Even the best marketing strategies need to be revisited, if not revised. Changes in the market environment can dramatically alter the marketing mix and your product plans. Marketing strategy should be seen as a process, which means the best marketing plans will change sooner or later.
Strategic change can be caused by many forces; Sometimes change is a threat while other times it can be an opportunity. It all depends on the definition of your product or your business; Plus, how you react may be the most important factor in your future success.
Sometimes the market changes and the demand for an offer changes. For example, obesity is on the rise in North America; for this reason, people are increasingly “food label savvy” when it comes to calories, grams of fat, sugar, carbohydrates, and protein. Fast food restaurants have had to react with salad bars, better disclosure of nutritional information and leaner products.
Another source of strategic change is technological innovation. As the speed and processing capacity of microprocessors increase, older personal computers quickly become obsolete. A more disruptive technological change could be the creation of the MP3 format and downloadable music. Music is now purchased one song at a time instead of song albums.
Sometimes a market is redefined. This is often driven by competition or customer demand. Today’s fast-paced culture demands a more personalized relationship with information, which has created wikis, blogs like this one, and the birth of Internet Protocol Television (IPTV). This new information content activity allows the reader or viewer to get “personalized content” when and where they want it.
In addition, the marketing channels are changing. Today, the Internet has changed the relationship of customers with suppliers. No longer dependent on the supplier for education on products and services, the new consumer is more informed and sophisticated than ever. In fact, the consumer is more powerful and will get what he wants or he will find another supplier.
For the marketing strategist, the challenge is to anticipate changes and take control of their destiny. The alternatives of delaying action or being surprised can mean business failure.
As former GE CEO Jack Welch said, “Change before you have to.”