Marketing Strategy- Question & Answers

A Multi Product Company is planning to design its SBU structure, what suggestions would you give them? What are the characteristics features of a SBU?

When designing a Strategic Business Unit (SBU) structure for a multi-product company, several considerations should be taken into account to ensure efficiency, clarity of focus, and effective management. Here are some suggestions and characteristic features of an SBU:

  1. Market Segmentation: Analyze the market to identify distinct segments that the company serves. Each SBU should cater to a specific market segment or segments.
  2. Product Portfolio Analysis: Assess the company’s product portfolio to identify individual products or groups of products that share similar characteristics, target customers, or distribution channels.
  3. Clear Business Focus: Each SBU should have a clear and specific business focus, whether it’s based on geography, product line, customer segment, or a combination of factors.
  4. Autonomy and Accountability: SBUs should have a high degree of autonomy to make decisions tailored to their specific market needs. However, they should also be held accountable for their performance against predefined goals and metrics.
  5. Resource Allocation: Allocate resources (financial, human, and technological) based on the strategic priorities and growth potential of each SBU.
  6. Strategic Control: Implement mechanisms for strategic control to ensure that SBUs are aligned with the overall corporate strategy while having the flexibility to adapt to local market conditions.
  7. Performance Measurement: Develop key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor the performance of each SBU, allowing for timely adjustments and interventions as needed.
  8. Inter-SBU Collaboration: Foster collaboration and knowledge sharing among SBUs to leverage synergies, share best practices, and capitalize on economies of scale.
  9. Leadership and Talent Development: Assign capable leadership to each SBU and invest in talent development programs to nurture a strong pool of managers and employees within each unit.
  10. Continuous Evaluation and Adaptation: Regularly review the SBU structure and make adjustments as necessary to reflect changes in the external environment, market dynamics, or corporate strategy.

Characteristics of an SBU:

  • Distinct Market Focus: Each SBU targets a specific market segment or segments with tailored products or services.
  • Profitability Accountability: SBUs are responsible for their own profitability and performance, allowing for better accountability and decision-making.
  • Strategic Independence: While aligned with the overall corporate strategy, SBUs have a degree of independence in terms of decision-making and resource allocation.
  • Operational Autonomy: SBUs have control over their day-to-day operations, including marketing, sales, and distribution, enabling them to respond swiftly to market changes.
  • Resource Allocation: SBUs have access to dedicated resources allocated based on their strategic importance and growth potential within the company.

By incorporating these suggestions and adhering to the characteristic features of an SBU, a multi-product company can design a robust and effective organizational structure that maximizes operational efficiency and drives sustainable growth across its various business units.

What is a SBU?

A Strategic Business Unit (SBU) is a semi-autonomous unit within a larger organization that operates as an independent business entity with its own mission, objectives, and strategies. SBUs are typically created to focus on specific markets, products, or customer segments, allowing the organization to better allocate resources, manage operations, and monitor performance.

Key characteristics of an SBU include:

  1. Distinct Market Focus: Each SBU targets a particular market segment or segments with its products or services.
  2. Autonomy: SBUs have a degree of autonomy in decision-making, allowing them to respond quickly to market changes and adapt their strategies accordingly.
  3. Accountability: SBUs are held accountable for their own performance, including revenue generation, profitability, and market share within their respective markets.
  4. Strategic Planning: SBUs develop their own strategic plans aligned with the overall corporate strategy, identifying growth opportunities, competitive advantages, and resource requirements.
  5. Resource Allocation: Resources such as finances, personnel, and technology are allocated to SBUs based on their strategic importance and potential for growth.
  6. Performance Measurement: Key performance indicators (KPIs) are used to evaluate the performance of each SBU, allowing for timely adjustments and interventions as needed.

SBUs provide several benefits to organizations, including improved focus, agility, and accountability. By organizing their operations into SBUs, companies can better manage diverse product lines, geographic markets, or customer segments, leading to enhanced competitiveness and long-term success.

For a market leader defending its current market position is of prime importance. Do you agree with this comment? justify your answer by quoting valid examples from the corporate world, highlighting how and what type sof strategies they adopted?

Yes, I agree that for a market leader, defending its current market position is of prime importance. Maintaining market leadership often involves not only achieving success but also continuously defending that success against competitors who seek to erode market share. Here are some examples from the corporate world highlighting strategies adopted by market leaders to defend their positions:

  1. Apple Inc.: Apple has consistently defended its market position in the smartphone industry through a combination of product innovation, brand loyalty, and ecosystem lock-in strategies. For example, Apple regularly releases new iPhone models with incremental improvements and innovative features, maintaining its appeal to existing customers while attracting new ones. Additionally, Apple has built a robust ecosystem of products and services, including iCloud, the App Store, and Apple Music, creating high switching costs for consumers and enhancing brand loyalty.
  2. Coca-Cola: As a long-standing market leader in the beverage industry, Coca-Cola has employed various strategies to defend its position against competitors. One notable example is its focus on branding and marketing. Coca-Cola invests heavily in advertising campaigns, sponsorships, and brand partnerships to maintain top-of-mind awareness and reinforce its brand image. Furthermore, Coca-Cola continuously diversifies its product portfolio by introducing new flavors, variants, and packaging options to cater to evolving consumer preferences and stay ahead of competitors.
  3. Toyota: Toyota has defended its market leadership in the automotive industry by prioritizing quality, reliability, and continuous improvement. For instance, Toyota’s renowned Toyota Production System (TPS) emphasizes lean manufacturing principles, waste reduction, and employee empowerment to enhance operational efficiency and product quality. Additionally, Toyota invests in research and development to innovate in areas such as hybrid and electric vehicle technology, positioning itself as a leader in sustainable mobility solutions.
  4. Amazon: As a dominant player in e-commerce, Amazon employs various strategies to defend its market position against rivals. One key strategy is its relentless focus on customer experience and convenience. Amazon continually invests in initiatives such as Prime membership, fast and reliable shipping options, and personalized recommendations to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty. Moreover, Amazon leverages its vast infrastructure and economies of scale to offer competitive pricing and a wide selection of products, making it challenging for competitors to match its value proposition.

In each of these examples, market leaders recognize the importance of defending their current market positions through strategic investments, innovation, and customer-centric approaches. By continuously adapting to changing market dynamics and proactively addressing competitive threats, these companies have successfully maintained their leadership positions over time.

The perfect linkage between support and primary activities in a value chain lead to customer value”. comment

The concept of the value chain, introduced by Michael Porter, emphasizes the activities a company performs to deliver a valuable product or service to its customers. The value chain consists of primary activities, which are directly involved in the production, marketing, delivery, and after-sales service of a product or service, and support activities, which facilitate the smooth functioning of primary activities. Achieving a perfect linkage between support and primary activities in a value chain is crucial for creating and delivering customer value. Here’s how:

  1. Efficiency and Effectiveness: Support activities such as procurement, technology development, human resource management, and infrastructure play a critical role in enabling primary activities to operate efficiently and effectively. For example, efficient procurement processes ensure the timely availability of raw materials, while effective technology development enhances product innovation and quality. When support activities are seamlessly integrated with primary activities, it leads to streamlined operations, reduced costs, and improved overall performance, all of which contribute to enhancing customer value.
  2. Quality and Consistency: Support activities also contribute to maintaining the quality and consistency of products or services offered to customers. For instance, robust quality control processes implemented through support activities ensure that products meet or exceed customer expectations in terms of performance, reliability, and durability. Consistent delivery of high-quality products or services enhances customer satisfaction and loyalty, ultimately driving customer value.
  3. Innovation and Differentiation: Support activities such as research and development, and technology development provide the foundation for product innovation and differentiation. By investing in these support activities, companies can develop unique features, functionalities, or solutions that differentiate their offerings from competitors and address specific customer needs or pain points. Innovative products or services that offer superior value compared to alternatives in the market can attract new customers and retain existing ones, leading to increased customer value.
  4. Customer Experience and Satisfaction: Support activities also contribute to shaping the overall customer experience and satisfaction. Activities such as marketing and sales support, customer service, and logistics management directly impact how customers perceive and interact with the company. When support activities are aligned with primary activities to deliver a seamless and consistent customer experience across all touchpoints, it enhances customer satisfaction and fosters long-term relationships. Positive customer experiences not only drive repeat purchases but also generate positive word-of-mouth referrals, further amplifying customer value.

In summary, achieving a perfect linkage between support and primary activities in a value chain is essential for creating and delivering customer value. When support activities are effectively integrated with primary activities, it leads to increased efficiency, quality, innovation, and customer satisfaction, ultimately driving competitive advantage and business success.

What are the major psychological factors that influence the buying behavior of consumers? Explain which products are bought under the influence oof these factors.

Consumer buying behavior is influenced by a variety of psychological factors that shape individuals’ perceptions, attitudes, and decision-making processes. Some major psychological factors include:

  1. Perception: Perception refers to how individuals interpret and make sense of the world around them. Factors such as sensory stimuli, past experiences, and cultural background influence consumers’ perceptions of products and brands. For example, a consumer may perceive a luxury brand as representing high quality and prestige based on its reputation and marketing efforts.Products influenced by perception: Luxury goods, designer clothing, high-end electronics.
  2. Motivation: Motivation refers to the internal needs, desires, and goals that drive individuals to take action. Consumers are motivated to fulfill various needs, such as physiological (e.g., hunger, thirst), safety, social belongingness, esteem, and self-actualization. Marketers often tap into these motivations to create products and messaging that resonate with consumers’ desires.Products influenced by motivation: Food and beverage products, personal care items, clothing, luxury goods, self-improvement products.
  3. Attitudes and Beliefs: Attitudes and beliefs are formed based on individuals’ values, experiences, and exposure to information. Consumers develop positive or negative attitudes toward products and brands, which influence their purchase decisions. Marketers aim to shape consumers’ attitudes through branding, advertising, and other promotional efforts.Products influenced by attitudes and beliefs: Brand-name products, environmentally friendly products, socially responsible brands.
  4. Learning and Memory: Learning involves acquiring new knowledge or behaviors through experience, while memory involves retaining and recalling information. Consumers’ past experiences with products and brands, as well as exposure to marketing messages, influence their purchasing decisions. Marketers use repetition, storytelling, and other techniques to enhance learning and memory recall.Products influenced by learning and memory: Brand-name products with strong associations, products with nostalgic appeal, products with memorable advertising campaigns.
  5. Perceived Risk: Perceived risk refers to the uncertainty or potential negative consequences associated with a purchase decision. Consumers may perceive various types of risks, such as financial risk, performance risk, social risk, and psychological risk. Marketers can mitigate perceived risk by providing warranties, guarantees, testimonials, and product reviews. Products influenced by perceived risk: High-ticket items (e.g., automobiles, real estate), new or innovative products, products with potential health or safety concerns.
  6. Social Influences: Social influences refer to the impact of other people on an individual’s behavior, including family, friends, peers, and opinion leaders. Consumers may conform to social norms, seek approval, or emulate the behavior of others when making purchasing decisions. Marketers leverage social influences through word-of-mouth marketing, influencer endorsements, and social proof tactics. Products influenced by social influences: Fashion items, technology products, food and beverage products, leisure and entertainment products.

Overall, understanding these psychological factors is essential for marketers to develop effective strategies that resonate with consumers and drive purchase behavior across various product categories.

What is a guerrilla strategy? Give one example.

A guerrilla strategy, also known as guerrilla marketing, is a marketing approach that relies on unconventional and creative techniques to promote a product, service, or brand. It draws inspiration from guerrilla warfare tactics, where small, agile, and resourceful forces use surprise, flexibility, and asymmetrical warfare techniques to combat larger, more conventional adversaries.In marketing, a guerrilla strategy typically involves:

  1. Creativity: Guerrilla marketing campaigns often employ creative and attention-grabbing tactics that stand out from traditional advertising approaches. These can include viral videos, publicity stunts, street art, flash mobs, or unconventional product placements.
  2. Low Cost: Guerrilla marketing emphasizes low-cost tactics that require ingenuity and resourcefulness rather than large financial investments. By leveraging creativity and grassroots efforts, companies can achieve significant exposure and impact with minimal spending.
  3. Unconventionality: Guerrilla marketing thrives on breaking the norms and challenging traditional marketing conventions. It aims to disrupt the market and capture attention through unexpected and unconventional means, often appealing to the emotions or curiosity of consumers.
  4. Engagement: Guerrilla marketing campaigns often aim to engage consumers directly and create memorable experiences that foster brand awareness and loyalty. By involving consumers in interactive or participatory activities, companies can create a deeper connection and generate word-of-mouth buzz.
  5. Virality: Guerrilla marketing leverages the power of social media and digital platforms to amplify its impact and reach a broader audience. Campaigns designed to go viral can quickly gain momentum and spread organically through online sharing and user-generated content.

Overall, guerrilla marketing is about thinking outside the box, taking calculated risks, and leveraging creativity and innovation to achieve marketing objectives in unconventional ways. It is particularly well-suited for small businesses or challenger brands looking to stand out in crowded markets without the budgetary resources of larger competitors.

Rin is likely to adopt a guerrilla strategy against Tide.

In a guerrilla marketing strategy, a smaller competitor like Rin would focus on unconventional tactics to gain a competitive advantage over a larger, more established rival like Tide. This could involve tactics such as ambush marketing, viral campaigns, grassroots initiatives, or creative publicity stunts. Guerrilla marketing aims to disrupt the market and capture attention without the need for large financial investments.

Since Rin is likely facing challenges competing directly with Tide in terms of market share, brand recognition, and resources, a guerrilla strategy allows Rin to leverage its agility, creativity, and resourcefulness to outmaneuver Tide and carve out a niche in the market. By targeting specific segments or exploiting gaps in Tide’s marketing efforts, Rin can effectively challenge Tide’s dominance and attract customers through innovative and unexpected means.

Johnson baby cream is being promoted to their mothers too. this strategy can be said as :

The strategy of promoting Johnson’s baby cream to mothers as well can be categorized as a concentric growth strategy.

Concentric growth strategy involves expanding into related products or markets that are closely linked to the company’s existing business. By promoting Johnson’s baby cream to mothers, Johnson & Johnson is targeting a related market segment—mothers—who are likely to be interested in skincare products for themselves after using Johnson’s products for their babies. This strategy capitalizes on the existing brand loyalty and trust that mothers have in Johnson & Johnson’s baby products, extending it to a new product category.

Integrative growth strategy involves merging with or acquiring another company to expand operations or gain access to new markets. Horizontal growth strategy involves expanding into unrelated products or markets. Intensive growth strategy typically involves strategies such as market penetration, market development, product development, or diversification to increase sales and market share within existing markets or products.

However, promoting Johnson’s baby cream to mothers aligns more closely with the concentric growth strategy, as it involves expanding into a related market segment with a complementary product offering.

Which of the following is true representation of a sub culture? religion/ university group/ a fraternity/ group of close friends.

All of the options provided—religion, university group, a fraternity, and a group of close friends—can be considered examples of subcultures. However, the extent to which each one represents a subculture may vary depending on the context and the specific characteristics of the group.

  1. Religion: Religion often encompasses a set of beliefs, practices, rituals, and values shared by a group of people. Within broader society, different religious groups can be considered subcultures because they have distinct norms, traditions, and customs that differentiate them from the mainstream culture.University Group: A university group or club can also be considered a subculture, especially if it has its own unique identity, interests, and social norms. University groups often attract individuals who share common interests or affiliations, such as academic pursuits, hobbies, or cultural backgrounds.Fraternity: Fraternities and sororities are prime examples of subcultures within the context of higher education. They typically have their own traditions, rituals, symbols, and social hierarchies that distinguish them from other student organizations and the broader campus community.Group of Close Friends: A group of close friends can also form a subculture based on shared values, interests, experiences, and social norms. While it may not be as formalized as other examples, such as religion or university groups, a group of friends can develop its own unique language, inside jokes, and ways of interacting that set it apart from other social circles.

  2. In summary, all of the options provided can represent subcultures, as they involve groups of people with shared characteristics, interests, and behaviors that differentiate them from the broader society. Each example demonstrates how subcultures emerge within various social contexts and contribute to the diversity and complexity of human culture.

Dabur Vatika offers a complete range of hair care products in its product mix this is known as :

In marketing, the depth of a product mix refers to the number of product variations offered within each product line. When a company like Dabur Vatika offers a comprehensive range of hair care products such as shampoos, conditioners, hair oils, hair masks, and styling products, it indicates a deep product mix within the hair care product line. This depth allows the company to cater to different customer preferences, needs, and usage occasions within the same product category.

Consistency refers to how closely related the product lines are in terms of their use, production requirements, distribution channels, or target customers. Width refers to the number of different product lines a company offers. Length refers to the total number of products within a company’s product mix, including all product lines and variations.

Benefits form the basis of which segmentation approach?

Benefits form the basis of the behavioral segmentation approach.

Behavioral segmentation divides consumers into groups based on their behaviors, attitudes, or responses to a product, service, or brand. One common way to segment based on behavior is by focusing on the benefits sought by consumers. This approach categorizes customers according to the specific benefits they seek from a product or service rather than focusing solely on demographic or psychographic factors.

For example, in the context of hair care products, consumers may be segmented based on the specific benefits they seek, such as moisturizing, volumizing, strengthening, or color protection. By understanding the benefits that different segments prioritize, marketers can tailor their product offerings, messaging, and marketing strategies to better meet the needs and preferences of each segment.

Demographic segmentation categorizes consumers based on demographic variables such as age, gender, income, education, occupation, and family status. Psychographic segmentation categorizes consumers based on lifestyle, values, beliefs, interests, and personality traits. While both demographic and psychographic factors can influence consumer behavior, behavioral segmentation specifically focuses on actions, behaviors, and usage patterns.

Apple ipod followed which path to create its blue ocean?

Apple iPod followed the path of looking across alternative industries to create its blue ocean.

In the context of the Blue Ocean Strategy framework developed by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, looking across alternative industries involves identifying opportunities for innovation and value creation by examining industries outside the traditional boundaries of the market in which a company operates. Rather than competing within the existing market space, companies seek to redefine industry boundaries and create new market segments where competition is irrelevant or less intense.

When Apple introduced the iPod, it wasn’t just competing within the traditional portable music player market; it redefined the market boundaries by looking across alternative industries. Instead of focusing solely on hardware specifications and features, Apple revolutionized the music industry by combining hardware innovation (the iPod device) with software (iTunes) and content licensing agreements with record labels.

By looking across alternative industries such as consumer electronics, software development, and music distribution, Apple created a blue ocean of uncontested market space. The iPod and its ecosystem offered consumers a seamless and integrated experience for purchasing, managing, and enjoying digital music, which was unparalleled at the time of its launch.

This strategic move allowed Apple to capture significant market share, establish itself as a dominant player in the portable music player market, and pave the way for the company’s subsequent success with other groundbreaking products such as the iPhone and iPad.

Tata Teleservices will fall in………..category of tata group portfolio?

To categorize Tata Teleservices within the Tata Group portfolio, we need to consider its market share and growth rate, which are key factors in determining its strategic position within the portfolio. Here’s how Tata Teleservices might fit into the classic portfolio analysis model developed by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), which categorizes businesses into four quadrants based on market share and growth rate:

  1. Star: Stars are businesses with a high market share in a high-growth market. They typically require significant investment to maintain their growth trajectory. Since Tata Teleservices operates in the telecommunications industry, which has experienced high growth and intense competition, it’s possible that Tata Teleservices could be categorized as a star if it holds a significant market share and is investing heavily to sustain its growth.
  2. Question Mark (or Problem Child): Question marks are businesses with a low market share in a high-growth market. They require substantial investment to increase their market share and potentially become stars. If Tata Teleservices has struggled to gain market share in the telecommunications industry despite high growth rates and is investing heavily to expand its presence, it could be categorized as a question mark.
  3. Cash Cow: Cash cows are businesses with a high market share in a low-growth market. They generate significant cash flow but require minimal investment. If Tata Teleservices holds a dominant position in a mature segment of the telecommunications market and is primarily focused on maximizing profits rather than growth, it could be classified as a cash cow.
  4. Dog: Dogs are businesses with a low market share in a low-growth market. They neither generate significant cash flow nor require substantial investment. If Tata Teleservices operates in a stagnant or declining segment of the telecommunications market and struggles to compete effectively, it could be considered a dog.

Without specific information on Tata Teleservices’ market share, growth rate, and financial performance, it’s challenging to definitively categorize it within the Tata Group portfolio. However, based on the nature of the telecommunications industry and Tata Teleservices’ position within it, it’s likely that Tata Teleservices could be classified as a star, question mark, or possibly a cash cow.

If you do brand anatomy of close up which one of the following will signify essence of brand Colgate:

In the context of brand anatomy, if Close Up were to represent the essence of the Colgate brand, the attribute “bright” would signify the essence of the Colgate brand.

Colgate is widely recognized for its association with dental hygiene, freshness, and bright smiles. The attribute “bright” aligns well with Colgate’s brand image, as it conveys the idea of bright, white teeth, which is a core aspect of dental care and oral health. Therefore, “bright” would best signify the essence of the Colgate brand among the options provided.

“Is debt equity ratio is a financial leverage”

Yes, the debt-to-equity ratio is a measure of financial leverage used to evaluate a company’s capital structure. Financial leverage refers to the use of debt financing alongside equity financing to fund a company’s operations and investments.

The debt-to-equity ratio compares a company’s total debt to its shareholders’ equity. It is calculated by dividing total debt by shareholders’ equity. The formula is:

Debt-to-Equity Ratio=Total Debt / Shareholders’ Equity

A high debt-to-equity ratio indicates that a company relies more heavily on debt financing, while a low ratio indicates a higher proportion of equity financing.

Financial leverage can magnify returns for shareholders when the rate of return on assets (ROA) exceeds the cost of debt. However, it also increases the risk for shareholders because interest payments must be made on debt regardless of business performance. Therefore, while financial leverage can enhance returns, it also increases financial risk.

The control that is exercised when an organization implements its strategy may be called as:

The control that is exercised when an organization implements its strategy may be called concurrent control.

Concurrent control involves monitoring and regulating ongoing activities and processes as they occur to ensure that they align with organizational goals and objectives. This type of control occurs in real-time or near real-time, allowing managers to detect and address deviations from the desired course of action promptly.

Feedforward control occurs before the actual implementation of activities and involves identifying potential problems or issues and taking preventive actions to mitigate them.

Feedback control involves evaluating past performance after activities have been completed and making adjustments based on the outcomes achieved.

A scorecard, such as a Balanced Scorecard, is a performance measurement tool that provides a comprehensive view of an organization’s performance across multiple dimensions, including financial, customer, internal processes, and learning and growth. While a scorecard can be used to monitor and assess performance, it is not typically considered a form of control in itself but rather a tool used in conjunction with control processes.

Religious groups are associated with which reference groups?

Religious groups are associated with membership reference groups.

Membership reference groups are those with whom individuals have direct face-to-face interactions and whose values, norms, and behaviors they identify with or aspire to. Religious groups often serve as important membership reference groups because they provide individuals with a sense of belonging, shared identity, and social support within a community of like-minded individuals who share common beliefs, rituals, and practices.

In contrast, secondary reference groups are those to which individuals may not belong but still look to for guidance, approval, or comparison. Disclaimant reference groups are those whose values, norms, or behaviors individuals explicitly reject or distance themselves from. While individuals may also look to secondary and disclaimant reference groups for social comparison or contrast, religious groups primarily fulfill the role of membership reference groups for their members.


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