2 How Do Businesses Compete? Business strategies are primarily concerned with allocating resources across functional activities and product-markets to give the unit a sustainable advantage over its competitors.The unit’s core competencies and resources, together with the customer and competitive characteristics of its industry, determine the viability of any particular competitive strategy.
3 How Do Businesses Compete? Generic business-level competitive strategiesStrategies to gain and maintain competitive advantages (Michael Porter):Overall cost leadershipDifferentiationFocus
4 How Do Businesses Compete? Strategies based on intended rate of product-market development (Robert Miles and Charles Snow):Prospectors focus on growth through the development of new products and markets.Defenders concentrate on maintaining their positions in established product-markets while paying less attention to new product development.Analyzers try to maintain a strong position in core product-market(s) but seek expansion into new product-markets.Reactors have no clearly defined strategy.
5 Combined Typology of Business-Level Competitive Strategies
6 How Do Businesses Compete? The combined typology describes six business strategies, and each of the strategic categories could be further subdivided.It classifies business strategies on two primary dimensions:The unit’s desired rate of product-market development (expansion).The unit’s intended method of competing in its established product-markets.
7 How Do Businesses Compete? Do the same competitive strategies work for single-business firms and start-ups?The same set of generic strategies are just as appropriate for small firms as for business units within larger ones.In reality most entrepreneurial firms begin life as prospectors.
8 How Do Businesses Compete? Do the same competitive strategies work for service businesses?Basically, services can be thought of as intangibles and goods as tangibles.The former can rarely be experienced in advance of the sale, while the latter can be.The framework used to classify business-level competitive strategies is equally valid for service businesses.
9 How Do Businesses Compete? Do the same competitive strategies work for global competitors?Businesses that compete in multiple global markets almost always pursue one of the two types of analyzer strategy.A single SBU may need to engage in different functional activities across the various countries in which it competes.
10 How Do Businesses Compete? Will the Internet change everything?It will be harder for firms to differentiate themselves on any basis other than low price.Strategies focused on differentiation will become less viable, while firms pursuing low-cost strategies will be more successful.
11 How Do Businesses Compete? The Internet is primarily a communications channel.While it facilitates the dissemination of information, the goods and services themselves will continue to offer different features and benefits.The Internet will make it easier for firms to customize their offerings and personalize their relationships with their customers.
12 How Do Competitive Strategies Differ from One Another? Differences in scopeThe breadth and stability of a business’s domain are likely to vary with strategies.This can affect the variables the corporation uses to define its various businesses.Defender businesses tend to operate in relatively well-defined, narrow, and stable domains where both the product technology and the customer segments are mature.
13 How Do Competitive Strategies Differ from One Another? Prospector businesses usually operate in broad and rapidly changing domains where neither the technology nor customer segments are well established.Analyzer businesses usually have a well-established core business to defend, and often their domain is primarily focused on that business.
14 How Do Competitive Strategies Differ from One Another? Differences in goals and objectives – Important performance dimensions:Effectiveness—the success of a business’s products and programs relative to those of its competitors in the market.Efficiency—the outcomes of a business’s programs relative to the resources used in implementing them.Adaptability—the business’s success in responding over time to changing conditions and opportunities in the environment.
15 How Do Competitive Strategies Differ from One Another? It is very difficult for any SBU, regardless of its competitive strategy, to simultaneously achieve outstanding performance on even this limited number of dimensions.
16 How Do Competitive Strategies Differ from One Another? Differences in resource deploymentsProspector—and to a lesser degree, analyzer—businesses devote a relatively large proportion of resources to the development of new product-markets.Defenders focus the bulk of their resources on preserving existing positions in established product-markets.Resource allocations among functional departments and activities within the SBU also vary across businesses pursuing different strategies.
17 How Do Competitive Strategies Differ from One Another? Differences in sources of synergyThe sharing of operating facilities and programs may be an inappropriate approach to gaining synergy for businesses following a prospector strategy.Low-cost defenders should seek operating synergies that will make them more efficient.
18 Deciding When A Strategy is Appropriate Prospector strategySuited to unstable, rapidly changing environments resulting from new technology, shifting customer needs, or both.Most successful prospectors are usually strong in two broad areas of competence:R&D, product engineering, design, and other functional areas that identify new technology and convert it into innovative productsMarketing research, marketing and sales.
19 Deciding When A Strategy is Appropriate Analyzer strategyAppropriate for well-developed industries that are still experiencing some growth and change.Analyzers are often not as innovative in new product development as prospectors.
20 Deciding When A Strategy is Appropriate Defender strategyAppropriate for units with a profitable share of one or more major segments in a relatively mature, stable industry.It works best in industries where:The basic technology is not very complex.It is well developed and unlikely to change dramatically over the short term.
21 Deciding When A Strategy is Appropriate Differentiated defendersA business must be strong in those functional areas critical for maintaining its particular competitive advantages over time.Marketing is also importantLow-cost defendersRequires the business to be more efficient than its competitors.Efficiency and low price are the primary focus.
22 How Different Business Strategies Influence Marketing Decisions Product policiesThese concern the breadth or diversity of product lines, their level of technical sophistication, and the target level of product quality relative to competitors.For prospector businesses, policies encouraging broader and more technically advanced product lines than those of competitors should be positively related to performance.
23 How Different Business Strategies Influence Marketing Decisions Product policies (cont.)Differentiated defenders compete by offering more or better choices to customers than do their competitors.Broad and sophisticated product lines are less consistent with the efficiency requirements of the low-cost defender strategy.Businesses can distinguish themselves on the quality of service they offer.
24 How Different Business Strategies Influence Marketing Decisions Pricing policiesSuccess in offering low prices relative to those of competitors should be positively related to the performance of low-cost defender businesses.Differentiated defenders and prospectors seldom adhere to a policy of low competitive prices.
25 How Different Business Strategies Influence Marketing Decisions Distribution policiesA relatively high degree of forward vertical integration is found among defender businesses, particularly differentiated defenders.Prospectors rely more heavily on independent channel members to distribute their products.
26 How Different Business Strategies Influence Marketing Decisions Promotion policiesHigh advertising and sales promotion expenditures are likely to bear a positive relationship to the new product and share-growth success of prospector businesses.Differentiated defenders are primarily concerned with maintaining the loyalty of established customers by adapting to their needs and providing good service.
27 How Different Business Strategies Influence Marketing Decisions Promotion policies (cont.)Low-cost defenders businesses are likely to make relatively low expenditures as a percentage of sales on promotional activities.
28 Effective implementation of different business strategies requires: What If the Best Marketing Program for a Product Does Not Fit the Business’s Competitive Strategy?Effective implementation of different business strategies requires:Different functional competencies and resources.Different organizational structures, decision-making and coordination processes, reward systems, and even personnel.
29 What If the Best Marketing Program for a Product Does Not Fit the Business’s Competitive Strategy? In view of the implementation problems involved, some firms might form new prospector SBUs to pursue emerging technologies and industries rather than expecting established units to handle extensive new product development efforts.
30 What If the Best Marketing Program for a Product Does Not Fit the Business’s Competitive Strategy? As individual product-market entries gain successful positions in growing markets, some firms move them from the prospector unit that developed them into an existing analyzer or defender unit, or even into a newly formed SBU.
31 What If the Best Marketing Program for a Product Does Not Fit the Business’s Competitive Strategy? Some firms that are technological leaders in their industries may divest or license individual product-market entries as they mature rather than defend them in the face of increasing competition and eroding margins.
32 Take-AwaysResearch suggests that a business is likely to achieve superior revenue growth, market share, and profitability when there is a good fit between its competitive strategy and the strategic marketing programs of its various product or service offerings.
33 Take-AwaysBusiness-level competitive strategies can be usefully categorized into:Prospector strategies focused on growth via the development of new products and markets;Defender strategies primarily concerned with defending strong positions in established markets; andAnalyzer strategies, which are hybrids of the other two strategies.
34 Take-AwaysThe generic competitive strategies described in the previous point apply equally well to services and physical products, single-product start-ups and multidivisional corporations, and global and domestic operations, and they are unlikely to change dramatically due to the rise of e-commerce.
35 Take-AwaysBecause the various business-level strategies focus on different objectives and seek to gain a competitive advantage in different ways, marketing may play a different role under each of the strategies, and varying marketing actions may be called for.
36 Take-AwaysThe marketing decision maker’s job is to develop a sound, evidence-based marketing strategy for his or her offering and to make a persuasive case for its support.If that strategy does not fit the objectives or available resources and competencies of the business unit in which the product is housed, top management may choose to move the product to a more amenable unit or require adjustments to the strategy.
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