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Madonna: still the reigning queen of pop? case study

The case study analyzes Madonna’s music career by identifying and evaluating various forces of her success since last 25 years in the music industry. This analysis reveals that Madonna has been able to maintain her success since the start of her career that is very unlike with majority of successful people. She has clear vision of what she wanted to do and has great flexibility in adapting the changes in the music industry. She is like a rolling stone that never stopped to evolve. By continuous renewal of her persona she has always surprised her audience. She has always followed well thought strategies to capture different niches to obtain a wider audience. The scope of her personal and professional activities were not limited to music industry rather she emerged as a successful entrepreneur, she worked in films, stage and television. She became best selling children author. Engaged her in social work and contributed in charities.


Major Forces:

The analysis of the case shows that since Madonna’s start of career in 1983 she emerged as a remarkable singer, entertainer and entrepreneur. Her success is attributed to clear vision and continuos reinvention that was audience focused.

With the start of her career she was very ambitious and focused mind. Her consistency and ambitious attitude did not let her erode with the passage of time. However, with the release of her every album and video her success charts keep on moving on the upward direction. She has very determined personality that keeps her moving. This ability is however very rare. Many successful people fall in the mid career crises where they stops to adapt and are caught by their past success. This makes them gradually unpopular in their career and eventually out of the audience appreciation. This is fact that almost every established artist fails to sustain its success, importance and relevance at a particular point of time. However, Madonna never failed to be relevant in her career. She had clear goal of her life and that was to achieve long-term success in her career. In order to accomplish her ambition she focused on ‘Focused Differentiation’ strategy. She created differentiation in her products, her persona, music and by penetrating in niche markets and audience.
Madonna has focussed diversification in her products. She didn’t remain a singer but her competencies ranges to entertainment, movies, books, promoting herself in brands, videos, CD’s, and TV appearances. With her every new album she came up with the new.
Another major force is her ability to create best match between resources and her capabilities. Her ability to completely transform her persona by keeping smallest details in line has helped her to become a style icon for her audience. Another important force that made her most successful businesswomen of show business, is her profound understanding of environment. Madonna has always-well grasp the environment changes taking place and in anticipation to that she has continuously evolve herself. Apart from being singer and performer she also engaged her in the advertisements and became a style icon for various products including Pepsi and Max Factor, Gap and H&M.

Madonna knows what she sells and this entrepreneur ship quality has facilitated her to charge premium prices of her products.
Appropriate Tools & Techniques for Strategic Options:

Madonna’s success can be examined by various strategic options that are applied. Following internal and external tools and techniques are used to examine them.

External Analysis-PEST analysis:

An organization needs to access its external environment in order to be successful in its respective field. For the screening, PEST analysis can be used to access the elements of external environment that affects the strategic options. As a business entrepreneur, Madonna has great ability to analyze the changes occurring in the external environment. She understands that how the changes occurring in the political, economic, socio-cultural and technological elements affects and exerts pressure on her career. By good anticipation she has always shown great flexibility in adapting those changes without any hinges and hesitation. This has also helped her in identifying and refining the target market for her.
For instance, Madonna by applying PEST analysis tool can easily sort the choices, trends and culture of different markets. She can analyze the ingredients required adapting an entirely different persona.

The tool will help her further refine wide demographic target market. The show business is categorized of very intense competition. In such dynamic place the need to constantly screen the external environment is very important.

It also shows that the socio-cultural trends had resulted in drastic changes in customers’ preferences for music over the years. People are now constantly looking for new ideas, a different style and a unique music. The technological advancement has made the world a global village. Now the competition is not local but international. Hence, it’s very important to capture the various markets in order to remain competitive. This is possible only by understanding the preference and choices of the target markets and then penetrating in them.

Internal Analysis-SWOT Analysis

Madonna has well analyzed the strengths and weaknesses to come up with sound strategic options. The SWOT analysis helps her to critically assess its positives and negatives amid the changing dynamics of show business environment.

The cases study reveals that Madonna, since the start of her career has portrayed herself as a very ambitious person, who has clear vision of her career. She has great ability to understand the environment and in lieu of that she changes her persona that is always liked by her fans.

The SWOT analysis also reveals that the Madonna’s has focussed differentiation approach of working. She has created various products that portray her image. She has also autocratic management style characterized central command system, strict check on her own performance and great research on the future up comings. She has well planned when to give her appearance in advertisement, stage, TV shows and in Hollywood films.
She has been able to tap new markets yet in many countries Madonna’s image is not very popular. Like many other stars that have come to developing countries to perform, Madonna has kept her mobility very restricted. This can create problem for her fame in future.
The changing dynamics of the market offers new opportunities of new markets where Madonna can penetrate. Further, technological advancement has created opportunities to be heard in the whole world.

The major threats for Madonna, as business entrepreneur is the dynamic nature of the industry where people and preferences are very wide and changing. Quick entry of many new performers, a lot of entertainment substitute available to the people distracts their attention very quickly. Thus, can hamper Madonna’s success.

Assessment of Strategic Options:

With the help of above analysis one can carefully screen the internal and external environment of Madonna. Madonna should aggressively respond to the changing environments in order to remain competitive. She has test and analyze the strategies such as market penetration, development in new markets, introduction of new product lines or catching the new audiences by penetrating in niche markets.

She can also adopt the below mentioned differentiation strategies accompanied with focused approach.
Refining target market: Madonna is famous for developing of niche markets. She should however narrow down its target market to enable her in understanding the audience preferences and responding well and quickly respond to their needs.
Madonna needs to be careful in while changing her persona. In the beginning of the careers it’s easy to adapt anything that interests the audience. Initially, people are also not very conscious rearguing the actions and behaviors of the artists they like. However, with the passage of time when the artist starts getting famous his or her actions starts getting belong noticed and become the victim of appreciation or criticism. Hence, Madonna growing up in the public eye has to be now sensitive to opinion and she does not wish to offend her audience.
This strategic option may help her to strategically focus on those products that can further strengthen her image in the eye of the target market and can enhance its target markets. Keeping the emotional factor of the audience in consideration, Madonna will have competitive edge amid the aggressive competition from both ends of the market.

New market developments: Madonna should also find new markets by doing aggressive research for finding untapped markets. She can further adopt various branding techniques that will enhance diversification of her personality. Capturing the niche market has remained one of the prominent strategies of Madonna. The analysis also reveals the fact that Madonna has adopted the customer-focused approach that helps her branding herself properly owing to the specific audience requirements.

This case highlights a clear manifestation that how the profound understanding of the environment and its changing dynamics helped the Madonna to explore the opportunities and combat the threats associated with it. The proposed strategic options present an opportunity for her to sustain its growth in the years ahead and compete aggressively in the show and music business industry.

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