Porter's Five Forces

Porter’s Five Forces and marketing uncertainty

Firstly, whether you are a large corporate or small business, the competitive landscape is changing rapidly and shifting underneath us. During this time of change, some businesses are thriving and others are holding on in circumstances that have and continue to cause turbulence for the economy. But how do you assess your own line of business? A situational analysis such as Porter’s Five Forces will help you to understand the relative competitiveness and attractiveness of your area.

We specialise in marketing strategy and advice to close your strategic planning gap and grow your business through marketing. To speak to us about your competitive position, call 01625 682110.


Porter’s Five Forces Framework

First published in HBR in 1979, Michael Porter’s Five Forces framework helped businesses to review their competitive position and the attractiveness of an industry to make a profit.

Porters Five Forces Framework

Threat of new entrants
Barriers to entry
Threat of substitutes
Switching cost and ease
Degree of rivalry
Competitive advantage
Bargaining power of suppliers
Versatility in supply chain
Bargaining power of buyers
Range of alternatives


Read on to find out how we help you thrive in a changing competitive landscape.


Retain your competitive advantage, beginning with Porter’s Five Forces

With the rules torn up, no line of business is safe from disruption. A small law firm that only focussed on mediation decides to offer probate and will writing that a local accountancy firm provides. The dynamic technology business that sells IT equipment, support and cloud-based services moves into telecommunications and web design to rival digital marketing agencies. The building contractor who relies on a single source of raw materials makes a loss with a 20% increase in input costs.

But how do you adapt and rebuff the challenges? Start your strategic positional analysis with Porter’s Five Forces and we will help you create a competitive marketing strategy to retain or boost your competitive advantage.


Not all competitors go quietly into the night

According to Marketing Week, two statistics demonstrate the competitive pressures faced within some industries.

“7% of UK businesses have actually increased their spend on marketing during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“Globally, 14% of B2B businesses have “seized the opportunity” presented by the crisis to increase advertising spend.”

This raises some interesting questions about specific lines of business, such as:

  • Is their business benefiting from Coronavirus and increasing their market share?
  • Are they using agile marketing to boost customer value and seize new opportunities?
  • Is there a new entrant or substitute product they are competing against?
  • Are they investing in customer experience to boost loyalty post-crisis?
  • Is a highly-competitive industry forced to respond to competitor pressure?

Take a real-world example. Did anyone foresee Zoom being the most downloaded app and the main video solution back in January? Skype and Teams from Microsoft, Webex from Cisco and Hangouts from Google, were outmanoeuvred by a substitute from a relatively new entrant. Product investment, upgrades to free features and increased advertising spend are visible responses as the rivalry has intensified and switching is easy.


Beyond Porter’s Five Forces – cut, but still invest for success

Many have cut back on marketing during the crisis. In fact, in an April survey from LinkedIn, media and communications is ranked lowest in their confidence index. Although marketing is often described as cyclical, 7% of UK businesses still increased their marketing spend.

But don’t just take our word for it. The Harvard Business Review analysed the outcome of the 2009 financial crisis to provide some context in the current crisis:

“Companies that master the delicate balance between cutting costs to survive today and investing to grow tomorrow do well after a recession. Within this group, a subset that deploys a specific combination of defensive and offensive moves has the highest probability—37%—of breaking away from the pack. These companies reduce costs selectively by focusing more on operational efficiency than their rivals do, even as they invest relatively comprehensively in the future by spending on marketing, R&D, and new assets. Their multipronged strategy is the best antidote to a recession.”

Wise words, indeed.


Marketing I can do now in response to the Five Forces

Here are a few ideas for marketing activity to do responding to the Five Forces Framework:

  1. New entrant – Pay-Per-Click paid advertising for brand protection and to ensure you retain impression share
  2. Substitute – Customer Advocacy and Customer Experience to promote loyalty
  3. Rivalry – Marketing Automation advice and CRM to scale your marketing efforts
  4. Supply – Build your lead generation capability to grow and diversify your offering
  5. Alternatives – Use agile marketing and neuromarketing so your advertising succeeds


Close your strategic planning gap today

Think Beyond is a marketing consultancy agency that designs bespoke marketing solutions that are right for you. We offer you strategies and frameworks that help to transform marketing, increase ROI and grow your business. We support your business with marketing advice, models and plans and we help you deliver the activities to achieve your goals. In summary, we are a boutique for all of your marketing needs with a single point of contact.

Want to know more? We offer a free one-hour initial chat with no obligation and you can reach us on 01625 682110 to arrange yours.

Alternatively, why not fill-in our quick form to ask for a call back.

Finally, we are proud of our service so if you like, have a quick look at our customer reviews.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Porter’s Five Forces and marketing uncertainty

Enter your details and we’ll call you back to discuss your needs.

Contact Info