The growing need for advice on how to integrate market strategy, product development and internal marketing

Date of publication: June 15, 1988

Author: J. S. Thune


The business of market research has been slow to appreciate the need to define our clients' marketing problems before we look for market solutions. When at long last we seem to have realized this, we must be very careful not to view these problems as mere excuses for more research. Our clients marketing problems should be considered as such in order to understand fully what is needed, and whether we can deliver. Only then will they represent an interesting market for advice, so that we can judge to what extent this creates a need for research, and if so what kind. Therefore, in order to be able to discuss the development of our consultancy role, we should consider first the problems that are most important to our clients and at the same time represent the biggest challenge to us as consultants. This paper aims to analyse how our consultancy role in business to business marketing develops differently from that in consumer research, using the need for companies to integrate market strategy, product development and internal marketing as an example of a marketing problem of rapidly growing importance. Three cases are very briefly described in order to indicate the type of advice that is demanded, what type of research follows from this, and finally, what kind of competence.

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