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UNDERSTANDING MARKETING MANAGEMENT*

s.(i Lc.1 tfs 9-JJves and Kibbles 'n iliti; pet food, Smrkist tuna, College inn broth, and All-in-One baby forrrtylas id Del Monte in 2002 after yea™ of stagnant sales, to allow km focus on its core brands in ketchup, sauces, and frozen foods,

SLUE CROSS/SLUE SHIELD

Will ¡am van Faasen. CEO of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Massachusetts, offers this advice: "if it's not core its your business, il it's not adding value to your customer's experience, if it's rvol bolstering the bottom line, get out n1 it." Wan Faasen learned this lesson in 1536. when Blue Cross-'flltie Shield was engaged in a number ol peripheral activities that ^ere draining its balance sheet—ironi owning and operating health centers to funding biotechnology ventures. At the same time, managed care came along and caused havoc witli prices. At first the company priced services too low and then became aggressive and lost market share the result was a Si00 million loss in 19J5 that served as a 'two-by-four over me need" lor Blue Cross/Blue Shield to create a clear, focused agenda, fhe company quickly gotcutflfaclivilies thai were a drain on resources or not aligned wiUi its ■ core Business.11

Organization and Organizational Culture si rategie planning is done within die context of the organization. A company's urbanisation consists uf its structures, policies, and corporate culture, all of which can become dysfunctional in a rapidly changing business environment. Whereas structures and policies can be changed (with difficulty), the company's culture is very bard to change. Vet changing a corporate culture is often lite key lo successfully implementing a new strategy.

What exactly is a corporate culture? Most busiursspeople would be hard-pressed 10 find words to describe this elusive concepi, which some define as "the shared experiences, stories, beliefs, and norms that characterize an organisation." Vet, wait into any company and the first ft! ng that strikes you is the corporate culture—the way people are dressed, how they talk to one another, the way they green customers.

Sometimes corporate culture develops organically and is transmitted directly from the C'liO "s personality and ha hits to the company employees. Such is the case with computer giant Microsoft, which began as an entrepreneurial op&tnrt. liven as it grew to a S32 i>iilion company in 2003, Microsoft did not lose the hard-driving; tu I lure established by founder Mill Gates. In fact, most feel that Microsoft's u1 traceincentive culture is the biggest key to its success and to its much-criticized dominance in the computing inditsi ry.a

What happens when entrepreneurial companies grow and need to create a tighter structure? This Was the Case with Yahoo,' inc. When the Internet icon was floundering in 20(11, new CVJO Terry Seme) imposed a more conservative, buttoned-do^n culture on the freewheeling hileruet start-up. At the rlew Valiool, spontaneity is out and order is iit. whereas new initiatives used to roll ahead following free-form brainstorming sessions and a gut check, noiv they wind their way through tests and formal analysis. Ideas either rise or fall at near-weekly meetings of a group culled the fToduct Council, the group sizes tip business plans to make sure all new projects bring benefits to Yahoo!'s existing buSlfttcsses,33

What happens when companies with clashing cultures enter a joint venture or merger? In study by Coopers fc Lybrand of ton companies with failed or troubled mergers, [55 !j of executives polled said that differences in management style ami practices were the major problem.31 Conflict was certainly the ease when Germany's Daimler merged with Chrysler in

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Salehoo Secrets and Tips

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