Competitive Advantage and Marketing Strategies

Competitive Advantage and Marketing Strategies

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[Topic: Competitive Advantage and Marketing Strategies.] Why do customers choose to buy from one company and not another? The answer is simple – the company has an advantage over competitors. But what is competitive advantage? And how do you get it? Competitive advantage is what makes it possible to convince customers to buy products or services from you, instead of from your competitors. And you get it by having a unique blend of talents and resources.

There are two types of competitive advantage. Cost advantage is the ability to deliver the same benefit as a competitor, at a lower cost. Differentiation advantage is the ability to deliver greater or more desirable benefits than a competitor.

Using competitive marketing strategies can help you generate a competitive advantage. One aspect of the purpose of these strategies is to improve financial performance. The financial benefits of having a competitive advantage are obvious. More sales. But if you want your company’s edge to make a difference over the long run, you need to use marketing strategies that keep on working for you. So another part of the purpose of competitive marketing strategies is to create a sustainable competitive advantage. Sustainability is determined by two things – relevance, and defensibility.

First, your advantage has to remain relevant to both your organization and its market. Is it possible for your organization to keep the advantage with the available resources? And is the product or service you’re offering still what customers want? If not, the advantage is gone. Second, whatever gives you the edge must be defensible. It’s an advantage only if you have it but your competitors don’t. For example, if your competition can buy the machine that makes your production cheaper or hire people with the same expertise, there’s no advantage. Sustaining an advantage may involve creating barriers so that competitors can’t duplicate the assets and skills that give you the edge. A final part of the purpose of competitive marketing strategies is adding value for customers. In the mind of the customer, value is “what I get in return for what I give.” When customers feel like they get a lot of value from a company, they’ll choose to keep doing business with it. So the value customers receive helps determine a company’s competitive advantage.

Developing a competitive marketing strategy involves five main steps. First, develop an effective marketing objective to define the focus of your marketing. Second, conduct an external analysis. This involves looking at outside factors. Analyze your customers, your competitors, the industry, and the broader business environment. Third, conduct an internal analysis of your organization’s performance, strategic priorities, costs, portfolio, and financial resources. Fourth, develop the strategy – and finally, implement it and reap the rewards.

So companies want competitive advantage and using competitive marketing strategies can help them get it. These strategies can improve the financial performance of a company, create sustainable competitive advantage, and add value for customers.

Reead the transcript from this week’s video and answer the following questions

Using a product that you regularly purchase as the example (any good or service), write a summary that answers the following four questions.

1. Does the product or service have a competitive advantage (cost, differentiation, etc.)? If not, what is your recommendation for it to attain a competitive advantage?

2. Is the competitive advantage sustainable because of relevance or defensibility? If you answered no to question one, how would your recommendation lead to a sustainable competitive advantage?

3. What barriers does the competition face to entering the same market or gaining a competitive advantage?

4. What is the value provided to customers, and is that value a sustainable competitive advantage? Why or why not?

Explanation & Answer

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