Winning Market Leadership
by Adrian Ryans, Roger More, Donald Barclay, and Terry Deutscher
John Wiley, 1999, 309 pages, $29.95

A collaborative effort by a team of Canadian business school professors, Winning Market Leadership reads not surprisinglylike a straightforward marketing text ? although the authors are to be commended for avoiding academic jargon. This no-nonsense 10-step manual for technology-intensive businesses, while perhaps not as exciting as Geoffrey Moore's works,offers a clear, structured approach to strategic market planning, targeting in particular managers in strategic business units(SBUs).

First, Choose the Arena

The first step in the process, according to the authors, is choosing the arena. In this stage, you determine the business area inwhich you will search for attractive opportunities. Here you are looking to tentatively identify potential customer segments tobe served, potential applications or functionality that could be provided to these customers, possible technologies orcompetencies that could be used to create these applications or functionality, and possible value-adding roles for the SBU inthe market chain.

Once you've chosen the arena, you look for potentially attractive business opportunities in that arena. Analyzing the market,notably the supply chains involved in supplying the end users your SBU is targeting, is the third step of the process.Assessing required resources and competencies, conducting a competitive analysis of the market, planning key relationships,and understanding the profit potential of the opportunity are some of the further steps in the process described by the authors.

Breaking Down Each Step

Each of the individual steps is further broken down into clear and detailed step-by-step guidelines. For example, after you'veconducted a competitive analysis of the market, the next step in the process is the tough, strategic choices that youwill need to make. This phase includes:

  • Understanding the concept of strategic issues
  • Developing a winning strategy for an opportunity, either through cost leadership or differentiation
  • Selecting and charting a portfolio of opportunities that you might pursue
  • Making the hard choices about which opportunities to pursue

Punctuated by numerous examples and spare, pertinent illustrations, and featuring "key questions for executives andmanagers" at the end of each of the 10 steps, this text provides an effective and valuable market-planning template for bothSBUs and small to midsize companies.

Copyright © 2000 Soundview Executive Book Summaries