It gives emphasis on salesmanship. Similarly, it believes in sales promotion through advertisement and other promotional activities. It uses different economic tools in market research and analyzing demand and supply. So, this approach is popular among economists.
The Economic approach to marketing is more developed and it analyzes demands and supplies including production cost. But this approach does not agree with the modern marketing and is based on several assumptions.
- Legal Approach
Legal approach advocates that marketing should be regularized bylaws. All the marketing activities should agree with and remain under control of legal provisions. Arts, rules and regulations, policy, procedure, working process etc. are included in Law. Law restricts to do some works and prior permission should be taken to do some other works.
A legal approach to marketing strongly emphasise that all the marketing activities should remain within legal purview. It gives high priority to bearing social responsibility. But this approach has not made clear how to adopt dynamic environment. Although it tries to protect consumers through legal provisions, rules, and regulations. it does not care about consumers’ needs, wants and satisfaction.