Marketing Planning – “What will our business be?”
“What is our business?”
An organisation is not defined by its name, or articles of incorporation. Itis defined by the want the customer satisfies when he buys a value offering. To satisfy the customer is the mission and purpose of every business. The question “What is our business?” can, therefore, be answered only by looking at the business from the outside, from the point of view of customer and market. What the customer sees, thinks, believes, and wants, at any given time, must be accepted by management as an objective fact.
Customers are not really interested in “products” and certainly not in the organisation itself. The customers only want to know what the organisation and its value offerings will do for him or her today. They are interested in their own values, and the satisfaction of those values. For this reason any serious attempt to state “what our business is” must start with the customer, their realities, situation, behaviours, expectations, and values.
“What will our business be?”
Eventually the answer to “What is our business?” changes. Therefore, managers need to look to the future, beyond the present definition of the business, probing for answers to the additional question, “and what will it be?”‘ This forces managers to think ahead and act to position the firm in response to the impact of change.
The question, “What is our business and what will it be?” can be answered in number of different ways:
1. In terms of its value offerings – its value offerings provided.
2. In terms of the principal ingredient in its value offerings.
3. In terms of the technology that spawns the value offering.
4. In terms of the customer groups being served
5. In terms of the customer needs and wants being met.
6. In terms of the scope of activities within an industry.