Marketing Interfaces with other
marketing function within any organization does not exist in isolation.
Therefore it's important to see how marketing connects with and permeates other
functions within the organization. In this next section let's consider how
marketing interacts with research and development,
production/operations/logistics, human resources, IT and customer service.
Obviously all functions within your organization should point towards the
customer i.e. they are customer oriented from the warehouseman that packs the order
to the customer service team member who answers any queries you might have. So
let's look at these other functions and their relationship with marketing.
Research and development
and development is the engine within an organization which generates new ideas,
innovations and creative new products and services. For example cell
phone/mobile phone manufacturers are in an industry that is ever changing and
developing, and in order to survive manufacturers need to continually research
and develop new software and hardware to compete in a very busy marketplace.
Think about cell phones that were around three or four years ago which are now
completely obsolete. The research and development process delivers new products
and is continually innovating.
products and services usually result from a conscious and purposeful search for
innovation opportunities which are found only within a few situations.
and development should be driven by the marketing concept. The needs of
consumers or potential consumers should be central to any new research and
development in order to deliver products that satisfy customer needs (or
service of course). The practical research and development is undertaken in
central research facilities belonging to companies, universities and sometimes
to countries. Marketers would liaise with researchers and engineers in order to
make sure that customer needs are represented. Manufacturing processes
themselves could also be researched and developed based upon some aspects of
the marketing mix. For example logistics (place/distribution/channel) could be
researched in order to deliver products more efficiently and effectively to customers.
research and development, the operations, production and logistics functions
within business need to work in cooperation with the marketing department.
include many other activities such as warehousing, packaging and distribution.
To an extent, operations also includes production and manufacturing, as well as
logistics. Production is where goods and services are generated and made. For
example an aircraft is manufactured in a factory which is in effect how it is
produced i.e. production. Logistics is concerned with getting the product from
production or warehousing, to retail or the consumer in the most effective and
efficient way. Today logistics would include warehousing, trains, planes and
lorries as well as technology used for real-time tracking.
marketers need to sell products and services that are currently in stock or can
be made within a reasonable time limit. An unworkable scenario for a business
is where marketers are attempting to increase sales of a product whereby the
product cannot be supplied. Perhaps there is a warehouse full of other products
that our marketing campaign is ignoring.
Resource Management (HRM) is the function within your organization which
overlooks recruitment and selection, training, and the professional development
of employees. Other related functional responsibilities include well-being,
employee motivation, health and safety, performance management, and of course
the function holds knowledge regarding the legal aspects of human resources.
you become a marketing manager you would use the HR department to help you
recruit a marketing assistant for example. They would help you with scoping out
the job, a person profile, a job description, and advertising the job. HR would
help you to score and assess application forms, and will organise the
interviews. They may offer to assist at interview and will support you as you
make your job offer. You may also use HR to organise an induction for your new
employee. Of course there is the other side of the coin, where HR sometimes has
to get tough with underperforming employees. These are the operational roles of
human resources Department also have a strategic role. Moving away from
traditional personnel management, human resources sees people as a valuable
asset to your organization. Say they will assist with a global approach to
managing people and help to develop a workplace culture and environment which
focuses on mission and values.
have an important communications role, and this is one aspect of their function
which is most closely related to marketing. For example the HR department may
run a staff development programme which needs a newsletter or a presence on
your intranet. This is part of your internal marketing effort.
IT (websites, intranets and
reading this lesson right now you are already familiar with IT or Information
Technology. To define it you need to consider elements such as computer
software, information systems, computer hardware (such as the screen you are
looking at), and programming languages. For our part is marketers we are
concerned with how technology is used to treat information i.e. how we get
information, how we process it, how we store the information, and then how we
disseminate it again by voice, image or graphics. Obviously this is a huge
field but for our part we need to recognise the importance of websites, intranets
and extranets to the marketer. So here's a quick intro.
is an electronic object which is placed onto the Internet. Often websites are
used by businesses for a number of reasons such as to provide information to
customers. So customers can interact with the product, customers can buy a
product, more importantly customers begin to build a long-term relationship
with the marketing company. Information Technology underpins and supports the
basis of Customer Relationship Management (CRM), a term which is investigated
in later lessons.
intranet is an internal website. An intranet is an IT supported process which
supplies up-to-date information to employees of the business and other key
stakeholders. For example European train operators use an intranet to give
up-to-date information about trains to people on the ground supporting
extranet is an internal website which is extended outside the organization, but
it is not a public website. An extranet takes one stage further and provides
information directly to customers/distributors/clients. Customers are able to
check availability of stock and could check purchase prices for a particular
product. For example a car supermarket could check availability of cars from a
Customer service provision
service provision is very much integrated into marketing. As with earlier
lessons on what is marketing?, the exchange process, customer satisfaction and
the marketing concept, customer service takes the needs of the customer as the
central driver. So our customer service function revolves around a series of
activities which are designed to facilitate the exchange process by making sure
that customers are satisfied.
about a time when you had a really good customer service experience. Why were
you so impressed or delighted with the customer service? You might have
experienced poor customer service. Why was it the case?
customer service provision can be located in a central office (in your home
country or overseas) or actually in the field where the product is consumed.
For example you may call a software manufacturer for some advice and
assistance. You may have a billing enquiry. You might even wish to cancel a
contract or make changes to it. The customer service provision might be
automated, it could be done solely online, or you might speak to a real person
especially if you have a complex or technical need. Customer service is
supported by IT to make the process of customer support more efficient and
effective, and to capture and process data on particular activities. So the
marketer needs to make sure that he or she is working with the customer service
provision since it is a vital customer interface. The customer service
provision may also provide speedy and timely information about new or
developing customer needs. For example if you have a promotion which has just
been launched you can use the customer service functions to help you check for
early signs of success.
marketing department will need to work closely with the finance department to
an adequate budget to meet the needs for research, promotion and distribution.
The finance department has 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