Marketing is a cross-functional discipline, relying heavily on, and developing links with other departments within the organization in order to be successful.
Historically, organisations have developed by dividing tasks into manageable working units, with individual departments taking on specific roles. In all of this, organisations tended to fall into one of two positions… Sales orientated, and marketing orientated, where marketing orientated was essentially all about branding. One then needed to consider how best to integrate the separated functional groups. Much literature has grown out of the debate to help achieve better cross-functional and more centralised roles. Lim & Reid (1992) note that the professional responsibilities of marketers, cross many functional areas, and the achievement of marketing objectives, would be dependent on such integration. While Gummesson (1991) believed everyone within an organisation should to one extent or another be in the business of marketing to further their organisations objectives.
But what do we mean when we talk about cross-functional marketing?
Cross-functional marketing may be described as being an integrated marketing approach, which involves the working together of all the departments of a company…
…to serve the interests of the consumer.
In 1954 Peter Drucker suggested that to be truly customer-centric an organization must adapt a marketing concept, which entails that the key to achieving its organizational goals consists in the company being more effective in creating, delivering and communicating customer value to its chosen target markets than its competitors. In order to adopt this concept the following need to be considered:
Examine the problems encountered by arts marketers and suggest was in which organisations might rise to meet particular challenges. Knowing the customers, what they want, then they will come. Module based material Summary / evaluation of any problem / issue Examples of the application of the theoretical material When I visited the National Museum in London for the first time, I was surprised at ...
An organization should look beyond their own profession to what is happening at the top of their organization, integrating their goals and activities to simultaneously deliver business and financial goals. This requires those in marketing to learn about the concerns of finance, sales and manufacturing in order to guide marketing effectively and ensure organisational synergy.
Also to look beyond their own organisation, understanding the trends within their industry, among their competitors, suppliers, delivery infrastructure, consumers, social trends and beyond to other industries and sectors, and then, to adapt these lessons for the benefit of their company.
Drucker stresses that marketing, not sales are the key to growing business along with innovation, in his book “The Practice of Management” In his view the purpose of a business is not to make profits, but to create customers. He also states that marketing is not a specialized activity but should encompass the entire business. And should be ultimately responsible for promoting the customers point of view. His view was that the objective of a business was not to make profits, its purpose was to create customers and profits were a result of gaining customers. And so the selling concept evolved into the marketing concept.
Drucker himself based his views on GE’s new marketing strategy in 1950. Where the marketing people were introduced at the earliest of stages and continued to work with each stage of production, placement, pricing and promotion.
A modern day recent example of an Incident within an Irish company where the absence of a cross-functional strategy was evident is o2 Ireland, part of the European MM group. As part of one of their Christmas promotions 2003, Ireland chose to launch a particular mobile phone at a special Christmas price. While it was an extremely strong offer, and was considerably successful, stock availability was a big problem. This occurred due to a break down in communications between key departments. Likely down to competitor advantage, a marketing team within o2 Ireland made the decision and launched the offer, without consulting the stock-ordering department within o2 retail Ireland. Leaving them with no time to order sufficient quantities of the item on offer in time for the seasonal rush. Clearly the purchasing department needed to be involved in this decision.
The Effects of E-Marketing on Small Businesses Introduction Small Business Enterprises (SBEs) play very important role in the world economy. Traditionally, small businesses are the main contributors to employment, development, and economic growth. Mulhern (1995) asserts that approximately 99% of all European businesses are small and medium sized businesses, providing more than 66 per cent of ...
It is often said that one of the disadvantages of the taller business structure is a narrow span of control. Certainly this is apparent in this classic example of, “Right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing”. It must therefore be considered that the flat organizational structure through broader and more frequent communication between departments might be better equipped to cope with implementing the marketing concept to include cross-functional disciplines.
When Mr. Noel Treacy TD spoke at an awards ceremony in Sept 2000 he emphasized the importance of teamwork and cross-functional relationships, within the company structure, in bringing Ireland to the front in innovations across Europe.
Effective marketing managers will need to manage a significant number of cross-functional relationships in order to achieve effective integration within an organisation according to Hutt (1995)
This sentiment was supported when Webster (1988) suggested that everyone within an organisation must acknowledge their responsibility for understanding customers’ needs, and to understand their own particular role in delivering added value.
In conclusion, the o2 example given above clearly indicates the importance of developing links with other departments within the organisation. Unforeseen repercussions may well be avoided with courteous levels of communication.
Evert Gummesson (1991) “Marketing Orientation Revisited: The Crucial Role of the Part-Time Marketer” European Journal of Marketing
Cross-Functional Alignment in Supply Chain Planning: A Case Study of Sales and Operations Planning Abstract In most organizations, supply chain planning is a cross-functional effort. Functional areas such as sales, marketing, finance, and operations traditionally specialize in portions of the planning activities, which results in conflicts over expectations, preferences, and priorities. We report ...
Michael Hutt (1995) “Cross functional Working Relationships in Marketing”, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science
Jeen-Su Lim & David Reid (1992) “Vital Cross-Functional Linkages with Marketing” Industrial Marketing Management