Posted: August 12th, 2013
I interviewed Miss Catherine Smith, a marketing manager at a local beverage company. She has worked for the company for six years in a managerial position thus accumulating experience in decision-making. Most of the time the company looks up to her to come up with ways of improving the sales of their products that are a crucial factor in profit making. She has responsibilities such as, ensuring customer satisfaction, pricing strategies, research on market trends, coordinating recruitment of staff in her department and advertising and promotion of the company’s products. On a daily basis, she makes managerial decisions that affect the company economically and through other aspects. Being in a competitive business, she has to be careful on the kind of decisions she makes especially because her job is directly linked to the product and the consumers.
The interview began with questions about my coursework and the reasons for our discussion. Having explained to her in my request for the interview, I was a bit taken aback by her inquisition of the details. I gave her a detailed summary of what I was undertaking and informed her that the interview was for my coursework. Due to her background in economic studies, she was quick to offer me a few pointers on what to major in and how to approach the job market later. Throughout the interview, she kept pausing to attend to some urgent work but resumed almost immediately.
Prior to the interview, I had prepared a series of questions on a number of topics. These questions were in the form of a questionnaire. This was to guide me in the making of my final paper. The main themes were based on how the company’s strategies are affected by the decisions she makes concerning economics. Economic decisions are those that deal with financial aspects of a business and how resources are divided among different functions (Baker, 112). In this case, the decisions being made involve the allocation of resources to her marketing department. I asked about the decisions she makes regularly, what influences them and their consequences. The company’s business strategies include its future prospects, market competition, availability of resources, the business environment and the expectations of their stakeholders.
According to Catherine, she makes decisions influenced by current economic status of the company, the need for profit maximization, consumer trends and market structure. Concerning the company’s economic status, she has to evaluate whether the company can be able to withstand certain decisions that require financial assistance. For instance, when she has to run an advertisement campaign, she must confirm with other relevant departments to ascertain the financial position of the company. As much as advertising helps to connect with their consumers, the resources of the company have to be considered in line with its business strategies. At all times, the company should maintain a certain level of resources that help in the running of its daily activities.
In such an event, she has to consult prior to running the campaign, which involves the aspect of management planning. This way, the company benefits from her decision and the business strategy remains unaffected. However, the aim is not to affect the business strategies, it is to ensure that the actions taken by management should develop or implement these strategies often done through strategic management.
Profit maximization is the main aim of the company’s operations. Almost every action taken seeks to advance the company’s profit to the highest possible level (Lantos, 60). As the marketing manager, she is tasked with this responsibility as she deals with securing a market for their products. This is not to imply that she is the sole determinant of the company’s profit, because hers is not the only department and all of them have to coordinate to achieve the goals of the company. Catherine mentioned that she makes such decisions most of the time, those that intended for maximizing profit. Having to deal with how the company’s products penetrate the market is not an easy job. It involves a lot of work, and she often requires the assistance of other departments. As one of her tasks, she determines the price of their products.
This is done after a rigorous research on consumer buying trends, consumer income and the prices set by their competitors. These factors often influence how a commodity’s price is set (Hitt, Robert, 284). The price has to be put in such a way it does not cause losses, or else her decision making will be put in question. All the activities involved with price control such as the research require some money. The manger therefore drafts a budget and delivers it to the finance department for consideration. The amount of money accorded to them helps her to decide on the methods and tools to be used for the research.
One business strategy of the company is to remain competitive. The interview revealed that marketing greatly determines competition. For instance, Catherine cited that the prevailing prices in the market help to place the company at a certain level with its competitors. As she makes her decisions, she has to ensure that they are within the goals that these strategies hope to achieve. She explained to me that competition is important in determining whether the company is making profit or not. It also provides knowledge on what advantage if any, the company has over its competitors and how it can be manipulated to increase profit. Additionally, competition helps in the identifying of possible markets. The marketing manager always has to monitor such matters not only as part of her job description but as a participant in fulfilling the vision of the company.
Economic decisions in marketing also have an effect on the future of the company. The company like every other organization puts into consideration its direction in terms of whether it is achieving what it intended. She went further to explain to me the company’s expectations, which include establishing itself as one of the leading beverage companies based on quality of products and market share. Therefore, the company constantly evaluates and reviews its progress through various ways such as conducting market surveys. Again, the marketing department is put under spotlight, as it is important in determining the company’s position in the market. The marketing manager has to give an account of how things are as they are, and mostly they are so because of the decisions she ha made.
The future prospects of the company entail how much profit they would have made during a certain period (Hirschey, 632). Both the production and marketing teams are liable for this aspect of the company, as in practically. The production team should ensure quality commodities are made while marketers decide on how best to satisfy their customers and still earn extra money. Tough decisions therefore have to be made and consideration put into the consequences of these decisions.
The recruitment of staff to the marketing department is done by human resource department after a prompt from the marketing manager. I had asked if it was within her mandate to make such a decision. According to company policy, anyone recruited to her department had to be interviewed by the marketing manager. Although the sourcing for possible candidate was done by the human resource section, the rest was left to her discretion. This is because she knew the kind of skills she required under her department, as it was an important one in the company.
This concluded our interview session and we proceeded to discuss why managerial decisions are crucial to any organization’s success. The information I gathered indicated a relation between these decisions and the business strategies of an organization. Most managers are employed to advance certain business strategies hence each decision they make should reflect this (Sekhar, 14). However, these decisions can only be successful if they are of good quality and have been executed effectively. These decisions help in building trust and confidence in both consumers and employees. If consumers are satisfied with a product, they tend to buy it more, which is advantageous to any company. Employees gain confidence in the company they work for if their managers make good decisions that guarantee stability in the future.
Conclusively, the interview helped me to understand my coursework better and gain some knowledge of how things work behind the scenes to make an organization successful. Most of the decisions that managers make are not publicized but they reflect in the consumers’ reaction to their company’s products. The interview was definitely an eye opening experience.
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