The textbooks are full of explanations of why businesses must understand their competitive arena. There are numerous conceptual frameworks and checklists to assist in this endeavour. Perhaps not too surprisingly, many businesses exhibit only a superficial knowledge of their competitors’ strategies and actions, taking little account of their rivals when formulating their own marketing plans. The electronics industry, already the fourth most important industrial sector in the world, is tipped to become the principal growth sector in the next century. A recent survey reveals that in this important industry, companies’ attempts to understand their competitors do not always live up to the models of Michael Porter or Philip Kotler.
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