Page 2: Corporate objectives and strategy
It is very important for a firm to decide exactly what it is trying to achieve. Freeserve is an example of a company with very clear objectives. Traditional economic theory suggests that all companies attempt to maximise profits at all times. Freeserve, however, has chosen to maximise growth. This is seen as the most sensible objective in a market that is growing as rapidly as the Internet. Worldwide Internet usage is expected to treble by 2002.
Having decided on growth as the prime corporate objective, Freeserve needed to develop a strategy to achieve this target. Freeserve has recognised that in a rapidly growing, highly competitive market, where there is a great deal of choice, the corporate strategy must focus entirely on delivering value to the customer. The user has to be the only priority and the product is the key to success.
The choice of corporate strategy will determine the marketing, human resource, financial and operations strategies. Each must be compatible and carefully developed to achieve the overall corporate objective. In such a competitive, rapidly expanding market the marketing strategy will be of paramount importance. The marketing tactics employed will need to consider all aspects of the marketing mix.
Freeserve realised that it was important to re-brand its product and evolve from an Internet Service Provider (ISP), which merely provides the customer with access to the World Wide Web, into a true portal, with a site full of interest and content, linked into other channels, with other tools and uses. Freeserve is clear about the issues that matter:
- The quality of the access to the Internet and its distribution
- The content and services on offer
- E-commerce and advertising
- Devices and access platforms
- The Freeserve brand.