THE CHANGING ROLE OF MARKETING IN THE CORPORATION

THE CHANGING ROLE OF MARKETING IN THE CORPORATION
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king and to identify important variables and the relationships among them (Messy and Webster 1964). Statistical analysis was used to manipulate the data to test the strength of the hypothesized relationships or to look for relationships in the data that had not been hypothesized directly. The application of formal, rigorous analytical techniques to marketing problems required specialists of various kinds. Marketing departments typically included functional specialists in sales, advertising and promotion, distribution, and marketing research, and perhaps managers of customer service, marketing personnel, and pricing. Early organizational pioneers of professional marketing departments included the consumer packaged goods companies with brand management systems, such as Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive, General Foods, General Mills, and Gillette. In other companies, the marketing professionals were concentrated at the corporate staff level in departments of market research and operations research or management science. Examples of the latter include General Electric, IBM, and RCA. Large, full-service advertising agencies built strong research departments to support their national 3

advertiser account relationships. Other large firms, such as Anheuser-Busch and General Electric, also entered into research partnerships with university-based consulting organizations. Such specialized and sophisticated professional marketing expertise fit well into the strategy, structure, and culture of large, divisionalized, hierarchical organizations. The Large, Bureaucratic, Hierarchical Organization When we think of marketing management, we think of large, divisionalized, functional organizations--the kind depicted by the boxes and lines of an organization chart. The large, bureaucratic, hierarchical organization, almost always a corporation in legal terms, was the engine of economic activity in this country for more than a century (Miles and Snow 1984). It was characterized by multiple layers of management, functional specialization, integrated operations, and clear distinctions between line and staff responsibilities. It had a pyramid shape with increasingly fewer and more highly paid people from the bottom to the top. The larger the firm, the more activities it could undertake by itself and the fewer it needed to obtain by contracting with firms and individuals outside the organization. The logic of economies of scale equated efficiency with size. The epitome of the fully integrated firm was the Ford Motor Company, and most notably its River Rouge plant, which produced a single, standardized product, the Model A. Ford-owned lake steamships docked at one end of the plant with coal and iron ore (from Ford's own mines) and complete automobiles and tractors came out at the other end. Molten iron from the blast furnaces was carried by ladles directly to molds for parts, bypassing the costly pig iron step. Waste gases from the blast furnaces became fuel for the p

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