Marketing Management Analysis - Marketing Management

Developing marketing orientation is only part of the equation of improving marketing effectiveness. Marketing management skills must be developed, as it is a management function that involves analysis, planning, implementation and control. Other management functions also have planning structures that link to the corporate plan. In terms of the company organization chart. In this organization chart we see the place of marketing alongside major functions of line management.

The board of directors are responsible for strategic direction. Board members are not necessarily full-time employees and in larger companies they are often from outside the organization because of the expertise they lend to the board. Such people might be strategy experts, financial experts, people who lend distinction to an organization or they might be on the board of other companies and can bring a cross-fertilization of ideas, financial linkages and potential inter-firm dealings. The general manager is the person who translates policy into tactics and is responsible for day to day operations. When the general manager is a member of the board the title is then managing director.

The company secretary is responsible for legal and administrative matters as well as serving as secretary to the board. This person ensures that board meetings take place at intervals stipulated in the company’s articles of association, and produces minutes that sum up board meeting decisions ensuring they are implemented. For this reason, the role of company secretary is a lateral relationship. This relationship similarly applies to the modern function of corporate strategy which may be carried out by general management, but is often a separate, relatively small, function whose role is to ensure that all subdivisions in the organization have a plan (e.g. a marketing plan) and that each of these plans meshes with the five separate elements in the overall corporate plan i.e. operations (or production), human resource, finance, logistics and marketing. The corporate strategist ensures there are no mismatches (e.g. marketing might plan to sell more than the firm can produce).

The major line functions are responsible for translating strategy into tactics in terms of the organization’s everyday operations and this includes matters like manufacturing, training and recruitment, design and selling. In many smaller organizations, heads of these line functions are members of the board of directors in which case they would then have ‘director’ behind their title whose responsibilities would then cover both strategic matters (being a member of the board of directors) and tactical matters (being a functional head of department).

Marketing is but one function within business. Arguably it is the most critical because it interprets customers’ needs and requirements into products and services and repeat business without which a business cannot continue. A modern view puts customers in the centre and marketing as the interpretative function surrounding the customer with other major functions of business around this. The idea is that all functions of business should be geared towards the satisfactions of customers’ requirements and this has led to the notion of customer care.

Traditional organization chart

Traditional organization chart

Analysis

Effective marketing management requires analysis of factors that affect success and failure. It is the prelude to planning and decision making and includes analysis of the following:

  • Market analysis – market size and trends;
  • Competitor analysis;
  • Customer analysis;
  • Company analysis – market share, portfolio analysis and profitability analysis.

Analysis presupposes effective marketing research and intelligence, control of information and forecasting systems. Because of its importance, later chapters centre on tools of analysis.

Planning

Analysis is only a means to an end. It forms the basis of marketing plans that in turn denote decision making. Later chapters centre on the elements of marketing decision making.

Amongst the major marketing decisions to be made by marketing managers are:

  • Marketing objectives;
  • Product/market scope, segments and targets;
  • Company targets;

The place of marketing in the modern organization

place of marketing in the modern organization

  • Marketing strategies;
  • Marketing mix decisions – product, price, place and promotion.

At this stage many of these terms and their meanings are unfamiliar. We shall address these and other planning decisions in later chapters.

Implementation

Having made marketing plans, the next step is to ensure they are implemented. This requires that staff and financial resources be allocated together with time-scales for action, allocation of responsibilities and authority. In addition, the organizational structure may need to be changed to enable effective implementation to take place. Again, issues of implementation form the focus of subsequent chapters.

Control

The final element of the management tasks of marketing is monitoring and controlling marketing activities. Control is the subject of next Chapters, but in essence it completes the cycle of management tasks as control and measurement feed back into the analysis and planning stages of marketing management to restart the cycle.

In summary, the following are seen as capturing the essence of what marketing incorporates i.e. the basic principles:

  • The marketing concept is founded on the belief that profitable sales and satisfactory returns on investment can best be achieved by identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer needs and wants;
  • Marketing is a philosophy of business (an orientation) and a management function;
  • As a business philosophy, it involves the adoption of the marketing concept;
  • A company adopting the concept places customers at the centre of all business decisions, i.e. the customers’ needs permeate all levels and functions in the organization;
  • As a management function, marketing involves analysis, planning, implementation and control.

These are the basic principles of marketing, but as companies accept and implement them, so marketing itself is changing; perhaps not the basic concept or philosophy as outlined here, but rather the perspective and operation of marketing management. Earlier we suggested that the essence of this changing face of marketing is the shift towards a more strategic approach to marketing; hence the focus of this book. So what does this more strategic approach consist of and what forces and factors have contributed to this change?


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