While terms such as “hyper competitive” or “fast moving” have been around for a number of years, the speed of change—at the customer and competitor level—is accelerating at unprecedented levels. At the customer level, this is reflected in “location-based” marketing based on mobile apps, real-time tracking of customer behavior, and continual advancement of new, nimbler competition. For many industries, at the heart of this change are smart products, smart applications and interconnected devices as well as an increasing willingness of firms to develop ecosystems of partners rather than go it alone.

In many industries, the new and nimbler competition may be from firms based in second-world or even emerging economies. What are the implications of dealing with such non-traditional competitors? Conversely, the biggest growth opportunities for many firms are in emerging marketplaces, with unfamiliar customer needs, channel structures and even institutional set-ups and political systems. What does dealing with such new and dynamic markets mean for the marketing function? Does marketing continue to be the key interface for the inflow of marketplace information and the outflow of market-informed products and solutions?

▶  HOW CAN I COMPETE WITH ECO-SYSTEMS VS. INDIVIDUAL RIVALS?

There has been a great deal written on the shift from “go it alone” competitive dynamics to an increasingly networked world, where platforms compete against platforms. We see this most readily in the technology sector, but it is also apparent in most other sectors. What does a good ecosystem of players look like?

▶  HOW CAN WE BETTER PREDICT COMPETITIVE SHIFTS IN OUR MARKETPLACES?

To paraphrase Peter Drucker, the best way to predict the future is to create the future. How do firms shape the future? Do they do it alone, or in concert with others? What can we learn from this process?

▶  HOW CAN I COMPETE WITH GLOBAL RIVALS I HAVE NEVER EVEN HEARD OF?

This is one of the most significant concerns of big global players: Who are the new-to-the-world players that will emerge? How do I spot them early? Do I acquire them, or attack head to head? What does it take to make such foreign-market acquisitions work? How can I make sure that I fully exploit them?

▶  IF MY FIRM IS MID-SIZED (OR EVEN SMALL), HOW DO I GLOBALIZE QUICKLY?

What country marketplace characteristics provide the best guide for growth potential that I can tap (vs. just size)? How can I access such markets both in front-end customer acquisition and back-end logistics and delivery? How do I organize to make that happen? Trend analysis has been around for a while. Is it keeping pace with marketplace dynamics? When and why is it not? What can be done to bridge such gaps? For example, how can I better predict where and when new technologies may take off?

▶  HOW DO I ORGANIZE TO MONITOR AND PREDICT CHANGES IN MY MARKETPLACE?

Is this marketing’s job or someone else’s? If so, who? What are the costs and benefits of different approaches to doing so? Is simply trying to become more agile and respond quicker when changes occur a viable alternative to trying to better predict marketplace dynamics and change?

Read the original article at AMA.org

This spring, we’re unveiling the AMA’s first ever intellectual agenda in our almost 80-year history that features what we believe are the “seven big problems” confronting marketing. The seven big problems will drive content for the entire AMA community: a multi-faceted and diverse group of professionals in marketing and sales, academic researchers and educators, and collegiate marketing hopefuls.

The AMA’s intellectual agenda seeks to serve as a big tent source of guidance and inspiration that includes both theoretical and applied knowledge that will ultimately provide actionable insights, frameworks, tools and resources for the AMA community. We’ve created a living document that can evolve along with the AMA community and the discipline of marketing itself.

–Russ Klein, AMA CEO

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