The role of marketing and how it interrelates with other functional units of an organisation
The concept “marketing” has been defined by many authors in various ways. The Chartered Institute of Marketing defined the concept as, “Marketing is a management process responsible for identifying, anticipating, and satisfying customer requirements profitably.” According to the American Marketing Association, marketing is “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” (Huang, and Sarigöllü, 2014).the world famous author Phillip Kotler outline the concept of marketing as “A social and managerial process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want though creating and exchanging products and value with each other.”(Kotler et al., 2015).
1. The current and future trends of marketing
1.1 The modern Trends
Marketing trends can be divided into two parts. The first being the currents trends and the second is the future trends that will be the driving force of marketing. The present of current trends are of three types namely the business marketing or industrial marketing, the relationship marketing and the social marketing. The business marketing or industrial marketing encompasses the concept of selling products to her business organisations that either re-sell them or use them for producing their own product or their operations. There are three revolutions that shaped the concept of business marketing. These are the technological revolution, the entrepreneurial revolution and the third is the revolution with in the marketing. The relationship marketing conceptualizes the basics of short term investments that create strong relationships between buyers and sellers to promote brand loyalty. It encompasses the concept of after sales services and making long lasting strong relationships through deep messages than short term messages encompassing only the goals of selling the product. What makes it possible is the technology of customer relationship management software, which analyses and tracks the customers’ preferences and likes regarding products and advertisements (Anttila et al., 2015, p.17). The basic concept of relationship marketing is the retention of customers by satisfying their needs better that the competitors. The social marketing encompasses the concept of social media marketing through both electronic social media like social networking sites like facebook twitter and instagram and through non electronic social media like news papers and TV advertisements. Social marketing is also linked with the corporate social responsibilities of an organisation. The social marketing divides the products into two basic categories such as products giving long term benefit and the products providing short term satisfaction. The key characteristics entail that products which are insufficient and incompetent satisfies neither long-term nor short term needs. Pleasing products provides immediate satisfaction to the customers however may be of no use to the customers in the long run, salutary products benefits the society in the long run however they provide low short term satisfaction to the society and desirable products provides both long term benefits and short term satisfaction. For the benefit of the society the deficient products must be eliminated (Phan, 2015, p. 904).
1.2 The future trends of marketing
Future trends of marketing are outlined based on the predictions of brilliant marketing minds. For successful business it is important to include the concepts of modern rends in the marketing however to prepare and develop new products it is also important that future trends are predicted. Future is always very near therefore one must be prepare to implement any future trend in the present if need be. The 10 trends that will affect the future face of marketing the most are as follows.
2. Marketing process
Marketing process is a collection of multiple steps that organisations implement for identifying the needs of the customers, designing and developing products in accordance with the needs of the customers. The primary concepts of the marketing process entail four basic elements namely situation analysis, marketing strategy development, marketing tactics development and implementation of the developed tactics with control over the entire process (Armstrong et al., 2014).
2.1 Situation Analysis
The experts define situation analysis as the analysis of both internal and external environment of the company keeping both past present and future in the loop so that the gaps present between the customer needs and the service or product offered could be identified developing better products. There are different tools that are used by marketing experts to do situation analysis however he basic tools are SWOT analysis, PESTLE analysis and analysis of Porter’s 5 forces (Grönroos and Gummerus, 2014, p.206).
2.1.1 SWOT analysis
SWOT is the collection of the initials of the words strength, weakness, opportunity and threat. SWOT is manly done to analyse the internal environment or a company. With the help of this tool the strengths and weakness of a particular product or a business organisation is identified and analysed which helps to determine the possible opportunities and threats of the business. After completing these tasks one would be able to devise specific strategies for marketing that will benefit the business most (Bull et al., 2015, p.99).
Strengths of a particular product, service, market or an organisation.
Weaknesses of a particular product, service, market or an organisation.
Opportunities of a particular product, service, market or an organisation.
Threats to a particular product, service, market or an organisation.
2.1.2 PESTLE analysis
Initially the pestle analysis was only called as pest analysis however two more factors was included to broaden the analysis and hence named as pestle analysis. The factors that are analysed in the pestle analysis are political factors, economic factors, social factors, technological factors, legal factors and environmental factors. The political factors determine the legal situation of a country or nation in which the business organisation is functioning. The economic condition of the place or the organisation or the country will determine the nature of the business, its possible expenses, profits and loss. Social factors will determine the product development and the labour that the organisation will input. Technological factors are the inevitable part of the business and will control the function of the business. Environmental actors will determine the company’s corporate social responsibilities and also the costs of waste management, water usage and availability, energy consumption and many other factors (Agudo-Peregrina et al., 2014, p.49). The pestle analysis in involved in the macro environment or external environment analysis of the organisation.
2.1.3 Porter’s five forces analysis
Porter’s five forces analysis also involves the analysis of external environment or macro environment of the business. The five forces are “Supplier Power, Buyer Power, Competitive Rivalry, Threat of Substitution and Threat of New Entry” (Huang, R. and Sarigöllü, E., 2014, p.132). Analysis of these factors identifies the situations that affect the business of the organisation mostly. Through the analysis of these factors it is possible t identify the gaps between the customer’s needs and what is being delivered to the customers. It is very important to satisfy the needs of the customers to establish long term relationship business. Porter’s fie forces analysis helps in the SWOT analysis in the long run as well.
Fig: Porter’s five forces (Source: author)
For identifying the present situation of the business as well as the future needs and prospects it is important that all three tools are used.
2.2 Developing Marketing strategy
After identification of the basic needs and key opportunities through situation analysis, development of marketing strategy is the next step of the marketing process. The key elements of the marketing strategy development are segmentation, targeting and positioning (Ashley and Tuten, 2015, p. 15).
Market segmentation is done so that specific needs for specific kinds of people could be identified as it is impossible to satisfy the needs of all customers at once. The main target should be to develop a product or strategy that will satisfy the needs of most customers if not all (Dolnicar et al., 2014, p.306). Segmentation is based on four basic criteria namely demographic, Psychographic, geographic and behavioral variables.
In this type of segmentation the market is segmented based on factors such as Age, Life-cycle stage or family size, Gender, Income, Occupation, Education, Religion, Race and Nationality (Agudo-Peregrina et al., 2014, p.49).
Psychographic segmentation is done based on specific criteria such as different personality traits, attitudes, values, lifestyles and interests of consumers. This type of segmentation is very popular and advantageous due to the fact that it allows for specific product design and development (Marchiori, M. and Possamai, L., 2015).
Geographic segmentation is done to divide market intro specific smaller segments based upon geographic location of the business (Saravia-Pinilla et al., 2016, p.66). For organisations that have international business function it is of utmost importance as the needs of the customers change with the change of their geographic origin. For example a talk-time plan which is beneficial for people living in UK might not be of same value to the people living in the Asian countries and vice-versa.
Criteria like benefit of occasion and usability of a product helps in the behavioural segmentation of market (Costinot et al., 2016). Service needed and used by consumers might segment the market for the mobile network service companies.
In order to achieve supreme market segmentation one must implement several segmentation strategies at once.
Targeting strategies involves three different aspects of targeting. After the segmentation of market is done one must be able to identify its target market segment to which the targeting strategies are implemented. The targeting strategies involve undifferentiated targeting in which business enterprises targets the market as a while by developing a strategy they hope will appeal to a larger population of market. This type of targeting does not involve targeting of a specific market segment. Differentiated targeting, on the other hand targets specific but multiple segments of the market all at once. Whereas concentrated marketing only targets a specific segment of the market (Dubuisson-Quellier, 2013, p.683).
After targeting is reached, the next step of the process is positioning of the product which according to Kotler, “is the act of designing a company’s offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the minds of the target market” (Arnett and Wittmann, 2014, p.324). The positioning of the marketing strategy entails the implementation of three prime concepts of brand positioning, product positions and price positioning.
2.3 Developing marking tactics
The next step of the marketing process is designing the marketing tactics. It is fundamentally assembling meticulous tactical decisions concepts of marketing mix namely product, price, place and promotion. These were initially knows as 4Ps of marketing mix. Later with the introduction of extended marketing mix 3 more factors namely people process and physical evidence (Cho and Lee, 2014, p.999). The Everything Everywhere mobile networking service and internet providers analyse their own 7Ps along with their prime competitor’s 7Ps to draw up comparison to successfully implement their marketing strategies.
2.4 Implementation and control
The final step of the marketing process is implementation of the outlined tactics with very tight control over all the parameters discussed.
3 Key roles and responsibilities of marketing manager
The roles and responsibilities of marketing manager are solely dependent upon the structure and functions of the marketing department. The functions of the marketing department are based on the type of business they conduct. The business can either focus on business to consumer aspect or business to business aspect and depending upon the type the functions varies however some of the functions remain same (Hollensen, 2015).
The marketing manager along with the support of senior members of the board and marketing departments sets marketing strategies for both business to business activities and business to consumer activities. The strategies may involve increasing shares or opening new distribution channels or devising advertising strategies (Grădinaru et al., 2016).
The marketing department carries market research with the leadership and guidance of the marketing manager. Market research is important in order to devise specific marketing strategies and helps in gaining insight on the currents opportunities and the threats in the market. The research can be one by studying industry reports, micro and macro environmental analysis of the business both in the context of B2B and B2C activities, and studying market data (Fleisher, and Bensoussan, 2015).
The marketing manager and the marketing department help the product development team to either create new product or to improve am existing product through market research. Once the product development teams develop a product, the marketing manager and the department sets appropriate prices for the products with thorough research (Stark, 2015, p.11). Afterwards they prepare to launch the products.
The promotion of the launched products is solely the responsibility of the marketing department and the marketing manager. For promotion the marketing manager guides the marketing team to develop promotional materials in terms of posters, banners, TV commercials and also contents for social media marketing. If the marketing teams do not have necessary skills in the department to construct effective promotional advertisements, e marketing manager may chose to hire an advertisement agency to do the job (Sirianni et al., 2013, p.108).
In addition to the above mentioned responsibilities the marketing manager also supports the sales department by devising innovative marketing strategies that will increment the sales of a particular product or service. Basically the marketing manager and the sales manager work together to increment most profit to the business (Stadtler, 2015, p.7).
In some organizational culture the marketing department is entitled with managing and organizing corporate events such as exhibitions, sales-conferences, seminars, or customer hospitality events so that the promotion of a particular service or product or the company could be achieved (Brewster et al., 2015, p.579).
Identifying new business opportunities
The marketing manager analyses the current market trends and predicts the future market trends so that new business opportunities could be identified. By achieving this goal the marketing manager can successfully develop supreme marketing strategies for launching new products of to improve or introduce innovation to an existing product (Wang et al., 2013, p.1337).
The marketing manager is entitled with the duty of managing people that is both the employees of the organizations and the customers. The marketing manager is the direct in charge of the marketing department employees. In addition he or she has to take responsibilities of customer relations in order to improve marketing strategies.
Training and developing marketing talent
In addition to the above mentioned roles and responsibilities the marketing manager undertakes the responsibility of marketing talent acquisition and training with the help and support of the human resource department.
4. The influence of marketing department on other functional departments
4.1 Marketing as a Business function
Marketing is one of the most important of many important business functions. The heart of the success of any business lies with the success of the marketing strategies. It is a common knowledge that without the existence of powerful marketing concepts the functions of the other departments may collapse. Successful functioning of the marketing department and implementation of successful marketing plan conceptualizes the concepts of getting the word out, achieving higher sales, creating brand image, maintaining the reputation of the company and indulging into healthy competition (Gmelin, and Seuring, 2014, p.5).
Marketing has a firm influence of five other functional departments of an organization.
1. Finance or management
Marketing plans involves information from financial matters regarding both new and existing products. For developing marketing strategies a substantial amount of money needs to be allocated in the yearly budget plan that requires working in conjunction with the finance department.
2. Production and operational department
The production department creates products and services based upon the product development plan that the marketing department creates with the help of market segmentation and market research. Marketing strategies stimulates the demands of specific goods. Based upon those needs the products are developed by the production department (Leeflang et al., 2014, p.7).
3. Research and development
Research and development department works together with the marketing department while researching existing marketing trends, consumer needs and the situation of the existing products in the market.
4. Sales department
Likewise research and development department, the sales department works hand in hand with the marketing department to generate more profit by increasing sales of the products. For increasing the sales proper product development, strategizing and effective promotion of the products are required which is primarily he functions of the marketing department.
In addition the marketing department also influences the function of human resource department for marketing talent acquisition and training.
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