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FROM EXPERIENCE: Creating Synergy between Marketing and Research and Development

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The tensions between marketing and research and development (R&D) are so common that we have come to accept them as the way organizations are. If we remain resigned like this, how will we ever reap some of the benefits that can accrue from these groups working better together? If we can improve the working relationships between marketing and R&D, researchers promise a variety of desirable organizational outcomes, such as cycle-time reduction and new product success.

This article describes in detail the changes that a Fortune 500 company made to its product development process to foster synergy between marketing and R&D. The modified process formalized the roles of marketing and R&D at both the front and back ends of the product development process, increasing productive interaction between the groups. The company found that at the front end, marketing and R&D needed to work together (1) to clarify the market requirements implicit in the market attack plan and (2) to develop a technical strategy that responded to the market requirements and that consequently implemented the market attack plan. At the back end, the groups needed to work together (3) to formulate the value messages used to market the company's products. The synergy created between marketing and R&D through the new process is credited for enabling the company to compete successfully in a market it never before had entered.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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