Abell’s three-dimensional business-definition modelIt was developed in the 1980s by Derek Abell. The theorist argued that strategic planning process represents the foremost principle for any enterprise. This process, according to Abell, is the mission statement (Houthoofd, Desmidt & Fidalgo, 2009). It serves to offer guidance or direction to an entity and at the same time, the mission statement provides the foundation for further strategic elaborations. Abell claimed that three critical questions usually play a role in the formulation of a mission statement.

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These issues are; who are the customers of the company, how enterprises can meet the needs of its customer segments, and what techniques does an entity use in an attempt to meet these needs (Houthoofd, Desmidt & Fidalgo, 2009). The theory summarizes these questions into three important axes. On the horizontal axis, customers and user groups have been positioned. On the vertical axis are the buying needs. The inclining axis features the applied technologies. Companies in diverse fields ranging from the health care to non-profit entities may use this particular framework.

Application of the model to the Reader’s Digest Association case
Apart from videos, condensed books and other publications, and CDs, this company could add several other products to its portfolio and distribute them through mail orders. Using Abell’s three-dimensional business, the process of identifying such products would commence by determining the customer needs. In the modern day times, unlike the past, nearly everything is done through the digital media. For instance, more and more people are reading news through mobile applications. This has been made possible by the fact that new mobile technologies that support the practical use of such software have been introduced, a good example being the introduction of smartphones. This trend, in itself, spells the customer needs in the target market. Reuters, thus, should seek to meet this growing market needs by adding a new product, which in this case is a Reuters mobile application, and any related software.

Once the need has been established, Reuters should then shift its attention to the technologies, which will be used to develop the mobile application, as well as, the know-how it will employ to put the product on the market. It would also necessitate the company to determine which marketing campaign must be used, and the market research strategy it should adopt on the appropriate product to satisfy the underlying market need (Houthoofd, Desmidt & Fidalgo, 2009). In the light of this context, Reuters should seek to use the latest application writing programs to create a mobile application. Further, Reuters should strive to provide support to the customers through a means of a 24-hour help desk. Additionally, the company should seek to guarantee the best possible information provision approach. The current technology that the business is using, mailing the products to the customers, will be appropriate for the supposed mobile application.

According to Abell’s three-dimensional business-definition, Reuters should then get down to the core of the customer. The aim is to gather immense knowledge of the various target customer groups. The information gained can quickly help the company to establish targeted product offers (Houthoofd, Desmidt & Fidalgo, 2009). Already, as it has been defined throughout this particular paper, Reuter will have to focus on developing and adding a mobile application to its product portfolio. To concentrate on the customer groups, the company will have to reach the group through deploying its account managers, trade associations, retail, as well as, distributive trade agents. All of these should be selected from the locality in which the customer group is situated. The use of these agents will allow the company to know the customer segments rather well, and in turn, Reuters will be in a better position to provide even further customer oriented products.

    References
  • Houthoofd, N., Desmidt, S., & Fidalgo, E. G. (2009). Analyzing firm performance heterogeneity: the relative effect of business definition. Working Paper Series–Econpapers, Faculty of Econ. and Business Adm., 9(3), 12-28.