The boundary spanning marketing organization
Sleep, Stefan Todd
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In order to develop marketing strategies and maintain a sustainable competitive advantage, marketing must successfully interact with constituencies both within and external to the firm. While interactions with external stakeholders such as customers are critical, the marketing’s ability to work within the firm determines if it can locate the resources it needs to succeed. To achieve a collaborative relationship with other functions, boundary spanning––behavior intended to establish relationships with and generate knowledge from external groups that can assist a team in meeting objectives ––has become increasingly important. To address opportunities in this space, this research examines a spectrum of marketing boundary spanning activities, from the functional to the organizational level, across three essays. The first essay explores how firm and functional orientations impact sales/marketing integration. Firms regularly pursue integration between sales and marketing to improve information and resource exchange between the two. This study examines the current level of integration, the desired future level of integration, and the difference between the two (the integration gap). Overall, this study provides a more complex view of the factors that influence sales/marketing integration and ultimately relationship and business outcomes The second essay uses a qualitative approach, through interviews with marketing managers, to uncover how marketers work within the organization to deliver Big Data oriented decision making. The study uses the “voice of the informant” to analyze the scope of Big Data, develop a decision-making hierarchy, describe the external and internal factors that influence the hierarchy, and identify four transition factors that allow marketing managers to become more data driven. By successfully using higher levels of customer information for decision making, managers can increase market effectiveness and profitability. The third essay examines factors that impact the level of cooperation between the CMO and CIO. With the rapidly increasing levels of data collection and analysis within the firm, the relationship between the CMO and CIO is gaining strategic importance. Through the lens of resource dependency and the Top Management Team literature, this conceptual study proposes antecedents of CMO/CIO cooperation and several mechanisms to increase the level of cooperation between the two.