The strategic agenda - Marketing Strategy

It is essential that all organizations develop products. Product development and innovation are the ‘life blood’ of any business. By definition, development and innovation are strategic activities that shape the future. The creation of an acceptable product offering involves many strategic decisions. For example, building on core competencies, matching resources to market opportunity and co-ordinating activities across functional boundaries are all accepted strategic activities which normally determine the success or failure of our products. Given that many organizations now face difficult commercial conditions – static/ declining demand and intense competition –innovation and product development should top the agenda of today’s (and tomorrow’s) successful organizations. In essence, all organizations must evolve or they will perish. Product development and innovation allow organizations to evolve.

It is important to define ‘product’ in its broadest sense. What counts is the total product offering – this provides benefits to the customer. Hence, the process of product development involves not only innovation of the core product, but innovation in areas such as support service sand production processes. Business cannot afford to view innovation in the narrow sense of technical /scientific development, but rather as a management process. Such a process focuses creative effort with the intention of developing products perceived as delivering superior benefits. Innovative projects require the right balance of creative, technical and managerial skills. Blending these factors together fosters an organizational culture that embraces innovation, product development and strategic success.

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