Management Consulting/Strategic Management


1.     Explain the significance of strategic management and explain the process of strategic formulation.
2.      Do you think that Indian brands can compete with global brands? Justify your answer, by taking wrist watch segment as example.

1.   Explain the significance of strategic management and explain the process of strategic formulation.
Strategic management is the art and science of formulating, implementing and evaluating cross-functional decisions that will enable an organization to achieve its objectives. It is the process of specifying the organization's objectives, developing policies and plans to achieve these objectives, and allocating resources to implement the policies and plans to achieve the organization's objectives. Strategic management, therefore, combines the activities of the various functional areas of a business to achieve organizational objectives. It is the highest level of managerial activity, usually formulated by the Board of Directors and performed by the organization's chief  executive  officer (CEO) and executive team. Strategic management provides overall direction`
to the enterprise.
“Strategic management is an ongoing process that assesses the business and the industries in which the company is involved; assesses its competitors and sets goals and strategies to meet all existing and potential competitors; and then reassesses each strategy annually or quarterly [i.e. regularly] to determine how it has been implemented and whether it has succeeded or needs replacement by a new strategy to meet changed circumstances, new technology, new competitors, a new economic environment., or a new social, financial, or political environment.”

1. Defining business, stating a mission, & forming a strategic vision
2. Setting measurable objectives
3. Crafting a strategy to achieve objectives
4. Implementing & executing strategy
5. Evaluating performance, reviewing new developments, & initiating corrective adjustments
•   Convert mission into performance targets
•   Create yardsticks to track performance
•   Establish performance goals requiring stretch
•   Push firm to be inventive, intentional, focused
•   6.Setting CHALLENGING but ACHIEVABLE objectives guards against
•   Complacency
•   Drift
•   Internal confusion
•   Status quo performance
*Helps with  the  Outcomes that relate to improving firm’s financial performance
*Helps  with  the  Outcomes that will result in greater competitiveness & stronger long-term market position
Decision Making
1. Define the problem
This is often where people struggle. They react to what they think the problem is. Instead, seek to understand more about why you think there's a problem.
Defining the problem: (with input from yourself and others)
Ask yourself and others, the following questions:
a. What can you see that causes you to think there's a problem?
b. Where is it happening?
c. How is it happening?
d. When is it happening?
e. With whom is it happening? (HINT: Don't jump to "Who is causing the problem?" When we're stressed, blaming is often one of our first reactions. To be an effective manager, you need to address issues more than people.)
f. Why is it happening?
g. Write down a five-sentence description of the problem in terms of "The following should be happening, but isn't ..." or "The following is happening and should be: ..." As much as possible, be specific in your description, including what is happening, where, how, with whom and why. (It may be helpful at this point to use a variety of research methods.
Defining complex problems:
a. If the problem still seems overwhelming, break it down by repeating steps a-f until you have descriptions of several related problems.
Verifying your understanding of the problems:
a. It helps a great deal to verify your problem analysis for conferring with a peer or someone else.
Prioritize the problems:
a. If you discover that you are looking at several related problems, then prioritize which ones you should address first.
b. Note the difference between "important" and "urgent" problems. Often, what we consider to be important problems to consider are really just urgent problems. Important problems deserve more attention. For example, if you're continually answering "urgent" phone calls, then you've probably got a more "important" problem and that's to design a system that screens and prioritizes your phone calls.
Understand your role in the problem:
a. Your role in the problem can greatly influence how you perceive the role of others. For example, if you're very stressed out, it'll probably look like others are, too, or, you may resort too quickly to blaming and reprimanding others. Or, you are feel very guilty about your role in the problem, you may ignore the accountabilities of others.
2. Look at potential causes for the problem
a. It's amazing how much you don't know about what you don't know. Therefore, in this phase, it's critical to get input from other people who notice the problem and who are effected by it.
b. It's often useful to collect input from other individuals one at a time (at least at first). Otherwise, people tend to be inhibited about offering their impressions of the real causes of problems.
c. Write down what your opinions and what you've heard from others.
d. Regarding what you think might be performance problems associated with an employee, it's often useful to seek advice from a peer or your supervisor in order to verify your impression of the problem.
e.Write down a description of the cause of the problem and in terms of what is happening, where, when, how, with whom and why.
3.Define the Goal or Objective

In a sense, every problem is a situation that prevents us from achieving previously determined goals. If a personal goal is to lead a pleasant and meaningful life, then any situation that would prevent it is viewed as a problem. Similarly, in a business situation, if a company objective is to operate profitably, then problems are those occurrences which prevent the company from achieving its previously defined profit objective. But an objective need not be a grand, overall goal of a business or an individual. It may be quite narrow and specific. "I want to pay off the loan on my car by May," or "The plant must produce 300 golf carts in the next two weeks," are more limited objectives. Thus, defining the objective is the act of exactly describing the task or goal.
4. Identify alternatives for approaches to resolve the problem
a. At this point, it's useful to keep others involved (unless you're facing a personal and/or employee performance problem). Brainstorm for solutions to the problem. Very simply put, brainstorming is collecting as many ideas as possible, then screening them to find the best idea. It's critical when collecting the ideas to not pass any judgment on the ideas -- just write them down as you hear them.
5. Select an approach to resolve the problem
When selecting the best approach, consider:
a. Which approach is the most likely to solve the problem for the long term?
b. Which approach is the most realistic to accomplish for now? Do you have the resources? Are they affordable? Do you have enough time to implement the approach?
c. What is the extent of risk associated with each alternative?
6. Plan the implementation of the best alternative (this is your action plan)
a. Carefully consider "What will the situation look like when the problem is solved?"
b. What steps should be taken to implement the best alternative to solving the problem? What systems or processes should be changed in your organization, for example, a new policy or procedure? Don't resort to solutions where someone is "just going to try harder".
c. How will you know if the steps are being followed or not? (these are your indicators of the success of your plan)
d. What resources will you need in terms of people, money and facilities?
e. How much time will you need to implement the solution? Write a schedule that includes the start and stop times, and when you expect to see certain indicators of success.
f. Who will primarily be responsible for ensuring implementation of the plan?
g. Write down the answers to the above questions and consider this as your action plan.
h. Communicate the plan to those who will involved in implementing it and, at least, to your immediate supervisor.
(An important aspect of this step in the problem-solving process is continually observation and feedback.)
7. Monitor implementation of the plan
Monitor the indicators of success:
a. Are you seeing what you would expect from the indicators?
b. Will the plan be done according to schedule?
c. If the plan is not being followed as expected, then consider: Was the plan realistic? Are there sufficient resources to accomplish the plan on schedule? Should more priority be placed on various aspects of the plan? Should the plan be changed?
8. Verify if the problem has been resolved or not
One of the best ways to verify if a problem has been solved or not is to resume normal operations in the organization. Still, you should consider:
a. What changes should be made to avoid this type of problem in the future? Consider changes to policies and procedures, training, etc.
b. Lastly, consider "What did you learn from this problem solving?" Consider new knowledge, understanding and/or skills.
c. Consider writing a brief memo that highlights the success of the problem solving effort, and what you learned as a result. Share it with your supervisor, peers and subordinates


-apply the pestel analysis with respect TO ITS BUSINESS

1.Political (incl. Legal)

-Environmental regulations and protection
[what are the government regualtions/ protection laws that must be observed ]

-Tax policies
what tax hinder the business and what taxes incentives are available]

-International trade regulations and restrictions
[ does the government encourage exports / with high tariffs on imports]

-Contract enforcement law/Consumer protection
[does the government enforce on consumer protection ]

-Employment laws]
[ is the government encouraging skilled immigrants with temp. permits]

-Government organization / attitude
[ does the government have a very positive attitude towards this industry]

-Competition regulation
[ are there regulation for limiting competition]

-Political Stability
[ politically , does the government have a very stable government ]

-Safety regulations
[ has the government adopted some of the modern safety regulations]

-Economic growth
[ what is the economic growth rate / what are the reasons ]

-Interest rates & monetary policies
[ are the interest rates under control / is there a sound monetary policies]

-Government spending
[is government spending is significant and is it under control ]

-Unemployment policy
[what is the employment / unemployment policies of the government ]

[ has the taxation encouraged the industry ]

-Exchange rates
[ is there well managed exchange controls and is it helping the industry]

-Inflation rates
[ is the inflation well under control ]

-Stage of the business cycle
[ is your industry is on the growth pattern]

-Consumer confidence
[ is the consumer confidence is high/ strong and if not, why ]


-Income distribution
[is there balanced income distribution policy ]

-Demographics, Population growth rates, Age distribution
[ what is population growth and why ]

-Labor / social mobility
[ what are the labor policies and is there labor mobility]

-Lifestyle changes
[ are there significant lifestyle changes taking place--more modernization/ why ]

-Work/career and leisure attitudes
[ are the population career minded and are seeking better lifestyle]

[ what are the education policies / is it successful ]

-Fashion, hypes
[are the people becoming fashion conscious ]

-Health consciousness & welfare, feelings on safety
[ are the people becoming health consciousness]

-Living conditions
[ is the living conditions improving fast and spreading rapidly]


Government research spending
[is the government spending on research and development]

Industry focus on technological effort
[are the industries focused on using improved technology]

New inventions and development
[ are new inventions being encouraged for developments]

Rate of technology transfer
[ is the rate of technology transfer is speeding up ]

(Changes in) Information Technology
[ is the information technology rapidly moving and is there government support]

(Changes in) Internet
[ is the internet usage rapidly increasing and why]

(Changes in) Mobile Technology
[is the Mobile technology rapidly developing and is there government support]
5.External Assessment

Areas for opportunities and threats

* Markets [ what is the market situation, which is forcing the change requirements
*Customers [ how can service the customer -internal / external -better .
* Industry [ is the industry trend ]
* Competition [ is it the competitive situation
*Factors of business [ causing the change]
* Technology [ is it technology change ]

Internal Assessment

Areas for strengths, weaknesses, and barriers to success

*Culture [ is the working culture change ]
* Organization [ is the organization demanding change ]
* Systems [ is it the systems change ]
* Management practices [ change in managemement process]


*Cost efficiency[ is it for cost efficiency ]
* Financial performance [ is it for financial performance improvement ]
* Quality [ is it for quality performance improvement
*Service [ is it for service performance improvement
*Technology[ is it for technology performance improvement
* Market segments [ is it for sales performance improvement
* Innovation[ is it for performance improvement
*new products[ is it for new product performance improvement
*Asset condition[ is it for financial performance improvement
*productivity[ is it for financial performance improvement









Your Core markets;
Your CORE strategic thrusts.


The arena of products, services, customers, technologies, distribution methods, and geography in which you'll compete to get results.








2.      Do you think that Indian brands can compete with global brands? Justify your answer, by taking wrist watch  segment as example.





Target market is the market  segment to which a particular product is market . It is often defined by age, gender and/or  socio-economic  grouping.
Targeting strategy is the selection of the customers you wish to service. The decisions involved in targeting strategy include:
•   which segments to target
•   how many products to offer
•   which products to offer in which segments
There are three steps to targeting:
•     market  segmentation
•   target choice
•   product positioning
Targeting strategy decisions are influenced by:
•   market maturity
•   diversity of buyers needs and preferences
•   strength of the competition
•   the volume of sales required for profitability
Targeting can be selective  eg.:
-focus  strategy  ,
-market  specialization strategy  
- or niche  strategy ,
-or extensive (eg.:full coverage , mass marketing, or product specialization ].


1.Just consider the case of  WRIST WATCHES



-develop  the  target  market  profile.
-then go for  the  product  development.


Target market is the market  segment to which a particular product is market . It is often defined by age, gender and/or  socio-economic  grouping.
Targeting strategy is the selection of the customers you wish to service. The decisions involved in targeting strategy include:
•   which segments to target
•   how many products to offer
•   which products to offer in which segments
There are three steps to targeting:
•     market  segmentation
•   target choice
•   product positioning
Targeting strategy decisions are influenced by:
•   market maturity
•   diversity of buyers needs and preferences
•   strength of the competition
•   the volume of sales required for profitability
Targeting can be selective  eg.:
-focus  strategy  ,
-market  specialization strategy  
- or niche  strategy ,
-or extensive (eg.:full coverage , mass marketing, or product specialization ].
Market Segments
Here are some market segments to consider:
•   Gender - It's no secret that women have become not just a major segment of the aftermarket, but a primary force. If you doubt this, watch how often auto manufacturers target women in their television ads. At least one vehicle manufacturer considers women to be 50 percent of the new car market.
•   Age - Why target a specific age group? Several good reasons include: the ability to pay; a specific automobile class; older drivers tend to perform more preventive maintenance; and younger drivers are more apt to install accessories and aftermarket parts.
•   Family composite (marital status, family size, age of children, etc.) - Strategy-wise, larger families simply have more vehicles. Mom, dad and several teenagers each need repair and service, and many families remain loyal to one repair or service business.
•   Income level - This is the most obvious target market. Motorists in the higher income brackets drive certain types of vehicles, perform more "elective" services and repairs, and as a rule, don't mind paying for quality. On the other hand, this group is much more selective and normally demands more exacting work.
Middle and lower-middle class drivers, however, are more likely to own vehicles out of warranty and need to keep the family car in road-worthy condition, longer.
•   Neighborhood (geographic location) - Historically, location has been the first measure of walk-in business success. Today, however, our mobile society has evolved to the point where location is not as important as price, quality and reputation. The idea here is we no longer need to restrict our markets to within a one- or two-mile radius of the business. When the average deductible is nearing $500 and even a tune-up runs well into three digits, consumers will go the extra mile to find true value.

•   Per the size and extent of repairs or service - Most watch  service and repair management systems will help you to recognize the jobs that lose money.

ETC    ETC     ETC    ETC



1.Demographic variables
*gender Male and Female
*sexual orientation
*family size
*family life cycle
*Education Primary, High School, Secondary, College, Universities.
2. socioeconomic status
3. Geographic variables
*region of the  country,NORTH / SOUTH/ EAST/ WEST/CENTRAL etc.
*metro/ rural  : Metropolitan Cities, small cities, towns.
*Density of Area Urban, Semi-urban, Rural.
*climate Hot, Cold, Humid, Rainy.
4.Psychographic variables
*life style
5.Behavioural variables
*benefit sought
*product usage rate
*brand loyalty
*product end use
*readiness-to-buy stage
*decision making unit
*income status
NOW --What is Marketing Mix?

The Marketing Mix model (also known as the 4 P's) can be used by marketers as a tool to assist in implementing the marketing strategy. Marketing managers use this method to attempt to generate the optimal response in the target market by blending 4 (or 5, or 7) variables in an optimal way. It is important to understand that the Marketing Mix principles are controllable variables. The Marketing Mix can be adjusted on a frequent basis to meet the changing needs of the target group and the other dynamics of the marketing environment.
Once you've developed your marketing strategy, there is a "Seven P Formula" you should use to continually evaluate and reevaluate your business activities. These seven are: product, price, promotion, place, packaging, positioning and people. As products, markets, customers and needs change rapidly, you must continually revisit these seven Ps to make sure you're on track and achieving the maximum results possible for you in today's marketplace.
To begin with, develop the habit of looking at your product as though you were an outside marketing consultant brought in to help your company decide whether or not it's in the right business at this time. Ask critical questions such as, "Is your current product or service, or mix of products and services, appropriate and suitable for the market and the customers of today?"
Whenever you're having difficulty selling as much of your products or services as you'd like, you need to develop the habit of assessing your business honestly and asking, "Are these the right products or services for our customers today?"
Is there any product or service you're offering today that, knowing what you now know, you would not bring out again today? Compared to your competitors, is your product or service superior in some significant way to anything else available? If so, what is it? If not, could you develop an area of superiority? Should you be offering this product or service at all in the current marketplace?
The second P in the formula is price. Develop the habit of continually examining and reexamining the prices of the products and services you sell to make sure they're still appropriate to the realities of the current market. Sometimes you need to lower your prices. At other times, it may be appropriate to raise your prices. Many companies have found that the profitability of certain products or services doesn't justify the amount of effort and resources that go into producing them. By raising their prices, they may lose a percentage of their customers, but the remaining percentage generates a profit on every sale. Could this be appropriate for you?
Sometimes you need to change your terms and conditions of sale. Sometimes, by spreading your price over a series of months or years, you can sell far more than you are today, and the interest you can charge will more than make up for the delay in cash receipts. Sometimes you can combine products and services together with special offers and special promotions. Sometimes you can include free additional items that cost you very little to produce but make your prices appear far more attractive to your customers.
In business, as in nature, whenever you experience resistance or frustration in any part of your sales or marketing activities, be open to revisiting that area. Be open to the possibility that your current pricing structure is not ideal for the current market. Be open to the need to revise your prices, if necessary, to remain competitive, to survive and thrive in a fast-changing marketplace.
The third habit in marketing and sales is to think in terms of promotion all the time. Promotion includes all the ways you tell your customers about your products or services and how you then market and sell to them.
Small changes in the way you promote and sell your products can lead to dramatic changes in your results. Even small changes in your advertising can lead immediately to higher sales. Experienced copywriters can often increase the response rate from advertising by 500 percent by simply changing the headline on an advertisement.
Large and small companies in every industry continually experiment with different ways of advertising, promoting, and selling their products and services. And here is the rule: Whatever method of marketing and sales you're using today will, sooner or later, stop working. Sometimes it will stop working for reasons you know, and sometimes it will be for reasons you don't know. In either case, your methods of marketing and sales will eventually stop working, and you'll have to develop new sales, marketing and advertising approaches, offerings, and strategies.
The fourth P in the marketing mix is the place where your product or service is actually sold. Develop the habit of reviewing and reflecting upon the exact location where the customer meets the salesperson. Sometimes a change in place can lead to a rapid increase in sales.
You can sell your product in many different places. Some companies use direct selling, sending their salespeople out to personally meet and talk with the prospect. Some sell by telemarketing. Some sell through catalogs or mail order. Some sell at trade shows or in retail establishments. Some sell in joint ventures with other similar products or services. Some companies use manufacturers' representatives or distributors. Many companies use a combination of one or more of these methods.
In each case, the entrepreneur must make the right choice about the very best location or place for the customer to receive essential buying information on the product or service needed to make a buying decision. What is yours? In what way should you change it? Where else could you offer your products or services?
The fifth element in the marketing mix is the packaging. Develop the habit of standing back and looking at every visual element in the packaging of your product or service through the eyes of a critical prospect. Remember, people form their first impression about you within the first 30 seconds of seeing you or some element of your company. Small improvements in the packaging or external appearance of your product or service can often lead to completely different reactions from your customers.
With regard to the packaging of your company, your product or service, you should think in terms of everything that the customer sees from the first moment of contact with your company all the way through the purchasing process.
Packaging refers to the way your product or service appears from the outside. Packaging also refers to your people and how they dress and groom. It refers to your offices, your waiting rooms, your brochures, your correspondence and every single visual element about your company. Everything counts. Everything helps or hurts. Everything affects your customer's confidence about dealing with you.
When IBM started under the guidance of Thomas J. Watson, Sr., he very early concluded that fully 99 percent of the visual contact a customer would have with his company, at least initially, would be represented by IBM salespeople. Because IBM was selling relatively sophisticated high-tech equipment, Watson knew customers would have to have a high level of confidence in the credibility of the salesperson. He therefore instituted a dress and grooming code that became an inflexible set of rules and regulations within IBM.
As a result, every salesperson was required to look like a professional in every respect. Every element of their clothing-including dark suits, dark ties, white shirts, conservative hairstyles, shined shoes, clean fingernails-and every other feature gave off the message of professionalism and competence. One of the highest compliments a person could receive was, "You look like someone from IBM."
The next P is positioning. You should develop the habit of thinking continually about how you are positioned in the hearts and minds of your customers. How do people think and talk about you when you're not present? How do people think and talk about your company? What positioning do you have in your market, in terms of the specific words people use when they describe you and your offerings to others?
You are seen and thought about by your customers is the critical determinant of your success in a competitive marketplace. Attribution theory says that most customers think of you in terms of a single attribute, either positive or negative. Sometimes it's "service." Sometimes it's "excellence." Sometimes it's "quality engineering," as with Mercedes Benz. Sometimes it's "the ultimate driving machine," as with BMW. In every case, how deeply entrenched that attribute is in the minds of your customers and prospective customers determines how readily they'll buy your product or service and how much they'll pay.
Develop the habit of thinking about how you could improve your positioning. Begin by determining the position you'd like to have. If you could create the ideal impression in the hearts and minds of your customers, what would it be? What would you have to do in every customer interaction to get your customers to think and talk about in that specific way? What changes do you need to make in the way interact with customers today in order to be seen as the very best choice for your customers of tomorrow?
The final P of the marketing mix is people. Develop the habit of thinking in terms of the people inside and outside of your business who are responsible for every element of your sales and marketing strategy and activities.
It's amazing how many entrepreneurs and businesspeople will work extremely hard to think through every element of the marketing strategy and the marketing mix, and then pay little attention to the fact that every single decision and policy has to be carried out by a specific person, in a specific way. Your ability to select, recruit, hire and retain the proper people, with the skills and abilities to do the job you need to have done, is more important than everything else put together.
The most important factor applied by the best companies was that they first of all "got the right people on the bus, and the wrong people off the bus." Once these companies had hired the right people, the second step was to "get the right people in the right seats on the bus."
To be successful in business, you must develop the habit of thinking in terms of exactly who is going to carry out each task and responsibility. In many cases, it's not possible to move forward until you can attract and put the right person into the right position. Many of the best business plans ever developed sit on shelves today because the [people who created them] could not find the key people who could execute those plans.

P 1  ---  Product
Marketing is about identifying,
anticipating and satisfying customer
needs. You need to be sure that your
products and services continue to meet
your customers. needs.
1. Carry out simple research by
asking your customers .
_ What they think of each
_ How satisfied are they
with the quality
_ How satisfied are they
with any support services
you may provide
_ How effective it is in
meeting their needs
_ How they see their needs
changing in the short and
long term future
2. Carry out step 1 for each product
or service you offer
3. Have a system for collecting and
analysing feedback from your
customers so that ideas are fed into
a new product development process
that is ongoing.
4. Ask yourself what stage of the
product life cycle your products or
services have reached. The .product
life cycle. is one way of looking at
how the marketing mix links
together. Products are said to go
through stages . an introductory
stage, a growth stage, a mature
stage and a decline stage. At each
stage a slightly different mix is
appropriate . see the .What you
need to know. section of this
material for more information.
5. Analyse the profitability of each
product/service you offer. For more
information on calculating this, take
a look at the 10-minute 80/20 Rule.
Which products/services make the
biggest contribution or provide the
highest profitability? What support
services do you offer with each
product? Could it be improved,
adding value with little cost?

Historically, the thinking was: a good product will sell itself. However there are no bad products anymore in today's highly competitive markets. Plus there are many laws giving customers the right to send back products that he perceives as bad. Therefore the question on product has become: does the organization create what its intended customers want? Define the characteristics of your product or service that meets the needs of your customers.
Functionality; Quality; Appearance; Packaging; Brand; Service; Support; Warranty.
P 2  ---  Price

Price generates profit so is an
important element of the mix. You
need to consider -
1. What your target group of
customers will be prepared to pay
for your product or service. It is
important not to set the price too
low as customers may think there is
something wrong with the product.
Equally, if you set the price too
high, customers may think that it
is too expensive for the benefits
offered. Think about how you have
.positioned. your product in terms
of quality. This will help you to
assess how to price it.
1. What it costs you to produce it.
This will show you what you need
to charge and not what you could
or should charge. However, if you
do not calculate what it costs you
to produce your product correctly,
the more you sell, the more you
will lose. Don.t forget to make an
allocation for costs such as selling
which are usually treated as fixed.
(See item 1 for more information.)
3. What your competitors charge.
Look at your competitors. web sites,
or simply phone them and ask for
a price list or quotation.

How much are the intended customers willing to pay? Here we decide on a pricing strategy - do not let it just happen! Even if you decide not to ask (enough) money for a product or service, you must realize that this is a conscious decision and forms part of the pricing strategy. Although competing on price is as old as mankind, the consumer is often still sensitive for price discounts and special offers. Price has also an irrational side: something that is expensive must be good. Permanently competing on price is for many companies not a very sensible approach.
List Price; Discounts; Financing; Leasing Options; Allowances.
P 3  ---  Place
.Place. is the means of distribution
you select depending on the type of
product or service you are marketing.
Your choice will impact on your pricing
and your promotion decisions.
1. Are the customers for your
products and services consumers or
businesses? If they are consumers
you will have three main options .
_ Selling to wholesalers who will
sell to retail outlets who will sell
on to the consumer
_ Selling direct to retail outlets
_ Selling direct to the customer
If your customers are businesses you
will probably sell to them direct
through your own sales force.
2. If you sell through wholesalers and
retailers, remember when you price
your products that they will each
want their own mark-up to cover
their overheads. You will also need
to promote your products and
services to all members of the
channel. Wholesalers and retailers
will have to be persuaded to stock
your product and end customers
to buy them.
3. If you are selling to businesses you
will have to cover the cost of a sales
force. This can be an expensive
overhead and will again impact
on your pricing.

Available at the right place, at the right time, in the right quantities? Some of the recent major changes in business have come about by changing Place. Think of the Internet and mobile telephones.
Locations; Logistics; Channel members; Channel Motivation; Market Coverage; Service Levels; Internet; Mobile.
P 4  ---  Promotion

The promotional mix is made up
of 5 elements:
_ advertising
_ sales promotion
_ public relations
_ direct marketing
_ personal selling
The combination of tools you use
depends on the budget you make
available, the message you wish
to communicate and the group of
customers you are targeting
(How) are the chosen target groups informed or educated about the organization and its products? This includes all the weapons in the marketing armory - advertising, selling, sales promotions, Direct Marketing, Public Relations, etc. While the other three P's have lost much of their meanings in today's markets, Promotion has become the most important P to focus on.
Advertising; Public Relations; Message; Direct Sales; Sales; Media; Budget.
P 5  ---  People
The people employed in your
organisation will determine the quality
of service your customers receive. This
is truer for services, but also impacts on
businesses making tangible products.
Happy, skilled and motivated staff make
happy customers. They are more likely
to think about the customer and deliver
good customer service if they are well
trained and are recruited for their
positive attitude to customers.
You can achieve a competitive
advantage over your competitors
through offering a high level of
pre-sales and after-sales support and
advice. Again, this can impact on the
price you set, as customers are likely to
be prepared to pay more for the service
they receive but there may be a higher
cost for you to take into account.
Identify those staff who come into
contact with customers, either face-toface
or by phone.
1. Carry out a task analysis of what
they do in terms of customer
2. Involve your staff in setting
standards for customer service.
For more information on customer
service, look at the 10-minute
Customer Service Programme.
3. Prioritise training needs
for these staff and provide
appropriate training

An essential ingredient to any service provision is the use of appropriate staff and people. Recruiting the right staff and training them appropriately in the delivery of their service is essential if the organisation wants to obtain a form of competitive advantage. Consumers make judgements and deliver perceptions of the service based on the employees they interact with. Staff should have the appropriate interpersonal skills, aptititude, and service knowledge to provide the service that consumers are paying for. Many British organisations aim to apply for the Investors In People accreditation, which tells consumers that staff are taken care off by the company and they are trained to certain standards.
P 6  ---  Process
The processes involved in delivering
your products and services to the
customer have an impact on the way in
which your customers perceive you.
1. Look at all the processes involved in
getting your products to the
customer. Start with the
identification of prospects and work
through to after-sales support. Does
any stage cause a delay? How can
you improve this?
2. Are your customers kept informed
about what is happening?
3. Do your staff keep their promises to
4. How effectively are you handling
customer complaints?

Refers to the systems used to assist the organisation in delivering the service. Imagine you walk into Burger King and you order a Whopper Meal and you get it delivered within 2 minutes. What was the process that allowed you to obtain an efficient service delivery? Banks that send out Credit Cards automatically when their customers old one has expired again require an efficient process to identify expiry dates and renewal. An efficient service that replaces old credit cards will foster consumer loyalty and confidence in the company.
P7  ---  Physical Evidence
Physical Evidence
Physical evidence is a term used to
describe the type of image that your
business portrays through its physical
presence, namely its premises, the
appearance of its staff, its vehicles, etc.
When customers do not have anything
that they can touch, see or try before
they buy, they are more likely to assess
you by the image you put across. It is
therefore particularly important if you
offer services rather than tangible
1. How tangible is the product you
market? If it is heavily dependent on
the service element (for example, a
restaurant, or hotel, or window
cleaning service, or hairdressing)
then you should pay particular
attention to this element of the mix.
Even if you are a manufacturer, this
element is important if customers
visit your premises.
2. Ensure that the image portrayed by
your organisation is consistent with
the type of product or service you
3. Look at your reception area, your
car park (are there spaces for
visitors near to the entrance), the
appearance of your delivery staff or
customer service staff, t, etc.
Where can you make

Where is the service being delivered? Physical Evidence is the element of the service mix which allows the consumer again to make judgements on the organisation. If you walk into a restaurant your expectations are of a clean, friendly environment. On an aircraft if you travel first class you expect enough room to be able to lay down!
Physical evidence is an essential ingredient of the service mix, consumers will make perceptions based on their sight of the service provision which will have an impact on the organisations perceptual plan of the service.

A niche market also known as a target market is a focused, targetable portion (subset) of a market sector.
By definition, then, a business that focuses on a niche market is addressing a need for a product or service that is not being addressed by mainstream providers. A niche market may be thought of as a narrowly defined group of potential customers.
A distinct niche market usually evolves out of a market niche, where potential demand is not met by any supply.
Such ventures are profitable because of disinterest on the part of large businesses and/or lack of awareness on the part of other small companies. The key to capitalizing on a niche market is to find or develop a market niche that has customers who are accessible, that is growing fast enough, and that is not owned by one established vendor already.

Marketing in and for niche markets
Niche marketing is the process of finding and serving profitable market segments and designing custom-made products or services for them. For big companies those market segments are often too small in order to serve them profitably as they often lack economies of scale. Niche marketers are often reliant on the loyalty business model to maintain a profitable volume of sales. this also means theres a gap in the market
-wrong  segments
-bad  market  planning
-poor cost.benefit  analysis
-poor  profiling  of the market segment
-ineffective  selection of  the  market mix
-poor targeting  efforts

To Qualify As A  NICHE  Market Target, A Group Of Customers Should
Meet Important Conditions.

For any group regarded as a potential NICHE  market target, the following questions should be asked:

Will the group satisfy our profit objectives?

Is it apt to grow?

How stable is the market?

Can we accurately measure the size and purchasing power of the target?

Will we be able to reach the target with our promotion?

Do we have the resources to serve the proposed targeted market?

Are the homogeneous customers within the possible segment influential? Will their purchases cause other groups to buy the products?

Can we identify the customers so that we can know where and how to appeal to them?

How strong is our competition in this target market? Are there any competitive opportunities for us?

Many market segments will not meet the above requirements. For instance, a certain group may not have promising growth potential, yet it may offer stable and profitable business forces.


The first step in the positioning process is to do the research. The good news is that product marketing managers already have done most of the research as part of their job. To successfully position a product, you need a thorough understanding of customer problems, channel issues, and how competitors are positioned. The answers to these and other questions become part of a rationale document for your positioning strategy:
What is your target market (size, type of company, etc.)?

Who is the decision maker you want to target your message to, and what keeps that decision maker awake at night?

What pressing problem does your product solve for your prospective customer?

How is your prospect solving that problem today?

What specific benefit does your product deliver?

Why is your product better than the current solution and competitive alternatives?

Who are your key competitors; why and when do you win or lose to them?

How do your competitors position themselves in their marketing communications, including ads, direct mail campaigns, brochures, and web sites?

What makes your product unique in a way that is relevant to your prospect?

Are there any problems, unique challenges, or special needs of your channel?

What do prospects and customers like and dislike about your product?

Do prospects and customers share your belief of why your product is better than the competition’s?

Are there any characteristics of a sales situation that indicate whether or not your product or service will be selected?

Now incorporate the answers to these questions in a rationale document. By doing so, all product knowledge is captured in one place and can be used as a reference guide when marketing and sales need it. The rationale document should be three to five pages and should include this information:
Product Category—Define the product’s key features, advantages, and benefits. A matrix can help clarify these items.

Product Line Fit—Describe how the product fits into the overall company product strategy.

Situation Analysis—Describe the conditions that justify the release of this product, including why the company believes it can be successful.

Market Analysis—Profile target market(s) by size, revenue, market segment, operational type, or other relevant categories.

Audience Analysis—Profile key prospects within the target market(s), including job titles and functions (demographics) and their concerns, attitudes, and behaviors (psychographics).

Distribution—Describe how the product will be distributed and the impact of distribution on product communications.

Competitive Positioning—Describe the key competitors, their targets, and how they position their products.

Positioning Statement and Rationale—Evaluate the product positioning statement against the following four criteria: Is it important, unique, believable, and usable?

Support Points—Describe how the three support points make the positioning statement unique, believable, and important. If multiple markets or audiences require unique support points, explain why.
A rationale document transfers important product knowledge to those who need to know, but who don’t have the time or expertise to find the information themselves. It’s especially useful when creating a product message strategy that includes a positioning statement (number 8 in the rationale document) and three or four support points (number 9).

Your positioning statement becomes the central idea and theme underlying all marketing activities. It is a short, compelling, declarative sentence that states just one benefit and addresses the target market's number one problem. It must be unique, believable, and important, or the target market will ignore the message. Once you have found the right message, your product marketing managers won’t need to be involved in every planning session for every marketing campaign.
Supporting benefit statements tell the story in more detail. They also provide a structure for product demonstrations. While the positioning statement articulates a high-level benefit, the claims made in the supporting statements should be readily demonstrable. That is, in just a few steps, you should be able to show how the product delivers concrete benefits.
Make sure your message strategy has enough detail to support the creation of a standard product demonstration. This helps your product marketing managers to create a demo quickly. And there’s another benefit—the product detail in the support points answers a lot questions before marketing and sales ask them.
A message strategy also facilitates delivery of the same message across all marketing media, including web sites, brochures, advertisements, and presentations to investors, industry analysts, and prospects. A standard outline format makes it easy for writers and other communicators to see the message strategy's benefit hierarchy, and to take full advantage of it.
A Rationale Document Captures All the Product Knowledge
In addition to documenting product knowledge, the positioning process improves marketing without intense, time-consuming input from product marketing. A message strategy is like the recipe for how to talk about your product. Follow the recipe rather than ask product marketing, and your marketers can create a compelling, accurate story about your product.
This does not mean that your product marketing managers no longer need to be involved in the planning and creation of marketing materials. They should provide input when appropriate. It’s just that the process won’t take up nearly as much of their time. That’s because marketing gets most of its infusion of product knowledge by referencing the rationale document and message strategy. And that means your product marketing managers have successfully cloned themselves; they’ll have more time for other competing priorities.

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Leo Lingham


management consulting process, management consulting career, management development, human resource planning and development, strategic planning in human resources, marketing, careers in management, product management etc


18 years working managerial experience covering business planning, strategic planning, corporate planning, management service, organization development, marketing, sales management etc


24 years in management consulting which includes business planning, strategic planning, marketing , product management,
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