The paper “ Strategic Marketing Programs for Pioneers and Followers and Maintaining Competitive Edge in Declining, Mature and Shakeout Markets" is an excellent example of an assignment on marketing. In today’ s market environment, the question of whether a business should adopt a pioneer or follower strategy is an important aspect. This is because of the uncertainty in the market occasioned by the fast-changing information. Both strategies have inherent risks as well as opportunities and should be carefully analyzed before a decision is made. Another issue is that the timing of entry into a market is of utmost importance.
It enables a firm to enter a market and consolidates its market share before the market matures. Those who arrive late may find it hard to penetrate such a market. A pioneer is one of a business that is first to enter a given market or establish itself in a given business line. It does this by entering a new market or by developing a new technology that leads to the production of a newer product. A pioneer usually seeks to reap benefits by creating demand for the newer products and ensuring that it continuously meet demand before competitors enter that market.
This can be achieved through advertising campaigns, initiating price changes like lowering prices to make people test the product or even adopting distribution techniques that ensure it reaches the target market. Pioneers who are introducing a new technology in the market should ensure that they are successful in commercializing that technology. Continuous improvement in technology will ensure that quality products are produced and that consumers can develop a bond with the company’ s products.
Suarez and Lanzolla (2005) warn that maintaining market leadership in the face of entry of competitors in such a market is not always possible especially if commercialization is not properly done. Other companies have always attained commercialization through creative advertisement, which makes the consumer feels that they are buying a higher quality product. Followers can also achieve successful commercialization of technology and even defeat the pioneers in the race for market share. For example, Seiko, manufacturers of quartz watches have attained this feat (Mittal and Swami, 2004). Followers can also focus on areas on market niches that give the best returns.
This is because taking market share from the pioneer may not be possible. Pioneers may have established themselves well within certain areas, having been around for quite a while. Hence, the choice of which segments to serve becomes useful. Otherwise, they may end up being forced to exit soon after their entry: for lack of enough market shares to sustain their cost. Strategic advertising and the distribution of the products should also be analyzed carefully by the followers. To make themselves known to the potential customers, strong promotion should be adopted so that the firm can stand out from the competitors, and attract the interest of the customers.
As a follower, the business should as much as possible desist from possible confrontation with the pioneer and focus on consolidating its gains within the market. This will ensure that it has the time and space to grow inside the very market. Stewart and O’ Brien (2005), is also of the opinion that followers should invest in research and development but such should be focused in areas that promise many returns in the business.
This is an advantage they have over pioneers. By studying their pioneers, they are able to easily identify some of these areas.