Marketing Implementation

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Marketing Implementation Part 1

Section 1

Bonoma: Making Your Marketing Strategy Work

Effective implementation is a matter of focusing on key areas of company structure and managers' skills.

Purposes of the article are to explain and help in diagnosing and solving marketing implementation problems, to catalog common problems of translating marketing strategies into management acts, and to recommend tactics for increasing the effectiveness of marketing practices.

Problems in marketing practices have two components: structural and human.

Strategy or implementation?
Marketing strategy and implementation affect each other.
Poor implementation can disguise good strategy
Two points stand out to help managers diagnose marketing implementation problems. First, poor execution tends to mask both the appropriateness and the inappropriateness of the strategy. Managers should look at marketing practices before making strategic adjustments. A careful examination of the how questions the implementations ones, often can identify an execution culprit responsible for problems that are seemingly strategic. Managers need a catalog of the traps in marketing practice.

Structural problems of marketing practice

Functions: the fundamentals

Marketing functions include selling, trade promotion, and distributor management. Managers most often have problems with sales force management, distributor management and pricing moves. Thus implementation problems at the functions level are caused primarily by faulty managerial assumptions. A second cause of marketing function problems is structural contradiction. Managements attempt to balance the contradiction between desired control policies and functional level distribution structure were ineffective and led to conflicts among company executives and foreign distributors. A third cause of problems is when the head office fails to pick one marketing function for special concentration and competence and instead takes satisfaction in doing adequate job with each.

Programs: the right combination

A marketing program is a combination of marketing and nonmarketing functions, such as sales promotion and production, for a certain product or market. One common problem stems from ‘empty promises' marketing, instituting programs that either are contradicted by the company's identity or are beyond its functional capabilities. A second program-level execution error is ‘Bunny marketing' which arises from a lack of direction from top management's execution policies. The presence of many clever marketing programs is associated with implementation problems.

Systems: bureaucratic obstacles

Marketing systems include the formal organization, monitoring, budgeting, and other ‘overlays" that foster or inhibit good marketing practice.

In smaller companies allocation systems cause many problems in bigger companies control systems do more damage. Three problems that commonly occur at the systems level are errors of ritual, politicisation and unavailability. Errors of ritual arise when the company's systems drive it down habitual pathways, even when good judgement dictates a different course. The problem of politicisation are e.g that sales managers weed out their call reports to fit their preconceptions. The most pervasive, systems problem is unavailability. That is, some systems designed to make line officers ‘lives easier just don't do so".

Policies: spoken & unspoken
At the broadest structural level of marketing practice are policy directives. Identity policies- related to what the company is and direction policies- what it does are focused at.
Identity problems are most common policy difficulties. They can be expressed in marketing theme-shared understanding of marketing purpose- and marketing culture-social web of management- terms. Theme and culture transmit the company's identity policies. The critical question is wheter these intangibles of identity, or "who we are", and...
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