Marketing Theories - Explaining The Ansoff Matrix

Visit our Marketing Theories Page to see more of our marketing buzzword busting blogs. 

Welcome to the latest series of Marketing Theories explained by Professional Academy. The subject of this specific Marketing Theory blog should be one very familiar to those working in Marketing and Sales & Marketing alike - The Ansoff Matrix. 

The Ansoff matrix was invented by Igor Ansoff in 1965 and is used to develop strategic options for businesses. It is one of the most commonly used tools for this type of analysis due to its simplicity and ease of use.

As the diagram demonstrates, the matrix will give managers four possible scenarios, or strategies for future product and market activities.

Ansoff Matrix

Market Penetration

This strategy focuses on increasing the volume of sales of existing products to the organisation’s existing market.

Questions asked:

  • How can we defend our market share?
  • How can we grow our market?

Product Development

This strategy focuses on reaching the existing market with new products.

Questions asked:

  • How can we expand our product portfolio by modifying or creating products?

Market Development

This strategy focuses on reaching new markets with existing products in the portfolio.

Questions asked:

  • How can we extend our market?
  • Through new market sectors?
  • Through new geographical areas?


This strategy focuses on reaching new markets with new products. Diversification can be either related or unrelated.

Related Diversification: The organisation stays within a market they have familiarity with.

Unrelated Diversification: The organisation moves into a market or industry they have no experience with. This is considered a high risk strategy.

So that’s the Ansoff matrix, you can see how it visualises your current strategic position and offers four possible routes to take next.

You should be aware however that it isn’t designed to make the decision for you but to open you up to the different strategies available to you. You should also remember that this framework doesn’t take into account any external factors such as available resources or risk management. So as always we recommend we use this tool as part of a larger marketing tool kit.

Want to learn more?

Professional Academy's Strategic Marketing Theories Explained is a video series that explains marketing models in more detail. 

Watch the recording for Ansoff's Matrix to see CIM tutor, Professional Academy trainer and all-round marketing pro Peter Sumpton talk about how this long-standing model can help you make strategic plans to develop your products/services. 

If you're a more visual learner, check out this 3-minute animated video outlining how to use the Ansoff Matrix.

If you would like to see more of Professional Academy's series explaining Marketing Theories head to our dedicated Marketing Theories page today. 

If you are interested in developing your Marketing knowledge further why not look into a CIM Marketing Qualification? You can download a copy of our latest CIM Marketing Prospectus or contact us for more information at any time. 

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