Departments and their roles within a business.
Unit A01 Task 2
UNIT 1 – Marketing
- Marketing- need to talk about what they do
- Human resources
- Customer service
- Research & development
- Quality assurance/quality control
The marketing department carries out research and evaluates the current market. They also identify competitors on the market, which may hamper their own marketing activities. Marketing teams also produce advertisements for their new products. The marketing department is responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying their customer’s requirements profitably. Marketing is not just about sales, promotion or market research. It is an important role in setting objectives that create a base for an organisations business plan, which then affects the entire organisation. Marketing has a budget to work towards, and its main objective is to develop and produce new products which meet and satisfy customer needs.
The marketing department is responsible for:
1. Providing leadership on serving the client better
The first area of responsibility for marketing is to contribute to the leadership of the business. From product development to, marketing should also provide leadership on how to better serve the customer and their needs. Activities involving this area include, developing pricing, conducting customer satisfaction surveys, contributing to product development, monitoring competitors and website usability testing.
2. Support sales team & distribution partners
Sales support is a critical responsibility of marketing. Sales support is part of the sales team and their activities include:
- Building brand recognition.
- Nurturing leads until they are sales-ready.
- Creating collateral that helps persuade prospects such as websites, brochures, multimedia presentations, product sheets, etc.
- Gathering customer testimonials and writing case studies.
- Making it easy to differentiate from competitors.
3. Manage advertising & promotions
Possibly the most recognized component of marketing is advertising. Advertising is the promotion of a product/service/company. Usually it’s done through magazines, TV, classifieds, search engines, email, newspaper, billboards, etc. This is one of the trickiest areas of marketing as you can waste a lot of money very quickly. Activities under this area include creative development, testing and media buying.
4. Manage client relationships
Building and maintaining strong customer relationships is seen as a core function of marketing because selling to a customer who loves you & trusts you is 100 times easier.
Activities under this area include:
- Conducting customer satisfaction surveys to see whether the business is meeting the customers’ needs at satisfactory standards.
- Events & sponsorships
- Setting up loyalty cards to help increase customer satisfaction and market share.
- Loyalty building programs
- Monitoring competitors to help stay ahead of competition and avoid being dominated.
- Re-marketing to customers.
Almost all businesses have functional areas to help operate the business and keep it running smoothly. Many large firms will have a marketing department. The marketing department will have to work alongside many other functional areas to help the businesses activities run smoothly and efficiently. For example, for the finance department to run smoothly and efficiently, the marketing department will have record all their outgoing costs and will have to communicate with the finance department to ensure that they have a large enough budgets to purchase all their required resources and equipment. The marketing department also needs to ensure that businesses meet their customers’ needs, this is done by adapting and developing products, making them more suitable for customers and more profitable for the businesses. The better these functional areas communicate and co-operate the more successful the business will become. The marketing department works with the following functional areas in many ways, these activities include:
The finance department keeps records of all events as they occur and is responsible for producing annual financial reports. The marketing department will liaise with the finance department because the finance department needs to allocate a budget to each and every department. The finance department is responsible for setting the budget figure for the marketing department, which means if both functional areas work together they can communicate at ease and discuss how much capital is required to carry out their activities. For example advertising the launch of a new product will require a certain amount of money and the marketing department can provide reasons to why they require the amount of money for the launch. The finance department is also responsible for the marketing departments’ spending and will need to provide advice on what and where they should spend their money.
The marketing department will also carry out market research to adapt their products to meet their customers’ needs, this will involve setting the “right” price. The finance department can help the marketing department at this stage by showing and creating financial documents (cash flow forecasts, profit and loss accounts etc), this will give the marketing department an idea on how much to price their product so they can break-even easily, make profits and satisfy and attract customers. These two functional areas working together can ensure a perfect product for their market because the product will be launched professionally and priced to please the business and also its customers. For the marketing department to be able to carry out market research and promotional activities they will need to be given an allocated budget. The finance department can show financial documents to the marketing department showing that there budget total was favorable last year and they are asking for more money than they actually need. This allows them to negotiate a budget.
Marketing departments are responsible for launching effective marketing campaigns and sales promotions, the marketing department will need to consult with the finance department before launching sales promotions because the offers and discounts given may be too extreme and the business may end up losing a lot of money or hardly making any profits. The finance department will draw up many calculations and financial documents to confirm if the marketing department can proceed with the promotion or the campaign. During the production stages of the product the marketing department will also need to cross reference all their costs, activities and plans with the finance department to ensure that they will stay within their budget and will help make the business successful. For example, the finance department can advise the marketing department to reduce the packaging and change suppliers to cut costs and increase profits. E.g. if the business is experiencing a recession the finance department can display financial documents showing that profits are low at this point and cuts will need to be made to advertising, equipment etc.
If an employee was asked to work overtime the marketing department would need to check with the finance department before-hand to make sure the business can afford to pay extra wages for the overtime. If the marketing department purchased new advertising graphic software they would need to send the invoices and purchase orders to the finance department to process and clear. These figures will then be taken into account when future financial documents are made, this ensures that the business stays on top of their costs and knows where all their capital is going. The amount of capital allocated for a product campaign usually depends on the amount of revenue the product is likely to generate. The finance department also has to ensure that the marketing department has enough capital purchase the resources they require to launch an efficient campaign and product. If finance department and marketing department do not communicate effectively and work together then many problems will occur and documents will not add up. For example, if the finance department and marketing department lack communication skills, the finance department may add up and calculate the costs incorrectly. The marketing department should double check their costs and confers with the finance department, ensuring that the correct figures are taken and calculated. Failure in communication can lead to the finance department calculating incorrect figures and totals for annual reports and then advising the marketing department to increase prices to raise profits and income. A mistake within the functional areas will cost the business sales because an increase in price of products will disappoint customers and decrease sales. The marketing department will be advised to raise prices in order to regain revenues and boost their average income, this will help businesses break-even quicker but will have a negative affect on their customers and their market share because, customers will go and look for a cheaper product. That is why it is crucial for the marketing department and finance department to liaise because if mistakes and errors occur internally then it will have a huge affect on the customers. If both functional areas constantly communicate, then no slip ups will be made and the business can continue to run smoothly.
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The administration department and the marketing department would interact with each other because the administration department would be asked to carry out support tasks by the marketing department to help them carry out their roles more effectively. These tasks will consist of writing letters, sending e-mails and making phone calls. The marketing department will conduct field market research which will involve performing surveys, phoning customers etc. The marketing department will work alongside the administration department by asking them to survey a sample of the public by making phone calls to existing customers, sending out surveys, questionnaires and also making/printing the surveys and questionnaires. For example if Walkers wanted to know what the publics’ favourite flavour is or what should the next new flavour be? Administration will create the questionnaires and send them out.
Another task the marketing department could ask the administration department to carry out is to post letters and other documents. For example when the marketing department make a purchase and fill out a purchase order they can ask the administration department to put a stamp and the recipients address on the envelope and then send it off. The administration department can also show the financial documents to the finance department before sending it off e.g. purchase orders, invoices, receipts, credit etc.
The marketing department will also ask the administration department to type up the collected results from their market research. This way the results will be easily displayed and can show customers the results of their market research. Administration will also collect, distribute and dispatch all mail for the marketing department. If the marketing have large volumes of mail, containing complaints, documents etc. the administration will store and retrieve any mail for the marketing department, written or electronic. The administration department will respond to many enquiries on behalf of the marketing department. For example if a customer files a complaint about a faulty product, the administration department will pass on the message and respond to the customers queries. The marketing department will then repair any faults with the product and re-release the product back into the market. If the marketing manager needed a presentation briefing the entire marketing department about the new campaign he/she could ask the administration department to create the presentation, saving the manager a lot of time. The administration department would also take messages, send messages e.g. email and purchase supplies for the marketing department if they are running low e.g. office stationary, equipment. If the head of marketing had a conference or a meeting, the administration department would arrange a time and organize the schedule to make it more convenient for the marketing department. The administration department will work with the marketing department by also sending out promotional materials for the marketing department to help attract and inform customers. For example, if the marketing department wanted to send out promotional flyers, e-mails, catalogues or leaflets etc. The administration can send it out for them. This saves a lot of time for the marketing department and keep the businesses operations running smoothly.
Information and communication technology (ICT) plays a major role in customer satisfaction and keeps businesses systems and operations flowing. Without ICT it will be very difficult for businesses to operate and become successful. The ICT department and the marketing department work together by the ICT department specialists providing crucial updates in software and technology which could benefit the marketing department. The ICT department will also recommend up to date software and hardware for the marketing department to help them carry out their roles more efficiently and effectively. If the marketing department also had a problem with any new software or their intranet connections, they would ask for assistance from the ICT department, the ICT department would then come and repair the fault and inform the marketing department of the problem. If the marketing purchased new graphic software or any new advertising software the ICT department can be called to help install the software, provide any required training to those employees who find it difficult to use all the features of the software and provide any additional information and instructions. The ICT department will be called upon to repair any damages in computer systems and will issue any required equipment, such as mousse, wires, keyboards, memory sticks, hard drives etc. if the marketing department struggle to use any of the equipment the ICT department will also provide advice and instructions. During the production and creation of a marketing campaign the data will need to be backed up and stored, the marketing department will save the work but the ICT department will back-up all the critical data just in case of an emergency. This allows all the important data to be retrieved in case there is a virus in the system or incase the marketing department lose their work. Both departments also work together if the market department carried out market research and wanted to post the results on the company website, allowing the customers to view the results, they would work alongside the ICT department to check the layout, information and ensure it looks professional. Also, if the marketing department created a new marketing campaign or a sales promotion and wanted to advertise it on the company website, they would ask the ICT department for assistance. The marketing department will also pass on information, products and images over to the ICT department to put onto the website and advertise, after the ICT department has added the required information the marketing department will come and check everything is in order and the correct images, colours, layout and information has been used. The ICT department will also promote products and services online for the marketing department. For example, the marketing department will inform the ICT department on what information, slogans and pictures to use and the ICT department will put the promotions on-line to help boost sales and profits. The advantages of this are that it will increase on-line sales and will increase market share because some customers enjoy shopping from home and via the internet.
The human resources department is responsible for recruiting, training and the development of staff. The human resources department is also responsible for the working conditions, health and safety in the workplace, promotion and employee organizations/unions. The human resources department ensures that adequate staff is recruited and trained effectively according to their position. The humans resources department and the marketing department will work together by communicating and discussing the types of employees needed for certain positions. For example, if the marketing department needed new staff, they would contact the human resources department and inform them of what type of employee they are looking for. The human resources department will then create ads and specifications and display them all over the city, advertising the job role. The human resources department will be responsible for the interviews and the whole recruitment process. The human resources department may also contact the marketing manager to participate in an interview to ask a few questions and ensure that the candidate is credible and appropriate for the required job role. For example, the marketing manager may be looking for an employee who can work and think under pressure and be able to meet deadlines effectively. The human resources department will then publish an advert on job recruitment websites and will have to verify each and every resume and CV. The HR department will request information from the marketing department to include in the advert. For example, possible promotions, salaries, roles, responsibilities and hours of work will be discussed. The human resources department will also work alongside the marketing department during the training of staff. For example, the marketing manager will provide training and specialists may also be hired to provide the training, the human resources department will oversee and administer this operation and will communicate with the marketing manager to see how the training is going and if the employees are making progress. Both departments will also work together if the marketing department are struggling or are preparing for big upcoming product launches and campaigns. The Human Resources department will recruit specialist staff to help assist the marketing department and keep operations flowing efficiently. The marketing department will communicate with the human resources department informing them that they are in need of some expertise or specialist help. The Human resources department will then recruit new staff, in some cases the marketing manager or executives may be asked what kind of employee they are looking for and what type of help they need, this will help the human resources department select and shortlist the perfect candidates for the job role, leading to a more efficient workforce and increasing the chances of success for the business. Human resources department will also be responsible for keeping staff in line and on-task. This will involve keeping employees happy and motivated, allowing them to work efficiently and progress through their career onto more senior roles. Human resources need to keep employees positive and feeling happy about their role. This is vital because if an employee is unhappy about their role and tasks then they will not perform to their best standards and will lower the speed of operations, the reputation of the business and may also create a negative atmosphere which will also affect a lot of the other employees. For example if the marketing department had a new employee join and he/she was finding the work atmosphere difficult and finding it difficult to fit in and mix with other employees, the humans resources department will then motivate the employee and ensure that they stay on task, making them feel happy and having a positive attitude. Human resources department will also work the marketing department providing discipline and authority. The human resources are in charge of the verbal/written warnings, retention and dismissal of staff. This means that if the marketing department feels that a few of their employees are not putting effort in, meeting deadlines, staying on-task or harassing other employees etc. they can then report to the human resources department and inform them of the behavior and wrong doings, the human resources department will then either issue a warning or release the staff form the organization. This is crucial because if another employee is affecting the confidence, motivation and work of another employee, they should be punished.
All businesses depend on their customers to buy products or use services. In return, customers expect products and services to be available when they want them, to be safe and reliable, and to offer value for money. To keep their customers happy, businesses provide a range of customer services and train their staff with customer service skills. The Customer services department will provide information, advice, credit facilities, delivery of goods and after-sales service. The customer service department and marketing department will work together by using customer feedback from the after-sales service to improve products. For example a customer may call the customer services department with a complaint and the customer services department will then report the feedback back to the marketing department and the marketing department will then adapt their products functions, appearance, life-span and properties to increase sales and customer satisfaction. The customer service department will conduct after sales service and will ask customers if they are enjoying their product, if the customer is unsatisfied the customer services department will report to the marketing department and the marketing department will then have to improve their products, replace the damaged goods, offer alternatives or spare parts.
The customer service department will need to work together and communicate with the marketing department to arrange repairs or spare parts to be obtained, delivered and fitted. In some cases the customers may ask the customer services department a question which they are unable to answer, if the question involves or related to the marketing departments field of work, the customer services department can communicate with the marketing department employees and ask for assistance on answering the customers queries. For example if the question involves the production about a product or the mechanism of a product etc. The marketing department can also provide the customer services department with specialist information and advice to provide to customers if asked for or to provide during the after-sales service. This will keep customers happy and increase customer satisfaction, reputation, sales and profits. Marketing departments and customer service departments will work together because they both have to communicate and discuss the message they want to portray to their customers. For example both departments need to discuss and agree the message being portrayed by the business, when customers phone or make contact, the customer service department will convey messages and provide additional information to customers. Customer service department will also communicate with the marketing department to discuss the price on products and customer feedback. For example, if a customer complains or calls the business, if the phone call or the questions involve the marketing department the customer service department will feedback to the marketing department. If the customers complain and discuss about the price of products and services with the customer service department, the customer service department will answer any queries and then report back to the marketing department. E.g. if customers say that prices are too high, the customer service department will inform the marketing department and the marketing department will have to either lower prices to please customers or create new offers, campaigns and promotions. Any new actions and activities carried out by the marketing department will be passed onto the customer service department because they will have to pass on any new information onto customers and keep them satisfied. E.g. marketing department will tell customer service department about any new promotions, offers, services etc. because they will have to tell and inform the customers. For this process of communication to work effectively both functional areas are going to have to build relationships between them, making it easier to work alongside each other and communicate.
The operations function is responsible for obtaining the resources required to produce the goods and provide the service offered by the organization. The operations department will organize resources, enabling employees to use them in the most effective way, allowing the business to achieve their aims and objectives. Types of resources may be:
- buildings and land, for example offices, factories, shops, farmland
- equipment, for example vehicles, computers, machinery
- people, for example operators, managers, support staff, specialists
- Materials, for example materials and parts needed to manufacture a product, or resources such as stationary used in providing a service.
The operations department will work with the marketing department by ensuring that they have all the resources and equipment they need to perform their job roles successfully. For example, the operations department would make sure that the marketing department has the best possible softwares, technology and machinery on the market within their budget. This department consumes a lot of capital as it is customer focused. The marketing department and operations department will work together and communicate to reschedule production lines to provide a wider scale of variety and choice within its products. This will mean that the marketing department may have to alter and change some of the marketing campaigns and adverts, showing incorrect release dates and information. For example the operations department ensures 100% quality, this can lead to changing production lines of products to change the colours, features and sizes of products to allow more choice for customers and ensure products are 100% fault free. This will delay the launch of the products, meaning the marketing department will have to change the adverts and campaigns on TV, the company website, Magazines etc. as the marketing department focuses on customer needs and the operations department is customer focused, both departments need to be on a similar wavelength and interact with each other, coming up with new schemes and product ideas to keep their customers satisfied. These two functional areas can also work together by sharing ideas and coming up with cheaper more efficient alternatives. While the operations is producing the product, they can provide the marketing department with diagrams and rough ideas of what the products functions will be, what it’ll look like etc. this will allows the marketing department to begin creating plans, campaigns, launches, adverts, research etc. into the market and the product. The operations department will have to consider the price set by the marketing department, because if the marketing department are selling the product for a very price, then the operations/productions department will have to manufacture and create the product cheaply. Considering the marketing departments set price, allows the operations department to choose and select certain manufacturing methods, resources and materials used for the production of products. For example, the marketing department choosing a low starting price can influence the amount of resources and machines used because high manufacturing and production costs will decrease the profits if the product is not selling for a rather high price. Both departments will communicate because if certain products are priced high and are targeting the high-end of the market, then the operations department will be able to use quality materials, resources and effective long lasting manufacturing methods. E.g. applying finishes (varnish, stainless steel veneers etc.) to increase aesthetic properties of products. Operations department will have to wait and confirm with the marketing department before starting production lines because if the operations department begin making a product using certain resources and technology, making the cost price £25.00 per product but the marketing department plan to price the product at only £30.00 per product, then profits will decrease and the product will but be worth making for only a £5.00 profit. Lack of communication between the two departments can result in faulty products being produced and products which do not interest or appeal to the consumer. This will result in huge losses of capital and a big dent in the profit and loss accounts. The marketing department and operations/production department will have to communicate so the productions department knows how much to produce so they can distribute the correct and exact amount, ensuring that the business does not waste any capital on additional products. For example, if marketers fail to predict the demand of a product correctly, it can leave customers without a product or leave the businesses with a lot of products not selling. This can be overcome by the marketing department communicating with the operations department after the research and development stages of the product. For example, after the product has been trialed and tested on the market, the marketing department will draw up conclusions on the profitability of the product and potential demand. This information and statistics can be passed onto the operations department and they can then double check and decide on how much products to construct and produce. Both departments will have to understand each other and think along the same lines, otherwise products will not meet customer requirements and not meet the marketing departments’ standards, aims and objectives. For example the marketing might want to portray an image of quality and the operations department will have to follow this through and create products of a high standard and quality. The marketing department will promise customers high quality products and customers will be anticipating good standard products, if the operations department were not informed or contacted by the marketing department, then the products maybe produced at different standards, unsatisfying the marketing department and more importantly, the customers. This will lead to a decrease in market share, sales and profits. If production costs increase, the operations department will have to communicate with the marketing department and tell them to increase the prices of the products, otherwise the business will hardly be making any profit. However, large businesses can afford to keep prices the same and relatively low although the production costs increase because they aim to increase their market share and will not make noticeable losses if customers purchase in volumes. For many other businesses, as production costs increase, so will the price, meaning that the marketing department will have to change campaigns and promotions and set higher prices. Lacks of communication during these stages are crucial because they can lead to the marketing department keeping prices the same and then selling products at a far lower price than they should. This will result in a major decrease in profits and will affect stakeholders and other external interests because they may not be willing to loan capital or invest in the business as much.
Research & Development
Research and development conducts costly research and product developments, improving existing products and making improvements to those existing products on the product lines. For example in the food industry, technologist work with chefs to prepare new products e.g. ready made meals, sauces and flavorings etc. Research and development will work alongside the marketing department when conducting research on new trends and target markets etc. the research and development will carry out the primary and secondary research and will then hand over the results from the surveys etc. to the marketing department. The marketing department will analyse the given data from all the results and will draw up a plan and a conclusion, showing a certain products target market and how popular it will be overall. The marketing department can create graphs and diagrams from the statistics given from the research and can brief the entire marketing team on their next project/campaign. The research and development team can also research what types of advertisements appeal to their target market most, this data can then be passed onto the marketing department and will provide a rough outline on which methods of advertisements are most popular, easy to interpret and stand out, grabbing their attention. This will lead to an increase in market share, profits and sales. The research that the R & D department carry out can then be passed onto the marketing department to help produce and distribute publicity material e.g. catalogues and brochures. The marketing department will also work together with the R & D department to update the company website. For example, the research and development will find out what the customers favourite product is at the moment and they can then post this information onto the company website for public viewing. The marketing department can also insert polls and forums onto the website allowing customers to give feedback and their opinions on certain products. All of this information can go towards the research and development of products. E.g. if comments state that certain products are unpopular and faulty, the R & D department can change the product and production lines. Research and development department will also work together with the marketing department whilst they are conducting primary and secondary research. Both departments will discuss, communicate and research about the competitors’, their prices and their products. Both functional areas will work together when they are testing and trialing new upcoming product amongst their target market. Any new information, feedback and customer opinions will be taken into account and the research and development can then develop the product further to help ensure that it meets all their customers’ needs.
Quality Assurance/Quality Control
The quality department play a huge influential role upon the marketing objectives because they attempt to ensure that the quality of products and services meet their customers standards and expectations. If the quality of a businesses products or services is not up to scratch the reputation of the business will plummet and can influence the businesses market position by losing it to the competitors. The marketing department and the quality department will work together because the marketing department monitors customers’ needs and interests and the quality department aim to ensure products of the highest quality. The marketing department will research into what customers want and what they need and will then send this data over to the quality department whereas they will ensure that these terms and expectations are met and included into the product. This will involve both departments communicating and interacting because the marketing department will provider the quality department with figures, graphs and diagrams etc. however the quality control department can carry out their job role effectively if the marketing team was there to explain the significance of some of the terms and figures. This will ensure products are made to the highest quality, satisfying the customers and increasing the firms’ profits. Both departments will also liaise during the feedback and improvement stages. The marketing department will carry out market research on existing products in the market and gather feedback from the customers about the products. The marketing department will then analyse these responses and feed the data back to the quality department, allowing them to make the required changes and ensure that the product will satisfy the customers and be released at the highest of qualities. The quality assurance/control department will work together with the marketing department, by ensuring that they test all of their products at certain stages during the manufacture to ensure maximum quality. For example, if the marketing departments are trying to portray and image of 100% quality, they will communicate with the quality control department and ensure that they are maximizing quality by carrying out checks and tests at every production stage. If the quality control/assurance department fail to do so, then marketing objectives and aims will not be met, customers will be unsatisfied and the business will have a bad image, decreasing its’ reputations and attracting bad PR. During the production stages of the product, the quality assurance/control department can find any faults in the prototypes and the products and can then feedback to the marketing department by communicating and ensuring that changes are made to ensure maximum quality.
It is essential for every business that their functional areas work together and communicate because it will keep operations flowing efficiently and will help the business satisfy their customers and achieve many of their aims and objectives. Departments working together will result in successful and profitable businesses, businesses will perfect their products, marketing aims/objectives and meet their customers’ needs by working together and communicating on a regular basis. As functional areas work together and communicate, they will build and enhance their relationships, making it easier to work alongside each other and will also create a positive working atmosphere. This will keep employees happy and motivated and will lead to a more efficient workforce and reputable business.