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What is cross-functional marketing?

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Introduction

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. ...read more.

Middle

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. ...read more.

Conclusion

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. ...read more.

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