The Functional Approach of Marketing: The institutional approach is as we have already observed, an anatomical method of treatment but the functional approach is a physiological method of treatment. That is, here the emphasis is placed upon the functioning or physiology of the marketing system rather than on the anatomical structure. In this approach, the emphasis is also not placed upon the commodity in connection with which the function is being performed.
Under the functional approach the marketing is viewed from the standpoint of functions or activities that are performed in the marketing process. The entire field of marketing is broken down into limited number of functions, such as buying, selling, transportation. warehousing, advertising and so on. After breaking down the marketing field into certain functions, each function is then analysed in order to determine the nature and importance in relation to both marketing institutions and commodities.
Advantages of the Functional Approach of Marketing:
(1) The study of marketing on the basis of functions enables us to throw the searchlight on the effectiveness with which a given function is being performed and the price paid for its performance.
(2) The repetition and duplication are recluced to a minimum because each function of markeing is clearly seegreted from the others.
(3) Within a relatively short period of time, a better understanding of the marketing system can be obtained.
(4) Student can strengthen his knowledge of marketing institution, methods of marketing different commodities and functions performed in the process.
Disadvantages of the Functional Approach of Marketing:
(1) chief disadvantage of the functional is abstractness. Of course, it can be overcome by an appropriate selection of illustrative material.
(2) One important difficulty in this approach is that the treatment of each of the functions performed in the marketing process requires relating them to both institutions and commodities.
(3) There is a need for the integration of marketing activities if one is to appreciate the total process. But in this approach, there is a certain lack of reality in considering each of these topics as independent functions.
(4) Most of these functions are not exclusively marketing functions. One could look at risk-taking. financing, buy in and storage as production functions.