What is the Boston Matrix? 

It’s another edition of Ask a Digital Marketing Freelancer and this time, it’s my sister calling! Hold the line, please!
I know that this will probably be a niche for many of you, but they every day is a school day! So, let’s jump in.

What is a Boston matrix in marketing – and why does it matter?

A Boston Maxtrix all about product management at its core. If you think about a clothing company, perhaps House of Fraser, they might have a huge range of products. A Boston matrix helps their planners to decide if they have space for a new product. It’s typically made into an axis that breaks down all the products into 4 quadrants with some quirky names!

What is a Boston Matrix?

The axis in a Boston matrix is
  • Market share – do they (the company) have a low or large share in the item?
  • Market growth – are the markets the products are in high growth areas?  eg are sales really up – or are slow growers. (That doesn’t mean they are less good products, or not selling because they are rubbish – they might have already peaked or are consistent growers without much hype right now…)

A Boston Matrix allows a planner to categories each product as a ‘type’.

  • Question Marks (fast-paced market, but a question around if the company should sell them. They would have to be marketed very heavily and might be a ‘?’ because they don’t know if the product will be a success. There could be a big spend to achieve sales.
  • Then there are Star Products. These have a high market share and they are in a high growth market. There will be some big hype around products here! They are exciting items, and the business will really want to support the growth of them. If the company can get a big share of the market, they can do really well. But, because it is a high growth market, it is a competitive area and you could spend more than you make.)

Both of these categories have lots of competition! I would compare this to premium skincare right now.

  • The next classification is a Cash Cow – a product that is in a slow-growth market, but where the company has a large market share. There is a huge potential for rewards in these products, which can generate money for OTHER products.
  • Dogs is the final category, and whilst I love dogs, these are representing products that have a low growth area and that also have a small market share in the business where sales are maybe tailing off a little. Whilst you might get some sales from them, they aren’t ‘easy wins’ and they aren’t in an exciting growth area. You might not always be able to support a product with a low growth market in a time when funds are tight, but you might decide to invest money here,

And to end with a fun fact, this was invented by the Boston Consulting Group, so it’s a bit like asking for the Dyson Planner or the Gucci Matrix! I wonder if you would also like my post on how Beauty Products have been marketed?

I hope that helps!

About Your Marketing Managed

My name is Elaine Keep and I am a Freelance Digital Marketing Consultant for YourMarketingManaged.com.

I offer Outsourced, Remote Support To Enhance Your Leads and Convert Sales!

Based in a leafy Sheffield suburb, we are known as the marketing agency in Sheffield that specialises in outsource, freelance digital marketing- however, we also offer our marketing services in Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Nottingham, Midlands and across the North. That being said, many of our clients are in London, with a few even based globally, with headquarters in New Zealand and San Francisco!