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Marketing Discussion Questions

1. Most discussions of marketing strategy focus on large businesses like Procter & Gamble. Is it practical for small businesses to develop offensive strategic market plans or defensive strategic market plans? Why? What role could offensive and defensive strategic market plans play in the short- and long-run performance of a small business? Should small businesses balance of offensive and defensive plans? Why?

2. Tactical marketing plans are the Ý|uts & bolts?action steps used to achieve the strategic market planning process. Should the manager develop the marketing budget based on the tactical marketing plan or the strategic market plan? (Let the debate begin!) How would the tactical marketing plan and marketing budget for a strategic market plan to grow market share (offensive) differ from those of an optimize position strategic market plan to reduce share?

3. How does a business create a forecast of its future performance based on the strategic market plans for each product-market it intends to serve over a given planning horizon? Will this process vary if the product is a service or a good? Do you really think most companies forecast their performance in an orderly, structured manner?

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1. Most discussions of marketing strategy focus on large businesses like Procter & Gamble. Is it practical for small businesses to develop offensive strategic market plans or defensive strategic market plans? Why? What role could offensive and defensive strategic market plans play in the short- and long-run performance of a small business? Should small businesses balance of offensive and defensive plans? Why?

Yes, it is practical to develop both offensive and defensive strategies aligned to meet the needs of the business. In fact, the offensive defensive strategies-- considering strategic options from a competitor rather than customer orientation-- is referred to as competitive marketing strategy.

It is important to have a competitive marketing strategy in both the short- and long-term performance of a small business. These strategies are linked the the life cycle of the product/service. Offensive strategies are used in the growth stages: emerging markets, early growth and rapid growth stages; moving towards combined offensive/defensive strategies in the late and maturing stages, and finally; in the mature and declining stages, the defensive strategies are used. This is how they strategies are balanced balanced, in part at least, based on the life cycle on the product services. Offensive strategies are related to positively to market attractiveness and negatively to competition levels. Higher levels of attractiveness with low levels of competition is positively related to higher levels of company growth. As competition increases, growth levees begin to decline. For examples of offensive marketing strategies (e.g. market penetration and new market entry strategies) and defensive strategies (protect market position and exit market position) see attached file, which also has a grid of the growth strategies.

Another interesting way of looking at offensive and defensive strategies are proposed by Kotler and Singh, who identified five offensive and six defensive strategies, which are named after military strategies and used strategically depending on the business situation and product/service life cycle stage, including:

A. Offensive Warfare

1. Frontal attack ?This is the direct, head on attack meeting competitors with the same product line, price, promotion, etc. Because attack is on the enemy? strengths rather than weakness it is considered the most risky and least advised strategy.
2. Flanking attack ?The aim here is to engage competitors in those products markets where they are weak or have no presence at all. Its overreaching goal is to build a position from which to launch, an attack on the battlefield later.
3. Encirclement attack ?Multi pronged attack aimed at diluting the defenders ability to retaliate in strength. The attacker stands ready to block the competitor no matter which way he turns the product market. Product proliferation supplying different types of the same product to the market. Market encirclement consists of expanding the products into all segments and distribution channels.
4. Bypass attack ?This is the most indirect form of competitive strategy as it avoids confrontation by moving into new and as yet uncontested fields. Three type of bypass are possible; develop new products, diversify into unrelated products or diversify into new geographical markets.
5. Guerilla warfare ?Less ambitious in scope, this involves making small attacks in different locations whilst remaining mobile. Such attacks take several forms. The aim is to destabilize the competitor by small attacks.

B. Defensive Warfare

1. Position defense ?static defence of a current position, retaining current product markets by consolidating resources ...

Solution Summary

This solution thoroughly discusses the marketing discussion questions on various aspects of marketing e.g. role of offensive and defensive strategic market plans, should small businesses balance offensive and defensive plans, and others. Supplemented with two article on strategic marketing plan and offensive strategic market plans. Supplemented with two articles explaining strategic marketing plan and offensive strategic market plans.

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