Defining the Strategic Problem

  • Edwin J. Nijssen
  • Ruud T. Frambach


A sound problem definition should be the starting point of any strategic marketing planning process. The reason is simple. Knowing the company’s problem is required to help management deal with it. Although this will sound logically, reality is far from simple. Generally a strategic problem does not emerge over night. It develops over time and is difficult to see and detect for people in the organization who tend to be too close and used to the problems to see them.


Problem Definition Market Definition Customer Complaint Strategy Audit Strategic Problem 


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  1. 1.
    Argyris and Schön (1978).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ansoff (1984).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Note that the actual or final strategic problem can only be stated when the planned, more elaborate strategic analyses are performed.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Based on Hoes (1985). In the original article five areas are distinguished which we collapsed into four.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edwin J. Nijssen
    • 1
  • Ruud T. Frambach
    • 2
  1. 1.Nijmegen School of ManagementThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Free University AmsterdamThe Netherlands

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