Staying fit to survive…

Posted on May 8, 2012 mapadmin

Managing Editor’s Note:

John Francis “Jack” Welch, Jr., an American chemical engineer, business executive, and author once said that an organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage. While professional marketers are able to devise strategies that not only help in creating competitive advantage but also facilitate in sustaining this edge; for apprentices it is not an easy task.

From creating a product to after sales services and building relationship with customers, competitive advantage can be generated and upheld only through in-depth study and knowledge of customers’ insights.

To find out if future marketers of Pakistan understand this concept well, we conducted a survey in one of the leading business schools of Karachi. While we understand that results cannot be generalized for all marketers, the findings of this survey do hint towards a bright future of marketing discipline in Pakistan. In this report we share with you the results of our survey.

Dureen Ance Anwer


We ensured that a variety of respondents were selected for the survey. 100 respondents were chosen for this study. While all of our respondents were between 20 – 30 years, males constituted 65% of our sample size. Further breakdown of sample is presented in the graphs below.

Questions # 1: What do you think is competitive advantage?
We asked this question to figure out the level of knowledge business students and future marketers have about the topic. Interestingly only 1 percent of respondents seemed to be clueless about competitive advantage. Rest of the nts had fair to vague
Questions # 2: How can companies gain competitive advantage?
Views however varied for this question ranging from lowering prices of products to developing an unmatched position for brand. Still the conventional method of lowering prices appeared to be the most popular option among the respondents.
Questions # 3: Do you think digital media and technologies can help in strengthening brand identity and thus contributing towards competitive advantage?
Most of the people agreed and said that in digital age it was crucial for every brand to have digital presence. Only 7 percent disagreed while some remained uncertain.
Questions # 4: Do you think with rapid advancement of technology and information overload, it is harder for companies to sustain competitive advantage?

Majority of the respondents agreed with the thought and emphasized that companies and brands need to keep evolving their strategies with changing times. Only 2 percent people said that technological advancements had no impact on competitive advantage.

Questions # 5: What is more important for gaining competitive advantage?
Due to the growing trend of competitive advertising, we deemed it appropriate to ask this question. While many companies have been following unethical means to promote their products, these young marketers realize that it is more important to have a better understanding of competitive opportunities of specific industry to create competitive advantage.
Questions # 6: Do you think it is important for companies to have the maturity to treat employees, suppliers and partners fairly and respectfully for sustaining their competitive advantage?
Most of the respondents said that trust and respect result in increasing productivity. While it may be difficult to see and quantify the impact, it definitely helps in sustaining competitive advantage.
Questions # 7: Companies of which sector in Pakistan are in dire need of sustaining their competitive advantage over each other?
As expected, majority of our respondents said that telecom companies are the ones which need to create and sustain their competitive advantage the most. Since after every few days telecom companies have to cut down on their profits by reducing call rates, it is crucial for them to find a niche through which they can remain at the top. Some other sectors identified by our respondents are as follow.