Sales orientated, and marketing orientated, here marketing orientated was essentially all about branding. One then needed to consider how best to integrate the separated functional groups. Much literature has grown out of the debate to help achieve better cross-functional and more centralized roles. Limit & Reid (1992) note that the professional responsibilities of marketers, cross many functional areas, and the achievement of marketing objectives, would be dependent on such integration.
While Gumminess (1991) believed everyone within an organization should to one extent or another be in the business of marketing to rather their organizations objectives. But what do we mean when we talk about cross-functional marketing? Cross-functional marketing may be described as being an integrated marketing approach, which involves the working together of all the departments of a company… -sales -product -management -market research -advertising etc. … To serve the interests of the consumer.
In 1954 Peter Trucker suggested that to be truly customer-centric an organization must adapt a marketing concept, which entails that the key to achieving its organizational goals consists in the company being more effective in creating, delivering and communicating customer value to its chosen target markets than its competitors. In order to adopt this concept the following need to be considered: An organization should look beyond their own profession to what is happening at the top of their organization, integrating their goals and activities to simultaneously deliver business and financial goals.
This requires those in marketing to learn about the concerns of finance, sales and manufacturing in order to guide marketing effectively and ensure organizational synergy. Also to look beyond their own organization, understanding the trends within their industry, among their competitors, suppliers, delivery infrastructure, consumers, social trends and beyond to other industries and sectors, and then, to adapt these lessons for the benefit of their company.
Trucker stresses that marketing, not sales are the key to growing business along with innovation, in his book “The Practice of Management” In his view the purpose of a business is not to make profits, but to create customers. He also states that marketing is not a specialized activity but should encompass the entire business. And should be ultimately responsible for promoting the customers point of view. His view was that the objective of a business was not to make profits, its purpose was to create customers and profits were a result of gaining customers. And so the selling concept evolved into the marketing concept.
Trucker himself based his views on Gee’s new marketing strategy in 1950. Where the marketing people were introduced at the earliest of stages and continued to work tit each stage of production, placement, pricing and promotion. A modern day recent example of an Incident within an Irish company where the absence of a cross-functional strategy was evident is 02 Ireland, part of the European MM group. As part of one of their Christmas promotions 2003, 02 Ireland chose to launch a particular mobile phone at a special Christmas price. While it was an extremely strong offer, and was considerably successful, stock availability was a big problem.
This occurred due to a break down in communications between key departments. Likely down to competitor advantage, a marketing team within 02 Ireland made the decision and launched the offer, without consulting the stock- ordering department within 02 retail Ireland. Leaving them with no time to order sufficient quantities of the item on offer in time for the seasonal rush. Clearly the purchasing department needed to be involved in this decision. It is often said that one of the disadvantages of the taller business structure is a narrow span of control.
Certainly this is apparent in this classic example of, “Right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing”. It must therefore be considered that the flat organizational structure through broader and more frequent communication between departments might be better equipped to cope with implementing the marketing concept to include cross-functional disciplines. When Mr.. Noel Treaty AD spoke at an awards ceremony in Septet 2000 he emphasized the importance of teamwork and cross-functional relationships, within the company structure, in bringing Ireland to the front in innovations across Europe.