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03 September 2007


Alan S Michaels

I agree fully that marketers and business executives should read Porter’s book: “Competitive Strategy.”

As a strong follower of Michael Porter for over 22 years, and as a former corporate planner at several organizations and as a consultant to Global 100 companies, I find that many senior executives have read the book, but they do not implement Porter’s methodology within their companies. They typically use Porter’s books for their bookshelves to signal that they are well read executives.

The #1 barrier (excuse given) for not implementing Porter’s methodologies as defined in “Competitive Strategy” was the lack of industry data at the right level. For example, information at the level to correctly perform a Five Forces analysis. For example: not “banking” but information on “wholesale funds transfer services;” not “Food Manufacturing” but information on “Potato Chip Manufacturing;” not “insurance” but information on “Individual Term Life Insurance;” etc.

Do you agree that there is a gap between reading Porter and implementing Porter, on the part of your customers – and if so, why?

If you agree that one of the barriers is the lack of industry information, BI vendors like Business Objects and Cognos might soon be linking their BI solutions with industry data (at the sector level and industry level). A Business Objects blog “Information on Demand: How are we doing, really?” lists industry vendors: Dun & Bradstreet, Hoovers, Thomson, and eCompetitors.

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