The integration of operational management and marketing in the information and communication industry in Gauteng
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The basis of the study is that profitability is enhanced through increasing throughput through sound marketing and communications and decreasing cost through sound operational management. Part of marketing is to deliver a quality service according to customer requirements, at the right time and place. It is hypothesised that the 3.9% South African entrepreneurial success rate can be enhanced through the integration of marketing, communications and operations. Research objectives include determining the level of awareness of the concept of integration between marketing and operations, and the cause and effect relationship between integration and profitability. The researcher is striving to provide evidence of the need for integration between marketing and operations and to determine how integrated the ICT industry is at present. Three out of the four aspects in the marketing mix - product, price and place - are determined by operations, while marketing traditionally only handles promotions. In new product development the integration between marketing and operations is vital. Through integration operations can deliver what the client wants while marketing educates the consumer. It was found that 76.2% of the respondents have an awareness of the need for integration between marketing and operations, but only 40.5% of companies have formal touch points in place. Those who do have formal touch points are more profitable, with a .44 positive correlation. Although only one significant correlation could be found, respondents have listed many problems due to a lack of integration. The level of integration between marketing and operations is rated at an average of 4 on a scale of 1 to 7. A need for integration and in-depth operational knowledge and the alignment of both with company strategy is evident in the market.