Alliance Manchester Business School - AMBS

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.

Featured Industry Experts
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Guest lecture from Jeremy Stern, Founder of PromoVeritas

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. You will also learn to identify which angles to take to neutralise your competitor's advantages.  Watch the below video to find out more about the course from Professor Bryan Lukas:

4 days
Upcoming sessions:
10-13 Dec 2024 - 20% discount available
13-16 May 2025
Contributes to the Manchester Professional Diploma in Leadership

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 unlocking your competitive advantage. Not only will you be able to contribute valuable insights to strategic, senior-level conversations about the direction of your business, but undertake strategic analysis by yourself, or lead a team to do so.

First, you will:

  • Learn how to establish your strategic context
  • Identify the shareholder-value-driving growth areas of your business
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Test whether your proposed propositions really are as compelling as you think and meet the needs of your customers, new and old

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

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

During the course, you will have a range of opportunities to get to know your class, including a course dinner which offers the chance to come together with a wider cohort of short-course learners to help expand your network.

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.

As part of this course, you will gain access to our comprehensive virtual learning environment before, during and after your time with us. Here, you will find course materials, including pre-work, slides, case studies, and recommended readings, all conveniently available to aid your learning.

At the end of the course, you continue to have access to this online learning area and the University of Manchester online library for up to one year, supporting you to embed your new toolkit of skills and knowledge back into your workplace.

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 strong competitive advantages;
  • Competent in strategic analysis 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 shaping 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.

Past delegates include:

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.

As part of the professional diploma, you will receive three executive coaching sessions.

These sessions will help you to apply your continued learning directly into your organisation, identify the specific skills needed to enhance your leadership capabilities, and align your professional development goals with the wider goals of your organisation.

Staying in Manchester

If you choose to stay in Manchester during your time on one of our short business courses, you can benefit from preferential rates at the Hyatt Hotel, a modern and elegant hotel located at the heart of our campus and adjoining the Executive Education centre.

Learn more about the Hyatt Hotel >>

What I have gained is a strategic vision on market focused planning, so I would highly recommend to attend and enjoy learning!

Tracy Bao, Product Group Manager, Nexperia UK Ltd.

Speak to a team member

If you have any questions or would like to chat to us about this course and how it could benefit you, please get in touch with the course advisor.

Eve Patten

Eve Patten

Client Relations Officer

Contact us

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