This is a blog by Mark Verzijl, Consultant at Sciential.
In business management, most models do not stand the test of time. However, there are some old grids from way back that are still very useful nowadays. The Boston Consultancy Group (BCG) matrix happens to be one of those – you probably know, but do not actively use this grid.
In four quadrants, the grid makes it able to plot – originally – a portfolio of products based on market share and market growth. The main principle can be applied to marketing budgets for life science companies with different products, services or application areas. It provides direct insights into how and where budgets should be allocated strategically. Loosely interpreted, marketers can plot services or application areas on the axes of market growth (often at hand) and brand awareness (can be used when accurate insights in market share are missing).
For instance, life science marketers can decide to allocate more budget towards a specific product group when they know that this market is rapidly growing but their brand awareness is relatively low. In this scenario, they need to push a bit more to penetrate that market. Another scenario would be that you have low brand awareness in a stabilized (or even shrinking) market – in this case, marketers can consider stopping advertising on these groups. A high brand awareness but a shrinking market? Then consider to cash the cow and allocate as little budget as possible to this unit. On contrary, I would suggest fully investing in the fast-growing market where you have high brand awareness.
Of course, there are also other ways to allocate budget and the BCG matrix is somewhat simplified, however, the grid still is very useful to allocate budgets in a clear and strategic way.