Friday, December 26, 2008

Combined arms and your marketing department

This is going to be a short (because it's the holidays) and slightly off-topic post (I was trying to be so orderly in presenting my thoughts). Today I ran across a military concept called the "combined arms approach" and it reminded me of, well, a well-designed marketing department.

The combined arms approach integrates different military arms which compliment each other on the battlefield in order to maximize results. For example, while the lower-echelon units may be homogenous, a mixture of lower-echelon units are combined into a single higher-echelon unit. E.g. an armored division might include tanks, artillery, infantry, recon, etc., all coordinated by a unified command.

The concept struck a chord with me because recently I met up with some bank managers who wanted to develop a separate product development department, a marketing department, and a research department. However, those functions should be combined and directed by a single, marketing department -- much like the combined arms approach. That way, for example, the market research would inform the product development, the marketing team could ensure the 5 Ps were in place, budgets could be coordinated, etc. It's a bit like integrated marketing, though at the level of the marketing department itself.

Combined arms... hm...

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