Guest and Episode Links
Richard Forshaw-Smith
@ rfs_marcomms:

Blue Ocean Strategy – W. Chan Kim:

Enjoy the Episode – Happy Marketing!


Marketing Strategy can be easily missed or forgotten about in the melee of tactical activities, but Porters Generic Strategies can help with this, which we will find out about later.

First, let’s meet Richard Forshaw-Smith, a sales, Marketing and Communication Specialist from RFS Marketing & Communications. Richard has held a number of senior positions within and working for businesses in the public sector. So he is in the perfect position to talk us through the nuances of this industry and how the heck we should be Marketing within and to this industry. 


– Richard points out that the challenges are generally the same whether you are marketing within the public or private sector, with the main difference being the application of the chosen tactics. Massively important this – the application of the tactics as this can make a huge differential advantage. 

– When discussing spend and budgets, Richard highlighted that justification will always be required, it’s a no-brainer really. The more important element to focus on is setting objectives that have an impact for the public, as this in turn will affect how much you have or need to spend. For example – Promoting health benefits, if done correctly, will reduce the need for hospital care over the long term and thus, cut the cost of operations – Marketing in action – boom! 

– And finally, if you are looking to get into Marketing within the public sector, just go for it. We hear that a lot on this podcast, just go for it! Try lots of things and make sure the environment, culture and surroundings are a good fit for you. Exposing yourself to different challenges will also provide experience that can help later on in life.

Top Tip – Porters Generic Strategies (Porter, 1980)

To what is this model and why should we be considering it to help shape the strategic direction of an organisation.

To break this model down for you, Porter suggests four business strategies that can be adopted depending on a number of variables such as; what type of oragnisation it is, its marketplace and its competition. 

What it really highlights is whether a business should look to go niche and narrow or take a broader stance. So let’s review each element individually:

Cost Leadership
With this strategy, the objective is to become the lowest-cost producer in the industry, by traditionally producing on mass to achieve economies of scale. 

One word – Primark,ok here are a few moreor a large supermarket chain

Cost Focus
Here a business seeks a lower-cost advantage in just one or a small number of market segments, a niche if you like

Pepsi and many soft drink companies use this to their advantage.

Differentiation Focus
This is similar to cost focus although a business will look to differentiate itself within a niche target market segment utlising some form of differentiation that appeals to a small audience.

Think Lush or body shop for their ethical stances

Differentiation Leadership
This is almost the role reverse of Differentiation focus as a business targets a much larger market, yet it still looks to maintain an advantage by differentiating across a whole industry.

It is still all about positioning the business uniquely to meet those criteria.

An example here would be McDonalds, no one offers what they offer and they do it on a large scale, to many different sets of customers.

So what Porters model allows us to do it provide clarity around a Marketing strategy in terms of the overarching direction that a company should move towards. There is no right or wrong answer here, just different strategies, each one with positives and negatives. 

Music Featured on this Podcast:
Sleepy in the Garden
Lobo Loco
Creative Commons License