Relationship between Line and Staff functions:
While structuring and developing a marketing organization, a proper work relationship between the line and staff functions has to be ensured. In any organization, conflicts may occur between line and staff functions. The source of friction and the consequent inefficiency can be eliminated by proper integration of the two functions. The test of good organizational structure is whether there is an effective and cooperative relationship between the various divisions / departments / functions.
Levels and Spans must be carefully planned:
The levels in the organization and the span of control of each executive position must be carefully planned and built in. The modern trend in organization structuring is to reduce the number of levels. If there are too many levels, the information flow gets delayed, resulting in ineffective communication, dilution of responsibility and poor control.
The marketing organization should also provide for effective coordination among the various departments within marketing. The organization should, in addition, provide for effective coordination between the marketing department and the other departments of the firm like production, finance, personnel, corporate planning etc. Coordination should be a built-in mechanism in the organization.
Unambiguous Job Specification:
Developing clear job specification in respect of each executive position in the marketing organization is another integral part of creation of marketing organization. Clear job specification helps remove ambiguities and provides role clarity. It also reduces friction in the organization. Job specifications describe factors such as the basic function of the position to whom the incumbent will report, his tasks / responsibilities, the authority and financial powers delegated to him.
The role of the Marketing Chief:
It is evident that the day-to-day administration of marketing activities is not the major responsibility of the marketing chief. His main role is in planning the marketing program and monitoring its execution. As head of marketing he sets the pace of growth of the business. He has to be successful team leader and an efficient motivator. He also has to ensure that his men and his systems are in a position to take advantage of the marketing opportunities. He must also reshuffle the marketing organization, if the environment warrants such a change. In short, the success of the marketing activities of the firm relies on the capability of its marketing chief.
The extent of decentralization required in the marketing organization must be carefully determined. Centralization Vs decentralization is a subject of keen debate in organization structure. Centralization, no doubt, facilitates effective control and direction. But, the highly dynamic nature of the marketing function often calls for a high degree of decentralization. Today, most firms opt for an organizational pattern involving a centrally organized office, responsible for policy making and control, and divisions that operate with a high degree of decentralization. For operating a decentralized outfit it is essential for the firm to liberalize delegation. It is also essential to be clear about the controls that are needed. The firm must also gather the information that is required for exercising the controls. Decentralization will be effective only if the organization takes care not to sacrifice the control requirements.
Commonly occurring pitfalls while structuring marketing organizations:
While structuring the marketing organization, one has to carefully avoid certain imperfections and anomalies that commonly creep in.
Pitfalls of the kind have to be avoided while structuring a marketing organization. They can be avoided only a correct understanding of the role and functions of each department and each executive position. The ultimate aims of the organization have to be kept in focus while grouping the functions and deciding the hierarchy.