PLANNING - Step 4 - Mapping the Attack
06.05.03 Expeditionary Ground [Abstract-Dynamic]

Expeditionary Ground is located in the upper-right quadrant of a terrain map, and is described as abstract and dynamic. Expeditionary Ground is characterized by substantial revenue, growth, and profits. It is the place all business models initially target and pursue. This strong business environment generally results from a paradigm shift in the structure of an industry, or the powerful repositioning of a mature business model.

In expeditionary ground change is rampant, demand exceeds supply, and increases at an increasing rate. Competitors are generally focused on serving a growing market, rather than taking business from a competitor. There are relatively fewer competitive battles as market opportunities abound. Business strategies include ubiquity plays, and “scrambles” for market share leadership.

There is less apt to be an obvious entrenched leader in expeditionary ground, except in extreme cases of market dominance and control (Microsoft/Intel). Competitors generally operate within a territory determined by geography or by a market niche. Rarely do they adventure into another competitor’s territory. Anybody able to sustain a position on the outer ring is approaching a monopoly. The further out business models are from intersecting ground (center position) the more vulnerable they are to attack, either from market forces or government regulation (Microsoft).

Market leaders in expeditionary ground often become market leaders in provisionary ground (low growth/profits) when competitive environments mature. Consider a competitor like Oracle Corporation. The company has substantial dominance in the database market for large enterprise customers, although its position is predictably under attack.

However, the greatest threat to a competitor with substantial market dominance is simply a general maturing in their respective market, which leads to slowing growth rates. This is because the fortunes of market leaders typically mirror the economics of their markets. When this happens the market leaders in expeditionary ground risk falling into provisionary ground (high revenue - low profit) once the market/product/business model matures.