All marketing organizations try to objectively compare their existing capabilities with their ability to meet the consumer's needs now and in the future. Moreover, when deficiencies are found, a good marketing organization must be willing to make changes as quickly as possible.
When Toyota realized that their products were not connecting with consumers aged 35 and younger, it decided to take direct action. In 1999, it gathered eight people in their 20s and 30s from around the company into a new, ethnically diverse marketing group called "genesis". Their first assignment was to launch three cars meant to pull in younger buyers: the entry-level ECHO subcompact, a sporty new two-door Celica, and the MR2 Spyder, a racy convertible roadster.
Although assessing company capabilities often begins in the marketing area, all the business functions must be assessed. Do we have the technical know-how to produce a competitive product? Do we have the plant capacity? Do we have the necessary capital? Do we have good top management?
A "no" to any of these questions may stymie the marketing effort. Conversely, a strong advantage in cost control or dynamic leadership may provide the company with a competitive marketing advantage that has little to do with marketing, but everything to do with the business succeeding.
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