Market Focused Strategic Planning

Learn to demystify new market opportunities and plan high-performance market strategies that help you and your business stay focused on what really matters competitively.

During this intensive and applied four-day business course, you will be equipped with essential strategic planning tools, techniques and frameworks needed to design and deliver defensible, market-winning strategies.

Our overarching objective is to help you overcome competitive forces and fully meet your customer objectives with superior segmentation, targeting and positioning.





4 days

Upcoming Sessions

10-13 Dec 2024

13-16 May 2025





Key Information

Course topics

During this course, you will work through a funnel of learning objectives that result in a fresh mindset for strategic thinking and an essentials-toolkit for market-focused strategic planning. Not only will you be able to contribute valuable insights to strategic, senior-level conversations about the direction of your business, but undertake strategic planning by yourself, or lead a team to do so. First, you will:

  • Learn how to establish your strategic context and:
  • Identify the shareholder-value-driving growth areas of your business; and
  • Uncover your truly valuable markets and correct strategic objectives

We then concentrate on your competition and show you how to:

  • Identify the true range of your competition; and
  • Dissect competitor strategies systematically and pinpoint their strengths and weakness

Next, we turn to your target market segments and learn to:

  • Qualify the value of your potential customer segments and uncover those truly valuable to your business; and
  • Develop a defensible and persuasive case for senior stakeholders in your organisation around which segments to retain, enter or exit

We then proceed with how to position yourself in your chosen target market segments to be customer-compelling, and you will learn how to:

  • Develop definitive value propositions for your customers; and
  • Test whether your proposed propositions really are as compelling as you think and meet the needs of your customers, new and old

There will be a course dinner on evening three, in an iconic Manchester venue, offering the opportunity for your class to come together with a wider cohort of short-course learners to expand your networking opportunities.

Finally, we move to branding your strategic positions and learn how to:

  • Reposition, reinforce or revitalise your brands; and
  • Expand into new markets and market segments with existing and new brands

There will be a networking drinks reception on evening one where you will get to know your course colleagues. There will also be a course dinner on evening three, offering the opportunity for your class to come together with a wider cohort of short-course learners to expand your networking opportunities.

How you learn

Delivered face-to-face in purpose-built executive education facilities at Alliance Manchester Business School, the format is highly practical and interactive, and it draws on the experience and insights of your participating peers. Guest speakers, invited lecturers, mini case studies, discussions, group exercises and applications to participants’ own business contexts make for a varied and dynamic learning experience. We aim for several stand-out learning experiences, including:

Applied Learning - A learning environment created by the course facilitator that draws on the experience and input of your course peers.

Knowledge Transfer A steady stream of feedback from participating peers with diverse business backgrounds on, for instance, how they overcome competitive obstacles in their markets.

Reflection A rare time-out to contemplate your own strategic opportunities and challenges while engaging with our world-class faculty.

Network Expansion An expanding professional network drawn from your peers.

Personal Growth An expanding self-awareness of your own strategic competencies and how they can be honed.

Behavioural Change An adoption of new rationales and mindsets that improve strategic decision making.

Facilitated Challenge A regular raising of difficult strategy questions by the course facilitator designed to take you away from your work environment into new work-territory.

How you benefit

On completion of this course, we expect you to be more:

  • Confident in devising and directing strategies that are suited for highly competitive markets, new and established;
  • Competent in the logic and principles underpinning strategies focused on market success; and
  • Current with decisive strategic planning tools and the skillset to both evaluate and use them.

Overall, you will develop the skill and mind-set for senior-level strategy planning conversations and be able to contribute with strategic insight to the future of your organisation’s winning market positions.

How your organisation benefits

Upon investing in this course, we expect your organisation to be more:

  • Confident that it can be a market leader with good strategic planning;
  • Competent in strategic planning; and
  • Current with best practices in strategic thinking.

Overall, your organisation will not only be able to develop new market strategies, but also re-think and challenge existing ones rigorously.

Who should attend

This course is designed for professionals who have, or are moving into, a role that has strategy planning responsibilities within their organisation. Whether you come from a private, public or not-for-profit organisation, this short, intensive course will help you tackle your competitors and develop compelling value propositions for target customers.

Course Lead

Professor Bryan Lukas holds a Chair in Marketing and is a thought-leader in competitive strategy, including segmentation, targeting and positioning.

In addition to achieving 17 teaching awards, Bryan has worked with over 1,300 executives across open and custom leadership programmes. As a consulting academic, Bryan has been an advisor to management in a variety of manufacturing industries and service sectors. He also has served as an expert witness in numerous legal proceedings internationally.


Upon successful completion of this short business course, participants will be awarded the Manchester Professional Certificate in Market Focused Strategic Planning.

You will also receive a digital Manchester Professional Certificate in Market Focused Strategic Planning from Accredible, in the form of an online certificate and badge which can be displayed on LinkedIn profiles and represents completion and participation in the course.

You can choose to curate your own curriculum by attending any four courses from our extensive portfolio. On completion of the four courses of your choice, you will be awarded the Manchester Professional Diploma in Leadership.