Friday, November 09, 2012

Strategy Development for Different Markets

What's your strategy for your strategy?

A recent article in Boston Consulting Group's "perspective" categorized strategy according to two dimensions.
  • Predictability - how well you can glean foresight from the crystal ball.  Household Products and Beverages predictable.  Transportation Infrastructure and Marine are unpredictable environments.
  • Malleability - how well you (and your competitors) can change the rules of the game.  Tobacco and Office Electronics are well structured, defined spaces.  In comparison, Health Care, Food Products, and Diversified Consumer Products can be invented as we go.
The intersection of these two dimensions creates four all good consultants do.
  1. Classical:  Predictable; but can't change it -- so it is about managing resources
  2. Adaptive:  Unpredictable; and still can't change it -- so agility is key
  3. Shaping: Unpredictable, but can change it -- so influence it and occupy a sweet spot
  4. Visionary: Predictable; and you can change it --so be bold and create a market
It is interesting to note where some of the industries I work with sit in this matrix.
  • Internet & Catalog Retailing:  completely unpredictable, but reasonably malleable (shape)
  • Media: a little more predictable and malleable (visionary)
  • Food & Staples Retailing: quite predictable and a little less malleable (visionary)
  • Internet Software & Services: unpredictable and malleable (shape)
So, marketing in these spaces means a) we can (should) change the future and b)we need to balance the risks associated with unpredictable AND predictable industries.   

The intersection could be quite interesting to invent.

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