1. Critically Analyse the Relative Merits of the Strategic Marketing Planning Tools Offered by the Boston Consulting Group

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1. Critically analyse the relative merits of the strategic marketing planning tools offered by Porter, the Boston Consulting Group and Ansoff. Use a different marketing example for each tool to illustrate your understanding.

Strategic marketing involves the management of the process of determining the marketing strategy that is to be followed, and of making sure the strategy is followed correctly, in order for a firm to successfully compete against its rivals; it can be defined as "a systematic approach to a major and increasingly important responsibility of...management: to position and relate the firm to its environment in a way which assures its success and makes it secure from surprises" (Ansoff, 1990).
In an attempt to assist
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In addition, the BCG Matrix also identifies those products that demand heavy investment in return for relatively low market share (‘Question Marks’) and thus need further investment and attention to turn them into ‘Stars’ or need to be sold. Finally, a product can also be classified as a ‘Dog’. ‘Dogs’ are products which take up little attention or investment but hold minimal market share and show little sign of market growth. Products that fall into this category rarely show signs of turn-around when injected with invested, and in most cases are better off being sold or liquidated (Stern et al, 2000). Taking The Coca Cola Company as an example, Diet Coca Cola would be classed a ‘Cash Cow’, Relentless energy drink would be ‘Star’, whereas Powerade Zero would be a ‘Question mark’. 5Alive juice drink would most likely be classed as a ‘Dog’.
As products follow the stages of the Product Life Cycle, they may well switch categories within the BCG Matrix, between low and high growth. A balanced product portfolio, including high and low growth products is essential to maximise an organisation’s revenue:
“Only a diversified company with a balanced portfolio can use its strengths to truly capitalize on its growth opportunities. The balanced portfolio has:

* stars whose high share and high growth assure the future; * cash cows that supply funds for that future growth;

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