Departments and their roles within a business
The marketing department carries out research and evaluates the current market. They also identify competitors on the market, which may hamper their own marketing activities. Marketing teams also produce advertisements for their new products. The marketing department is responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying their customer’s requirements profitably. Marketing is not just about sales, promotion or market research. It is an important role in setting objectives that create a base for an organisations business plan, which then affects the entire organisation. Marketing has a budget to work towards, and its main objective is to develop and produce new products which meet and satisfy customer needs.
The first area of responsibility for marketing is to contribute to the leadership of the business. From product development to, marketing should also provide leadership on how to better serve the customer and their needs. Activities involving this area include, developing pricing, conducting customer satisfaction surveys, contributing to product development, monitoring competitors and website usability testing. Almost all businesses have functional areas to help operate the business and keep it running smoothly. Many large firms will have a marketing department. The marketing department will have to work alongside many other functional areas to help the businesses activities run smoothly and efficiently.
For example, for the finance department to run smoothly and efficiently, the marketing department will have record all their outgoing costs and will have to communicate with the finance department to ensure that they have a large enough budgets to purchase all their required resources and equipment. The marketing department also needs to ensure that businesses meet their customers’ needs, this is done by adapting and developing products, making them more suitable for customers and more profitable for the businesses. The better these functional areas communicate and co-operate the more successful the business will become. The marketing department works with the following functional areas in many ways, these activities include:
The finance department keeps records of all events as they occur and is responsible for producing annual financial reports. The marketing department will liaise with the finance department because the finance department needs to allocate a budget to each and every department. The finance department is responsible for setting the budget figure for the marketing department, which means if both functional areas work together they can communicate at ease and discuss how much capital is required to carry out their activities. For example advertising the launch of a new product will require a certain amount of money and the marketing department can provide reasons to why they require the amount of money for the launch. The finance department is also responsible for the marketing departments’ spending and will need to provide advice on what and where they should spend their money.
The marketing department will also carry out market research to adapt their products to meet their customers’ needs, this will involve setting the “right” price. The finance department can help the marketing department at this stage by showing and creating financial documents (cash flow forecasts, profit and loss accounts etc), this will give the marketing department an idea on how much to price their product so they can break-even easily, make profits and satisfy and attract customers. These two functional areas working together can ensure a perfect product for their market because the product will be launched professionally and priced to please the business and also its customers. For the marketing department to be able to carry out market research and promotional activities they will need to be given an allocated budget. The finance department can show financial documents to the marketing department showing that there budget total was favorable last year and they are asking for more money than they actually need. This allows them to negotiate a budget.
Marketing departments are responsible for launching effective marketing campaigns and sales promotions, the marketing department will need to consult with the finance department before launching sales promotions because the offers and discounts given may be too extreme and the business may end up losing a lot of money or hardly making any profits. The finance department will draw up many calculations and financial documents to confirm if the marketing department can proceed with the promotion or the campaign. During the production stages of the product the marketing department will also need to cross reference all their costs, activities and plans with the finance department to ensure that they will stay within their budget and will help make the business successful.
For example, the finance department can advise the marketing department to reduce the packaging and change suppliers to cut costs and increase profits. E.g. if the business is experiencing a recession the finance department can display financial documents showing that profits are low at this point and cuts will need to be made to advertising, equipment etc.
If an employee was asked to work overtime the marketing department would need to check with the finance department before-hand to make sure the business can afford to pay extra wages for the overtime. If the marketing department purchased new advertising graphic software they would need to send the invoices and purchase orders to the finance department to process and clear. These figures will then be taken into account when future financial documents are made, this ensures that the business stays on top of their costs and knows where all their capital is going. The amount of capital allocated for a product campaign usually depends on the amount of revenue the product is likely to generate. The finance department also has to ensure that the marketing department has enough capital purchase the resources they require to launch an efficient campaign and product. If finance department and marketing department do not communicate effectively and work together then many problems will occur and documents will not add up.
For example, if the finance department and marketing department lack communication skills, the finance department may add up and calculate the costs incorrectly. The marketing department should double check their costs and confers with the finance department, ensuring that the correct figures are taken and calculated. Failure in communication can lead to the finance department calculating incorrect figures and totals for annual reports and then advising the marketing department to increase prices to raise profits and income. A mistake within the functional areas will cost the business sales because an increase in price of products will disappoint customers and decrease sales.
The marketing department will be advised to raise prices in order to regain revenues and boost their average income, this will help businesses break-even quicker but will have a negative affect on their customers and their market share because, customers will go and look for a cheaper product. That is why it is crucial for the marketing department and finance department to liaise because if mistakes and errors occur internally then it will have a huge affect on the customers. If both functional areas constantly communicate, then no slip ups will be made and the business can continue to run smoothly.