Tjibby Blog/Marketing Guides/Mastering the Boston Matrix: A Step-by-Step Guide to Elevating Your Product Strategy

Mastering the Boston Matrix: A Step-by-Step Guide to Elevating Your Product Strategy

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Hey there! Roy I here from Tjibby Marketing, bringing you another insightful dive into the world of business strategies. Today, we're tackling the Boston Matrix, a tool as essential to your business as a good pair of cleats is to a soccer player. You know, I've always found that the best recipes in cooking and strategies in business share a common ingredient: simplicity. And that's what we're serving up today – a simple, yet powerful approach to categorize your products based on market share and growth potential.

So, are you ready to make strategic decision-making as easy as cheering for your favorite sports team? Let's kick things off by understanding what the Boston decision matrix is and how you can create one. Plus, as a special treat, I’m throwing in a free checklist to make this process as easy as baking a pie – or in our case, as straightforward as drafting a winning business plan.

So, buckle up (or should I say, lace up your cleats?), and let’s dive into the world of strategic product analysis. By the end of this guide, you'll be able to craft strategies for each of your products with the confidence of a seasoned marketer. Let's make this child's play, shall we?

The Ultimate Checklist at Your Fingertips

Before we dive into the strategic world of the Boston Matrix, let's line up our tools for success. Navigating this matrix is like preparing a gourmet meal - it needs the right blend of ingredients, a dash of savvy, and meticulous planning. To assist you in this endeavor, I've put together an exhaustive checklist to guide you through each step of creating a Boston Matrix. And the best part? It's entirely free, no email address required. Consider it our little gift to make your strategic planning a breeze!

Step 1: Understanding the Boston Matrix

1.1 Familiarize Yourself with the Boston Matrix Concepts

Imagine you're the coach of a sports team. Your players (products) have different strengths and weaknesses, and you need a game plan. That's where the Boston Matrix comes in. It's a strategic tool to analyze your product portfolio, much like a coach assesses their team.

Now, let's break it down with an example. Suppose you run a bakery. Your products range from the ever-popular chocolate chip cookies (a potential Cash Cow with high market share but low growth) to the trendy avocado toast (a Question Mark, trendy but uncertain in the long run).

1.2 Understand the Four Quadrants: Stars, Question Marks, Cash Cows, Dogs

Each quadrant in the Boston Matrix has a unique role:

  • Stars: These are your top performers, like the newest smartphone model in a tech company. High growth, high market share.
  • Question Marks: Think of a new fashion trend in a clothing store. Could be the next big thing or might not catch on.
  • ​Cash Cows: These are your reliable products, like the bread and butter of a restaurant. Low growth, high market share.
  • Dogs: Old models in a car dealership, for instance. Low growth, low market share.

Step 2: Gather Product List and Selling Data

2.1 Use Excel or Google Sheets

Get ready to become a data chef! Just as you'd organize your kitchen for a big feast, start by opening Excel or Google Sheets. This is your prep table where every ingredient (data point) will be laid out. Think of it like organizing your pantry: everything needs to be easily accessible and well categorized.

2.2 Label Columns:

Now, let's label our ingredients. For instance, if you’re a bookstore owner:

  • ​Product Names: List every book genre - fiction, non-fiction, mystery, etc.
  • ​Units Sold: How many copies of each genre sold over a period.
  • ​Revenue: Total earnings from each genre.
  • ​Growth Rate: Compare this year's sales with last year's. Is sci-fi gaining popularity?
  • ​Current Market Trends: Are e-books taking over, or is there a resurgence in hardcovers?
  • ​Market Share: How does your mystery section fare against other local bookstores?

2.3 Collect Sales Data and Input into the Spreadsheet

Gather your sales data like a detective. Look into your sales records, check online sales platforms, and even consider customer feedback. For a sports equipment store, this could involve tracking which equipment (tennis rackets, soccer balls) sells the most, seasonal trends, and customer preferences.

Step 3: Conduct Market Research for Each Product

3.1 Identify Current Market Trends Using Tools Like Google Trends

Put on your investigator cap and dive into market trends. For instance, if you run a coffee shop, use Google Trends to check if cold brew is more popular than lattes this season. This step is about understanding the larger landscape your products exist in.

3.2 Perform Competitor Analysis and Customer Sentiment Research

This is your recon mission. If you own a tech gadget store, look at what gadgets your competitors are promoting, and scour through online forums and reviews to gauge what tech enthusiasts are raving about. Understanding your competitors and customers gives you a strategic edge.

3.3 Determine Total Sales in the Market and Calculate Market Share

Now, you're a market analyst. Calculate the total sales of, say, organic food products in your area if you run a health food store. Then, figure out what percentage of these sales is yours. This will give you a clear picture of your standing in the market.

Step 4: Draw the Matrix with Pen and Paper

4.1 Use Graph Paper, a Ruler, and Colored Markers

Now, it’s time to get a bit artsy – think of it as sketching out a strategy on a football playbook. Grab some graph paper, a ruler, and a set of colored markers. Just like drawing out a football field, you’re going to create a visual representation of your market battlefield.

4.2 Draw a Large "+" Sign and Label the Axes for Market Growth Rate and Market Share

Imagine you’re drawing a treasure map. The '+' sign is your compass. On one axis (let’s say horizontal), write ‘Market Growth Rate’ – this shows whether the market for your product is growing or shrinking. On the vertical axis, jot down ‘Market Share’ – this is your share of the pie in that market. For a gaming store, high market growth could be in virtual reality games, while traditional board games might show lower growth.

4.3 Plot Products Based on Your Spreadsheet Data

Now, you're a market analyst. Calculate the total sales of, say, organic food products in your area if you run a health food store. Then, figure out what percentage of these sales is yours. This will give you a clear picture of your standing in the market.

Step 5: Digitize the Matrix with

5.1 Create a New File in

Think of this as upgrading from a sketch to a high-definition painting. Open, a digital tool that lets you create precise and clean diagrams – no shaky lines here!

5.2 Create a Grid and Label the Axes

Just like setting up a new game board, create a grid in Label your axes just as you did on paper. This digital version allows for more accuracy and easier adjustments.

5.3 Digitally Plot the Products in Their Respective Quadrants

Now, place your products on this digital grid. This is like assigning positions to players in a video game based on their skills and stats. Each product gets a spot on the grid based on its market share and growth rate. This visualization helps in understanding the dynamics at play more clearly.

Step 6: Conclude with Strategies for Each Mapped Product

6.1 Develop Strategies for Products in Each Quadrant

It’s time to be the strategist. For each quadrant, devise a plan. For 'Stars', think about investment and growth strategies. For 'Cash Cows', consider maintenance and profit maximization. 'Question Marks' might need more research or a decision to invest or divest. And for 'Dogs', consider discontinuation or repositioning.

6.2 Document These Strategies in the Digital Matrix

Document your strategies directly in the file. This is like adding notes to your game plan, ensuring that every move is calculated and every player knows their role.

Step 7: Compile Everything Into a Document

7.1 Choose a Word Processing Program

Now, bring it all together. Open a word processor and start compiling your data, analysis, and strategies into a comprehensive document.

7.2 Document the Process and Strategies

In this document, include every step of your process. From gathering data to plotting the matrix and developing strategies. This is your playbook, your recipe book, your comprehensive guide.

7.3 Add an Executive Summary

Finish with an executive summary. This is like giving a pre-game pep talk or a summary of a cooking show episode. It should encapsulate the key points and strategies, providing a clear overview of your entire analysis.


And there we go, folks! You've just navigated the exciting world of the Boston Matrix, turning complex marketing strategy into child's play, the Tjibby Marketing way. Remember, understanding and categorizing your products using this matrix isn't just smart; it's essential for making informed decisions that can propel your business forward, just like a star player scoring the winning goal in a soccer match.

But wait, there's more!

The Marketing Mastermind Chest!

If you found this guide helpful, you're going to love our Marketing Mastermind Pack. It's like having a personal coach for your business. This pack includes over 55 detailed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) just like this blog post, complete with worksheets and templates. It's your one-stop-shop for all things marketing, designed to simplify complex concepts and strategies, making them as easy to understand as your favorite sport or recipe.

So, why wait? Get your hands on our Marketing Mastermind Pack and start playing the marketing game like a pro. And hey, while you're at it, make sure you're not missing out on our latest updates and insights. Follow us on X and Pinterest, where we share more tips, tricks, and tidbits to help you score big in the world of marketing.

In the end, whether you're whipping up a new recipe in the kitchen, cheering for your favorite team, or plotting your next business move, remember: with the right tools and strategies, you can turn any challenge into a triumph. Here at Tjibby Marketing, we're all about making that journey easier and more enjoyable for you.

So, keep playing, keep strategizing, and most importantly, keep making it child's play. Cheers to your success!

Join our newsletter!

See other posts like this one:

Mastering Client Proposals: A Comprehensive Guide to Winning Hearts and Business

Crafting the Perfect Sales Pitch: Your Gateway to Business Success

Master the Art of Crafting Unforgettable Press Releases with Our Foolproof Guide

How to conquer the seven 'kingdoms' of social media and claim your throne!

7 Ridiculously Funny But Effective Social Media Strategies

Love at First Post: If Social Media Platforms Had Dating Profiles