Chapter Two – What is Marketing Management and what do product managers and marketing managers do?


The Meaning of the terms Marketing Manager and Marketing Management


Traditionally if a person had the title of “manager,” it meant that s/he had the responsibility to help guide the activities of at least a few employees.  While this terminology has changed over the years, we still consider someone who has the title of ‘manager’ to be responsible for overseeing the allocation of resources for the organization.  For example, as an ‘individual contributor’ I might have the responsibility of performing certain work (for example, writing marketing literature for the firm’s products), but not be responsible for the activities of anyone other than myself.  In high technology industries, the word manager is often replaced with “Director” to indicate that a person has primary responsibility for a certain organizational function.  For example, the ‘marketing director’ may be responsible for all marketing activities in the firm.  At other firms, the term ‘marketing manager’ would be used to describe the same thing.  In some organizations, the Vice-President of Marketing may perform the same functions.  The term Product Manager is often used in high technology industries to assign responsibility to a specific individual or group for the successful supervision of all marketing activities related to a specific product or service.  Sometimes the product manager’s responsibility is defined in terms of the product s/he is overseeing and sometimes the responsibility is defined in terms of a specific technology.  For example, one high-tech firm might use the title of Product Manager-Digital Systems to describe the job of the person who is responsible for digital versus analog customer solutions.  This brings up still another consideration. The use of titles varies across industries of types of organizations.  We will discuss how different firms organize the marketing function in a later chapter.  


What is marketing management?


We will use the following definition of marketing management:  Marketing Management is the process allocating the resources of the organization toward marketing activities.”  Thus, a marketing manager is someone who is responsible for directing expenditures of marketing funds.  Related to the term ‘management’ is the term ‘strategy.’  Many words in the vocabulary of business management were taken from the field of military science.  For example, the word ‘strategy’ has been used in the military for many decades to indicate a long-term commitment of resources toward accomplishing a certain goal.  Thus it is often said that management is responsible for conceptualizing strategies, and other employees are responsible for implementing those strategies.  Management-by-Objectives programs in which a supervisor will formulate strategies and other employees will choose the method of reaching those objectives is an example of this relationship in action.  As the reader can see, a discussion of ‘strategy, objectives, and goals’ can very quickly develop into a miasma of terms and confusion. Thus, we will use the following definitions.  First, we will consider goals and objectives to be identical terms. Second, we will use the term ‘objective’ to refer to a broad-based design of where the organization would like to be at some point in the future.  For example, as an objective, the organization might decide to be the ‘leader in product quality as judged by customer surveys of our organization and our five leading competitors.’  We will define the term ‘strategy’ as a method used to reach an objective.  For example, to reach our product quality objective, our organization might decide to enroll in a ‘total quality program’ offered by most large consulting firms.  Thus, strategy will have two meanings.  First, it is the overall orientation an organization chooses to allocate its resources, and second, strategy is a specific action used to implement these plans. Thus, there is a two-tiered nature to strategy.  One at the top, as a broad guide to preferred action, and one below helping to implement objectives.  Use ‘strategy’ as a keyword search on the internet and see what you find. 


In marketing, we often use the ‘four P’s’ to designate the areas of control a marketing manager has at his/her command.  The ‘four P’s’ as you probably already know are:  Product, Price, Promotion, and Place.  The ‘four P’s’ represents a convenient way to summarize the main factors involved in any ‘marketing strategy.’  However, seen in a contemporary sense, the four P’s may mistakenly be limited to downstream marketing activities only and as Chapter One indicates, there are also upstream marketing activities that are related to the marketing mix.  If this does not make sense to you, please go back and review the terms used in Chapter One.


The Marketing Management Cycle


The planning cycle is composed of four basic steps.  First, Planning is the process of examining and understanding the surroundings within which the organization functions.  For example, “environmental scanning” is the process of studying and making sense of all the things that might impact the firm’s operation that are external to the firm.  This would include studying and gaining an understanding of such things as: competition, legislation and regulation, social and cultural trends, and technology.  Both present and developing trends in each of these areas must be identified and monitored.  The planning stage also includes creating documents that outline the organization’s intended response to these environmental (external) variables.


Second, Implementation is the process of putting plans that have been made into action. It is the transition from expected reality to existing reality. 


Third, Monitoring is the process of tracking plans and identifying how plans related to changes that take place during program operation when more information is acquired.  Correction is the stage in which we take action to return our plan to the desired state based on feedback obtained in the monitoring stage.  If we find that return to the planned state is not practicable, we may adjust our planning outcomes. Thus, Monitoring and Correction may be considered two stages because after plans are put into action, one must continually monitor performance and make adjustments to the plan based on the feedback gathered through these monitoring activities.  In summary, the marketing management cycle is composed of planning, implementing, monitoring, and correcting.  We use the use the letters ‘PIMC’ as a device to remember the stages. 


An example of the marketing management cycle in action:

Let’s Get It Together Family Organization Services


The organizational mission of this service firm is: “We provide families with means to improve their peace of mind and quality of life.”  Representatives of the firm meet with families, question them to understand how the family operates at present, do an on-site ‘activities audit’ that models patterns of daily life for the family, and then offer suggestions about how the family can be better organized and more efficient in its use of time.  Let’s Get It Together is owned and operated by a mother of three children.  After conducting several informal focus groups, she decided to start this business because she realized that her family and most other families she observed lived in a state of chaos.  After attending a seminar on creativity and innovation, she decided that there was a real need in the marketplace for a not-for-profit educational institution to pass along all of the knowledge families have about how to manage their household activities more effectively.


After she came up with the idea, the owner realized that she must get organized herself, thus based on the “Five W’s and H Technique” (Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How) she composed the following questions:


What will the customer satisfaction entail, that is, what are the needs I am trying to meet?

Who will receive customer satisfaction?

Why will my organization deliver this particular customer satisfaction?

Who will deliver customer satisfaction?

Where will I deliver customer satisfaction?

When will I deliver customer satisfaction?

How will I deliver customer satisfaction?


The owner then modeled the marketing management cycle as follows:


Planning:  First answer the seven questions I have formulated.


Answers to questions:


Question # 1: What will the customer satisfaction entail, that is, what are the needs I am trying to meet?

Answer: Provide easy-to-follow guidance on improving family organization


Question # 2:  Who will receive customer satisfaction?

Answer: Families who perceive a need for being better organized.


Question # 3: Why will my organization deliver customer satisfaction?

Answer: First, there is a already perceived need to be better organized.  Second, there are ways to fulfill that need that are not being provided to families.


Question # 4: Who will deliver customer satisfaction?

Answer: Let’s get it together, through a small staff of highly trained and ethical individuals, will provide this service to families


Question # 5: Where will I deliver customer satisfaction?

Answer: The service will be provided through small introductory seminars and through meetings in the homes of the families, if preferred.


Question # 6: When will I deliver customer satisfaction?

Answer:  Customer satisfaction will start with the first seminar and continue through a continuing association with Let’s get it together.


Question # 7: How will I deliver customer satisfaction?

Answer:  Through a personal and caring approach with my clients involving seminars and continuing personal contacts


If you review the seven questions, and the answers above, you can see that some of the planning has been done.  What remains is to identify specific actions that must take place to ensure success such as identifying the characteristics of the best candidates for our service, creation of the service materials (seminar materials, etc.) and details of the logistics by which the service will be promoted and provided.


A brief example of one aspect of this organization’s marketing planning is:

“We will provide seminars that last one-half day to families who perceive the need for help in organizing their activities, thus we must identify likely places to offer these seminars.  We have obtained a list of community centers, where space is provided free-of-charge for such activities, and will offer our seminars there, initially.  However, we may change that approach after initial seminars are offered (monitoring and correction) and move our seminars to more centrally located sites such as hotels and churches.”




The Business Plan


The business plan is an overall blueprint for the anticipated activities for the organization over a coming time period, usually one-year (short term) or five-year (long-term).  We should mention that many businesses are moving their long term planning periods to ten years and beyond in order to better prepare for the future.  These businesses often make use of creativity techniques, attempting to outline what changes may occur in their respective environments and how the organization should respond to those changes.


The Marketing Plan
To formulate effective marketing programs an organization needs to create and follow a marketing plan.  A marketing plan is a document that describes the activities in which the organization intends to engage in a coming time period, usually one-year.  However, there are often situations in which an organization will have a medium-term marketing plan (two to five years) and a long-term marketing plan that covers plans for a five-year period or greater.
While there are many different approaches to preparing a marketing plan, the following conditions should exist:


1.      Those who do the plan are accountable for the plan’s implementation.

2.      This same group is committed to the plan’s success.

3.      Management is committed to the plan’s success and is willing to expend the necessary resources for its successful implementation.

4.      The marketing plan is created in the context of the organization’s overall business plan.

5.      People in the organization share a similar orientation to the marketing function.


If these five conditions are met, the organization is more likely to be able to successfully create and implement its marketing plan. 


An example for the marketing plan outline is as follows:


               I.      Executive summary (a one-page to two-page overview of the contents of the plan)

             II.      Vision for the marketing plan (a paragraph that briefly describes the aspirations for the coming time period and the theme of the plan)

            III.      S.W.O.T. analysis outlining the strengths and weaknesses (internal to the organization) of the organization and the opportunities and threats (external to the organization) that the organization faces.

         IV.      Description of market/customer types and products/services that will provide satisfaction to those markets and customers

a.      Market grid of markets and customers

b.      Product/service positioning strategy

           V.      Marketing objectives for the coming period (objectives should be “SUMAC” or specific, understandable, measurable, attainable, and consistent)

         VI.      Description of marketing programs with timeline (a calendar of major marketing events planned, with a description of each event)

This outline should be combined with the PIMC model described earlier in the chapter.  The PIMC serves as a good guide for on-going implementation of the marketing plan.


While the outline above is simplified, it touches on the critical areas for a marketing plan.  It is important to point out, however, that a plan is only as good as its implementation, thus, it is usually better to have a poor plan and good implementation than a great plan that never gets implemented.  That is, one small organization hired a consultant to help the organization create a marketing plan.  However, after the consultant assisted the firm in creating a plan, the organization continued to run their ‘business as usual’ and, thus, the plan did not really change how this small organization approached doing business with its customers.  Thus, the organization ultimately failed and went out of business.


1.      Chapter Two Exercises


1.      Summarize in a one-page report what you find after you get on the on the Internet and search the keyword ‘management.’ Organize your answer according to the different categories you find in your search.

2.      Call your local grocery or supermarket and ask to interview the store manager.  Schedule an interview and in the interview ask the manager how s/he would define marketing management.  And how his/her job relates to marketing management.

3.      If you have an industry of interest, explore the definition of marketing management in that industry by interviewing someone who works in that industry. 

4.      Apply the PIMC planning cycle (planning, implementation, monitoring, and correction) to model the actions necessary for a ten year old to set up a lemonade stand. Write a one-page essay on your analysis, identifying activities conducted in each step in the PIMC cycle.

5.      Use the marketing plan outline in the chapter to prepare a marketing plan for the lemonade stand.  Limit your marketing plan to two pages using keywords to describe your plan.

6.      Search the Internet for the term “Product manager” and write a one-page summary of your findings.

7.      Write a job description for a marketing manager of the marketing function.  How does it compare to the description you gave in answer to question six in chapter one?

8.      Access the Internet and write a one-page report regarding what you find when you do a search using the term “marketing management.”  Explain how the information you found compares to what you read in chapter two. 

9.      In a one page essay, make observations on ‘Let’s Get It Together’ Family Organization Services,’ including the benefits families can expect from participation and your estimate of demand for this new service. To what segment, if any, do you believe this service will appeal?  Describe this segment of families using factors like family income, education, lifestyle, etc.



Chapter Two – Glossary


Marketing management - the process allocating the resources of the organization toward marketing activities

Marketing Management Cycle – the various steps adopted by the organization in its attempt to prepare for the future and manage the present. 

PIMC – Planning, Implementation, Monitoring, and Correction.  These steps are applied by the organization during the marketing management cycle.

Marketing manager – the person responsible for overseeing the allocation of resources to marketing activities.

Business plan – a document that describes the anticipated activities of the organization across its primary functions.  Examples of these primary functions would be accounting and finance, research and development, operations management, and marketing. 

Marketing plan - a document that describes the activities leading to customer satisfaction the organization anticipates intends to engage in a coming time period, usually one-year.