Marketing Management: Case Study on The Times of Zambia Co.
By Dr Eric Gondwe: MBA, United States International University (USIU), Nairobi, Kenya
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Effective Management of Marketing Units Within Organizations: A Leadership-Based Approach
Case Study on the Management of Advertising and Circulation Departments of The Times of Zambia Company
CASE STUDY ON THE MANAGEMENT OF ADVERTISING AND CIRCULATION DEPARTMENTS OF THE TIMES OF ZAMBIA COMPANY
INTRODUCTION -NATURE OF BUSINESS
The Times of Zambia Printpak Company is a sole state owned company by the Republic of Zambia.
Its current mission statement which defines the purpose of the organization’s existence , is as follows:- “The company Times Print Pak will operate as viable commercial enterprises in news gathering , publishing commercial printing , distribution of same and associated activities in order to satisfy consumer demands, whilst achieving the required return on investments.”
1. THE ADVERTISING DEPARTMENT
A. Functional Structure, Figure 1
BRANCH MANAGER BRANCH MANAGER
SALES REPS SALES REPS SALES REPS
^ ^ ^
SENIOR SENIOR SENIOR
^ ^ ^
CLERKS CLERKS CLERKS
^ ^ ^
DRIVERS DRIVERS DRIVERS
^ ^ ^
MESSENGERS MESSENGERS MESSENGERS
B. Managerial Roles of Advertising Manager
The Advertising Manager (Adman) is responsible for formulating, implementing and monitoring goals and strategies for the department. The Department plays an important role for the company in sourcing money from advertisers and advertising agents. Management performs promotion activities to maintain and improve the business image of the Company’s newspaper among advertisers and their agents.
Individuals and groups with intentions to advertise have to be convinced that the company’s advertising medium (newspaper) is business worthy to use in order to reach their intended market. The Department performs part of this role of promoting the company’s image. The promotion methods used include personal selling and public relations.
Personal selling is conducted by the Department’s Sales Representatives (sales reps). Management ensure that sales reps are familiar with the department’s objectives, needs and wants of advertisers and agents, company -client or account relationship.
Management also monitors and evaluates the performance of sales reps. Since their duties involve personal or face to face communication with advertisers and agents the results of these transactions are monitored. Their duties include personal visits to all clients, collecting payments and orders, prospecting for new business opportunities and maintaining and improving existing client relations. They share some duties with Accounts Clerks who maintain close contact with specific advertisers.
The department is the mainstay of the Company’s revenue. About 75 percent of total revenue comes from advertisements. The remaining 25% is from newspaper circulation sales.
The Times of Zambia is the most successful company in advertising compared to other media companies in Zambia. It has maintained the status of its predecessor, the Northern New in advertising supremacy since the 1960s. According to a media research done in 1993 by Leonard Kantumoya, the company was found to be collecting about 50 percent of all the adverts in the media industry in Zambia including broadcasting.(6) The department’s management asserts that its advertising market share is still as supreme as before despite the increased competitiveness in the media industry today.
C. Managerial Relationships with other Departments
The Advertising Department’s management maintains that the success of the department has largely been achieved through the Company’s professionalism in journalism, popularity, reputation over a period of time and the department’s efforts to keep its workmanship standards.
The success of department depends largely on the performance of other departments, particularly the Editorial, Circulations and Personnel departments. The Editorial Department has to produce highly credible and marketable news articles which will attract readers. Generally, the larger the reader market the greater the source of the advertising market for the media company.
Management in the two departments ensure that their is mutuality in goals and strategies aimed at the readership and advertising market. The Adman (Advertising Manager) also maintains regular contacts with the Circulation department in evaluating the market reach of the newspaper.
2. THE CIRCULATION DEPARTMENT
A. Figure 2, Departmental Structure
ASSISTANT CIRCULATION MANAGER
B. Managerial Roles of the Circulation Manager
The Circulation department performs part of the marketing function of the company. In the marketing program, management is involved in two of the four elements in the marketing mix: price and place (distribution)
The Circulation Manager is responsible for the activities of the department. In the pricing function, management sets and directs pricing strategies for the company’s newspaper. Management has to be knowledgeable with costing techniques, how much it takes the company to produce its product (newspaper ) in order to determine a profitable price. 25 percent of the company’s revenue comes from newspaper sales (circulation).
Apart from production cost, other important factors that management evaluates in its pricing strategies include distribution costs, company objectives, inflation, newspaper demand elasticity, economic climate (including consumer income) and competition.
Distribution costing takes into account how much it costs to have the company’s newspaper delivered to the readers, after it has been produced. Some areas have higher delivery costs than others. Management evaluates the profitability of all its markets in relation to distribution costs.
The Company’s objectives also determine the Department’s pricing policy. If the company’s marketing objective is to cultivate product (newspaper) loyalty, the effect on pricing maybe to increase newspaper sales while reducing the price. Newspaper demand elasticity and other economic factors determine that at whatever price the department fixes for its newspaper, there will be a corresponding level of quantity demanded.
In the distribution function, management ensures that the right quantity of newspaper get to the right place at the right time; that is, how many, where and when they are needed. Managerial roles include planning and committing company resources to distribution activities in order to serve reader (consumer) needs, monitoring performance, market evaluation and forecasting.
The department’s distribution methods involve transportation of newspapers to all marketable areas within the country, door to door service through subscription, and middlemen who sale in the streets and roads. When transporting newspaper to designate markets, the department also has a courier service for people to send parcels ranging from letters to furniture. In areas where newspaper circulation is less than 300 copies private buses are used.
The department also conducts market surveys to asses newspaper sales performance. It conducts surveys every three weeks to establish how many papers have been sold in each area so that circulation can be adjusted according to demand. About 12000 (40%) copies are sold in Lusaka alone, out of the 30,000 national circulation everyday. Specific circulation figures in all areas where the paper is sold were said to be confidential.
The economic decline in Zambia and the proliferation of other newspapers on the market has effected circulation, reducing the company’s market share. The extent of the decline and its corresponding profitably level could not be disclosed.
C. Managerial Relationships with other Departments
The Circulation Manager is responsible for interpreting strategic management’s plans and goals. He is answerable to the CEO for the performance of his department functions and performance.
On an interdepartmental level the Circulation and Production management interact on newspaper production management. Teamwork is important here because production has to satisfy sales with supplies required.
The Finance department provides a support function to Circulation. Management from the two departments communicate and evaluate cost saving and profitable strategies. Circulation may because more concerned with satisfying customer (reader) needs by responding to demand without adequately examining profit margins. Sales without profit is said to be a costly and pointless exercise. Management Accountants (from Finance)with specialized costing skills work hand in hand with Circulation management to insure that sales proposals correspond with profit objectives. They also assist in evaluating the cost of particular major activities.
Other close partners to the department are Editorial and Personnel Departments. Editorial evaluates demand for the newspaper from the circulation statistics and examines how it can meet consumer (reader) needs through newspaper content.
PRINCIPLES FOR EFFECTIVE MARKETING MANAGEMENT: A LEADERSHIP PERSPECTIVE
As we have seen from the case study, marketing functions invade the territory of other departments within the organization. Effective marketing managers must have the ability of dealing with all the members of an organization. Like sales representatives, they must possess qualities of persuasion and be capable of winning the co-operation of others within their units and the entire organization in order to implement market focused objectives. They will need to be diplomatic in their handling of other heads of departments to ensure their is no ‘functional tribalism.’ Avoiding functional tribalism makes the departments work as a system or a team in meeting organizational objectives effectively.
Marketing managers in modern organizations need not only effective managerial skills but also leadership skills. They must be effectively networked to their workforce and other departments. Only then can they effectively market (communicate) their marketing philosophy upwards, sideways and down the organization. When members buy (accept) their philosophy, the organization will shift from merely producing to being market- driven, focusing all its activities on the market. In order to achieve this, marketing managers need effective leadership abilities.
We have seen from the functional definition of management that managers perform several duties. These include motivating or leading and communication. Our argument is that for one to be an effective marketing manager in modern organizations, he/she must have effective communication abilities. And for one to be an effective communicator he/she must have good leadership abilities of the organization or group he/she is in charge of. The formula is: GOOD LEADERSHIP = GOOD COMMUNICATION = EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT OF PEOPLE.
Other things being equal, the formula applies. Bad leadership blocks good communication which in turn blocks effective management in the fulfillment of goals and objectives.
The effective manager is one who takes seriously the complexes of the people he/she is in charge of. Rather than just performing functions of leading and communicating he/she is expected to be actively involved in these highly interactive activities. The difference between performing functions and being actively involved in interactions is what separates leaders from mangers.
Managers ‘manage’ people and leaders ‘lead’ people by combining managerial and communication abilities. Managers send memos, telephone calls, mail, organize meetings and reports as an act of duty. Leaders perform these communication functions but in a special way which fulfills their communication objectives effectively.
It may be helpful to explain what we mean by leadership. Then by distinguishing leadership from management we can show how effective abilities to management and communication are hidden in leadership abilities. That is why it is argued that a leadership approach to the fulfillment of communication objectives is required in order to get effective results. The formula is simple: GOOD LEADERSHIP = GOOD COMMUNICATION = EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT OF PEOPLE.
Keith Davies defines leadership as "the ability to persuade others to seek defined objectives enthusiastically. (7) Gibson and Hodgetts say it is, "the process of influencing people to direct their efforts towards the attainment of particular goals. " (8) From a functional approach we can say leadership is a specific function from the management mix, consisting of its own mix of functions. These include communicating, persuading, influencing and motivating others to follow them (leaders) in the pursuit of organizational objectives.
Leadership is primarily people centered. Management can be resource and/or people center in accomplishing organizational objectives.
The leader leads from a position of influence, but the manager from a position of power. She receives her power from the people she leads; the manager receives his power by virtue of his position. To be a leader therefore, one must have people willing to follow him/her. However, to be a manager it is possible to manage people because of the power of the position whether they want to follow the manager’s directives or not.
Leadership deals more with the process involved in motivating people, while management with the processes involved in the mobilization of people and resources. Leadership focuses more on the creation of the right attitudes while management is concerned more with making sure the right actions occur, regardless of attitude.
Myron Rush argues that, " The art of leadership is much more sophisticated than the science of management because in leadership you are dealing more with human feelings and emotions. It is one thing to know how to develop a good plan, but entirely another to be able to motivate people to achieve the plan... Obviously, any plan becomes worthless unless people become motivated to accomplish it". (9)
Rush adds that unless people are willing to follow an individual, he/she is not a leader. People follow the leader because they want to, not because they have to. Appointment to a managerial position gives an individual the right to manage but not the right to lead. " The officials of the organization may pick you as manager, but it will be the people with whom you work with who pick their leader. Unless you are chosen by the organization to manage, and appointed by your people as their leader, you will never reach your full management potential. " (10)
On a similar note, Jose Barbosa, a business and management consultant says, "None of us are as smart as all of us are together. An organization is, by analogy, an organism and all of its cells need to be integrated and actively participating for it to be healthy. Commitment in an organization can't be imported or imposed. It must be generated and reside in the people of the organizations for effectiveness to occur ... Making this happen is both an art and a science. " (11)
In the past, people in business and other organizations did not give much thought to the true meaning of leadership. The manager was the boss, and he was in charge. He sat in his office and managed what was necessary. That was what he was expected to do - to " manage". Orders were delivered from above and passed down through ranks. He was the boss and in charge of everything. End of discussion. He had the "barking rights".
In modern organizations people cannot be taken for granted. This is progressively becoming more and more apparent everywhere in the world, including Kenya. Although we are not very much consciously aware of it the Kenyan social environment is rapidly changing. Our values are changing. Not too long ago the concepts of democracy, fundamental human rights, gender equality, freedom of expression and free market economy were mainly Western concepts and values. Now we are wholeheartedly embracing these values. The media and other powerful socio-economic influencers have contributed in injecting these values in the Kenyan society.
Since organizations are units of people within a society the work culture in these units is being forced to adapt to societal forces. The behavior of organizations in Kenya therefore, has no choice but to accept the changing socio-economic values in order to survive and grow. The environment selects those organizations which are well adapted regardless of whether the organizational change leading to adaptation is the result of clever management or pure chance.
The changing environment is a big challenge to managers in Kenyan organizations. They have to adapt to changing environmental needs and those needs within the workplace. People in the workplace are demanding greater consideration from management, considerable involvement in decision making, certain rights within the workplace, transparent communication channels, respect and recognition for a job well done. In other words, they want the democratic principals which have dawned in the Kenyan culture to also be enshrined in their organizations.
Like world over, these are among the increasing motivational needs or drives among employees in Kenya. If they are scantily met production suffers as a result of job dissatisfaction. Real motivation does not come from financial incentives alone or from reward and punishment principles like instilling fear of being dismissed. People who only work for a paycheck and not because they like and feel inspired to do what they do will work only as hard as they have to in order to get paid. No more, no less. If superiors are not watching over them less effort is expected . As long as they get paid.
Stuart Levine and Michael Crom stress that what is needed now is something much deeper than old-fashioned business management. “What's needed is leadership, to help people achieve what they are capable of, to establish a vision for the future, to encourage, to coach and to mentor, and to establish and maintain successful relationships.” (12)
The authors quote Dale Carnegie who said, "There is only one way under heaven to get everybody to do anything, and that is by making the other person want to do it. Remember there is no other way." (13) They add that it is the leader's job to foster the feelings of team spirit. He/she must make subordinates feel, “we are in this together.” “What we do is valuable”, "We are the best". That is the soil that real motivation grows in.
The changes we are experiencing world-wide in organizations amount to a human-relations revolution. This is also related to the information technology revolution brought about by advancements in computers. Put together it is a great communication revolution era. No longer can communication and personal relationships in organizations be taken for granted. Like any revolution there are causalities. The casualties are among the managers who want to maintain the old order, the status quo. The alarm is clear "If you can't beat them, join them or step down from your position before you make the whole organization or section's performance suffer from your blunders.”
The role of management is therefor, fast changing today. The Price Waterhouse Change Integration Team (consultants) believe that many managers need to be "de programmed". "A new "science" of management is emerging in response (to internal and external environmental changes). Its laws are only becoming clear. The need for tomorrow's managers to have technical and analytical skills, perseverance, and functional expertise won't go away. But they have to augment these competencies with instincts for balance and integration, and the ability to recognize and master nuance" (14)
The consultants further argue that in our era of rapid change, true empowerment of employees requires "forceful leadership” and not democracy. "New Age theorists are wrong when they advocate that employees run the workplace. Employees want and expect leaders to set direction and determine the business focus. But they also want new latitude to achieve objectives. A new interactive model of leadership is emerging - one that relies more on the power of influence than of command and control. It is based on mutual respect, reinforced by communication skills. Its aim is to balance an increasing need for bold leadership with each person's instinct for freedom and initiative." (15)
However, there is no one best style of leadership. The forceful but influential style of leadership may be appropriate in one context while in another the democratic but influential style. Communication still remains the central focus in all approaches. Those who communicate best lead. Good human-relations skills are primarily the ones which can transform individuals from managing others to leading them.
We are in a human-relations revolution era. In order to adapt and be effective, marketing managers need to be effectively networked to their organizational members. More than in the past, they require communication up, sideways and down the organization to effectively sell (communicate) their marketing philosophy. Only the leadership approach to management can sufficiently empower marketing managers to transform their organizations or units from focusing on tasks to focusing on market targeted activities. The formula is: GOOD LEADERSHIP = GOOD COMMUNICATION = EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT OF PEOPLE.
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3. Kotler, P. Marketing Management: Analysis, Planning, Implementation and Control, Prentice Hall, Eaglewood Cliffs, New Jersey: 1994, p. 1
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6. Kantumoya, Leonard, The Advertising Market in Zambia :1993 (Unpublished research report of a University of Zambia professor).
7. Davies, K. quoted in Donnelly et al, p.374
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9. Rush, M. Managing To Be The Best, Victor Books, Wheaton, Illinois: 1981, p.125
10. ibid., p.126
11. Barbosa, J. in Liebig, J. E. Merchants of Vision: People Bringing New Purpose and Values to Business, Berrett- Koehler Publishers, San Francisco: 1994, p.101-102
12. Levine, S. R. and Crom, M. A. (Dale Carnegie and Associates) The Leader in You, Pocket Books, New York: 1993, p.16
13. ibid., p.142
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15. ibid., p.20-21
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