What’s it: The marketing department is a division of the company with responsibility for the marketing function. This department aims to sell as many products as possible in a sustainable manner. The team designs marketing strategies and combines the right marketing mix to satisfy customer needs and wants. They design the right product at the right price to the right consumer, at the right place, and at the right time. They are also responsible for developing promotions and managing long-term relationships with customers.
The role of the marketing department
The marketing department is responsible for identifying, anticipating, and satisfying customer needs and wants profitably. The end goal is to make more profit. Fostering long-term relationships is also another task; thus, money keeps flowing into the company.
The marketing department is at the forefront because it interacts directly with consumers and determines the success or failure of the company in generating revenue. In addition, this department must also synergize with other departments to help achieve corporate goals.
Besides playing an important role in promoting products and increasing sales, the marketing division is also important to introduce the business, thereby generating a strong corporate image. Moreover, the team reaches not only customers or retailers but also investors and the community while creating a corporate image in the eyes of these stakeholders.
Marketing department functions
The marketing department monitors market trends and identifies consumer needs and wants. The team then developed a marketing strategy to create more awareness and purchases by customers. In addition, they perform various tasks and activities such as market research, test marketing, advertising, and branding.
Functions related to the marketing mix
In general, the marketing function can be associated with managing four marketing mix variables: product, price, location, and promotion.
Product. The marketing team designs products to meet customer requirements, such as the core function, quality, size, color, and product packaging. Another role is to map product positions, develop unique selling propositions, and design product differentiation/standardization to suit market tastes and demands.
Price. The marketing division sets the right pricing strategy for the products sold. Various pricing strategies include cost-plus pricing, competition-based pricing, loss leader pricing, penetration pricing, and zone pricing. Which is the right pricing strategy? It depends on factors such as market demand, production costs, and competitor pricing.
Promotion. The marketing division is responsible for informing and persuading consumers to buy the company’s products. It combines various activities, such as advertising, sales promotion, personal selling, direct marketing, sponsorship, and public relations.
Location. The marketing division manages how the product reaches the customer. It determines which distribution channels are used and how intensively. Thus, the product is available in the right place and at the right time. It involves choosing the right channel to market the product, for example, distribution, online purchasing, retail outlets, or even vending machines.
Marketing department responsibilities
Specifically, the responsibilities of the marketing department vary between businesses. It depends on aspects such as the size of the business, the company’s strategy, and the resources at hand. They may include:
Market research – identifying customer needs and wants. It may be through surveys, interviews, or observations. The team segmented the market, selected target market segments, developed consumer profiles, and developed the appropriate marketing mix. After the product is sold, the team also examines whether the product and the efforts made, such as advertising, are successful or not.
Competitive analysis – observing competitors and identifying their market position and strategies. It is important to develop responses and design appropriate competitive strategies and tactics.
Promotion – presenting the company and its products to consumers, building brand awareness, and strengthening the product and company image. The team selects and manages the most appropriate promotional mix, whether advertising, sales promotion, or direct selling.
Sales – responsible for making money by selling products or providing services. This function requires synergy with other business functions to support increased sales. In addition, the team must also design the right marketing mix, such as designing attractive packaging and correct pricing.
Product management – evaluating and mapping products to determine the right strategy, for example, whether to withdraw, increase investment or collect as much cash as possible. A large company can have a product portfolio consisting of various products and target markets. Managing them requires intensive effort. The marketing team is tasked with mapping the market position of each product to determine strategy, resource allocation, and investment. Two useful tools are the BCG Matrix and the product life cycle.
Marketing information management – managing and integrating marketing information such as sales targets, sales realization, industry competitors, customer profiles, and market trends. The data is valuable for developing marketing strategies, making decisions, or designing the company’s overall strategy. For example, information about sales targets is important for making production decisions.
Pricing – determining the sweet spot between customer value and company profits. A company may choose cost-based pricing, with the main consideration being the cost of production. While others prefer market demand-based pricing or competition-based pricing.
Budget – responsible for managing the allocated marketing budget. Marketing managers must secure space in the budget to fully support the marketing strategy. A sufficient budget is important to generate more revenue, expand into new markets, and reach more potential customers.
Distribution – developing the right distribution channels to reach customers. A company might sell products directly to customers by establishing a retail outlet or creating an e-commerce channel. Alternatively, they rely on various intermediaries such as distributors and retailers to sell products.
Customer relationship management – this responsibility includes studying their target customers, determining how best to reach and meet their needs, maintaining good relationships with them, and encouraging them to continue purchasing the product. Since recruiting new customers is expensive, this responsibility is crucial to keep the money flowing to the company.
Branding – responsible for managing the brand and ensuring the brand is marketed appropriately. There are various branding strategies, including individual branding, family branding, or corporate branding. Each has advantages and disadvantages. The marketing team’s duties include building brand awareness, developing the brand, driving brand loyalty, and creating brand value.
Online channel management – manage and maintain online channel pages such as corporate websites and social media. This is becoming increasingly vital as consumers get more and more online. Companies use online channels to monitor and find out what’s trending, build good relationships with customers, and even promote products.
Relationship between the marketing department and other departments
Companies must coordinate various business functions to create synergies. It is essential to achieve business success, which contributes to building a competitive advantage.
In carrying out its functions, the marketing department also depends on other departments. Here are some examples:
- Finance department – coordinating sales targets to prepare budgets and cash flow forecasts.
- Human resources department – coordinating workforce planning, recruiting new staff, and training and developing existing marketing staff.
- Production department – coordinating product specifications and product attributes, production capacity, inventory, and logistics of raw materials.
- Research and development department – developing new products according to market tastes based on information from the marketing department.
- Information technology department – developing databases and information systems to support marketing activities such as customer relationship management software.
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