Thursday, 24 January 2013

Business strategy in relation to organizations

A strategy is a game plan used by an organization to achieve its desired objectives within a specified period of time. Strategy is about shaping the future. It is actually the human attempt to get to desirable ends with available means (McKeown, 2011). It is the overall scope and direction of a corporation and the way in which its various business operations work together to achieve particular goals. According to Porter (1996), “strategy is the creation of a unique and valuable position, involving a different set of activities”. The word creation in his statement infers that a strategy involves making choices after evaluating a set of available actions.
Strategy may be looked at from two perspectives;
1.      A method or plan chosen to bring about a desired future, such as achievement of a goal or solution to a problem.
2.      The art and science of planning and marshalling resources for their most efficient and effective use.
Tactics are employed in decision making process, to make an accurate forecast of the future of the business (Masanell & Ricart, 2009). It highlights the core purpose and objectives of the organization and what exactly needs to be done in order to realize those goals. Resources necessary are allocated. Tactics are employed to ensure that the strategy objectives and goals are met.
Values: are the fundamental beliefs of an entity. They are the principles we use to define that which is right, good and just. Values provide guidance as we determine the right versus the wrong, the good versus the bad. They would refer to acceptable standards within the workspace which govern the behavior of the individuals within the organization (Putnam, 2011). These values must be within the organization’s purpose, mission and vision. Ethical considerations that act as a guide to the behavior and morals of all the stakeholders in the organization an organization’s values are largely set in its culture and traditions. Organizations values are the foundation of the organization and are determined by what customers expect in their day to day interactions with the organization. Examples include:
·         Customer centered care
·         Empathy
·         Development
·         Enthusiasm
·         Partnership
-An organization's values should be clearly outlined in their mission statement as a way to build commitment in its adoption within the fabric of the organization.
Values ensure the health and wellbeing of the firm in the long run.

Concept value of firms expands beyond economic value to include other forms of value such as employee value, customer value, supplier value, channel partner value, alliance partner value, managerial value and societal value.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Business Product Strategy: A case on Magneto

Product attributes

This would involve the features or characteristic of the product. Before Magneto goes into production they need to understand the ability for the product to fulfill the needs of the customer
Quality – the major tool in positioning your product. It encompasses two key elements: 1) quality level - how it is made or perceived, and 2) quality consistency - how it performs over its life.
Features – the physical or intrinsic characteristics of your product that contribute to the benefits it offers.
Design – a combination of how the product looks and how it performs.
• Branding
A brand is a name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of these elements that identifies the maker or seller of a product or service. Branding is an important part of a product and contributes to its personality and perceived value. The power of a brand cannot be underestimated – many people buy on the strength of brand alone with no regard for price or performance.
• Packaging
Packaging incorporates the wrapper or container for your product. It serves to protect the product, ensuring it reaches the buyer in good condition and also conveys the personality of your brand and important safety and statutory information.
• Labeling
Labeling incorporates all the written information about your product and usually takes the form of an adhesive sticker, a tie-on tag or a printed piece of packaging.

The characteristics of the target market

The characteristic of the target market or the product’s potential customers is an essential part of the product strategy. This is because the company needs to understand the potential customers’ needs and their characters for the purpose of developing a product that this group can connect with. Magneto will need to consider their geographical locations which may encompass region, climatic conditions and so on, demographics which may include their age, gender among other variables, psychographics which includes the general personality and lifestyle, behaviors which includes their level of knowledge and attitude.

Market share objectives

Magneto will need to place focus on their market forecast for this product and their market share intentions. This will depend on whether they need to achieve market share dominance or they will just pursue profits or both. Market share objective will involve determining the size of the market and estimating how much of that market Magneto will require to meet their corporate and product goals.


Magneto will need to understand the competitive environment within the product category and class. In case Magneto is the pioneer for the said product they will need patents to protect their product from competition if this is not possible then they should gather information about other companies that are more likely to produce a similar product. This will enable them develop their product with strong features to withstand the threat. Competitor analysis makes up for an important part of product strategy because it seeks to offer insights on how well to beat the competition through taking advantage of their weaknesses and the opportunities that generally exist in the market.

Desired product positioning

This will involve the development of a unique selling preposition about the product. The product by Magneto can be positioned on the basis of an attitude or benefit, use or application, price or level of quality. The positioning should play to the company’s product strength and away from weakness.

Profit objectives

Depending on the product Magneto is making they may not be able to set their own prices but in most cases companies can set prices for their products. In that case then Magneto should pay close attention to the pricing of their product to ensure they offer value to the customer but also make profits. The price set versus the cost of production would directly impact profit objectives. Pursuit of cost leadership which affects the price will also have a direct impact on the profit targets from the product developed by Magneto. 

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Importance of Strategic Marketing to businesses

Strategic marketing seeks to establish a sustainable competitive advantage for an organization. This can be achieved through allocation of resources to opportunities that are geared towards meeting the organizations objectives. Strategic marketing employs processes beyond the marketing mix scope to ensure the organization differentiates itself effectively through providing superior offerings to customers. It provides the organization with an opportunity to improve on its strengths while seeking out opportunities and avoiding or dealing with threats appropriately.

Strategic marketing and customer value

Strategic marketing plays a major role in delivering added value by increasing consumer satisfaction and the quality of the organization’s offerings. Value from a strategic marketing point of view would include
·         The quality offered being commensurate with the price being charged
·         The value that is attached to the reputation of the brand
·         Value through customer service
·         Value provided by exceeding the customer’s expectations
In order for the above to be achieved strategies need to be implemented to better understand the customer’s needs and how they make their decisions, to incorporate features in the product or service that would meet these needs and cultivating loyalty and trust to ensure long-term engagement with the customer.

Strategic marketing and business portfolio

Strategic marketing enables the organization to determine the businesses that it should engage in. Thus the organization only concentrates its efforts and resources towards developing an attractive business portfolio and understanding the businesses that it engages in. Apart from determining the direction of the businesses the organization should engage in, strategic marketing will also guide the process of developing the organization’s growth policies.

Strategic marketing and understanding of the environment

Strategic marketing provides for the understanding of the environment and situation. A PEST analysis would guide the marketing process in order to gain the highest level of benefits. Political, economic, social-cultural, technological, legal and environmental factors are given high priority to enable the organization to recognize both the opportunities and threats presented by these factors.

Marketing strategies

Strategic marketing provides the approaches that would be used to handle the different strategic business units as they are determined by the organization. These approaches are derived from the different characteristics of a particular unit. For example, using the BCG matrix, different units would be classified in different levels which are stars, cows, question marks and dogs. Stars are high growth products that are stronger than competitors and have the potential of becoming cash cows in future. Cows are low growth products with a considerable high market share. Question marks they operate in high growth markets but are currently in low market share. Dogs are units that operate in low growth markets and have low market share making them unattractive.

For each of these levels different strategies may be employed such as building share to turn a question mark into a star, hold where the organization would invest only enough to keep the unit going in the case of stars, Harvest in the case of stars to turn them into cows and Divest in the case of dogs.