The Role Of The Marketing Department In A Firm
In this case, you and your classmates play the role of the marketing department in a firm involved in new product development. Your firm is struggling with instituting team-based product development, and over the last several months several of the marketing staff have been placed on product teams with personnel from engineering, design, and manufacturing. The experience so far has not been positive for you and your marketing colleagues. You feel that marketing is routinely left out of key team decisions and that top management seems more sympathetic to the engineers when conflicts arise within the team. You suspect that part of the reason is that most top management personnel in your firm come from an engineering background and just understand the perspectives and the decision-making style of the engineers better. You also feel that marketing has a lot to contribute to product development. There is an excellent marketing research department that can provide quick feedback on customer behavior using state-of-the-art equipment, and the sales force is second to none in the industry and routinely gathers key market information and intelligence. There are several very good creative people on staff responsible for generating high-potential ideas, which your firm has developed into many successful new product launches. The Role Of The Marketing Department In A Firm
One of your creative colleagues in product development suggests using a problem-based ideation approach, commonly used to generate new product ideas, to try to find a way to get top management to respect the marketing department more. Ideally, you would like them to recognize your skills, training, and experience and to appreciate and use the unique information you can bring to the new product process. You succinctly state your problem as follows:
“How can we communicate the value and potential contributions of the marketing department effectively to top management, so that they will respect us more?”
Using the ideation techniques given in Appendix B (or any others you prefer), develop creative solutions to this problem. First, generate at least half a dozen ideas individually. Keep a basic rule in mind: There are no bad ideas—the more, the merrier. Then, with your instructor working as a group facilitator, boil these down to the four or five best ideas and, as a group, discuss and refine these. Your goal is to arrive collectively at one or more clear, well-thought-out programs that you could really begin implementing soon. One other rule: Use your imagination! This is an exercise where you can really stretch. Though you can try any of the techniques given in Appendix B, some you might find particularly useful are the following: The Role Of The Marketing Department In A Firm
Scenario Analysis: Identify a set of trends (fashions, hot places to live/work, celebrities, exciting new products, etc.). Think about what might be suggested by or associated with any of these.
Creative Stimuli: Look at the set of stimulus words provided in Appendix B and select a few of these at random. Ask yourself how each of your words suggests something that helps you solve your problem. Be creative.
Forced Relationships: Forget about your problem altogether for a little while. Select a magazine. Turn randomly to a page and look at the picture on that page. (If none, leaf through the magazine until you get to one.) What does the picture suggest to you? Jot down at least half a dozen thoughts. Now, return to your problem and use the thoughts you came up with to help you think creatively about possible solutions. For a variation, use a dictionary, encyclopedia, or the Yellow Pages instead and find a random word on a random page. Use of the Ridiculous: Think of the most ridiculous idea you can. Then ask yourself if it suggests to you a not-so-ridiculous new idea.
- Explanation for step 1
- Explanation for step 2
- Explanation for step 3