Importance Of Being Competitive

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A presentation I did for Portland Chapter of PDMA in July 2009

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Importance Of Being Competitive

  1. 1. The Importance of Being Competitive By: Roger Hicks July 2009 [email_address] Prepared for Portland Chapter of PDMA
  2. 2. Objectives <ul><li>Competitive Analysis and the Product Life Cycle </li></ul><ul><li>Questions to Ponder </li></ul><ul><li>Words of Caution </li></ul>
  3. 3. Competitive Analysis and The Product Lifecycle Situation Assessment Product Development Product Introduction Ongoing Operations Company Objectives Market Characteristics
  4. 4. Gathering Information for the Assessment <ul><li>Public </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Company provided materials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media reports </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regulatory filings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer Interviews </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Private </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sales channel feedback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Partners and value chain players </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Industry analysis reports </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>First hand testing and tear-downs </li></ul></ul>MORE COMMON LESS COMMON MORE COMMON LESS COMMON
  5. 5. Summarizing the Situation Competitor A Competitor B Competitor C Your Company Brand Position Target Customers Marketing Initiatives Product Strength Channel Strength Supplier Strengths Financial Situation
  6. 6. Situation Assessment Mistakes <ul><li>Not appreciating the strengths of existing competitive positions </li></ul><ul><li>Reliance on intuition and qualitative information </li></ul><ul><li>Poor dissemination of market and competitor intelligence </li></ul>
  7. 7. How Fair Do You Need to Be? <ul><li>Is it OK to cheat? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where do you draw the line on ethics of using information about competitors </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Developing the Solution Factor 1 Factor 4 Factor 5 … Factor n Factor 2 Factor 3 Low High Value Competitor A Competitor B Competitor C Each competitor has a distinctive customer value curve based on its’ choice of the key strategic factors to focus on to achieve success Note: based on principles from “Blue Ocean Strategy”
  9. 9. Competing on Total Value Included Features and Performance Integration into a total solution Encouragement of Loyalty and Good Will Company Value Experience Value Basic Value Less might be more How the pieces go together adds value that’s hard to measure directly Benefits of a reinforcing system of developing and selling product What is the extra value of a superior understanding of all the competitive factors? Potential Value Them US
  10. 10. Product Development Mistakes <ul><li>Thinking the competition did their homework and matched market needs with product features. </li></ul><ul><li>Discounting the importance of a new approach from an unimportant competitor. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The innovators dilemma </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Thinking competitors will have a poor response to your product and marketing efforts. </li></ul>
  11. 11. How Many Features Do You Need? <ul><li>Is Less Really More? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How can it be OK to include features and capability the customers did not ask for? </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Product Introduction Battles <ul><li>How To Define Success </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Product comparisons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Success stories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Amount of pre-emption and retaliation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Channel enthusiasm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Market share growth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimal damage control from leaks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Positive sales feedback from the front lines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forecast accuracy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leadership positions </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Product Introduction Mistakes <ul><li>Thinking the competition is not ready to defend their market position. </li></ul><ul><li>Trusting the secrecy agreements. </li></ul><ul><li>Not eating your own dog food. </li></ul>
  14. 14. When Is the Product Ready? <ul><li>Is It Smart to Launch an Unfinished Product? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What good can come from introducing a product that falls short of objectives? </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Ongoing Operations <ul><li>Win / Loss Analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where is the sweet spot </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where is the weak link </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are desirable market positions being defended </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Measuring Marketing Programs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Level and type of pre-sales activity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer survey trends </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Financial impacts </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Ongoing Operations Mistakes <ul><li>Reacting to all the competitor counter-attacks </li></ul><ul><li>Spending resources with no clear payback or strengthening of competitive positions </li></ul><ul><li>Waiting </li></ul>
  17. 17. What is the best response to competitive attacks? <ul><li>Is it good to engage with competitors or be a leader and direct your attention to customers? </li></ul>
  18. 18. Final Thoughts <ul><li>Do Your Homework </li></ul><ul><li>Expect the Unexpected </li></ul><ul><li>Race to Be Second </li></ul><ul><li>Be Skeptical </li></ul><ul><li>Keep Them Guessing </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Thank You ! </li></ul>

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