Perceptions of South African practitioners on the structuring and tasks of marketing and communication managers within organisations

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Communicatio: South African Journal for Communication Theory and Research

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University of Cape Town

The structuring of marketing and communication management within key organisations in South Africa is changing. These changes are affecting the relationship between marketing and communication practitioners, as well as the key tasks they are responsible for within the organisation. Globally, companies are downsizing, restructuring and eliminating hierarchy. This article investigates how key South African companies have responded to these changes, by looking at how the marketing and communication functions are structured within the organisation. Marketing and communication managers from top South African companies were interviewed telephonically. Findings from the study indicate that the two functions are progressively moving towards an integrated approach. However, a commonly agreed organisational structure is still not pervasive. Each organisation structured the marketing and communication functions differently, and various perspectives existed on the key tasks of both marketing and communication managers. From these findings, it is evident that the relationship between marketing and communication, as well as the role and tasks of marketing and communication managers, is still very diverse in the South African context.