Boston Consulting Group Matrix (BCG) Explained

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) growth-share matrix is an extremely vital addition in marketing or tactical management. The Boston Matrix developed by Bruce Henderson in the first 70s of the Boston Consulting Group. Even thou taking into consideration the flaws in the model, the Boston Consulting Group model is one of the most famous portfolio management tool integrated in product life pattern theory. It provides effective direction towards resource distribution. The BCG matrix works on two factors: market talk about and market growth. This variables point at the status of the company. It can be also stated as, products which have a larger market talk about or land in the fast growing category can produce higher income.

It basically serves four distinctive purposes: It could be used to categories products stock portfolio in four types namely Stars (high growth, high market talk about), Cash Cows (low progress, high market talk about), Question Grades (high progress, low market show) & Puppies (low expansion, low market share); it could be used to prioritize products in the merchandise collection; classifying products on the bases of cash use and technology; helps generating ways of tackle possible product lines. Hence, the BCG model demonstrates to be a useful analytical tool to value a company's product ranges.

The four skin cells classified in the BCG are:


This category supports the market market leaders which also have greater market talk about. The merchandise in this category make massive amount income but also require heavy investment to support market talk about & rapid expansion.

Cash Cows

The products in this category essentially have high market share in an already developed market. They generate high profits and create good cashflow. Such products do not require much investment as they are already set up products.

Question Marks

Question markings are products which land in a higher expansion market with relatively low market show. Such products require substantial investment to hold and boost the market show. The return on investment is also low because of the lack of market talk about.


Dogs thrive in a minimal growth market with a low share. They don't generate any effective profits for the business and show little indications of development. Such products should be generally liquidated.

Although BCG matrix is a well-known tool for collection analysis, they have numerous constraints too. Some of them are:

The foremost and important problem is how to establish the marketplace and assortment of data regarding a products market talk about.

It is not essential a product with a higher market share cause profitability at all times.

The model only works on two aspects specifically market share and market expansion.

Businesses with low market talk about may also be profitable.

It only rates the merchandise on the bases of 1 competition i. e. the market leader. It overlooks small opponents with higher rate of development.

It overlooks the consequences of synergy between proper business units.

Internal and Exterior Audits

The marketing audit forms a very core part of the marketing planning process. Audits are performed at the beginning of the program, as well as at predetermined intervals through the execution of the plan. The marketing audit includes both inner and external affects on marketing planning, also considering the review of the program itself. Many tools and methods can be found to undertake such audits, e. g. SWOT evaluation which is often used for auditing inside as well as external environment. Altogether such marketing audits help measure the opportunities and risks, and help the marketing minds to determine and make necessary changes to the program.

Many a occasions when things start heading downhill in an organization in ways like falling sales, weakening margins, lowering market share, the need for an audit spurges up. Management often forget the real problem and work towards the incorrect symptoms. Launching of new products, reducing costs, slicing costs are a few of the practices used. Such methods are highly inadequate, if primary problems are not resolved. Such problems have to be effectively identified and auditing helps in defining such problems.

Internal Audit

Internal audit contain controllable parameters in a firm. Internal audit helps in evaluating the advantages and weaknesses of company which provide certain advantages and can relate with the needs of the precise target market.

Strengths can be categorized as inner factors which can support an organisation accomplish its targets or even to reduce hazards. Weaknesses are factors which may hamper the organisational progress and foil organisations from reaching their targets.

Some of the areas of internal audit in order to analyse the inner factors of the company are:-

Resources, sales, market talk about, profit margin, costs, marketing steps, marketing company, marketing information, marketing mix variables as : Products, Price, Circulation, Promotion.

External Audit

External audit is related with the uncontrollable factors, outside the firm such as the market, the rival, etc. The exterior audit can be involved with factors such as political-legal, monetary, social-cultural and scientific (also known as Infestation or STEP), with these the ecological and competitive factors which might stand opportunities or cause threats. An opportunity can be termed as an exterior factor which the company can exploit to gain higher income margins. A hazard can be any external circumstances that could curtain organisational performance.

Areas of analyses for exterior audit include information regarding customers, suppliers, companions, market share, technological standards; customer feedback through surveys, suggestions, complaints; government, educational or syndicated studies of the market, the industry, competition; industry groupings; employees, suppliers, and other companions; marketing and online accounts; special interest group (Woods, 2007)*.

It is very an important part of likely to understand the environment an organisation manages. SWOT evaluation summarises a company's talents, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. SWOT analysis is an instrument for auditing a firm and its own environment. It is conducted at the initial level of planning and helps explain the key issues. SWOT means used to establish Talents, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Dangers which are proper factors for a corporation, where the talents and weaknesses form the inner factor, opportunities and risks are external factors to the company.

Where SWOT evaluation is an instrument used to recognize business strategies for an organisation to look at. It consists of specifying and grouping together internal organisational strengths and weaknesses and environmental opportunities and dangers. In true to life scenario this isn't so practical as although having all identified everything in hand, the challenge arises of what to do with the information. Whereas, the TOWS matrix is a device which assists with detailing the strategy rather than just supporting in its era. The TOWS matrix (Weihrich, 1982)* presents a device for facilitating linkages and presents a construction for discovering and formulating strategies.

In order to perform Strategic management, simple general market trends needs be carried out using appropriate information systems to evaluate key issues in the business and environment. Factors such as:

  • Market Research
  • External and internal which may affect an organization.
  • Target customers.
  • Driving forces behind sales fads.
  • Company Research
  • Information of company resources - investments, I. P. , etc.
  • Information of company capacities.
  • Competition Research
  • Competitive edge.
  • Needs of products and services.

The information thus collected needs to be scanned and examined into four elements: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and dangers, where in opportunities and hazards are used to analyse the exterior factors and strengths and weaknesses are used to analyse the inner factors. It is very important to note that interior and exterior factors should evidently distinguished, as it might obscure both the management way and decision making body. The SWOT & TOWS process can carry on till enough time the body feels it is productive, as long as the info is properly assessed and enhanced by conversations and arguments. At the end, the points submit should be arranged by the whole board which details to reject and which to maintain, so the last gird will contain only the key strategic marketing external opportunities and the main element strategic internal strengths and weakness. As concluded by Tony Proctor (2000)* along with his research study on over 50 organisations, that practising such techniques have helped the organisations in gaining greater insights along the way of strategy creation and have helped structure their wondering process and also have helped them profoundly in coming up with better strategic ideas.

Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning process

The STP process is a very important process in a marketing strategy as it can help the organisation in creating personalised marketing mix packages which target specific band of the market segment with similar characteristics and needs. The STP process includes three main activities: market segmentation, market targeting and market positioning. The particular level and group of segmentation process used varies significantly depending factors like

  • Dimension of the organisation
  • Point at which it is carried in the marketing planning process
  • Financial position of the organisation
  • Current market position

Segmenting concentrating on positioning (STP) contain different steps as mentioned by Pelsmacker and Geuens (2007)* namely, meaning of segmentation requirements, definition of portion profiles, examination of the appeal of segments, selection of target groups, explanation of the desired unique position in the mind of targeted consumers.

The STP execution commences with defining potential factors predicated on which segmentation of the market can be transported. The market segments created should further be divided into generalized subgroups, in which the members of 1 group should reply identically to marketing stimuli and be different in their a reaction to such stimuli from people of other segments. For example, the furniture market can be disturbed into different groupings such as home and business market. Further section of these sections can be carried out such as, home market can include segments like student home furniture, classic furniture, design furniture etc. ; likewise business section can be divided into office furniture, hotel furniture etc.

In the next stage, Tips in each section can be merged to create segmentation profiles. Based on identified segmentation profiles, their appeal can be evaluated. The appeal of the sections depends on many factors like the size and forecasted progression of sales, buying electricity and competition amount targeted for the section.

Considering the examination of segment appeal, a number of target groupings will be picked which will be focused upon, remember the company's talents. This process is named targeting. Further objectives, strategies and practices created will group around these specific groups.

In the end, the organisation must create a unique and appropriate position because of its product in the mind of the mark group. Positioning can be defined as what sort of product is perceived by the mark group based on its important characteristics. Setting is one of the essential element of online marketing strategy and of marketing and sales communications.

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