How will Porter’s Generic Strategies Help you in Digital Marketing?

DSM Digital school of marketing - porter's generic strategies

In the early 1980s, Michael Porter researched the ways that successful companies maintain long-term advantages over their competitors. Through this research, he created Porter’s Generic Strategies. Although developed over 20 years ago, these strategies play a very significant part in any digital marketing campaign today.

Porter’s Generic Strategies

Porter’s Generic Strategies are three interconnected concepts that companies use to develop operating procedures and stand out from their competitors. It is how a company goes after a competitive advantage in its target market. The three strategies are:

Cost leadership

Companies can outwit their competitors by manipulating their production costs by either charging lower prices to increase their market share or reducing costs to increase profits.

It is not recommended to attempt to differentiate your company solely based on charging lower prices. This is because clients – and potential clients – may look at your product and/or service as being inferior because of your lower charges. So before you make a decision on setting your rates, always perform detailed research in your target market about what they would be willing to pay for your offerings.


With this strategy, companies engage their clients by ensuring their products are unique and attractive. Tactics for this strategy include promoting their product’s features or their support system and brand image.

When developing your brand, make sure to highlight what makes you different from your competitors. Highlight your strengths and the advantages that people will get when decide to go for your company.

In your marketing, don’t concentrate on differentiating yourself based on the differences that exist between you and another company with you saying that you’re better than them. This will show that you are not unique and will not be offering your clients a solution that meets their bespoke needs.


Compared to the other two strategies, the Focus Approach is for a specific market. The advantage of this strategy is that you gain loyal customers by focusing on a specific demographic.

A practical way that you can implement the Focus Approach is by using Facebook Ads. This medium will allow you to drill down into the specific demographics that you want to target for your company. For example, you can look at highly targeted demographics such as interests, job titles and the place where they live so that you can make your ads more focused.

There are also two distinct variants with this strategy namely Cost Focus (finding a cost advantage) and Differentiation Focus (finding unique markets).

How can they help you in digital marketing?

There a numerous ways these strategies can help you in digital marketing. Some of these are:

  • Growing your clients’ businesses,
  • Helping your clients find new target markets,
  • Helping clients define their target market and digital channels,
  • Helping them strategise and plan, and
  • Devising new content marketing strategies.

“Strategy is about setting yourself apart from the competition. It’s not a matter of being better at what you do – it’s a matter of being different at what you do.” – Michael Porter

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