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The role of Operations and Marketing in Unilever Company (Essay Sample)


topic would like to surround advertising/media agency industry


The role of Operations and Marketing in Unilever Company
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Unilever Company is one of the largest corporations in the world with a vast network of distribution points and a wide range of products. Having been founded in 1885 as Lever Brothers, Unilever as formed in 1930 when a merger with Unie Company was finalized leading to the current Unilever Company. In its years of operations, the company has expanded its presence to more than 190 countries and developed more than 400 brands that are used by 2.5 billion people on a daily basis. The organization has grown to become one of the most successful consumer good companies in the world. In its bid to increase its presence in both local and international markets, Unilever has adopted various marketing and operations strategies that focus on providing it with a competitive advantage (Reza, 2020). The marketing department of the company is concerned with the increased awareness of products and the best strategies to be adopted in reaching a larger global audience. Therefore, in carrying out its activities, marketing relies on its understanding of the products and the market dynamics to help in adopting the appropriate message for different target audiences. However, in the identification of its key activities, the marketing department has to rely on the main goal of the organization to direct its activities towards the same. This ensures that the department contributes positively to the objectives of the overall company. On the other hand, the operation department is closely associated with the production of products and their availability to the consumers. Despite mostly being carried at the background, the activities of operations departments provide a foundational platform for other activities to be executed. This interdependence is experienced across all the various departments of the organization as they rely on each other to function effectively. Operations therefore, ensure the smooth running of the organization by proper management of its activities. Working together of various departments is common within a large organization for easy coordination and working on the same goal. In their implementation, marketing and operations are carried out seamlessly to achieve a common goal shared across the organization (Rhee, & Mehra, 2006). However, some challenges are expected due to the differences between the departments and their overall functions towards the organization. Both operations and marketing activities within the organization have different roles that enhance the competitive advantage of the company.
In working towards a common objective, different departments within an organization have to work together to achieve the set goals. Unilever’s marketing department and operations departments work together towards improving the competitive advantage of the company. In its marketing activities, Unilever relies on various platforms to reach the global audience and increase its presence. Therefore, Unilever has to adopt a marketing strategy that will give it a competitive edge while increasing the awareness of its products. One of the marketing strategies adopted by Unilever is relies on the aspects of product, place, price, and promotion. Unilever has a wide range of products that provides it with a larger market share and uses low-cost price to gain a competitive edge. In its promotion, the company uses various media platforms to increase its presence along with the use of strategic location for distribution centers. The implementation of these aspects in its marketing strategy provides a competitive edge to the company’s operations. On the other hand, the operations department focuses on ensuring that the production process is smooth and profitable. Unilever’s supply chain has been identified as one of the most efficient and effective in its processes as it produces thousands of products that are distributed and sold around the world. Therefore, the efficiencies of the operations departments ensure that costs are kept at minimum which increases the profit margins of the products (Hasan, 2015). A higher profit margin for the company increases its revenues thus enhancing its position in the market and impacts positively on the company’s competitiveness. Therefore, despite having different objectives and processes, the marketing and operations departments of Unilever work towards the same goal of enhancing productivity at their department level. Activities from both departments are meant to enhance the competitive advantage of the company.
In the collaboration between the marketing and operations departments, there are various benefits identified (Sombultawee, & Boon-itt, 2018). Based on findings from various studies, there are several benefits derived from the integration of the marketing and department in a company. One of the benefits associated with this departmental integration is the improved organizational performance through integration of decisions. The moderation of this relationship is attained through the business strategy and the uncertainty of demand. In the context of a new product development, there is a better functional relationship when marketing managers and operation managers are able to effectively communicate their ideas. This leads to better product development which is beneficial to the company’s productivity and operations. Another benefit that has been found to be derived from the harmonious relationship between marketing and operations is the firms increased performance and competitive position. The cooperation of the two departments results to better functioning of the important processes of the company. The Unilever Company has largely benefited from the integration of the two departments through increased product development that has led to a large portfolio of the company’s products. The company has also benefited due to the increased performance which has been attained through shared strategies between the departments (Awwad, 2007). In the Unilever Company, these benefits are developed through approaches that include shared strategies between the departments and shared objectives and goals. Therefore, by integrating the activities of the two departments, Unilever Company has continued to enjoy the benefits that are identified across the different levels of the organization.
The operation and marketing departments in Unilever Company have attained a successful interface in their strategy to develop competitive advantage. In their alignment, the two departments are working to increase the company’s presence in the market. The operations department in Unilever is responsible for the production and distribution of products to its daily consumer base of 2.5 billion people globally. To be in a position to produce and supply to such a large customer base requires a successful supply chain and production process. Therefore, the operations departments in its bid to enhance the competitive edge of the company has to ensure that all the products produced are of better quality and produced at a low-cost to ensure efficiency. The success of Unilever’s operations is evident through its 400 brands serving a global consumer base (Reza, 2020). On the other hand, the marketing department is responsible in increasing the awareness of the company’s products through various promotion and advertising activities. After production process, the consumer base and the target population have to be aware of the available products and how to get and purchase them. Therefore, marketing activities are focused on informing the public of the products available in the catalogue. The success of the marketing activities of Unilever Company is evident through the popularity of the various brands under the Unilever umbrella. Consumers around the world from developed to low-economic countries are relying on Unilever’s products on a daily basis. Therefore, the operation department ensures that the products are ready to be delivered to their clients while marketing ensures that the public is informed of the available products.
Despite the success of the alignment between the marketing and operation departments in Unilever Company, more improvement can still be achieved for better outcomes. One of the improvements that can be implemented is to align internal business functions. This can be achieved by ensuring that both departments share some aspects in their business functions. Another improvement can be achieved through a process oriented organizational layout (Rangarajan et al., 2018). Unilever Company enjoys a top global position because of the success recorded in its operations and marketing departments. However, more success can be attained if more business functions within the different departments can be aligned and run alongside each other. The differences between the two departments are in some cases distinct, and may have a negative impact on the overall performance of the company. Therefore, by aligning the business functions, it would ensure that the departments are interdependent on each other and this would lead to better working together and minimizing of the differences. Another improvement that can be implemented is through adopting a process oriented organizational layout. In the layout, the activities of all departments are recognized as part of a process that is carried out across the organization. In improving the efficiency of the two departments working alongside each other, aligning of internal business functions and adopting a process oriented organizational layout are some of the recommendations that can be implemented. Unilever continues to look for better ways in which it can enhance its operations and marketing departments.
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