Operational Marketing and Strategic Positioning Essay

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.....operational and marketing capabilities on firm performance: Evidence from economic growth and downturns," Ahmed, Kristal & Pagell (2014) show how marketing and especially operational marketing capabilities in an organization can directly improve firm performance overall, with operational marketing being especially critical during slow times or externalities like economic downturns. The results of the Ahmed, Kristal & Pagell (2014) article show the importance of operational marketing and strategic brand positioning, especially as described in chapter 8 of the text. For example, the text lists the seven steps in the positioning process, starting with the identification of the relevant sets of competitive products that serve the target market. Ahmed, Kristal & Pagell (2014) indicate the same, using case studies of firms like L'Oreal using diversified approaches in identifying core products, target market, and competitor analyses to gain strategic competitive advantage and market leadership.

Similarly, Ahmed, Kristal & Pagell (2014) discuss the attributes of what the text calls the "product space," one of the essential steps of the positioning process. While examining and analyzing the product space, the firm can also work with specific tactics like focus groups or surveys of customers, to improve the positioning of the brand based on direct consumer feedback and consumer perceptions of the brand and its competitor products.

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Ahmed, Kristal & Pagell (2014) mention similar techniques used by firms like Abercrombie & Fitch and McDonald's. Successful firms recognize their current location in the market, and either strengthen that position vis-a-vis competitors or shift the brand to better reflect consumer trends or to improve brand recognition. For example, L'Oreal did this and because it is a firm that is "strongly driven by marketing and brand strength," was able to successfully leverage its positioning via a cohesive operational marketing strategy that relied heavily on advertising (Ahmed, Kristal & Pagell, 2014, p. 4).

Determining customers' preferred combination of determinant attributes, one of the steps in the positioning process as described in the text, requires a heavy investment of resources into operational marketing and only major firms are in the position of allocating such large amounts of funds into such activities. The need for resources is evident in specific case studies, such as when applying the domains to the Health through Walls organization marketing management plan ("Health Through Walls," 2014). Likewise, when evolving new brands within the same firm, the positioning strategy can be even….....

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Ahmed, M.U., Kristal, M.M. & Pagell, M. (2014). Impact of operational and marketing capabilities on firm performance: Evidence from economic growth and downturns. International Journal of Production Economics 154: 71

"Health Through Walls," (2014). Retrieved online: http://www.healththroughwalls.org/


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