Selecting growth and marketing strategies involves understanding the basics of strategic decisions that Be Our Guest Events needs to follow. The alternatives Be Our Guest Events will determine for growth strategies emphasize the steps to advance and the course of action. Thus, in the process of strategy selection, Be Our Guest Events should define the elements, where it will have a competitive advantage regarding market, customers and business capabilities (Sener 2014). In this process, the Ansoff matrix is used.
Be Our Guest Events: Ansoff's Matrix
Ansoff's matrix was first described by Igor Ansoff in "Strategies for Diversification", an article published in Harvard Business Review of October 1957. It is a 2 x 2 depiction of the options open to business if they wish to improve revenue or profitability. Although old, the matrix remains a very effective framework because it avails a simple structure that encapsulates all the strategic directions a company can adopt in one analytical tool. In particular, the matrix is not diagnostic; rather it is a technique for structuring thinking or a means of classifying objectives (Navarra and Scaini 2016). Hence, it represents a plan that managers, executives, and marketers can use for decision-making and forecasting. The matrix is an important strategic planning tool that assists a business to determine its product and market growth strategy.
Ansoff's matrix of product/market growth suggests that it is possible to use various strategies simultaneously (Asnoff 1965). Moreover, it defines two key aspects of marketing: what is sold and who it is sold to. Thus, it relates only to commodities and markets and gives one four alternative courses of action when considering one's marketing objectives. According to Sener (2014), these alternatives include:
- Concentrating on existing products for existing markets
- Extending existing products into new markets
- Developing new products for existing markets
- Diversifying into new products for new markets
These alternatives are set out in a four-box matrix that plots a business's existing and potential products against the business's existing and potential markets as shown below.
Figure 1: The Ansoff Matrix
|Markets||Existing||Market penetration||Product development|
Source: Ignor Ansoff (1965)
The primary advantage of Ansoff's matrix is its simplicity. However, the chief limitation of planning based on the matrix is the one-sided orientation on growth and the use of only two aspects namely product and market. In particular, the matrix does not consider indexes determining the efficiency of the business's functioning such as liquidity, profit, and financial stability (Navarra and Scaini 2016).
According to Sener (2014), marketing penetration is the de facto strategy that Be Our Guest Events can use to increase existing share in the existing market to facilitate further growth. That is, Be Our Guest Events changes nothing and sells more of the same product to existing customers. For many businesses, it is easier to sell old products to traditional customers than to explore new markets (Sener 2014). In such a case, Be Our Guest Events can use the market penetration strategy if it attempts to increase the share of its products in Mexico and USA. Various tactics under this strategy that Be Our Guest Events can use include:
Product-line stretching - this can involve adding new products to Be Our Guest Events' product line in Mexico and USA with the objective of attracting new customers from rivals or competitors.
Product proliferation - under this tactic, the Be Our Guest Events can offer diverse product types, for example, hosting weddings, offering wedding photography services, and catering the weddings.
Product improvement - this pertains to augmenting and updating the existing products. Mainly, it can encompass the application of the latest technology to enhance the product's capabilities or improve customer services. For example, Be Our Guest Events can adopt project mapping that creates augmented reality experiences with the help of projectors. Such a service will ensure the company avails inventive displays for their customers that can give an outdoor wedding experience.
Irrefutably, market penetration is the safest strategy because it leverages many of the business's existing capabilities and resources (Navarra and Scaini 2016). In a growing market environment, such as the wedding and events planning sector, simply holding market share is bound to result in growth. Furthermore, there may be chances to increase market share if rivals approach capacity limits. Nevertheless, this marketing strategy has limits. In particular, as the market reaches a saturation point, Be Our Guest Events must choose another marketing strategy to ensure it continues to grow (Baker 2014).
The product development strategy is characterized by offering new products to existing markets with which the company already has a relationship. Within this strategy, the best approach is to build on some factor of the relationship, which already exists. Harmeling, Moffett, Arnold, and Carlson (2017) assert that marketers are well aware of the significance of a positive customer relationship and the goodwill and trust that accompany it. Through this, Be Our Guest Events can present for sale new commodities more effectively and less expensively to existing markets than to new ones.
Mainly, this can take various forms. For example, according to Sener (2014), it may involve modification of an existing product or its presentation, or formulation of a completely new commodity that satisfies a newly defined market niche or customer want. For instance, Be Our Guest Events can modify the destination weddings to cater for customers who love thrill and hold such on high mountains or across the Grand Canyon. Another approach can involve supplying new products that are associated closely with the commodities that customers already purchase from the business. For example, using projection mapping can give a unique destination experience to a couple that cannot afford to travel to that particular region without altering the wedding venue physically.
In this strategy, the business targets new markets, or new areas of the market, by selling existing products to a new customer audience (Kiss and Barr 2017). The various options Be Our Guest Events can use include selling in new geographical areas such as new countries, selling through different sales channels, or selling to diverse demographic groups. For example, Africa can be a marketable geographical area for destination weddings in the wild.
Notably, these options may be entirely new to Be Our Guest Events, which poses a risk. Nevertheless, if the firm holds a large market share for the specific product type, or has a strong brand-range or brand recognition, then this strategy could work in its favor (Kiss and Barr 2017). Irrefutably, this will be a strategy for the future once Be Our Guest Events is well established and has adequate finances to venture into new markets such as Africa. Therefore, the success of a market development strategy mainly requires understanding the market attributes from customers' perspectives and comparing the products with the competitors in the market. Such determination is essential to determine appropriate business targets and strategies for the market (Baker 2014).
The final strategy, new products for new markets, is the riskiest because it uses little of a business's existing capabilities or expertise (Sener 2014). In addition, it is a form of expansion with the highest failure rate. Moreover, in this strategy, Be Our Guest Events would be venturing into new areas for both product and market. Tobiasen (2014) advises companies to carry out this strategy as a supplement to the existing core business. For example, Be Our Guest Events may plan to start a bridal clothing line that will cater for both straight and LGBTQ communities. Notably, where businesses have been successful in using this strategy, it is usually possible to establish some synergy in sales, product technology or distribution. However, where no synergies exist, the business must pay close attention to risk management.
Thus, the Ansoff Matrix can be seen as a structure for describing the range of strategic options open to Be Our Guest Events for expansion. Moreover, it helps clarify thinking concerning the dimensions of the market and the brand position to help develop the appropriate strategy. In addition, it is a means of conceptualizing the development of a product such as the wedding planning service offered by Be Our Guest Events over its market life. The matrix avails a useful conceptual approach to diversification. Nevertheless, rather than moving straight to new products for new markets, Be Our Guest Events should see if it is possible to get there through new products or through new markets first because these will avail new experience that will minimize the risk of managing both new services and new markets simultaneously. Notwithstanding, whether it is preferable to expand into either new products or new markets first is a matter for debate. In the end, the option with the least degree of complexity and risk will probably determine the choice.
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