Strategic Matrix Analysis uses visual tool for helping people see the key relationships among a given set of competitors. This visual tool used is call a Strategic Analysis Matrix or Stratrix. A Stratrix provide a two-dimensional representation of the five dimensions (mission/climate/ground/leader/methods) used in traditional strategic analysis.
There are so many different uses of the Stratrix tool in Strategic Matrix Analysis that it could be the basis for an entire course of study. The purpose of this article is simply to introduce the tool and its uses.
The standard Stratrix is three-by-three, nine-celled matrix. The three columns of the Stratrix represent the major components of an competitor: mission, leader, and methods. The three rows of the stratrix represent the major components of the competitive environment plus competing missions: climate, ground, motivations. The layout below arranges to rows and columns to follow the classical layout of the five elements in a compass star diagram.
In this layout, each cell represents the intersection of one element with another. The top left cell represents the intersection of a given set of methods with the current changes of climate. The center cell represents the intersection of the external motivation of others with the internal mission of a competitor. The bottom right cell represents a leaders familiarity with the ground.
This design allows us to chart and map the ways in which a given competitor or set of competitors "fits" within the environment. For example, each of the three columns could be divided into three smaller columns, each representing the methods, mission, and leader of three different competitors and each row could be divided into smaller rows representing key aspects of the environment. Then you can simply charts the relative strengths and weaknesses of these competitors in the environment.
Since each of the five dimension represented in the matrix has many different defining characteristics, a special Stratrix can be designed to compare only those characteristics seen as the most relevant in a given situation. For example, in our orientation course in using our rules,we use the following Market Analysis Stratrix (a Mastrix) to perform Strategic Matrix Analysis on a given marketplace. One version of a Mastrix is shown below.
In this matrix, we use this set of columns and rows to explain the positioning of various companies and products. The columns represent various general types of buyers and rows various types of markets. This matrix has a variety of uses, but to explain it generally, a mass-market product such as a McDonald's hamburger would appear it the lower left-hand cell while a new, customized product would appear in the upper right.
One important aspect of the Market Analysis Stratrix is that we can use it to predict the paths of competitors in a market. The detailed explanation is beyond the scope of this introductory article, but basically, as companies grow and the products age, they migrate from the upper right-hand corner down toward the lower left-hand cell.