To assess the value of marketing for Barclays I need to define the term "Business Philosophy"This is where Barclays feel that we should put marketing at the heart of our organisation. This would enable us to be more customer focussed and customer driven. This would result in many of our company's processes being restructured to identify what our consumer's needs and wants are. With this information a product can be developed to satisfy then exceed our customers expectations.Marketing can assist our goal to be more customer focussed in many areas of our company. At Barclays we sell a service and not a good, there are four characteristics that separate our services from a good. By applying marketing techniques at each of these characteristics adds value to our services by showing our customers that we are customer focused and differentiated from our competitors. If we can reach this goal then retaining and gaining customers will lead us to increased and sustained profits.Intangibility"A good is an object, a device a thing whereas a service is a deed, a performance, an effort" Berry 1980How can marketing add value to a service that is impaluable?Marketing can provide customer focused evidence through offering tangible elements to our services. We can design and provide an environment within a Branch that exceeds the expectations of our customers. Simply offering drinks to our customers making them feel welcomed can create a relaxed, enjoyable experience. As our products may be difficult to understand as they are intangible we can provide informative, easy reading brochures for our customers to read giving them confidence to stay loyal with us.InseparabilityOur services are sold, then produced and consumed simultaneously. Production and Marketing at this stage are interactive processes. To be customer focussed marketing allows us to meet the need of the consumer through having different packages to suit different needs. Front line service employees can tailor a product to match a range of needs to suit each individual.HeterogeneityBarclays is a people based company. We have at branch levels many staff that advise and recommend products to our customers. To maintain high levels of quality marketing can assist us with how to deal with non-standardisation. By providing set procedures to our staff on how to deal with different needs quality can be assured and most importantly consistent.Perish abilityAs Barclay's products are produced and consumed simultaneously we cannot build and maintain stocks of our products. This can result in high demand period's customers being sent away disappointed or low demand periods where the product is being wasted.To maintain our goal of being customer focused marketing can allow us to identify trends and predict future trends. When demand is expected to be low we can revise our marketing campaign to increase awareness of our services. During periods when we expect demand to be high we can maximize the number of staff to deal with customers and also offer other mediums e.g. telephone banking.Fiduciary responsibility"The implicit responsibility of financial service organisations for customers funds...." (Mckechnie and Harrison, 1995). Trust and confidence is required of the consumer from purchasing our products. To gain trust and confidence marketing can show how we are customer focused by relying on previous statistics in current campaigns. Factors including our size, our profits and most importantly how customers are happy with us and stay with us are key factors in gaining new customers in order to increase our profits.Can the value of marketing, as a business philosophy be negative?Barclays deciding to be customer focused is suited to meeting any needs that their customers have. However, this can have drawbacks.*The costs involved of trying to meet a need and the time involved may not suffice the level of profit that could be gained from eventually matching a product to the identified need.*This approach continues to give consumers more power. By highlighting that we want to meet all needs of our customers may give an attitude to consumers of expecting products and service that is impossible for us to meet. As a result this could harm our relationship that we have with them and lower the amount of confidence that they have within us.2. Analyse the contribution of 'a centre of excellence' in achieving a market orientationBefore I analyse I will define market orientation"A Marketing orientation requires the organisation to view its business from the point of its customers" (see Harrison, 2000 pp.41)This task is related to the previous question because again customer focus and being customer driven is their target.To analyse the contribution of a centre of excellence to achieve a marketing orientation I need to consider the four new objectives of the centre of excellence:RestructureBarclays plan to bring Woolwich and Barclaycard under tighter control of marketing director Simon Guilford. This will ensure that all brands are uniformed, with one key value and aim to promote market orientation. Barclays have a clear centre point now where co-ordinating and planning are under control to drive all the brands at the same time from being product orientated to customer orientated.Brand identityBarclays have the brand names, which identify their products as having a sustainable differential advantage over competitors. A Brand is different to a product as it is unique and is timeless, now the centre of excellence needs to use the identity it has but change its value to being customer orientated. This can be achieved through regaining trust and confidence that a Brand can offer from a consumer.Customer InsightThis is a key area to Barclays. The centre of excellence can ensure that all future services incorporate the view and opinions of our customers.Marketing OperationsThe centre of Excellence can impact marketing orientation through revising the company's processes. Processes add value in the marketing mix to the product/service on offer. The current mechanism that the service is delivered must be altered, to gain increased input of consumers to identify their needs. Processes will be incorporated with consumers so it is important to ensure high quality is at each stage to remain customer focussed. Although with the diverse needs of consumers the processes must be adaptable to incorporate a diversity of consumer needs.Communication and CohesionThe Centre of excellence should assist the goal of market orientation by enhancing communication and cohesion.Communication: A sharing of meaning through transferring information, either through personal or non-personal means. (see Davies 1998 pp.364)Within the marketing mix promoting a product is hampered if there are poor communication techniques or poor communication channels. If clear communication processes are in place then it is possible for Barclays to stay customer focused because through these processes feedback and opinions can be analysed. After analysis the service can be altered to identify the need then increase profits.Cohesion: Greater Cohesion should be achieved through the restructure. Greater cohesion should allow all parts of the company to share market research and work together to drive the company as a whole to market orientation.Can a centre of excellence negatively affect the goal of market orientation?Relationships"From a seller perspective, the motive is to develop customer commitment and loyalty" (see Davies 1998 pp. 380)The centre of excellence needs to enforce a customer focus relationship, different to the past, when the company was product orientated.Do customers want a new relationship?*Customers may feel uncomfortable with Barclays as they feel their part in the relationship changes.*Standardisation is difficult for Barclays as there are many segments of their market. Customers may feel unwanted if there circumstances are hard to categorize resulting in them closing their accounts.What is the effect on Barclay's staff?*Employees may feel hesitant to change. As People are the interface of the company these feeling may be passed onto the consumer resulting in less confidence and trust in the relationship. This would adversely affect the target of customer focus.*With new key goals from the centre of excellence does the company have a good training structure to ensure quality is maintained at all levels? There is little point in having a new strategy if the culture of the company will not enforce it.3. Consider the Impact of fewer jobs in marketing on marketing orientation.I have already defined market orientation as Barclays viewing its business from the point of its consumers.I now plan to consider how Barclays can stay customer focussed when the article comments:"It is inevitable that there will be fewer jobs in marketing as the business goes forward" (Spokesman for Barclays)Customer Relationship Management"CRM is a term for methodologies, technologies and e-commerce capabilities used by companies to manage customer relationships" (see Foss and Stone 2001 pp.3)With less people in marketing the relationship will be negatively affected because as Barclays gain new customers the attention to each individual customer will be less. It is impossible to stay customer focused when there are fewer resources focussing on the customers needs. The impact of a poor relationship may then lead to customers closing their accounts adversely effecting Barclays Profits.Marketing MixI plan to concentrate on one aspect of the marketing mix (People)ProductPricePlacePromotionProfitPeopleThe internal controllable resources of Barclays include "people".The impact of Barclay's staff on the company can be defined as:"The success of a business is more dependant on the attitudes, commitment and skills of the whole workforce than any other factor" (see Wright 1999 pp23)I would therefore disagree that any restructure that reduces the marketing workforce will create the key objectives set by the centre of excellence.Individuals who currently work within Marketing at Barclays will now know that their job is unsafe in the future. This can cause stress and anxiety in the workforce and ruin any relationship already made with customers. As a result the reputation earned by the company may be lost.People are needed to add value to the customer within the service that Barclays offer. Barclays have many interfaces where the people of the organisation represent the whole company. At Branch level which is face to face and communication through phone and email. If staff feel threatened with the current change, this will be passed to the customer through poor service, unwillingly ness to help with problems etc.External EnvironmentWith fewer Marketers I would argue that it would take longer to respond to the external environment.CompetitorsA key attribute to proving that we are customer focused, unlike our competitors, is to give our customers a better level of service. With fewer marketing staff, adapting to our competitors products may take longer. As a result, the relationship between our customers may be deemed as being false and we could loose the confidence that our customers have with us. The worst outcome would be loosing our customers to our competitor's products.Can the impact of fewer Jobs in marketing help market orientation?Fewer Jobs in marketing will cut costs for Barclays. The money saved on labour resources could be invested into other areas of the business.*To stay customer focussed Barclays may want to give their customers more. Higher interest rates on accounts could be provided through the saving of financial resources from less marketing positions.*The money saved again could be reinvested into marketing related departments. Increasing jobs in project development areas would see products being designed and implemented quicker. This would satisfy the strategy of market orientation because customer focus is being placed on constantly improving products that would be then more appealing to the consumer.*Investing money into the technology that cashiers at branches use will enhance the drive of customer focus because systems would be quicker, easier to use, and deal with general enquires more efficiently.ConclusionBarclays have decided to be customer focused to drive the company forward. The reports three sections has shown how customer focus is a key aim as they relate together. Under any restructure a company must plan and co-ordinate carefully for the objectives to be met. With any restructure, problems may arise so forward thinking and a clear centre point and aim the key to success.BibliographyDavies, Mark AP 1998 Understanding Marketing. Hemel Hempstead: Prentice HallHarrison, Tina 2000 Financial Services Marketing. Harlow: Pearson Education LtdWright, Ray 1999 Marketing: Origins, Concepts, Enviroment.London: Thompson LearningFoss, Barry & Stone, Merlin 2001 Successful Customer Relationship Marketing. London: Kogan Page Limited.