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More on marketing mumbo jumbo.

Last month, we discussed the pressure frequently exerted on sales and marketing people to assess and quantify the probability of future events occurring.

In addressing this need, we endeavored to introduce and define the language involved in some of the newer marketing methods such as Simulation and Modeling. Here, we will summarize these and also talk a little about Decision Theory Analysis, Operations Research, Organizational Development and the Systems Approach.

You may not think these terms have much application to the foundry industry, and you may be right. But your boss, who wants to stay current on the latest buzz words, will undoubtedly throw some of these marketing terms at you from time to time. Then, it seems only prudent to not just know the marketing terms, but also to have a basic understanding of these concepts. The first two terms were covered last month.

Decision Theory Analysis is another problem-solving technique much used in the marketing area, particularly to assess the probability and impact of future events. Essentially it involves: * defining the problem, objectives and

constraints; * distinguishing the major decision alternatives; * identifying key uncertainties; * gathering relevant data; * estimating the value of alternative

outcomes; and * choosing the best alternatives.

The fifth item is perhaps the most difficult because any decision maker always has several possible courses of action, each of which has a value in achievement of the objective. If the value of each alternative can be expressed numerically, then potential payoffs can be compared. More Mumbo Jumbo

Operations Research (OR) involves identifying and measuring goals, determining the variables that affect goal attainment, and then constructing a model to represent the situation. Some of the more common OR techniques are linear programming and formulations with trendy names like probability theory, queuing theory, Monte Carlo Methods and game theory (which is frequently referred to as simulation).

Organizational Development (OD) is a term used for the diagnosis and treatment of company problems and the organization of people within the company structure. Unlike the management psychologist, the OD practitioner seeks to improve group processes through case histories, role playing, business games, experience labs and other devices. OD has many values and marketing applications, but its use is still largely experimental.

The Systems Approach is particularly applicable to the foundry industry, which for the most part furnishes its customers with a casting service rather than a product. Increasingly though, more and more progressive foundries will be providing their customers with optimally designed, fully machined, inspected cast components on a just-in-time basis. This is a good example of the Systems Approach in action.

Being marketing-competent in our industry means much more than just being familiar with the latest marketing jargon. But it can't hurt to have a brief acquaintance with some of the more significant marketing techniques. At the very least, it will help counter the idea that the marketing world is passing you by.

The current business world is a society obsessed with numbers. Our computers spew out more and more figures calling for more and more study, interpretation and judgment. As the numbers increase, so will the devices for dealing with and analyzing them. Unless we acknowledge the value of new methods and understand the quantitative revolution, we are unnecessarily handicapping ourselves.

Most of us are inclined to panic when confronted with mathematical equations and esoteric marketing concepts. That's because we usually underrate our ability to follow trains of logical thought. But, with a little patience and a willingness to learn, there is no reason why we cannot quickly acquire at least a familiarity with the new problem-solving methods and be able to talk mumbo jumbo marketing language like a pro.
COPYRIGHT 1991 American Foundry Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Marketing
Author:Warden, T. Jerry
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Jul 1, 1991
Previous Article:Meeting the technical challenge of providing quality steel castings.
Next Article:Chill specimen structure tells iron properties; part 3 of 3.

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