Generally, downsizing in package-goods marketing ranks is being driven not by technology but by consolidation, which reduces the need for executives, particularly in such support functions as market research, said Michael Hoye, a former VP at Colgate-Palmolive Co. and now a management and marketing consultant with Hoye & Partners, Danbury, Conn. Systems can't replace top managers or replace the analytical skills of marketing executives, but they can, like managers, help instill discipline, he said.
"I think [such systems] would provide consistency in approach," Mr. Hoye
said."It would probably rope in a couple of cowboys who want to work outside the system.."
added that marketing department headcounts aren't really major expenses in many companies, and that no system can be a substitute for good marketing executives.
"Garbage in, garbage out still applies," he
said."Regardless of what kind of template or format you've got, at the end you still have to have some people with experience and knowledge and judgment about issues."