Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Marketing Opportunities: Home Runs, Singles, and Low Hanging Fruit


Introduction to Marketing Opportunities

A viable marketing opportunity should be justifiable as worthy of pursuit. It is important to determine whether the marketing opportunity is a home run, single, or low hanging fruit. Additionally, it is important to evaluate all marketing opportunities and then come to an informed decision based on your research as to which would be the best idea. Projecting whether the endeavor will reflect positively or negatively upon the company as well as determining how significant of a financial improvement the opportunity will result in is optimal before making any type of commitment.          

Developing New Products

­­­­            When a company like Apple creates a new product, it can almost be guaranteed that people will want to buy it before they are even sure of what it is. That’s because Apple has a long history of surprising people with their endless innovation in their industry. They continually produce must have products. Creating new additions to your product line can be one of the best ways to add substantial increased revenue to your company’s balance sheets. “Introducing items that complement what you already sell can generate new sales and improve customer satisfaction” (Spors, 2011). The right product could turn around any business in the midst of failure. Product development can be a risky venture however. Research and development can tie up a lot of a company’s capital and could prevent them from being able to pay the liabilities that they have already obligated themselves to. If any other good opportunities come along, they may have to pass them up because they have no more money left on the side. If the venture ended out being a bust, and not resulting in any profitable new items for you company, all of the money spent on research and development would have been for nothing and you company would be right back where they started with less capital to allocate for other marketing opportunities.

            A home run is an opportunity that provides a business potentially momentous increase in growth. They require a significant amount of the company’s capital and tend to be rather large in scale. A home run is the riskiest type of marketing opportunity. This type of idea would be classified as a home run venture because it is very risky, takes up a lot of capital, can take a long time to develop and doesn’t have the highest chances of being a success. A new product could create significant return on investment to the business and would be a positive reflection on the company to current investors and customers because it would make them appear to be innovative and poised for growth. If they failed, the opposite would occur. Investors would not see them as positively as they once had because they would be wasting capitals on ideas that they were unable to implement. If successful, it would result in a significant financial improvement. I would not recommend this type of a venture to a company that was not well established and able to dedicate a significant amount of their working capital to a side venture such as product development.

Upgrade the Business’s Technology

If a company like Blockbuster was able to upgrade their technology into something even more high tech than what they were already using, it would almost guarantee that they would be able to more efficiently and effectively create their product. Blockbuster has been stuck in an in-store rut and hasn’t been able to make a successful move to online rentals like Netflix has. Upgrading technology would be known in the business world as a single. Singles come with significantly less risk than homeruns. They usually don’t require as much time and are more inexpensive yet have an attractive return. Charan (2006) explains that singles can increase revenues and “build a growth mind-set throughout the business, so that when the opportunity for a home run does come along, you’ll be better prepared to take advantage of it” (p. 28). Using operational and investigative metrics is the best way to improve the fundamentals of a business. The risks of this type of venture would be that the new technology does not end up being a good fit for the business, in which case they could revert back to what they were previously using. Depending on how much more efficient the technology made the company, it could have a substantial positive impact on the company’s finances because it could enable them to make more products in less time. It would also most likely reflect positively on the company because it shows that they are making strides to improve the way that they do business.

Developing a More Inexpensive Way of Packaging Products

Developing new ways of packaging current products to save money can be a great idea for your bottom line. If Under Armour could find a way to package its products more inexpensively it could save them and there customers money. Anything that makes the cost of selling your product less can be benficial for the consumers that are buying your products because you can get it to them for less. This type idea has very minimal risk and development most likely requires very litle capital. It is known as a low hanging fruit. Goldsmith (1997) quotes Muller, DeBettignies & Co. as saying that “low-hanging fruit is something visible - bad quality, unnecessary overtime, wasted materials -- that we can get our hands on right away, something that doesn't require an accounting degree to understand.” But company always looking for the low hanging fruit and not look elsewhere to further grow their companies are anything but innovative. They spend most of their efforts of trying to save and not thinking out of the box looking for ideas that will grow the company.  Pollick (2003) describes “fruit contained on these lower branches may be not be as ripe or attractive as the fruit on higher limbs, but it is usually more abundant and easier to harvest.”  It can be thought of negatively because a company can be seen understanding that the lower hanging fruit is not very high quality but goes after it anyways.

Analysis, Summary & Conclusion

            I would most strongly recommend Blockbuster utilizing new technology to make their business processes more efficient and effective. It would show that they are making strides to cut costs and positively impact their bottom line without high risk or the disadvantage of having to tie up a lot of the working capital. It also keeps the company from looking like they are doing a lot to grow their company. Upgrading technology would probably be the best bang for their buck because more efficient business processes would save money for both the customer and the consumer without the additional risk of a new product line being unsuccessful. It would result in the greatest financial improvement for the business in the least amount of time.




References

Charan, R. (2006). Profitable Growth is Everyone's Business. New York: Crown Business.

Goldsmith, A. (1997, October 31). Fast Company. Retrieved October 23, 2011, from Here's an Idea That's Not Quite Ripe: http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/11/cdu.html

Pollick, M. (2003). WiseGeek. Retrieved October 23, 2011, from What is Low Hanging Fruit?: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-low-hanging-fruit.htm

Spors, K. (2011, October 12). Enprepreneurs . Retrieved October 23, 2011, from How to Take Your Business to the Next Level: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/220495

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