Case Studies

Case Studies

Article Evaluation and Critique: Kelly, N., 2015. The Most Common Mistakes Companies Make with Global Marketing. Harvard Business Revie, 7 September.

Summary of the article

Often, organizations are required to expand their operations to newer market or even increase or revitalize their activities in particular areas. Such activities require performing due diligence on the intended market to avoid adverse effects on a company. In Her article, Nataly Kelly seeks to explore the most prevalent failures of marketers in the pioneering expansion of operations by their companies. In achieving this, she outlines six areas where marketers often fail while promoting expansion in their companies.

The first failure by marketers while advocating for expansion is the lack of specificity (Kelly, 2015, p. 4). Marketers tend to generalize the areas they intend to expand their operations. Consequently, marketers fail to ensure holistic planning for their intended markets considering the various factors that may affect the company’s operations such as policies and culture. The second drawback in prospected expansions involves failure to perform due diligence to identify conducive markets for the company’s operations. Performing due diligence will be essential in ensuring long-term operations in the new markets. Marketers also fail in understanding the dynamics of marketing in the prospected market. In this case, marketers fail to be flexible to the requirements of selling products that conform to the culture of the prospected market.

Marketers also fail to implement effective communication means in the new markets (Kelly, 2015, p. 5). Consequently, they do not involve the new local teams during decision-making processes preventing them from achieving success in the new markets. The issue of cultural sensitivity is another drawback during expansion projects. Marketers often launch similar products in different markets without considering the possible differences that exist between various markets. Moreover, Kelly (2015, p. 6) explains that marketers fail to consider global logistics to ensure that their direct their operations and markets to the particular market they intend to venture.

Article critique

Kelly’s article clearly outlines the various area where marketers often fail while advocating for expansion into new markets. Most of the factors highlighted by Kelly are correct. However, some of the factors ought to be reviewed in their applicability. The following sections provides a critique of Kelly’s article. The critique involves evaluation of areas where Kelly meets her objectives and areas where she fails to provide a holistic analysis of areas that ought to be considered by marketers while prospecting to venture into new markets.

It is indispensable that a company that intends to expand its market ought to be flexible to provide products that reflect the new market. Kelly’s assertion that companies should ensure that their products are adaptable to the new market is hence correct. Moreover, Agarwal and Bayus (2004, p. 5) explain that it is essential for companies intending to enter into new markets to ensure that they are adaptable to change.

Kelly (2015, p. 5) outlines channels of communication as being critical to the performance of a company in new markets. It is no doubt that communication is a pertinent issue that can affect the performance of any organization whether it is an incumbent or an entrant. Communication needs to be inclusive to ensure that all the stakeholders express their ideas. Entry into a new market ought to give the local partners an upper hand as they are aware of the dynamics of the market. Providing effective communication channels will enable the incumbent company to penetrate the new market more easily (Frändberg & Kjellman, 2004, p. 19).

It is also pertinent for marketers to perform due diligence of the market. In achieving this, marketers ought to understand internal and external data. Frändberg and Kjellman (2004, p. 15) explain that it is essential for marketers to understand market factors. Such factors include such as market’s size, possible growth rate, market life cycle and the expected competition in the new market. Understanding these factors requires an evaluation of both internal and external factors. Kelly’s assertion that the dynamics of the market should define marketing strategies is also correct. Such strategy is essential in ensuring sensitivity to the culture of the new customers.

Controversial issues in the article

Kelly (2015, p. 4) accounts for the failure of marketers to be specific to entry markets. However, understanding of new market entry points starts in most cases starts from a broad spectrum to specific market. It is not wrong for marketers to have a general view of the new possible markets. This inference stems from the fact that, from the broad perspective, marketers can perform their due diligence in various possible markets to identify one where there will be more success (Frändberg & Kjellman, 2004, p. 15). Moreover, adaptability of products is also dependent on its nature as different markets may require similar products.

Important issue portrayed by the article

This article has been pertinent in shaping my understanding of the nature of marketing factors that ought to be considered during business expansion. It provides a summary that business expansion is majorly affected by factors related to the market and the product. Nature, dynamics and factors affecting the ability to penetrate the markets are essential to for a business expansion project. Moreover, expansion requires understanding factors that will affect customer satisfaction by the product in the new market. The article has shaped my understanding that successful expansion requires performing due diligence on the issues mentioned above.

Implications for marketing strategy and the achievement of competitive advantage

Marketing is an essential component in the achievement of competitive advantage (Choi & Mogyoro, 2011, p. 12).  The article provides an analysis of the areas that are essential to consider during an expansion project. Careful consideration of these factors would enable an effective process of market segmentation. An effective process of market segmentation facilitates achievement of competitive advantage (Hunt & Arnett, 2004, p. 7).

Consideration the factors identified by Kelly would enable identifying segments where demand for products is high and specify the particular target market. Moreover, marketers would be able to use marketing strategies that ensure more penetration of an organization to the market. Kelly describes a situation of the segmented market. Differences in these market segments imply the need for various products (Hunt & Arnett, 2004, p. 10). However, homogeneous demands do not require differences in the products. It is necessary to consider the type of market demand being dealt with before proceeding to consider the issues presented by Kelly.


Article Evaluation and Critique: Reeves, M. & Wittenburg, G., 2015.Games Can Make You a Better Strategist. Harvard Business Review, 7 September.

Summary of the article

Strategic thinking is pivotal in organizational operations. It translates to the competitiveness of an organization (Haycock, Cheadle & Bluestone, 2012, p. 1). Moreover, strategic thinking is essential in improving innovation and creativity that are essential in the improvement of organizational executions. Improving organizational executions requires the management to undertake strategic decisions in various projects plans. Consequently, organizations have tried to develop ways of improving strategic thinking to managers. Strategic thinking requires individual to develop ways of thinking strategically (Henkel, 2011, p. 3). In their article, “Games Can Make You a Better Strategist,” Reeves and Wittenburg seek to explore the role of games in teaching individuals to be better strategists.

According to Reeves and Wittenburg (2015, p. 10), games are essential in helping individuals deal with the complex and dynamic nature of the business environment. They argue that games help managers to improve their strategic skills. Games can be formulated to reflect a real business case. In such a case, games would be of essence in promoting development of strategic thinking as compared to books that Reeves and Wittenburg’s claim are more applicable for intellectual understanding. Reeves and Wittenburg give five benefits for using games in promoting the development of strategic thinking.

Games provide an inexpensive way through which managers can develop strategic thinking (Reeves & Wittenburg, 2015, p. 11). Games can be modeled to reflect effectively a business environment that helps managers to learn how to steer and manage complex systems without risking downside monetary effects of their actions. Games provide a better approach of promoting the development of strategic thinking as compared to books. Games stimulate visual and aural sense that are more holistic compared to books that is essential in enhancing the ability of managers to integrate all the aspects while making decisions. Such aspects that are essential in managerial decisions include such as reflecting on the consequences, the business environment, and the required executive decisions.

Reeves and Wittenburg (2015, p. 12) also explain that games are pivotal in allowing managers to reflect on actions from their perspective, and that of the competitor as well as understand the collaterals of the various decisions. Such enables them to determine areas where they made wrong decisions. Moreover, games provide a platform for testing real business scenarios that help management to prepare for the occurrence of such situations. Games are also ideal for use in promoting the development of strategic thinking because they can be distributed easily to various managers. Such ability saves time and maximizes the number of individuals involved which is not the case for such as seminars and conferences.

Article critique

The use of games in promoting strategic thinking is not a new concept in the management sector. The use of game theory has proved indispensable in the development of strategic thinking and planning. A lot of literature has been undertaken to review the applicability of games in facilitating the development of strategic thinking in managers. The analysis by Reeves and Wittenburg provides an a summary of why it is beneficial to use games in developing strategic thinking.

Games provide a cost effective way for enhancing strategic skills of individuals.  They provide a scenario that reflects the actual business environment that allows understanding of the interaction of affecting the business without having the risk of monetary adverse effects. Osak (2010, p. 1) explains that games can be modeled to simulate exact circumstances in a business. Such modeling is essential for the allowing managers to ensure a holistic understanding and incorporation of all the interactions in a business. Consequently, games enable managers to develop ideas relevant to incorporating interactivity. As mentioned above, games can be formulated to reflect various scenarios. Therefore, they can be used to test the different scenarios encountered in a business environment.

Controversial issues in the article

The article by Reeves and Wittenburg has proved pertinent in providing an evaluation of the benefits of using games to improve strategic thinking.  However, the article fails in failing to admit the possibility of two of its outlined benefits of using games as being assumptions. First, Reeves and Wittenburg (2015, p. 12) explain that games allow for the evaluation of an executive’s behavior. This inference is not correct as individuals may not be acting rationally while playing a game (Osak, 2010, p. 1). Despite the fact that games allow testing of various scenarios, it would be wrong to assume that individuals are considerate of the strategic process and the results of their actions.

It is also not correct to assume that games are more effective in promoting the development of strategic thinking compared to such as conferences and seminars due to the ease of their distribution. Individuals may ignore to use games all the same. Moreover, Reeves and Wittenburg fail to acknowledge that games fail to reflect the real business environment holistically. Game theory often provides the results of the various actions performed which is not the case in real business environment. Therefore, the applicability of games in promoting strategic thinking and planning are compromised.

Important issue portrayed by the article

The article by Reeves and Wittenburg on benefits of games on strategic thinking and planning has helped me to identify some essential aspects regarding management. First, it is prudent for management to promote games both simulated and actual games as a way of facilitating strategic thinking and planning in organizations. Inferring from the discussion in the article, games can be used in managerial selection to identify individuals who can pioneer projects that may help an organization’s growth through the use of scores. The article has also been vital in creating awareness that approaches aiming to promote the development of strategic thinking and planning ought to be inclusive. Education fails to inculcate some sense of experience to individuals, and hence more effort should be given to methods that meet this requirement such as games.

Implications for marketing strategy and the achievement of competitive

As earlier mentioned, strategic thinking is an essential component in the achievement of competitive advantage by an organization. According to Haycock, Cheadle and Bluestone (2012, p. 1), strategic thinking helps in the development of creativity and innovativeness in an organization. These concepts are critical to achieving competitive advantage. Games are also essential in enhancing managers’ skills of decision-making.

According to Donovan and Lead (2012, p. 16), games help to enhance the process of decision-making. Consequently, managers can be agile and adaptable to changes that occur in business in a flexible manner. Games can also be used to influence the behavior of an organization’s behavior (Donovan & Lead, 2012, p. 25). Such ability to influence their behavior can be used to understand the stakeholders to improve value propositions. Moreover, such understanding of behavior can be exploited to use more compelling marketing strategies based on the evaluation performed. Moreover, games can be used to revolutionize marketing strategy in which they are used to showcase products and services. Moreover, Cunha (p. 9) explains that games enable individual to assess the current situation and the possible actions that can be undertaken to improve a situation. Such ability contributes to the creativity in an organization and hence more competitive advantage.




Agarwal, R., & Bayus, B. L., 2004. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: The Performance Dynamics of Diversifying Entrants and Entrepreneurial Start-ups. Available at:<> [Accessed 25 October 2015].

Choi, J., & Mogyoro, M., 2011. Influence of Internal and External Factorson Expansion Strategy:-Swedish Cleantech Subsidiaries in the US. Available at:<> [Accessed 25 October 2015].

Cunha, D. P. Developing Project Management Competences using Role-Playing Games: A Case Study. Available at:<> [Accessed 25 October 2015].

Donovan, L., & Lead, P., 2012. The Use of Serious Games in the Corporate Sector. A State of the Art Report. Learnovate Centre (December 2012).

Frändberg, A., & Kjellman, C., 2004. Factors Influencing SMEs’ Choice of Market Expansion Strategy. Available at:<> [Accessed 25 October 2015].

Haycock, K., Cheadle, A & Bluestone, K. S., 2012. Strategic Thinking and Leadership. Library Leadership & Management26(3/4).

Henkel, H., 2011. Can Strategic Thinking Be Taught?. Journal of Strategic Leadership3(1), 1-6.

Osak, M., 2010. Using Game Theory to Improve Strategic Decision Making. Financial Post, [Online] 24 July. Available at:<> [Accessed 25 October 2015].

Hunt, S. D., & Arnett, D. B., 2004. Market segmentation strategy, competitive advantage, and public policy: Grounding segmentation strategy in resource-advantage theory. Australasian Marketing Journal (AMJ)12(1), 7-25.

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