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Supermarkets, marketing funnels and buying cars you haven’t even sat in – get busy with your marketing planning

In this series of articles, I take a look at an easy-to-use strategic marketing planning tool. Known as the Ansoff Matrix, the enduring popularity of it is probably down to its simplicity. In short, it says a business has only four possible strategic choices – depending on whether you choose to market new or existing products in new or existing markets.

‘Where to play and how to win’ is a great phrase summarising the benefits of using it. In these articles I have provided examples to make particular points and help develop your understanding of it, and how you can apply it to your business when planning its strategic direction.

As a reminder, please click here to see the Ansoff Matrix and the different strategy options. 



Market development is all about how to enter new markets with an existing product – the promotion of new uses for existing products to new customers.

Generally, this would include new geographic regions and new distribution channels – obviously including the internet. In order to achieve effective growth with market development, a high marketing effort is required – even more so than with market penetration. Due to the high financial investment, this strategy involves a certain risk.  It’s obviously, therefore, a lot easier for well-known brands such as the major supermarket chains.

Tesco was first supermarket to practise market developmentbut they were followed by many other supermarket brands. Tesco’s existing grocery products were originally sold in large, out-of-town stores but are now also sold in smaller shops in more urban areas. This was achieved by buying up chains of convenience stores in towns and cities to take advantage of changing lifestyles.

The traditional family unit that did a big weekly shop became less common with a shift to smaller, more regular purchases for individuals and couples living in towns and cities. These new convenience stores from the supermarket brands offered a wider selection of products that were already purchased for their larger stores. Computer algorithms are used to identify consumption trends and order stock.

Question – Have you ever conducted research to try and get a feel for market share in your existing sectors? It’s definitely a good thing in order to try and understand potential demand for a business considering entering new markets.

With so much commerce now happening online, the end of traditional high street shopping for non-essentials has likely been speeded up – unless there is some kind of an experience or attraction on offer – this may be as simple as a (socially distanced) coffee shops in garden centres and bookshops.

The internet has redefined the traditional ‘marketing funnel’ – because of the amount of information available at people’s fingertips/keyboard, they no longer adhere to a traditional linear buyer’s ‘journey’ – awareness, interest, desire and action. People are buying increasingly more expensive items online without any direct interaction.

Question – Is speed of delivery less important the more expensive the product? A consumable item would be wanted the next day, but less likely to be the case for a £5,000 piece of new equipment?

This includes second-hand/nearly new cars bought without having to leave your home being bought through websites offering “All-New Online Showroom. Free 90-Day Warranty And Roadside Assistance. 150+ Point Inspection. Competitive Part Exchange and 7-Day Money Back.”

A potential purchaser will have done their research on the type of car, brand names and then looking to make a purchase. These services are not traditional retailers as such, more of an intermediary delivering information and adding value and making life easy for people.

A key phrase here is ‘search intent’ when looking online for products and services in different markets. Being aware of this subject can help make sure your website is as effective as possible.

Lastly, a big question to consider at this point is the role of human beings in purchasing decisions, whether business to business or to business to consumers as outlined above. The role of brand is important in helping people make a decision.

Question – Tesco or Sainsburys, and Ford or Volkswagen are all well-known – but what is the role or importance of brand names in purchasing decisions for your product or service?


Next time I take a close look at the third of these strategies – product development

Click here to read – Getting started: developing your business strategy with an easy-to-use marketing planning tool.

Click here to read – Developing your marketing plan – basic product/marketing strategy options using the Ansoff matrix.

Click here to read – Marketing planning: strategy options with the Ansoff matrix – ‘market penetration’. 


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Click here to request the complete series of 6 strategic marketing planning articles.

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