Why marketing led businesses out compete production led businesses
28th September 2010
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Do you ever have that sense that you’re working harder and harder but staying in the same place? Could it be you need to adjust your focus? Is being a production led business making you uncompetitive?

A production led business is driven by the production. What does that mean exactly? In a production led business, marketing is just what you do to dispose of what’s produced, rather than assessing the market and gearing production around what you find. If you have a perishable product such as fresh meat or pies, then you can see why production might lead the way.

How does that differ from a marketing led business?

In a marketing led business the focus is on the market place.  Owners and managers of a marketing led business focus on:

• customers
• competitors
• distribution

The foundation of business activity in a marketing led business is responding to customers needs by monitoring the market. So for the fresh meat company, the production of pies would come about only after extensive market research and product testing. Checking out competitors’ pies would be a priority. Getting feedback from customers ensures the final pie recipes, prices, sizes and packaging resonate with the customers’ needs and expectations.

Contrast that with the production led business who sees a need to ‘get rid’ of surplus meat after the prime cuts have been sold. With no clue about the market demand for such pies, there are many potential pitfalls a production led business could encounter, leading to a less than profitable diversion into pie production.

How do businesses become product or marketing led?

This is often a result of the interests and background of the business owners and managers. If there are no marketing skills in the management mix and the owners began the business because of an interest in production, then marketing can become an after thought and the business planning becomes dominated by the needs of the production.

How can you recognise if your business is production led?

If you find yourself constantly trying to reduce costs, even at the expense of quality or if you look for other buyers if existing buyers are no longer satisfied, then your focus is probably on production rather than the market.

If you begin with the market - analyse it’s needs and aspirations and accept that change is inevitable then you can apply creative strategies to production that complement your strategic business and marketing plan.

If you would like to know more about marketing led businesses, speak to Bestof member Chris Olchawski of Tutsan Associates on 01550 739016

About the Author

Diana V

Member since: 10th July 2012

I am Diana Vickers, the site owner of thebestof Carmarthenshire. This was launched in Carmarthen town in June 2008, to support the very best of the area’s businesses with their promotions and marketing....

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