Marketing and Operations Coordination ( Improving coordination (Activities…
Marketing and Operations Coordination
The relationship between marketing and operations functions within many organisations can be difficult
Represents a lack of communication between management
functions, possibly leading to poor integration of decision-making
Marketing textbooks will reference 'operations' very little as such considerations tend to be seen as 'distribution' and managing these channels
Some textbooks refer to 'supply chain management'
The importance of strategic coordination
Sometimes organisations can see 'functional dominance'
Where one business function has more influence over strategic
decisions than others
Companies driven by marketing planning could mean operations strategy drift through lack of attention
Translating overall company strategy into compatible functional goals is also important to ensure sales growth is not at the expense of operational cost.
A distant relationship between marketing and the operation could lead to the creation of unrealistic expectations
Shapiro (1977) areas in which conflicts could arise between marketing and operations managers
Different ways of thinking/objectives
A difference in the way marketing managers and operations managers were evaluated and rewarded, with marketing managers being profit oriented and operations managers being cost-orientated.
With marketing managers relying on ‘soft’ (qualitative) data for marketing activities and operations managers using ‘hard’ (quantified) data for manufacturing purposes. The two can be difficult to match up.
With marketing and operations managers having different task orientations and social concern
Complicating factors include
The need to interface not only with each other but other functions such as R&D and engineering
The need for cooperation being greater for companies undergoing rapid growth
Technological change putting greater strain on product demand and processes
The difficulty of changing increasingly automated operations
The greater visibility of poor performance from capital costs and
Areas of conflict include
See Table 1 in Book 1 p118
Breadth of range
Situations where marketing and operations strategies inadvertently diverge (market requirements) during product life cycles include:
The nature of competition changes
Customers’ needs adapt
The operations requirements change
Marketing strategies enter new markets with different performance objectives
Subtle changes to market positioning require operations to adapt
Competitors may force change on both marketing and operations
Eg fast fashion
Operations strategies have often been embedded in the organisation for many years, so change can be difficult, costly and time-consuming
There are signs that coordination between marketing and operations is improving, driven by the increasingly digital marketplace.
New roles are combining the two functions
'Marketing operations managers’
Facilitate strategy development and implementation,
Collaborating with marketing colleagues
Managing an operational team to improve processes, programmes and infrastructure efficiency and effectiveness
(Winterberry Group, 2012) holistic approach
To increase responsiveness and reduce the cost of life cycle
To improve understanding of customers, target segments and
use the best mix of media to reach them
To provide dynamic capability through continuous input facility
(including data, creative assets and business decisions)
To adapt to changing needs, priorities, preferences and
Christopher and Ryals (2014) propose a new discipline of 'demand chain management'
Originally marketing conducted demand creation and the supply function conducted the demand fulfilment
Now they holistically complete 'Limited joint planning'
Demand creation and fulfilment overlaps with the alignment of strategy, processes, KPIs, etc to create 'demand chain management'
Alignment of demand creation and fulfilment processes across functional and organisational boundaries
This framework shows how there might be degrees of coordination between marketing and operations functions.
In some cases this could be limited to short-term collaboration on activities such as promotions that create demand surges
At the fullest extent the process of developing marketing and
operations plans could be fully integrated
Activities operations managers are involved in
Supply network design
Supply chain management