Internal Marketing

Internal marketing requires that everyone in the organization buy into the concepts and goals of marketing and engage in choosing, providing, and communicating customer value. Over the years marketing has evolved as it has grown from work done by the sales department into a complex group of activities spread through the organization. Because simple sales departments were unable to conduct important functions such as marketing research, new product development, advertising sales promotion, and customer service, firms began to create marketing departments. When conflict arose between marketing and sales departments, many firms merged the two.

A company can have an excellent marketing department, and yet fail at marketing. Much depends on how other company departments view customers. If they point to the marketing department and say, “They do the marketing”, the company has not implemented effective marketing. Only when all employees realize that their jobs are to create, serve, and satisfy customers does the company an effective marketer. Characteristics of Company Department that are Customer-Driven present a measurement tool that can be used to evaluate which company departments have fully embraced the importance of being customer driven.

Many companies are now focusing on key processes rather than departments because departmental organization is viewed as a barrier to the smooth performance of fundamental business processes. To achieve customer related outcomes, companies appoint process leaders who manage cross-disciplinary teams. Marketing and sales people spend an increasing percentage of their time as process team members. As a result, marketing personnel may have a solid-line responsibility to their teams and a dotted-line responsibility to the marketing department. The marketing department is also responsible for training marketing personnel, assigning them to new team, and evaluating their over all performance.

Marketing departments have to be organized in such a way that they can work effectively with other departments, and firms can foster a creative marketing culture within the entire organization.

Modern marketing departments may be organized in a number of different, sometimes overlapping ways: functionally, geographically, by product or brand, by market, in a matrix by corporate/division.

Functional organization: The most common form of marketing organization consists of functional specialists reporting to a marketing vice president, who coordinates their activities. Additional specialists might include a customer service manager, a marketing planning manager, a market logistics manager, a direct marketing manager, and an Internet marketing manager.

The main advantage of a functional marketing organization is its administrative simplicity. It can be quite a challenge to develop smooth working relations, however, within the marketing department. This form also can lose its effectiveness as products and markets increase. A functional organization often leads to inadequate planning for specific products and markets. Products that are not favored by anyone are neglected. Then, each functional group competes with others for budget and status. The marketing vice president constantly has to weigh the claims of competing functional specialists and faces a difficult coordination problem.

Geographic organization: A company selling in a national market often organizes its sales force (and sometimes other functions, including marketing) along geographic lines. The national sales manager may supervise four regional sales managers, who each supervise six zonal managers, who in turn supervise eight district sales managers and who supervise ten salespeople.

Several companies are now adding area market specialists (regional or local marketing managers) to support the sales efforts in high volume markets. One such market might be Miami, Florida, where 46% of the households are Latino. The Miami specialist would know Miami’s customer and trade make up help marketing managers at headquarters adjust their marketing mix for Miami, and prepare local annual and long range plans for selling all the company’s products in Miami.

Improved information and marketing research technologies have spurred regionalization. Data from retail-store scanners allow instant tracking of product sales, helping companies’ pinpoint local problems and opportunities. Retailers themselves strongly prefer local programs aimed at consumers in their cities and neighborhood. To keep retailers happy, manufacturers now create more local marketing plans.

Companies that have a shifted to a greater regional marketing emphasis are McDonald’s which now spends about 50% of its total advertising budget regionally; American Airlines, which realized that the travel needs of Chicagoans and South westerners are very different in the winter months; and Anheuser–Busch which has subdivided its regional markets into ethnic and demographic segments with different ad campaigns for each. Some companies have to develop different marketing programs in different parts of the country out of necessity because their brand development varies so much.

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