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Based on the context in which the constructs are examined, there are several ways to define marketing. The American Marketing Association (AMA), for example, defines marketing as "the method of organizing and performing the conception, pricing, advertising, and delivery of products, products, or services in order to establish exchanges that will fulfill individual and organizational goals" (American Marketing Association 2017). Marketing is described by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) as "the management mechanism responsible for defining, predicting, and profitably fulfilling consumer requirements" (Chartered Institute of Marketing n.d.). From these two definitions, marketing is mainly a process that comprises of all the management processes and it is also brings together all the functional aspects of an organization.
Another way of defining or analysing marketing is from the perspective of it being a system that encompasses a number of elements (Axelsson, Rozemeijer, Wynstra 2005, p. 20). For instance, marketing may include all the elements of a particular product and all the qualities that construct it being transferred from the manufacturer or producer to the consumer. Within this assemblage of a definition, there are all the characters that make up the elements in between the producer and the consumer _x0096_ the retailer, wholesaler, supplier and producer among others.
There are also contingent functions such as the responsibilities of each element within the market, the timetables, infrastructures and the stages that the product passes before it reaches the consumers. The completion of these elements also includes the economic activities or the quantification of values added, flows and profit margin ranges within the system. Within this definition, marketing involves all the systems that are involved in the production of a good or service, and the way it reaches a consumer.
In some instances, marketing may be defined as a simple process involving purchasing and selling. Within this definition, marketing encompasses a number of processes that allow the process of buying and selling to become effective and operative (Axelsson et al., 2005, p. 20). One of these processes involves exchange functions which is made up of; pricing, selling and buying. Goods can only be sold at a certain price as well as purchased at a particular value. Another process is a compilation of purely physical acts that lead to the creation of the product or service (FAO n.d.). The physical functions of marketing in this case include; assemblage, storage, transport and handling, grading and standardisation, processing, and packaging.
Other than the physical functions, there are also the facilitating roles that encompass most of the economic aspects (FAO n.d.). For instance, market research, the development of demand and supply, and marketing research fall under this category. One of the most important functions under this category includes the process of meeting the costs or financing, as well as the delineation of risks and how to bear them (FAO n.d.). Risk bearing also involves the sacrifice that a business or individual engages in, and uses the working capital to purchase raw materials. Sometimes, there is need to borrow the working capital. In some instances, the goods or offer low return and all of these are risks.
Marketing may also be defined from the point of it being an environment. In this case, marketing includes facilities such as the physical infrastructure that locates a market. It is also made up of market data and intelligence (Axelsson et al., 2005, p. 20). From this perspective, the marketing environment includes the institutional environment such as government policies, regulations, laws and legislation.
Roles and Responsibilities of a Marketing Manager
Just like marketing encompasses all other functions within an organisation, a marketing manager performs a myriad of roles within a company. Most of these roles include every aspect that covers the production of a good or service, all the way to the point where it reaches a consumer and a successful sale is conducted (Fung, Fung and Wind 2008, p. 39; Ivens, Pardo, and Tunisini 2009, p. 93). One of the most significant roles of a marketing manager is to get involved in the selection, recruitment and professional development of employees in an organisation. According to Fung et al., the marketing manager may also be involved in the planning of aspects that contribute to the well-being of employees such as performance management, and knowledge on the legal aspects of operations (2008, p. 31). Most of the time, the marketing manager works hand in hand with the human resources to achieve the objectives of this function.
In the process of undertaking the role of managing people, the marketing manager also uses a global approach in managing human capital within an organisation (Axelsson, Rozemeijer, and Wynstra 2005, p. 111). In this case, Fung et al., explains that a marketing manager plays a significant role in the development of a workplace culture that focuses on the marketing mission and values (2008, p. 42). For instance, the marketing manager at Virgin Active Gym helps in the recruitment of employees, their training and the development of marketing goals (Virgin Active Gym 2017). This way, employees remain in harmony and work towards meeting the goals of an organization. Communication is part of this role and so marketing managers make sure that information is conveyed on time and in the correct form.
The main role of a marketing manager is to ensure that an organisation rises higher in the performance chart using a myriad of approaches. In this sense, they work with brand managers whose role is to make decisions regarding new and existing goods and/ or services (Ford et al., 2002, p. 72). For example, prior to the introduction of a new brand or the improvement of an old one, the brand and marketing managers have to agree on the significance of a step. Additionally, the marketing manager also works with the digital marketing manager so as to ensure that all innovations are used to improve marketing techniques or contribute to easing certain promotional processes (Leenders and Wierenga 2008, p. 60).
Within the context of manufacturer/ producer to consumer, there is always a process of improving or introduction of a particular product that falls within the same line. From this standpoint, the role of a marketing manager is connected to that of a product manager. According to Ford et al., a product manager is responsible for making or bringing significant changes on one particular product with an aim of improving the competitive position of the company (2002, p. 49). For example, the marketing manager and the product manager at Virgin Active Gym are responsible for developing a logo that spells out the mission and vision of an organisation.
In the study conducted by Ivens and his colleagues, the responsibility for marketing activities is well connected to the sales unit. Thus, the sales manager works with the marketing manager to control ad motivate people working in every sales unit. For instance, sales manager and the marketing manager may work together to develop a company logo. The marketing and advertising managers work together to ensure that there is a smooth flow of information from the organisation to its clients.
Inter-relation between Marketing Department and the Organization
More and more, marketing is perceived less as a distinct functional unit and increasingly as a collection of an assortment of organizational processes (Ford, Berthon, Gadde, Hakansson, Naudè, Ritter, and Snehota 2002, p 92). From this standpoint, marketing permeates and brings together an entire company thus connecting all departments so that each participates in the market-oriented behaviour within the organization.
According to the Chartered Institute of Management, one of the major areas of inter-relation with the marketing department is the production where both of them complement each other (n.d.). It is always imperative to have products that meet the needs of the consumer, and to ensure that these goods reach the clients on time and in the correct manner. As explained by Leenders and Wierenga, the perfection of these processes requires market research which is the responsibility of the marketing department (2008, p. 60). The marketing manager has to communicate the necessary information to the production department especially in regard to the outlook of the product including packaging so as to meet the needs of the consumer.
The Chartered Institute of Management further identifies price as another one of the most significant aspects of an organisation. The marketing department is strongly connected to the finance department that is involved in setting up prices of goods and services provided by an organisation (Ford et al., 2002, p. 91). The marketing department is involved in market research which is used to determine the price setting and aspects such as discounts as well as other approaches towards promotion. Financing allows the propagation of certain services such as promotion that make it possible for the marketing manager to perform their functions effectively.
The supplies and procurement department works hand in hand with the marketing faction of an organisation by ensuring that certain products get to the client on time and in a usable format (Ivens, Pardo, and Tunisini 2009, p. 95). In this case, the procurement and supplies managers ensure that the goods or services have ways of reaching the consumer and the strategic locations to place the agents if any. Through market research, marketing managers ensure that the location of goods and service delivery is suitable for the consumer. For instance, there has to be retailers situated close to the consumers for perishable goods to reach the client on time.
In as much as marketing is directly related to advertising, these two factions work separately but in collaboration (Ivens, Pardo, and Tunisini 2009, p. 95). Through market research, the marketing department collects a myriad of information and data on the customer_x0092_s wants and needs. Thus, all promotional measures are directed by the data collected through this process. This also includes the development of price and goods catalogues, billing and other data related to the correct timing and mode of promotion. Thus, the marketing department is inter-related to other departments.
How Marketing Influences to Other functional Departments
According to Ivens et al., marketing influences all the functions of the human resource department as they handle the major P_x0092_s of marketing (2009, p. 90). For instance, the human resource personnel rely on marketing research information regarding what the product is and what it entails so as to train employees accordingly. With knowledge on the product, it becomes easier for the human resources to hire the right personnel and to train them in the correct way. Additionally, the human resource uses this information to ensure that the employees are provided with safety. Consequently, the company can avoid legal problems as all employees will remain aware of the safety procedures.
In the process of determining the place or location of goods or services, the marketing department affects the way the human resource department hires and the functioning of the procurement management. For instance, the company has to be located close to the clients to minimize costs of travelling and delivery of goods or even services (Gadde and Håkansson 2001, p. 44). Additionally, the human resource has to ensure that the environment is suitable for the effective functioning of the employees. For example, the human resource has to ensure that the environment is suitable for the employees such as proximity to their homes as well as safe for them.
In any organisation, price plays a significant role especially considering that it is the main determinant of the profit margins. The marketing department influences all aspects related to pricing that is conducted by the finance department (Fung et al., 2008, p. 40). For instance, market research conducted by the marketing department helps the finance faction to place the correct cost. Additionally, market research is important in the determination of the wages of employees (Ivens et al., 2008, p. 45). This way, there will be satisfaction among employees and shareholders within the organisation. High wages tend to attract employees but the human resource must ensure that they hire the individuals whose training is of value to the organisation.
When it comes to the promotional aspect conducted by the marketing department, the results of such activities influence the way the human resource conducts its functions. For instance, the human resource will employ people or outsource services during times of promotional activities. Promotional activities determine the kind of employees that are needed by an organisation. According to Gadde and Håkansson, the human resources managers will only hire the correct employees after obtaining information on the goals and objectives of the marketing department (2001, p. 39). This way, there is sync that develops within the whole company as every department plays its role to meet a similar mission and vision.
From the definition of marketing, it is evident that it is more of a business philosophy as the success of any organization lies in the effective satisfaction of consumers. Marketing is strategic as it performs all these functions together with other departments in an organization. Without all this information, it becomes immensely difficult to meet this vision and mission of satisfying clients. It is thus possible to confirm that the marketing department is one of the most significant parts of an organization as it controls or directs everyone towards the main goal of the organization _x0096_ to make profits by meeting the needs of the consumer. _x000c_References
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