A Practical Framework for Business Strategy Success
In preparing for battle, I’ve always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969).
Army general, statesman, 34th President of the United States.
The practical framework we present in this chapter is a logical, structured and systematic approach to designing and implementing successful global and domestic business strategies. It outlines the information requirements required to maximise the inherent value which the framework offers to translate the strategic requirements of the ‘intelligent company’ into operational strategic ‘go-to-market’ plans.
The framework provides the knowledge fulcrum between, on the one side, the insights gained regarding the harshness of the twin forces of competition and strategy (see Chapters One through Six) and, on the other, a realistic assessment of the organisational challenges which face companies when executing global and domestic business strategies alongside ways of how to address them (see Chapter Eight).
Most textbooks on global business strategy identify four broad categories of strategic management decision making for global markets:
- Why enter global markets and when? These decisions will be based upon a combination of market opportunity assessment, company motivations and company capabilities.
- Where to compete? Related decisions in this category are which geographical markets, how many geographical markets, which segments within the selected geographical market(s)?
- How to serve the selected geographic markets market(s), also known as market entry mode?
- Which action plans? The principal focus of this chapter, as reflected in the ‘Indicative Content’ section which follows, relates to the Operational Go-to-Market Plan, i.e. it is focused on specific actions and activities which are designed to lead to the success which its title indicates is achievable.
The Practical Business Strategy Framework has been derived from many models available in the literature and has been refined over time through usage within organisations from multiple sectors and of all sizes. The overriding theme of this chapter relates to the intricate relationship between management theory and business practice.
- Analyse market contexts: mature and emerging (aligns with Chapter Two).
- Select high potential market opportunities using the following iterative process:
- Undertake preliminary country research: reject the country at this time or progress to the next step.
- Undertake detailed market(s) research: reject the country at this time or progress to the next step.
- Undertake detailed company capabilities assessment (aligns with Chapter Eight): reject the country at this time or progress to the next step.
- Make market entry decision from ranked shortlist: use management judgement and experience.
- Do it again!
- Determine market entry mode, selecting from:
# Simple exporting.
# Exporting using foreign intermediaries.
# Establishing local market presence, e.g. in-country sales & marketing office; local manufacturing.
# Identifying ‘network solutions’: licensing; franchising; strategic alliances; joint ventures.
# Identify suitable acquisitions.
- Determine the required financial resources.
- Identify the necessary value proposition and communications adaptations.
- Determine market entry mode, selecting from:
The following elements of the chapter provide the background to its principal focus: creating the ‘Go-to-Market’ operational plan.
- Assess and determine strategic objectives.
- Determine strategic focus: insights for profitable growth.
- Profile customer targets.
- Profile competitor targets.
- Produce differential advantage profiles.
- Create a strategic marketing mix per target market segment.
- Boring but important! Scheduling, planning and task allocation.
- Organisational imperatives for the operational Go-to-Market plan.
- Evaluation of performance against objectives: variance analysis and action plans.
After studying this chapter, readers will:
- Understand that the complexity of global & domestic business strategy can be modelled in a relatively simple and extremely practical framework to compartmentalise its various elements.
- Have the capability to apply common processes to multiple and diverse country-markets (aligns with Chapter Two).
- Have the confidence to propose internal marketing plans (aligns with Chapter Eight).
- Apply the principles of strategic planning using proven practical frameworks, methodologies, processes and tools.
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All content © Colin Edward Egan, 2021