Professor Day suggests that marketing, instead of being constrained in a functional straightjacket, can be dispersed throughout an organization through the use of process-based teams rather than functional groups. By way of illustration, he points to the work of Procter & Gamble (P&G) in connecting other business disciplines to marketing. The company’s new approach to R&D, called Connect & Develop, stretches R&D’s traditional resource-intensive activities to include an understanding of how planned products can be marketed and how they will be received by consumers. Fundamental to this strategy is the notion that the marketing department does not have a monopoly on consumer insights. Instead, such insights can come from throughout the organization.
Using P&G and companies with similar initiatives as benchmarks, Professor Day distills marketing’s role in the growth-focused organization down to navigation, articulation, and orchestration.
Navigation is concerned with being in touch with the marketplace, using marketplace knowledge to anticipate opportunities, and being willing to share information. Sensing of opportunities requires that marketing’s view of the world embrace peripheral competitors and unusual business models or technologies.
Articulation refers to the need to refine and renew an organization’s core value proposition as circumstances and the organization itself change. Instead of pursuing safe incremental improvements, marketing must be willing to challenge industry wisdom.
Marketing’s third role is what Professor Day calls orchestration. If an organization is to be market-driven, marketing is the organizational adhesive that must hold theory and practice together. Marketing ensures that strategies for growth are responsive to changes in that market and to competitive activities.
Coffee, Tea, or a Survey?
Patti Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org), Gavan J. Fitzsimons (email@example.com), and Lauren G. Block (firstname.lastname@example.org), “When Consumers Don’t Recognize ‘Benign’ Intentions Questions as Persuasion Attempts.” Click here.
How likely are you to buy a Starbucks coffee today — or, for that matter, a meal at McDonald’s? If you find yourself ordering a Double Decaf Tall Iced Skim Latté or sinking your teeth into a Big Mac before the day is out, it may be because you just finished taking a survey.
Several studies have shown that asking people questions about their intentions leads them to overstate the likelihood that they will engage in a certain behavior; more surprisingly, it appears that simply asking the questions can actually change people’s behavior. For example, in a 1980 study by Steven J. Sherman, professor of psychology at Indiana University, 45 people were asked about their willingness to be volunteers for the American Cancer Society. Although only 4 percent of a control group had volunteered three hours to the charity, 48 percent of the studied group averred that they would work for it. Amazingly, 31 percent (14 out of 45) of those who had answered the question actually did subsequently volunteer.
This phenomenon, termed the “mere-measurement effect,” is explored by Patti Williams, the James G. Campbell, Jr. Memorial Term Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; Gavan J. Fitzsimons, associate professor of marketing at the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University; and Lauren G. Block, associate professor of marketing at the Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College. The authors hypothesize that answering a straightforward question about future intentions, a question outwardly viewed as innocent and non-manipulative, registers in people’s unconscious minds and influences their future choices, increasing socially desirable behaviors and decreasing socially undesirable behaviors.
To test this, the professors asked 232 students one of two questions, either “How likely are you to floss your teeth in the next week?” or “How likely are you to eat fatty foods in the next week?” The researchers presented the two questions one of three ways: with no survey sponsor; with the name of an objective survey sponsor; and with the name of an obviously self-interested sponsor (the Association of Dental Products Manufacturers [ADPM] and the American Fruit Growers Association).