The Role of Marketing Managers in Strategy Formulation in B2C Companies in South Africa

Hurwitz, Marc Gregory
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The purpose of this research was to investigate the roles and responsibilities of marketing managers in Business to Consumer (B2C) organisations in South Africa. Then to determine the strategy formulation process that they use, understand which of the marketing roles overlap with the strategy formulation process and which in turn determine the effect that marketing managers have on strategy formulation. The results of the research are intended to assist marketing managers to determine the potential scope of their role and how they can influence strategy formulation in their organisations. The literature review explains that marketing is a difficult concept to define and the scope may vary. The roles and responsibilities of marketing managers are identified from different literature sources and categorised. Strategy is defined and the strategy formulation process is presented in the literature review. The proposed roles and responsibilities of marketing managers are presented as well as the areas where marketing will most affect strategy formulation. Seventeen in-depth face-to-face interviews were conducted with the most senior marketing employee. For the purpose of this research, the most senior marketing employee will be referred to as the marketing manager regardless of designation. The data was analysed using the summative approach to data reduction as this was seen as the best way to test the propositions. The research found that the responsibilities of marketing managers are segmented into roles that are owned by marketing, or roles that are key but not owned. Marketing can have an instrumental part to play, marketing can have a supportive role, marketing can have a consultative role, marketing can have different levels of influence or marketing can have no role to play in each responsibility along the strategy formulation process. All marketing managers have some leadership, strategy, branding, advertising and customer related roles. Most marketing managers have full promotional management responsibility and manage contemporary issues and trends. Very few marketing managers are involved in pricing and distribution. Marketing managers have the biggest effect on the strategy formulation process in strategy implementation. Strategic frameworks present the biggest opportunities for marketing managers to increase their involvement in the strategy formulation process. In order for marketing managers to increase their authority and influence in the company, they must increase the scope of responsibilities in the marketing department, improve measurements and analytics, fully understand and react to contemporary issues and increase their involvement in the strategy formulation process.
MBA thesis
Marketing managers, Strategy formulation, Business to consumers companies