first in marketing audits
Marketing Department

Over the years, marketing has grown from an appendage of the sales department into a complex group of activities. Marketing departments have evolved through eight stages, and today, organizations’ marketing function and/or departments dwell within one of the stages.

Simple Stage

In the first stage, organizations simply start out with a sales department. When they need some marketing functions, they outsource.

Appendage Stage

In the second stage, organizations add ancillary marketing functions such as advertising or marketing research. As the organization expands, it needs to add or enlarge certain functions.

Separate Stage

In the third stage, a separate marketing department is created to handle the increased number of ancillary marketing functions. With continued growth, the organization will warrant additional investment in new product development, advertising, sales promotion and marketing research. Sales and marketing are separate functions expected to work together.

Merged Stage

In the fourth stage, both sales and marketing report to a Sales or Marketing VP or a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Although sales and marketing should work together, in reality their relationship is often strained and marked by distrust. The sales area resents efforts to make the sales force less important in the marketing mix and marketing seeks larger budgets for non-sales force activities. As these two major areas experience a healthier merger, it leads to the next two stages where marketing starts to play a more important role within the organization. Marketing efficiencies excel and marketing effectiveness starts to occur.

Influential Stage

In the fifth stage, marketing (after being fully merged with sales) takes on a more important function within the overall organization. Marketing efficiency and effectiveness continue to improve; however, organizational resistance can worsen.

Integrative Stage

In the sixth stage, marketing becomes a major influential function for the entire organization. Healthy integration and coordination occur in this stage. All the company employees are marketing-centered, and marketing efficiency and effectiveness should rank high. However, continued organizational resistance can also be at its worst.

Customer Stage

In the seventh stage, the customer becomes the controlling function. An organization can have an excellent marketing department and still fail at marketing. Much depends on how all the other departments view customers and their marketing responsibilities. Only when resistance subsides, and all employees realize that their jobs are created by customers who choose the organization’s products or services, does the organization become an effective and healthy marketing entity.

Ultimate Healthy Marketing Stage

In the eighth stage, the customer has the controlling function and marketing is the integrative function within the organization. Marketing departments can take many forms in this stage.