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Thinking the Unthinkable: Steps to Looking Out for New Competitors

As a marketing executive, are you on the lookout for new market entrants?

New market forces and entrants can potentially destroy your business model—just ask anyone competing with Google.

From adding capabilities to search for airline flights, to building an online classifieds site, to getting into radio (and maybe TV) advertising, and even creating a Wi-Fi service in San Francisco, Google has its nose in just about everybody's business. Google, however, is just one example of a competitor that can emerge from left field and steal business from companies like Craigslist, Expedia, or any of the large telecommunication companies.

Marketing intertwines with strategy and—in some progressive companies—drives it. The role of any marketing executive is not only to understand the 4Ps but also to have a thorough understanding of competitive and market landscapes. But many marketing executives get caught in their functional roles (events, field or product marketing, or whatever) and lose focus on what the role of marketing is: to help drive business strategy.

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