Integrated Marketing

When all of the company's departments work together to serve the customers' interests, the result is integrated marketing. Integrated marketing takes place on two levels. First, the various marketing functions—sales force, advertising, customer service, product management, marketing research—must work together. All of these functions must be coordinated from the customer's point of view.

Second, marketing must be embraced by the other departments. According to David Packard of Hewlett-Packard: "Marketing is far too important to be left only to the marketing department!" Marketing is not a department so much as a company-wide orientation. Xerox, for example, goes so far as to include in everyjob description an explanation of how each job affects the customer. Xerox factory managers know that visits to the factory can help sell a potential customer if the factory is clean and efficient. Xerox accountants know that customer attitudes are affected by Xerox's billing accuracy.

To foster teamwork among all departments, the company must carry out internal marketing as well as external marketing. External marketing is marketing directed at people outside the company. Internal marketing is the task of hiring, training, and motivating able employees who want to serve customers well. In fact, internal marketing must precede external marketing. It makes no sense to promise excellent service before the company's staff is ready to provide it.

Managers who believe the customer is the company's only true "profit center" consider the traditional organization chart—a pyramid with the CEO at the top, management in the middle, and front-line people and customers at the bottom—obsolete. Master marketing companies invert the chart, putting customers at the top. Next in importance are the front-line people who meet, serve, and satisfy the customers; under them are the middle managers, who support the front-line people so they can serve the customers; and at the base is top management, whose job is to hire and support good middle managers.

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