Many companies sell their products to many different markets. Dell sells its products to consumer, business, and government markets. Steel companies sell their steel to the railroad, construction, and public utility industries. When customers fall into different user groups with distinct buying preferences and practices, a market-management organization is desirable.
A market manager supervises several market managers (also called market- development managers, market specialists, or industry specialists). The market managers draw on functional services as needed. Market managers of important markets might even have functional specialists reporting to them.
Market managers are staff (not line) people, with duties similar to those of product managers. Market managers develop long-range and annual plans for their markets. Their performance is judged by their market's growth and Profitability. This system carries many of the same advantages and disadvantages of product-management systems. Its strongest advantage is that the marketing activity is organized to meet the needs of distinct customer groups rather than being focused on marketing functions, regions, or products. Many companies are reorganizing along market lines and becoming market- centered organizations.
A business facing an extremely complex and uncertain environment may find a matrix organization appropriate. The matrix form is the least bureaucratic or centralized and the most specialized type of organization. It brings together two or more different types of specialists within a participative coordination structure. One example gaining increased popularity is the product team, which consists of representatives from as number of functional areas assembled for each product or product line.
Companies that produce many products flowing into many markets may adopt I a matrix organization. It allows a project to be assigned to task force made up I of people drawn from various functional departments. Each task force is headed by a team leader or manager, and its members report both to the team leader and to the heads of their functional department.
The greatest advantage of matrix is the fact that it combines the skills and talents of people from several departments.
The disadvantage stems from the fact that members report to more than one person can lead to conflict instead of cooperation. But we can say categorically that none of the five ways of organizing marketing activities is inherently better off or worse than any of the others.