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Boston Matrix.

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Introduction

Boston Matrix This is a method of analysing the product portfolio of a business (that is, the number and range of different products which a business produces at a particular point in time). This model was developed by a group of management consultants called the Boston Consulting Group, and it divides the products that are produced by a business into 4 categories, according to their market share and the level of market growth. The 4 categories are : Problem Child (Sometimes referred to as Question Marks or Wild Cats). This is a product which has a low market share in a high growth industry. These products have often been launched quite recently and have not had the necessary time to establish themselves in the market. They will require a significant amount of money to be spent on their promotion in order to achieve a healthy market share. They are at the 'Introduction' stage of the product life-cycle. Stars These products have a high market share in a high growth market. ...read more.

Middle

It will, therefore, require much money to be spent on its advertising and promotion, in order to protect its sales from rival brands. Product 5 is another 'Dog', but it clearly still produces a reasonable level of sales revenue. The business may decide to use an extension strategy to prolong the life-cycle of the product and to boost its sales level. Otherwise product 5 may well go into terminal decline like product 1. Asset-Led Marketing This refers to the situation where a business develops its strategy based upon its existing strengths and assets. This involves the business focussing on what it currently performs effectively, and then using this as the base for developing new products or breaking into new markets. For example, many chocolate manufacturers (such as Cadbury, Nestle and Mars) have built on the tremendous success of their confectionery products to break into the ice-cream market (e.g. brands such as Crunchie, Starburst and Rolo have become high sales-volume ice-cream lines, as well as maintaining their high sales levels for the confectionery lines). ...read more.

Conclusion

Stage 2 - Gather the data that will be needed to help make the decision. This will involve the extensive use of market research to gather qualitative and quantitative data concerning the market size, the market growth, customers' perceptions of the company and its products, the competitors, etc. Stage 3 - Form hypotheses, (theories and strategies about how best to achieve the objective). For example, a medium-sized UK manufacturer of shoes may start selling products in the lucrative North American market, or it may decide to concentrate on new segments of the UK market (e.g. sports-shoes). Stage 4 - Test the hypotheses. Each hypothesis will be analysed to see its potential profitability and the likelihood of success. This will be carried out through further market research, possibly by test marketing a product in a small geographic area in order to assess its potential for success. Stage 5 - Control and review the whole process. This involves implementing one of the hypotheses, via the marketing mix, and looking at its outcome (ie did it meet the objective? could it have been improved?). This will help the business to set future strategies and plans which will be achievable and realistic. ...read more.

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