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Marketing and its relationship with other business activities.

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"Marketing is not only much broader than selling, it is not a specialized activity at all. It encompasses the entire business. It is the whole business seen from the point of view of the final result, that is, from the customer's point of view. Concern and responsibility for marketing must therefore permeate all areas of the enterprise."

Peter Drucker.

What Drucker is saying is that marketing should be seen as a business philosophy, in that the existence of any business depends on satisfying customer needs and wants. This cannot be the sole responsibility of the marketing department.

Marketing is a strategic discipline which underpins most activities of the business and is an essential ingredient of corporate strategy as communicated in the corporate plan. Drucker also said that marketing is:

"The whole business seen from the customer's point of view"

Jigsaw2.pngWhat is important, therefore, is that the product meets customers' needs. Although the marketing function is normally carried out by a specialised department, marketing thinking must permeate the entire organisation. Developing an effective marketing plan will require close links with other functional areas of the business.

The nature of departmental/functional organisations, means it is likely that there is the potential for conflict between functional areas when delivering the corporate plan.

Operations management/production

The marketing department will need to work closely with the production department to ensure that:

  • Adequate research and development is planned to satisfy current and future customer needs
  • The item can be manufactured to the quality and design specifications laid down by the consumer
  • The volume of orders generated by marketing can be met within the time schedule required for delivery

It is likely that the marketing department will set deadlines that may stretch the capabilities of the production department. Marketers will wish to get products to market as soon as possible to ensure competitive advantage, whereas production will want to test and develop products fully to ensure that they do not have to repair or replace defective items and that they meet health and safety requirements.

Finance department

The marketing department will need to work closely with the finance department to ensure that:

  • There is an adequate budget to meet the needs for research, promotion and distribution

The finance department have a whole organisation brief to ensure that all the business operates within its financial capabilities. They will want all departments to work within their allocated budgets. Like all departments, marketing may wish to overspend if profitable marketing opportunities emerge over the year. The marketing department is likely to concentrate on sales volume and building market share, while the finance department may be more focused on cash flow, covering costs and paying back investment as quickly as possible.

Human Resource Management

The marketing department will need to work closely with the HRM to ensure that appropriate skills and staffing levels are in place to:

  • Research and develop new product ideas
  • Meet production targets
  • Create an ambitious and competent sales team

The HRM department will have many recruitment and training demands from across the organisation. It will have to balance its obligations to marketing with those to other departments.