Whether a firm is preparing for the launch of its own new product, the launch of a significant competitor, or some other major event in the marketplace, the number and types of questions that usually go unanswered are numerous and costly to the firm. The uncertainty of major changes in the marketplace can be reduced by firms that use the right process to manage them.
The CES was developed by MME to be a more realistic and useful approach to dealing with competitive situations than the typical “war game” approaches, which inevitably develop an atmosphere and attitude that is “win/lose,” treating every competitive situation as a zero-sum game. Depending on market dynamics, many competitive challenges can be managed as positive-sum games, or “win/win” situations. Even when situations become zero-sum, however, a firm can take non-warlike steps to gain control of competitive situations and prevent many of the damaging aspects of competition, such as price wars and dysfunctional activities aimed at protecting market share. In a CES, participants learn to manage competitive situations, to maximize profitability, and to limit the potential damage from dysfunctional competitive activities. An important outcome of conducting a CES is that the participants come to better understand their customers, their competitors, and their own capabilities in the marketplace.
The benefit that arises from a CES is brought about because the exercise is based on the actual competitive and customer behaviors in the marketplace, the true business models and professional concerns of customers, as well as considerations about other major market participants. The typical “war game” exercise is focused on one firm “beating” one or more competitors, with little or no regard for the role customers and others play in shaping markets and the success of various products. The CES centers on these key factors.
The CES is a scenario based exercise during which several different situations, such as different launch plans or environmental changes, are evaluated by teams using our proprietary process for assessing market participant reactions and developing appropriate actions and reactions to the changes. This process assures that you don’t consider just competitive actions and reactions, but those actions and reactions of every customer and stakeholder segment that can affect product performance. Each team is guided through this process by an MME professional trained in competitive strategy dynamics. The results of this step are scenarios evaluated by the client team under the guidance of MME.
A CES typically takes two full days to complete, during which time the team is fully engaged in the exercise, Our clients not only find the CES to be valuable, but participants enjoy the exercises in which they build teams and use their own knowledge and creativity to craft practical plans for success.
After conducting the CES exercise we compile the results and present them with clear guidance for the marketing team, tying the results to marketing plans, identifying key milestones, and market events that should trigger the implementation of actions and strategic adjustments to plans.