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BCOE-141: Principles of Marketing

BCOE-141: Principles of Marketing

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

If you are looking for BCOE-141 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Principles of Marketing, you have come to the right place. BCOE-141 solution on this page applies to 2022-23 session students studying in BCOMG, BAVMSME, BBARIL courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Solution

Assignment Code: BCOE-141/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BCOE-141

Assignment Name: Principles of Marketing

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Maximum Marks: 100


Note: Attempt all the questions.


Section – A


Q1) How is the distinction between buyer and user meaningful to a marketer? (10)

Ans) The person who makes the actual purchase of a product or services is called the buyer and the person who consumes or uses the product or service is called user. Often the person who purchases the product is not the person who actually consumes or uses that product. A mother buys toys and clothes for consumption by her young children. The mother is the buyer, but the actual consumers are the children. A car is purchased by the husband or the wife but is used by all the members of the family.


Thus, in the family context, you may either have the situation where the buyer is distinct from the consumer, or the buyer is only one of the many consumers. Besides buyer and user, any person in the family or even from outside the family may influence the buying decision in the role of an initiator or influencer or decider. The initiator is the person who first suggests or gets the idea of buying the particular product or service. An influencer is a person whose views or advice carries some weight in making the final decision. The decider is the person who ultimately determines any part of or the entire buying decisions- whether to buy or not, how, to buy, when to buy, where to buy, etc.


The question that arises is who should be the subject of study in consumer behaviour? Should we study the buyer or the consumer or the other influencing persons? To overcome this problem, in many instances it is the household or the family and not the individual who is considered the subject of the study.


However, a person involved in marketing should have a very sharply defined focus for marketing strategy, especially promotional strategy. You must identify the best prospect for your products---whether it is the buyer or the user. Even when the consumer is distinct from the buyer, the consumer's likes and dislikes, taste, etc., influence the buyer's decision in the purchase of a specific product or brand. Thus, many companies focus their promotion at both the user and the buyer. Consider the promotional message of Maggi noodles and Rasna soft drink concentrate. The taste and fun aspects of both these products are meant to appeal to the children who are the major consumers, while the convenience (in case of noodles) and economy (in case of Rasna) are meant to appeal to the mothers who are the buyers.


Q2) Briefly explain the factors that affect the basic price of product or service? (10)

Ans) The factors that affect the basic price of product or service are as follows:


The Value of the Product to the Buyer

A person buys a product only when it is of any value to him in relation to the price demanded. Each consumer, in a subjective manner, prepares priority schedule of goods and services that can be purchased with his entire income. When we consider buyers and the price, we are usually concerned with how price affect their demand for a product. According to the law of demand, as you know more goods will be demanded at a lower price than at a higher price. This law holds good for most of the products. To a marketer demand means the desire for a product supported by the ability to purchase it.


Product Costs

It seems more logical to start the process of fixing price with costs. While fixing the price, the questions like: What is the cost? What profit should be earned on the sale of products? They seem easier to answer than the question. What can people pay for the product? Yet the third question is the most important of the three. Nevertheless, many marketers think in terms of total costs plus a reasonable profit as the proper procedure for fixing the price.



The price and features of the products offered by the competitors will greatly affect the price charged by the company. Moreover, even the prices of substitute products should also be taken into consideration while fixing the price of the product.


Legal Considerations

Pricing is a very sensitive and important decision in marketing. An increase in price often attracts public criticism and may also attract legal restraint. Suppose an essential commodity, like medicine, costs Rs. 10 per unit, whereas the buyer is prepared to pay any amount in case of an emergency. In the absence of any competition, the seller will be tempted to charge a very high price, say Rs. 100 per unit. However, the law can restrain the unscrupulous seller from charging 'what the traffic will bear’. This can be done by the Government by declaring the said medicine as an ‘essential commodity' under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955. Then, the seller does not have the freedom to charge above the price level fixed by the government in accordance with the guidelines laid down in the law. A number of legislations seek to regulate excessive discriminatory and unreasonable prices. The marketing manager must keep in view the legal restraints in matters of price fixation.


Other Elements of Marketing

The elements of the company’s marketing also have a significant effect on the pricing decision of a product. The channel of distribution, quality and amount of advertising, efficiency of sales personnel, the type of product differentiation, credit facility, after sales service, etc. affect the final price charged from the buyer. If the company is in a strong position in these respects, it gives the company a freedom to charge relatively higher prices. If the company is lacking or deficient on any of these counts, it may have to keep lower prices.


Q3) Discuss the basic purpose of changing the package? (10)

Ans) Packaging is a very important function as most of the products offered in the market need package. The package is increasingly being used as a marketing tool, especially in certain types of consumer products such as perfumes or several other gift articles. The importance is also increasing due to the changed structure of retail business, especially the emergence of self-service stores. In the case of consumer products, package serves as a silent salesman. This is true irrespective of whether the product is a luxury, semi-luxury or an ordinary everyday use product.


Consumer research on packaging has basically concentrated on two aspects which are presumed to have an influence on consumer purchase decisions. The first one is colour and the second is the package or container design. Almost all researchers have come to the conclusion that each colour has its own distinct characteristics and therefore, has to be used in a package so that there is no mismatch between what is expected of the package and the colour used in the packaging.


Changing your packaging can redefine your brand identity. Packaging influences how consumers perceive your product and business — plus, whether they notice it at all. The simplest design refresh can significantly impact your sales, catching eyes and drawing in new customers. Because it can make such a remarkable difference, it should always be a deliberate undertaking. When you choose to update your packaging, here are some of the benefits you’re likely to experience.


The basic purpose of changing the package is to introduce a new package which can also be used as a promotional technique. For example, earlier, edible oils were packed in tin cans in India which looked messy and dirty. Most of the larger firms have been using transparent one litre PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles which look gleaming and fresh. The companies are using this change of packaging quite effectively as an additional element in their advertising campaigns. Initially, Panama cigarettes were introduced in a soft packet of twenty for the first time in India. The instant popularity of the brand was substantially due to this novelty. The strategy of package changes is followed either to correct a poor feature in the existing container or to take advantage of new materials.


Q4) What are the functions of channels of distribution. Explain them. (10)

Ans) The functions of channels of distribution are as follows:


Transactional Functions

Functions necessary to a transaction of the goods are called transactional functions. Buying, selling and risk bearing functions come under this category. Participants in the channel of distribution undertake these three functions. Producers sell the goods and intermediaries buy them. Later intermediaries sell the goods and consumers buy them. Because of this buying and selling by the channel participants, title to goods changes hands and goods flow from producer to consumer. If there is no willingness for buying and selling, there would be no transaction. When goods are bought, it involves risk also. For instance, an intermediary bought goods from the producer with the intention of selling at a profit. But he may incur loss due to fall in price. All the participants in the distribution channel assume such risk of loss.


Logistical Functions

The functions involved in the physical exchange of goods are called logistical functions. Distribution channel performs some functions like assembling, storage, grading and transportation which are essential for physical exchange of goods. Goods are assembled in sufficient quantity to constitute an efficient selling and shipping quantity. Sometimes, it is also necessary to assemble a variety of goods to provide an assortment of items desired by buyers. Grading and packing of goods facilitate handling and sale of goods promptly. Proper storage of goods prevents loss or damage as well as helps regular supply of goods to consumers whenever they want. Transportation makes goods available at places where buyers are located. In the channel of distribution all these functions are performed so that goods may reach marketplace at proper time and may be conveniently sold to the ultimate consumers.


Facilitating Functions

These functions facilitate both the transaction as well as physical exchange of goods. These facilitating functions of the channel include post-purchase service and maintenance, financing, market information, etc. Sellers provide necessary information to buyers in addition to after sales services and financial assistance in the form of sale on credit. Similarly, traders are often guided by producers to help them in selling goods, while the traders also inform producers about the customers' opinions about the products.


Thus, a Channel of distribution performs a variety of functions such as buying, selling, risk bearing, assembling, storage, grading, transportation, post-purchase service and maintenance, financing, market information, etc. But the relative importance of storage is more important for perishable goods and bulky material such as coal, petroleum products, iron, etc. In the case of automobiles and sophisticated electronic goods like computers, after sales service is very important.

Q5) How is a retailer different from a wholesaler? (10)

Ans) The differences between retailers and wholesalers are as follows:


Section – B

Q6) List out the tools used in trade promotion. (6)

Ans) The tools used in trade promotion are as follows:


  1. Merchandise Deals: Sometimes the producer offers extra quantities of the product for bulk purchase by the dealer. Some companies use such deals to provide greater exposure to their other products with the dealers.

  2. Price Deals: Special price discounts are offered to the dealers, over and above the regular discount. This is a temporary price reduction for dealers. It leads to quick profits for wholesalers and retailers.

  3. Gifts to Dealers: Sometimes a company may give gifts like watches, clock, transistors, etc., to dealers according to the volume of orders placed by them.

  4. Merchandise Allowance: This is a short-term contract through which a producer compensates wholesalers or retailers for advertising or in short display of the company products.

  5. Cooperative Advertising: Here the manufacturer makes a long-term contract to pay an allowance to retailers in relation to the quantity of products purchased by them or the retailers share the advertising expenditure with the manufacturer on an agreed formula.

  6. Dealer Contests: This is an indirect way of promoting sales. These contests take the form of window displays, internal store displays, sales contests, etc. The winners are given cash or other attractive prizes.


Q7) What are the factors that determine the choice of media? (6)

Ans) The factors that determine the choice of media are as follows:

  1. Elements of the Marketing Mix: McCarthy gave a four factors classification of the marketing mix viz; Product, Price, Place, Promotion.

  2. Media Characteristics: The important elements are Audience selectivity, Geographic selectivity, Reach, Frequency, Media scheduling and Media cost.

  3. Target Audience: The advertiser must very clearly identify the group for whom the advertisement is meant. The factors used are age, sex, habits, lifestyles, personality, incomes, geographical location, etc. By building up a target audience profile, it is easier for the advertiser to match his medium to the market.

  4. Nature of the Message: The preferred media should be compatible with the advertising message. For example, floor covering, and clothing are best presented in pictorial form. Radio will not be good medium for this. Life insurance calls for a lengthy message, hence outdoor advertising will not be appropriate.

  5. Advertising Budget: It refers to the total funds available with the company for advertising. This would certainly have an impact on the type/s of media which can be selected within the given budget.


Q8) What do you mean by services? Discuss its characteristics. (6)

Ans) Any market offering that is intangible is called services. The services are separately identifiable, essentially intangible activities which provide want satisfaction, and which are not necessarily tied to the sale of a product or another service. For example, hospitals, hotels, universities, banks, insurance companies, transport firms, fire departments, police and post office.


The characteristics of services are as follows:

Intangibility: Services are performances or actions rather than objects. Therefore, they cannot be seen, felt, tasted, or touched in the same manner that we can sense tangible goods. The absence of tangible features that it is difficult for the seller to demonstrate or display services. Similarly, it is also difficult for buyers to sample, test or make a thorough evaluation before buying them.


Heterogeneity: It is often impossible to assure homogeneity and consistency in service provided by a seller, because services are performances rendered by them. Hence no two services may be precisely alike. The service is performed and delivered by employees, and people differ in their performance. will have unique demands or experience and may require the service in a unique way.


Simultaneous Production and Consumption: Most goods are produced first, then sold and consumed while services are sold first and then produced and consumed simultaneously.


Perishability: Perishability refers to the fact that services cannot be saved or resold or returned. A seat on an airplane or in a restaurant, an hour of a lawyer's or telephone line capacity used cannot be reclaimed and used or resold at a later time. It is not easy to reset a bad haircut nor is it possible to transfer it to another consumer.


Q9) Define rural marketing and challenges faced by rural marketers. (6)

Ans) “Rural marketing is a function of all efforts made by the companies to move their already marketed goods and services to the rural consumers that gives them satisfaction, enhances their standard of living and thereby attains the organizational goal”.


The challenges faced by rural marketers are as follows: 

  1. In many remote locations even today the barter system exists.

  2. Impact of information technology is not experienced uniformly across the nation. The advantage of it has been experienced primarily by the farmers with big land holdings. Farmers with small land holdings are not able to enjoy the advantage.

  3. In terms of facilities related to physical communication, it is not equally good for all the corners across the nation.

  4. Demand in rural markets depends primarily on the agricultural situation as agriculture is the main source of their livelihood. This means the purchasing power of the customers is dependent upon the monsoon and it varies from one year to the other. Hence, demand forecasting becomes difficult for the marketers.

  5. Traditional outlook of the rural consumers also poses threats to the marketers. As a result of traditional thought process their buying decision may be delayed.

  6. Difference in language and dialects also poses problems to the marketers.

  7. There are several other factors that pose threats to the rural marketers such as natural calamities, pests and diseases, drought or excess of rain fall, lack of proper storage facility, transportation, Insurance etc.

  8. Besides, there are certain other challenges related to rural warehouse, supply chain operations, rural infrastructure and fluctuation in the price of agricultural products etc.


Q10) What is Green Marketing? Discuss its importance. (6)

Ans) Green Marketing consists of all activities designed to generate and facilitate any exchanges intended to satisfy human needs or wants, such that the satisfaction of these needs and wants occurs, with minimal detrimental impact on the natural environment. This definition incorporates much of the traditional components of the marketing definition that is "All activities designed to generate and facilitate any exchanges intended to satisfy human needs or wants." Therefore, it ensures that the interests of the organization and all its consumers are protected, as voluntary exchange will not take place unless both the buyer and seller mutually benefit. The above definition also includes the protection of the natural environment, by attempting to minimize the detrimental impact this exchange has on the environment.


Importance of Green Marketing

Mankind has limited resources on the earth, with which she/he must attempt to provide for the worlds' unlimited wants. In market societies where there is "freedom of choice", it has generally been accepted that individuals and organizations have the right to attempt to have their wants satisfied. As firms face limited wants. Ultimately green marketing looks at how do marketing activities utilize these limited resources, while satisfying consumers wants, as well as achieving the selling organization’s objectives.


  1. People are insisting pure products – edible items, fruits, and vegetables based on organic farming. The number of people seeking vegetarian food is on rise.

  2. Reducing use of plastics and plastic-based products.

  3. Increased consumption of herbal products instead of processed products.

  4. Recommending use of leaves instead of plastic pieces; jute and cloth bags instead of plastic carrying bags.

  5. Increasing use of bio-fertilizers instead of chemical fertilizers, and minimum use of pesticides.

  6. Worldwide efforts to recycle wastes of consumer and industrial products.

  7. Increased use of herbal medicines, natural therapy, and Yoga.

  8. Strict provisions to protect forests, flora and fauna, protection of the rivers, lakes and seas from pollutions.

  9. Global restrictions on production and use of harmful weapons, atomic tests, etc. Various organisations of several countries have formulated provisions for protecting ecological balance.

  10. More emphasis on social and environmental accountability of producers.


Section – C

Q11) Write short notes on: (10)


(a) Digital Marketing

Ans) When marketing is done through internet and other digital platforms (such as the radio, television, mobile applications, social media, web‐applications, search engines, websites etc) it is called digital marketing. In Digital marketing, use of electronic devices is made. This marketing can be done online as well as offline.


Offline Digital Marketing

When marketing is done using electronic devices where internet connection is not required, such as radio, television, phone etc., it is called offline digital marketing. This can also be called as enhanced offline marketing. For example, we often get messages or promotional calls on our mobile phones to promote a product or services.


Online Digital Marketing

When marketing is done using electronic /digital devices that requires internet connection, it is called online digital marketing. For digital marketing, marketer needs to acquire some assets necessarily.


Marketers require to prepare or develop following resources for online digital marketing:

  1. Website

  2. Logos, icons

  3. Video advertisement

  4. Product demonstration

  5. Product/service images

  6. E‐contents/ blogs/Vooks/testimonials etc

  7. Reviews of the purchaser/users

  8. Social media pages such as Facebook page, Twitter page etc


Tools of Digital Marketing

Search Engine Optimisation: When you search something on internet, you can see some information or websites, few at the top on the first page. Search engine optimization is the process of designing and managing content in a way that it appears amongst the top few on the internet when someone is searching on internet. While creating content, marketers have to choose keywords that are most popular. SEO manages both the quality and quantity of traffic on the website.

  1. Pay Per Click: In this marketing strategy, marketer pays for every users who clicks the advertisement when he opens a page.  When an online visitor visits these pages, advertisements pops up. If the visitor clicks those advertisements, marketer will pay money to these online platforms.

  2. Search Engine Marketing: In order to increase the visibility of the website in search engine, this search engine marketing style is used. Here, ad space is bought by paying fees in search platforms.

  3. Paid Social Media Advertising: Social media platforms are widely and popularly used across the globe. However, these social media platforms charge for running any advertisements.

  4. Social Media Marketing: Sometimes, marketers create their business pages on social media platforms and promote it amongst the users of those platform. This style does not involve any cost but it may have limited reach vis‐à‐vis paid social media advertising as only friends can see those pages.

  5. Content Marketing: Marketers, in digital marketing, may use electronic content to reach out to their customers. This content stimulates the customers to search for the products, thus their interest is aroused for particular product or services.

  6. Influencer Marketing: There are many popular social media users who have a huge following and viewers. Marketers sometimes, communicate about their market offerings through them.

  7. Email Marketing: This is an oldest form of online marketing or digital marketing. Marketers use this tool to advertise special deals or events.

(b) Merchant Agents

Ans) Middlemen who act on their own right buying and selling goods at a profit are called merchant middlemen or merchants. They acquire title to the goods and bear the risks of trade besides performing various functions like storing, grading, packing and packaging, etc.


Merchant middlemen may be divided into two categories.

  1. Wholesale traders

  2. Retail traders


Merchants who buy goods from producers or manufacturers or their agents and sell the same to industrial consumers or retail traders are known as wholesale traders. The middlemen who buy goods from producers or wholesalers and sell the same to ultimate consumers are known as retail traders. Thus, retailers act as the final link in the channel of distribution.


Any individual or business firm selling goods in relatively large quantities to buyers other than the ultimate consumers may be called a wholesalers. Thus, manufacturers who sell their products directly to retailers may be regarded as wholesalers. However, in a more specific sense the term wholesaler may be defined as a merchant middlemen engaged in buying and reselling of goods to retailers and other merchants, or to Industrial or Commercial users.


Wholesalers do not sell the products to ultimate consumers. The wholesalers belong to the category of merchant middlemen who acquire title to the goods they handle. Agents or brokers may also act as wholesale middlemen, but they do not acquire the title to goods. Wholesalers act as middlemen between producers or importers of goods on the one hand, and retailers or industrial users on the other. The goods traded by wholesalers may include agricultural commodities, forest products, minerals as well as manufactured goods.


Retailing refers to all transactions which involve sale of goods to the ultimate consumers for personal consumption. If the buyer uses the goods for reselling purposes it will not be treated as a retailing transaction. Any individual or business unit or shop primarily engaged in retail selling is known as a retailer or retail store. In a general sense, even a manufacturer or wholesaler may sometimes engage in sale of goods to the ultimate consumers. But they are not called retailers as retailing is not the major activity of such a manufacturer or wholesaler.


Thus, a retailer or retail store is one whose business consists primarily of sale of goods to consumers for their own use, but not for resale in business. Retail business may include other types of transactions also. It will be treated as a retailing business if more than half of its total sales revenue is from retail trading. A retailer is a middleman because retailing involves procuring goods from suppliers and selling them to consumers for the personal use. Retailers perform the very important task of making goods available to consumers, which after all is the objective that underlies the production of goods. Retailers thus form a vital link in the channel of distribution of products.


Q12) Distinguish between: (10)

(a) Selective distribution and exclusive distribution.

Ans) The differences between Selective Distribution and Exclusive Distribution are as follows:



(b) Departmental store and Multiple shop.

Ans) The differences between Departmental Store and Multiple Shop are as follows:


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