Feeding the Growth Strategy

Day, George S.
November 2003
Marketing Management;Nov/Dec2003, Vol. 12 Issue 6, p15
The article examines the role of marketing in corporate growth discussions. Corporate leaders are feeling the squeeze between pressure by equity markets for sustained earnings growth and the shrinking growth opportunities in their saturated and hotly contested markets. Effective marketing can contribute to a firm's growth through better anticipation of market opportunities and calibration of risks, a tighter linkage of technological possibilities with market concepts and faster adjustment to shifting market needs and competitive moves. The growth imperative is shaped by four forces that impinge on top management by imposing constraints and requiring challenging objectives. The achievement of these superior returns is constrained by demanding customers and intensifying competition. While their point is that the performance of value innovators greatly exceeds that of companies that focus on matching or beating competitors, it also reinforces the need for breakthrough or discontinuous innovation in both products and business models. As the growth trajectory accelerates, the marketing function becomes steadily less significant. This is partly because the innovative organizational arrangements needed to manage the uncertainties of a discontinuity tend to subordinate all functions. INSET: Appraising the Risk Matrix.


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