Agency 20: Marketing

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The twentieth agency in the community is the Marketing Agency. This agency, as part of the Business Development Bureau, is involved in supporting businesses to express themselves in the community market to customers and investors and also to external society.

Other agencies in the department are the Underwriting and Business Planning Agencies. The Marketing Agency’s core objective is to facilitate businesses’ marketing planning and operations, through the dissemination of relevant information, systems, and training to participants.[1]

The Marketing Agency provides tools to participants so that they can create marketing plans accompanying their business plans and other strategies they may have. This enables participants to not only determine how they will produce goods and services but also how they will successfully present or deliver these products to the market. The Marketing Agency achieves this objective through an online platform that, among other functions, is able to personalize its services to meet participants’ needs. The platform uses machine learning with algorithms and statistical analysis to provide participants with credible advice and guidance, in the absence of actual human instruction, except when needed.[2]

In instances where the system is unable to handle participants’ needs, the participants can approach departmental agents for help. Besides helping the participants directly, the departmental agents monitor the system, identifying ways through which it can be improved. The agency president trains the department agents and adjusts the system to reflect their recommendations and correct any deficiencies. The Marketing Agency realizes its objective by performing a set of automated roles. These roles are done either by the agency alone or in coordination with other agencies in the community.

Core Responsibilities

  • Training participants on marketing strategy and plans
  • Providing marketing consultancy and advising participants on online business engagements, including through social media, websites, and SEO optimization
  • Conducting market research to form the basis for participants’ marketing planning
  • Supporting participants in product development
  • Facilitating marketing engagements between businesses, including expos, exhibitions, and similar events
  • Controlling marketing communication within the communication

Training participants

Through the Marketing Agency’s online system, participants receive training on how to formulate their marketing plans. The training includes general marketing principles, such as marketing mix (the four Ps of product, place, price, and promotion), customer retention, marketing research, and promotional mix.[3] The system also utilizes algorithms to produce tailor-made training modules for participants, based on their nature of business, experience, and business plans and strategies. For instance, an app developer who is just starting up will require a different marketing plan and approach than another who already has experience running a restaurant, though they will all require grounding in basic marketing principles. Where the participant is unable to understand these concepts or the system does not properly tailor-make the training to suit their needs, they can approach the departmental agents for direct engagement and advice.

Marketing consultancy

Participants use the Marketing Agency’s automated system to find answers to specific challenges and issues facing their marketing approach. The consultancy is, as with other community services, tailored to address specific industry issues and questions. Participants use these services carry out market segmentation, targeting, and positioning. The same platform also enables them to adjust their marketing strategies so that they can be more responsive to market needs and trends. Marketing consultancy services enable participants to market their businesses more successfully through online platforms, especially through their websites and social media. The Marketing Agency’s system provides advice on how they can harness the power of the internet to better project their products and services to the market.[4]

Market research

As participants conduct their business, they feed the agency with valuable information about the efficacy of marketing strategies adopted, as well as market trends regarding customer preferences, purchasing power, and other key characteristics of the market. Using this data, the Marketing Agency is able to use the machine learning capabilities of its system to consolidate market research reports. [5]  These reports, which cover every industry in the community, are important for participants as they formulate and amend their marketing plans to reflect market needs.[6]

Product development

Participants receive important information and guidance from the Marketing Agency’s online platform during new product development, as well as the redevelopment of existing products. From idea generation to the last step of product commercialization, the agency’s online system walks the participant through every aspect to ensure the process’s success from a marketing perspective. If the circumstances necessitate it, the participant may approach the departmental agents for additional help in the process.[7]

Marketing engagements

Besides online marketing, participants might need additional visibility in the market, in the form of expositions and exhibitions that bring together related businesses. The Marketing Agency provides the platform on which such exercises can be organized. The agency provides information on related businesses, encourages networking among these businesses, and details how and where a successful event can be held. The agency also provides the platforms through which the events’ value can be assessed as a whole and from each business’s perspective. This informs the need for future events, as well as what can be changed by both the agency and participants to improve such events’ results.[8]

Marketing communication control

Participants manage their marketing communications such as billboards and online adverts through the Marketing Agency’s system. The system vets applications for advertisement from different participants based on the location, nature of advert, and availability of space. The system thereafter approves or rejects such applications, or modifies them to fit what would best serve the interests of the participants and the community.

Coordinated Responsibilities

The Marketing Agency also interacts with other agencies within the community as it seeks to enable participants to drive their marketing efforts. This coordination can be defined through three definitions:

  • Horizontal coordination, with other agencies in the Business Development Department
  • Vertical coordination, with other agencies in the Social Integration and Support Vertical
  • Diagonal coordination, with other agencies beyond the vertical and department

Horizontal coordination

The Marketing Agency coordinates with Agency 20 – the Business Planning Agency to provide a framework to participants for their product development. Where business plans involve new product development, the Marketing Agency’s system advises businesses on how to plan the process and realize the products’ full economic potential. The two agencies also coordinate as the Marketing Agency works to make marketing plans a constituent part of business planning. The Marketing Agency works with Agency 21 – the Underwriting Agency so the system can assess the risk associated with the development of new products.[9] The Marketing Agency’s system uses this information to advise participants on how they can minimize risks that threaten to derail their products and, ultimately, their businesses.

Vertical coordination

The Marketing Agency coordinates with Agency 4 – the Life Planning Agency, so that participants, as they plan their lives, succeed in branding themselves using their strengths, thereby broadening their career prospects. The Marketing Agency also works with Agency 10 –  the Communication Agency to train participants on how to better communicate with their clients. The Marketing Agency provides Agency 1 – the Human Relations Agency with the necessary marketing tools and skills needed to attract participants into the community, over and beyond what is offered by Agency 12 – the Public Relations Agency. While the Public Relations approach is generalized to the market, the Marketing Agency’s approach is more targeted at specific market segments.

Diagonal coordination

The Marketing Agency works with Agency 2 – the Stewardships Agency so that participants can incorporate marketing as one of the key elements of their business operations and management.[10] The Marketing Agency works with Agency 12 – the Public Relations Agency so the system can help participants plan their public relations strategies. The Marketing Agency obtains important information on how to handle public relations from a business perspective and uses it to offer better marketing consultancy services to participants. As part of its endeavor to enable businesses to become more visible as part of their marketing mix management, the Marketing Agency works with Agency 3 – the Leasing Agency, so that those participants who need more physical visibility can acquire it. For instance, a grocery shop would be better placed on the street-front of a building, while an accounting firm can easily operate from the second floor of the same building.


The Marketing Agency provides participants with the capacity they require to get their products and services to the market. This capacity building is based on research, training, and professional advice. The Marketing Agency facilitates participants’ access to these services through an automated system. Where participants need personal interaction as part of capacity building, departmental agents step in, in the process collecting invaluable information on how to improve the system and make it more responsive to participants’ needs.

The 24 agencies are organized in rows and columns. Beyond working in their bureau (row), agencies also interact extensively within their column. An overview with links to the 12 agencies in the Human and Financial Capital Department is here, and an overview with links to the 12 agencies in the Process and Property Department is here.
Representations of hierarchical- and matrix-type organizations.
The structure of a hierarchical-type organization is shown on the left, and that of a matrix-type organization is shown on the right.

[1] In its broadest sense, marketing is the management of relationships that involve exchange of goods and services. It is also termed as the process through which products move from the producer to the end consumer. Marketing identifies, anticipates, and supplies customer needs (Business-Dictionary. marketing. 2019. 30 06 2019).

[2] Algorithms are being utilized more and more in the business world, with some even suggesting even elite consultancy may be at risk. Among other things, machine learning is able to handle many diverse fields, with Amazon’s tool being utilized to handle 15,000 different jobs. Over time, the capabilities of machine learning are improving, and will be of great service to the Marketing Agency’s objective to provide marketing consultancy services to several participants across diverse professions (Libert, B. and M. Beck. “AI May Soon Replace Even the Most Elite Consultants.” Harvard Business Review (2017): online).

[3] The four Ps of the marketing mix are termed as the most important marketing tool for products, whether new or existing. For different businesses and products, the four Ps will be configured differently. The community is set to have different businesses, and different products, each with its own approach to the marketing mix. The Marketing Agency’s system will need to identify the specific attributes of each business, and thereafter train the business owner on how they need to configure their Ps for maximum impact and success (Hoffman, S. “Are the 4 P’s of International Marketing of Equal Importance to All Firms?” Grin Verlag (2005): online).

[4] Management consultancy services have been found to have a positive effect on businesses’ entrepreneurial spirit and skills. The services aim to improve knowledge, and offer practical solutions to problems which training and experience alone may not be able to offer. The effect is especially pronounced in small and medium enterprises, where the services are received by those who have greater control over the enterprise. Marketing, finance and long term business planning benefit the most from these consultancy services (Bruhn, M., D. Karlan and A. Schoar. “The Impact of Consulting Services on Small and Medium Enterprises: Evidence from a Randomized Trial in Mexico.” journal of political economy 126.2 (2018): 635-687).

[5] Marketing research is an important component in decision making, especially when a business wants to identify key market factors. Market research is however not used to decide the business’s next course of action. Instead, it is used to reinforce or adjust already existing management and strategic positions (Tarka, P. “Key determinants of marketing research effectiveness.” Poznan University of Economic review 12.1 (2012): 40-50).

[6] In the era of big data, it is increasingly necessary for businesses to turn to automation to analyze information according to their needs. Marketing research data is extensive, especially in the community setting, where it is more detailed. The Marketing Agency will use this information to better process the information that is then accessed by participants to aid their decision making (Amado, A., P.Rita, P. Cortez and S. Moro. “Research trends on Big Data in Marketing: A text mining and topic modeling based literature analysis.” European Research on Management and Business Economics 24.1 (2018): 1-7).

[7] It is essential to carry out proper product development to maximize the chances of a new product’s success in the market. The process is expensive, and requires significant risk taking, which may not be insurable. The Marketing Agency therefore equips participants with the necessary information and skills to prevent them from making costly errors that will jeopardize their enterprises, during and after a product’s development (Baxter, M. Product Design. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 1995).

[8] Marketing exhibitions, expositions and shows are a useful source of contacts for businesses. They have the ability to level the laying field for businesses, regardless of financial muscle. The same can be said of social media, where advertisement is cheap, and it is possible to reach a large number of potential customers. The Marketing Agency provides the organizational infrastructure needed to set up such expos, and the analytical tools business need to decide whether they are worth the effort (Situma, S. “The Effectiveness of Trade Shows and Exhibitions as Organizational Marketing Tool (Analysis of Selected Companies in Mombasa).” International Journal of Business and Social Science 3.22 (2012): 219-230)

[9] Proper product development must include risk analysis. Risks should be identified and assessed, so that the business can then formulate the best ways of responding to these risks. The matrix grid is usually used in such instances, whereby a risk is assessed based on the probability of its occurrence, and the impact it could have on the organization. The Marketing Agency relies on the Underwriting Agency for this analysis (Susterova, M., J. Lavin and J. Riives. “Risk Management in Product Development Process.” Proceedings of the 23rd International DAAAM Symposium 23.1 (2012): 225-228)

[10]Through branding, participants aim to control the perceptions that others have about them. It is therefore seen as the construction of a professional image, built upon an individual’s capacity, skills and talents, professional disposition, and their motives in the social and economic arena. Life Planning is important in constructing this image. The Marketing Agency offers important pointers on what to do to have a personal brand that is accurate, attractive, and can be used as a base for business branding (Gorbatov, S. “Personal Branding: Interdisciplinary Systematic Review and Research Agenda.” Frontiers in psychology 9 (2018): published online).