Marperations: The New Science of Business

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Graduate schools of business have long sought to create a science out of business. From Frederick Taylor to Peter Drucker, who "practically invented the science of modern corporate management," (WIRED Magazine) there have been great developments in forming standards, norms, and best practices in business.

This article produces a new development in the bridging of science and business. It creates a new word never found in the lexicon of any language to describe this new science. Science is about to discover, as it usually (if not always) does, a truth that has always existed in the universe.

"Marperations", the unification, synergy, and integration of marketing and operations, has existed since the beginning of time; however, since we did not have a word for it, no MBA program has yet taught it. This term opens the door for the world of business to benefit from a cohesive system; one in which marketing and operations are two sides of the same coin, just as price and quality have become.

In my corporate days, I held the unique position of VP of Marketing and Operations Services for Papa John's International. I tested the science of Marperations in this highly competitive environment and proved it robust. It is based on sound principles and has produced great, long-term value for the company. I have to admit that it took years of practice before I realized the need for a name that connects both.

This article shares some of the wisdom found in the concept of Marperations which contradicts the prevailing theory; a theory that separates marketing from operations entirely.

The Prevailing Wisdom:

Currently, marketing and operations are separated by job titles, division of departments (not to mention personalities), and by how success is measured. They are further divided by different planning processes and budgetary silos. It is not natural, nor is it wise to have this

compartmentalized approach to marketing and operations. The primary reason that this is an unwise compartmentalization exists in these two facts:

1. A company's marketers know that marketing takes place 100% of the time in the enterprise. Every customer interaction is an opportunity for marketing.
2. Operations personnel know that operations takes place 100% of the time. Every experience determines the customer's future relationship with the brand.

These two events always exist at the same time and in the same place. Therefore, the science of business will tell you they are related, and they should not be examined independently of one another.

The New Wisdom of MarperationsTM

Science is built on universal truths. The five universal truths behind the concept Marperations are:

1. Every customer interaction - which is usually in the exclusive domain of operations - is actually marketing to a significant extent.
2. Every advertising campaign - which is usually in the exclusive domain of marketing - sets the expectation that governs every sale and is therefore in the operations realm.
3. Linking marketing and operations is critical to presenting one unified message to the customer. This occurs from the start of the marketing communication to the actual sale of the product or service.
4. The better a company's operations run, the easier it is to market its product or service.
5. The better a company's marketing runs, the easier it is to perform the business of operations.

If a company links marketing and operations so they can plan, implement change, set goals, and feed out of the same budget, improvements in marketing will always spill over to create improvements in operations.

Creating the Path to MarperationsTM
Marperations is not a theory. It is a fundamental, yet new operational approach. It starts with integration of all marketing and operational platforms at every level of the organization. In essence, marketing must inform everyone in operations of all key marketing approaches. In turn, operations must inform everyone in marketing of all key operational strengths, challenges, and change efforts in the organization.

CMO's and COO's must meet regularly and coordinate their activities closely. CEO's must assure these meetings take place and act as the owner of Marperations. The Board of Directors must require a Marperations report every quarter for the first year to insure this new way of doing business is fully exploited.

The benefits of Marperations are obvious. Plans to create this new unified force within a company are the subject of a series of articles by this author. A company can develop its own approach and own procedure to integrate this new science into their business.

Undergraduate and graduate schools can fight over whether the Marperations course fits in the marketing or operations department of their school. Operations research gurus can begin to build success metrics for this new science. Marketing people can begin to construct new marketing messages that promote the strong operations of their companies as a unique value proposition.

Marperations is the future of business, but we cannot deny its role in the present. Many companies already have the basis for linking marketing and operations through enterprise wide data systems.

These systems allow the company to merge marketing data with operations data to form enterprise wide reports; reports that measure the existence and results of the new activity we call Marperations. Books will surely be written on Marperations, but every business can immediately start down this fruitful path and gain the wisdom and benefits of this new science of business.

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