Archive for the ‘Strategic Planning’ Category

Is Your Business at Risk From the Threat of New Entrants?

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

Any business school graduate has probably had a healthy dose of Michael Porter’s Five Forces, and for good reason. The framework is a great way to look at the competitive landscape. Porter’s framework is designed to look at the competitiveness of a particular industry, as opposed to companies within that industry. For example, you might use the framework to determine the attractiveness of starting a soft drink company, as opposed to investing in PepsiCo versus The Coca-Cola Company. We’ve provided a broad overview of the tool in the past, but we’ve recently been taking time to look at each individual force in greater detail. Today, we’re diving deeper in the threat of new entrants. (more…)

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Competitive Rivalry: What’s the Situation for Your Business?

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

Michael Porter developed his Five Forces framework as an associate professor at the Harvard School of Business in 1979 as a way to help evaluate the attractiveness of different industries based on the primary five forces he saw driving the competitive environment of those industries. We’ve covered the framework generally, and now we’re looking at each individual force. Today we look at competitive rivalry. (more…)

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Your Buyers Have Power: Maybe More Than You Think!

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

38309393 - group of different families together of all racesIn 1979, Michael Porter, an associate professor at Harvard Business School, developed what would become known as Porter’s Five Forces, a framework intended as a tool for determining the attractiveness of certain industries based on the level of competition within those industries. The five forces — threat of new entrants, threat of substitutes, supplier power, buyer power and competitive rivalry — collectively determine the degree of competitiveness within an industry. We’ve written about the framework as a whole. Now we’re looking at each force in depth. Today, we look at buyer power. (more…)

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Identifying Product/Service Substitutes That Could Compete For Your Market

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

Michael Porter revolutionized the world of business strategy when he developed his Five Forces framework, which evaluates the competitiveness — and resulting attractiveness — of an industry based on five competitive forces. We’ve discussed the framework previously, but now we’re taking a more in-depth look at each individual force. Today, we’re looking at the threat of substitutes. (more…)

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Making Friends With Finance

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

MentorIt’s not uncommon for the finance and marketing functions to be at loggerheads in the office. Whether it’s about the wisdom of embarking on an expensive new marketing effort or finance professionals refusing to share the praise for positive financials with their peers in marketing, conflicts can abound. While Lincoln Martin amusingly compares the two functions to the Starks (marketing) and Lannisters (finance), a la HBO’s Game of Thrones, it generally isn’t the case that finance people don’t like or trust marketing people. It’s often an issue of poor communication. Marketers are in a good position to leverage their communications skillset to help bridge that gap. (more…)

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Thinking of Rebranding: First, Ask Yourself “Why?”

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

At Strategic Communications, we have worked with companies, large and small, in a variety of industries on branding and rebranding initiatives. One of the biggest areas of misunderstanding that we encounter is that a rebranding initiative means updating the company logo and marketing materials. That’s potentially part of the process, certainly, but rebranding involves a lot more than that. Rebranding is a significant undertaking and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. As we note in a related blog post, “Exercise caution before you attempt to rebrand,” a brand takes a great deal of time to develop, and businesses should think twice before throwing that effort away.

Having gotten that disclaimer out of the way, there are some legitimate reasons companies may need to overhaul their image. So how do you know when it’s time to rebrand? There are a few things that might justifiably point to the need: (more…)

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Planning is Overrated: Execution is Where It’s At

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

executing your strategic plan, strategic planning, strategic communicationWhat’s more important: a great idea or great execution? There’s certainly an argument to be made for the importance of ideas for entrepreneurs, and it’s easy to point to famous examples of huge fortunes and successful businesses that sprung from a great idea — Facebook, the automobile, the PC, etc.; but the idea is just the beginning. (more…)

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Intuition vs. Thoughtful Decision: Finding the Right Balance

Friday, September 30th, 2016

business decisions, making effective decisions, business decision-making, intuition

In business even the biggest companies don’t always get it right. Things move quickly in the business world and we’re all operating in a very fluid, and volatile, environment. While it’s easy, in hindsight, to be critical of the blunders that even the most powerful organizations in the world fall prey to, it’s important to keep in mind how pressure often gets in the way of making a thoroughly thought-out decision.

Sometimes, of course, the pace of change prevents the level of research and analysis that some might feel most comfortable with. Business leaders need to have sound instincts for making snap decisions that could have enormous implications for the business, its shareholders, its employees and its customers.

Here are three ways to help find the right balance between intuition and thoughtful decision to boost the odds that you’re more often right, than wrong. (more…)

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Why Profiling is Good For You

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

diversity, profiling, marketing segmentation, targeting, positioning, writing copy, targeting minority audiences

I’ve been in marketing for many, many years — in fact, I could say for most of my life. I grew up in a family-owned business that I was forced to work in at a very young age. My father had some unique ways of promoting his business that my brother and I were conscripted into. One of those was riding through the streets and neighborhoods of Milwaukee as our dad drove a van painted with do-nut characters, with speakers on the top blaring out Chuck Berry songs. (more…)

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6 Steps and 6 Days to an Effective Content Strategy: Day 4

Monday, July 18th, 2016

content marketing, content management, content strategy, strategic marketing, marketing strategically, strategic communicationsJazz Jones has a clear focus on her goals, objectives and her target audience. She knows who she’s attempting to influence and she’s done thorough research into their AIOs (activities, interests and opinions). Now, she’s ready for the next important step in creating a content strategy. (more…)

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