The sequence of Stages in the Spiral for strengthening the commercial ethos provides a hierarchy for choice which is operative at any point in time, irrespective of the state of the ethos.
Profitability is necessarily grounded in operations generating a product that sells (L1). However, unless the business organizes an effective interaction with a market, the product will not sell well, or (if it does) competitors will move in and take over, and profitability will not be sustained.
Whereas Stage-1 tends to see marketing as just one function among many, all higher levels in the hierarchy derived from the Spiral are only about marketing : i.e. this Hierarchy seems to reflect a progressive increase in sophistication in handling the market.
In determining how choices are made in Levels 2 to 7 to maximize profitability, it is necessary to identify and apply the appropriate tension (duality). In this case, the unavoidable and well-recognized polarity in choices is: «Product orientation v Market orientation».
Choices aboutcan therefore take place in one of three ways:
► Product-centric [P]
► Market-centric [M]
► Balanced [B]
Balanced refers to the impossibility of considering product issues and market issues in isolation from each other; so [P] and [M] poles must be fused or somehow synthesized.
The product v market duality will be applied to each Level (including L1) to generate Centres for choice in the Levels of the hierarchy. You can see the process and the end result here.
Once the Centres are identified and in place, we can clarify and name the interactions between them: which turn out to be marketing strategies. The full range of marketing strategies will be developed simply step by step, but you can see the final picture now.
Marketing has one single aim: to ensure the output of operations (L1) is as profitable as possible. The Framework to be presented explains how firms engage in marketing (or miss a trick).
Work out the various choices needed for profitability: Level by Level.
Originally posted: July 2009