Understanding SBU Marketing: Types, Characteristics, and Examples

The understanding of Strategic Business Unit (SBU) Marketing is becoming increasingly important for business success in today’s competitive market. In this article, we will explore the different types, characteristics, and examples of SBU Marketing to help you better understand this crucial aspect of corporate strategy.

We’ll look at common strategies for creating a successful marketing plan, such as utilizing digital tools, optimizing your target customer base, creating customer loyalty through value-added services, and segmenting by geography. We’ll also look at how effective business models, creating customer satisfaction, measuring customer service needs, and customer segmentation can play a role in the strategies of an SBU.

Finally, we’ll examine a few examples of successful SBU campaigns and provide insight into how they succeeded. With this comprehensive overview of SBU Marketing, you’ll have the knowledge to make informed decisions when it comes to your own SBU strategy.

What Is SBU Marketing?

A strategic business unit (SBU) is like a mini-business within a larger organization – and it’s essential for companies to grow. At the corporate headquarters level, big decisions are made that shape the entire company. Then, at the SBU level, each unit has its own purpose, vision, and strategy – plus responsibility for a specific product or service with its own target market. Finally, divisions break down into smaller units responsible for their very own strategy, production, and operations.

An SBU can manufacture products and services; make critical decisions; manage investments; submit status reports to the parent organization; allocate resources; create their own vision and strategies – all while being part of a bigger picture. But they have autonomy too: separate teams of workers, their own brand or product line even if they share facilities with the parent org!

Planning an SBU requires different tactics than planning for the whole company: focusing on long-term business growth and performance goals rather than short-term ones. Understanding this concept helps businesses expand in size and product categories by managing multiple products independently but still as part of one entity – allowing them to carry their own status without sacrificing support from above.

Types of SBU Marketing

The use of strategic business units (SBUs) is like a puzzle piece for large companies, fitting perfectly into their business activities and helping them coordinate their marketing efforts. A strategic business unit is its own distinct entity within a larger company – it has its own vision, mission, strategies, and objectives that operate independently from the parent company. This allows SBUs to make decisions more quickly and flexibly than if they were part of one big corporate entity.

When it comes to SBU marketing, this practice focuses on a specific SBU in order to differentiate products or services, increase market share, and create an edge over competitors. There are five main types of SBU marketing: product-based; service-based; location-based; customer segment-based; and innovation-based – each with its own unique characteristics and benefits.

Product-based SBU Marketing involves targeting a particular product or product line within a company in order to identify and target a specific market segment while differentiating the product from others on the market. Examples include advertising campaigns, product launches, and promotional activities – all of which can help establish a strong brand identity as well as increase market share.

Service-Based SBU Marketing works similarly but instead focuses on services rather than products – again aiming to identify target markets while differentiating itself from competitors through advertising campaigns or promotional activities such as service launches. Location Based SBU Marketing takes things further by focusing on geographical areas or regions in order to create a local presence while still establishing differentiation between itself and other businesses operating in the same area/region/country etc. Customer Segment-Based SBU Marketing targets customers directly by identifying certain segments within your customer base that you want to focus your attention towards when creating differentiation between yourself & competitors through advertising campaigns etc. Finally, Innovation Based SBS Marketing looks at innovating existing products & services so that you can stand out amongst the competition & gain more traction with potential customers who may be looking for something new & exciting!

A company’s value chain can also be considered an independent Strategic Business Unit when it operates separately from the parent company yet still manages to focus on particular markets & offerings – allowing diversification opportunities whilst exploring different customer segments efficiently due to having completely separate business entities working together under one roof!

In conclusion, there are five main types of Strategic Business Unit (SBU) marketing which have been outlined above – each offering unique advantages such as increased brand identity & competitive advantage when used correctly! Additionally, companies should consider using their value chains as independent entities, too, if they wish to explore various markets without being hindered by size constraints associated with larger corporations!


Product-based SBU marketing is like a magnifying glass, helping companies to identify and target specific market segments. Advertising campaigns, product launches, and promotional activities are all examples of this type of marketing. It can give companies an edge by creating a strong brand identity and increasing their market share.

Take, for example, a company launching a new product line aimed at young adults. Product-based SBU marketing can help them stand out from the competition by crafting a distinct brand identity, advertising the product line through various channels such as social media or events, and promoting it in creative ways. In doing so, they create an advantage that sets them apart from other competitors in the same space.


Service-based SBU marketing is like a magnifying glass, helping companies to focus on a particular service or service line. Advertising campaigns, product launches, and promotional activities are all examples of this type of marketing. It can give companies an edge by creating a strong brand identity and increasing their market share – like giving them wings to soar above the competition.

Take, for example, a company that wants to target small business owners with its new service. Service-based SBU marketing could be used to craft a unique brand image, advertise the offering and promote it through social media and events – allowing them to stand out from the crowd.


Location-based SBU marketing is like a compass, guiding companies to identify and target specific market segments in a particular area. It helps them create an edge over their competitors by establishing a strong local presence and increasing their market share.

Take, for instance, launching a new product or service in one region. Companies can use location-based SBU marketing to craft an exclusive brand identity, advertise the product or service, and promote it through various channels such as social media and events. This way, they can stand out from the competition by targeting certain markets within that region.

But how important is this type of marketing? Location-based SBU marketing gives companies the opportunity to gain an advantage over their rivals – something no business should pass up on! In short, it’s essential for any company looking to make its mark in today’s competitive landscape.

Customer Segment

Customer segment-based SBU marketing is like a magnifying glass, helping companies to identify and target a specific customer segment. It’s used to differentiate the company from its competitors by creating a strong brand identity and increasing market share.

For example, if a company has something that appeals to one particular demographic or customer segment, it can use this type of marketing to develop an identity with them. This could be done through advertising campaigns tailored for the customer segment, launching products specifically designed for them, or offering discounts and special offers as promotional activities. All these strategies help create a competitive advantage by targeting the right people and establishing their brand in the minds of business target customers.


Innovation-based SBU marketing is a powerful tool for companies to stand out from the competition. It focuses on a particular product or service innovation within a company, allowing them to identify and target specific market segments and differentiate its offering from others. Companies can use advertising campaigns, product launches, and promotional activities such as discounts or special offers to create a competitive advantage by establishing a strong brand identity and increasing their market share.

For example, if one company has an innovative product that offers features not available elsewhere, it can use SBU marketing to promote it in order to differentiate itself from competitors. Through targeted advertising campaigns, product launches, and promotional activities like discounts or special offers, they can establish themselves as unique in the marketplace – creating an edge over other businesses.

In conclusion: Innovation-based SBU marketing is essential for companies looking to make their mark in the industry by targeting specific markets with unique products or services. By using this type of marketing through advertising campaigns, innovation launches, and promotions, they can create a competitive advantage while building up their brand identity at the same time.

Characteristics of SBU Marketing

SBU marketing is like a secret weapon for companies to gain an edge over their competition. Strategic Business Units (SBUs) are independent businesses that have the freedom to make their own decisions, manage their own resources, and create their own strategies. By connecting all of the units with related divisions of the business, the SBU structure allows companies to adapt quickly to changing industry environments.

Each SBU is expected to come up with its own unique plan tailored to its particular market and growth rate. The key features of a strategic business unit include autonomy in decision-making, resource management, and strategic planning. They also focus on long-term goals, which can help them take advantage of high and rapid-growth markets or invest in slow-growth ones.

When interviewing for a strategic business unit position, questions should be focused on organizational objectives rather than general knowledge about the parent brand. A star business unit is one that has attractive long-term profit-earning opportunities; managers must prioritize performance, competition analysis, resource allocation, and market share accordingly.

The idea behind having multiple SBUs within one company is twofold: it helps allocate resources more efficiently while allowing each individual unit to react quickly without needing approval from higher-ups – this prevents bureaucracy while improving customer service and increasing market share at the same time! To ensure success when appointing managers for these units, it’s important they understand what an SBU is so they can decide which businesses will benefit most from being added to the portfolio.

In summary: SBUs provide an effective way for companies to create a competitive advantage by giving them autonomy in decision-making as well as helping them respond rapidly without excessive bureaucracy getting in the way – all while improving marketing mix and customer service!

Benefits of SBU Marketing

Having one or more strategic business units (SBUs) is essential for companies offering products and services, as it allows them to respond better to changes in the market. Reorganizing into SBUs can be a game-changer for businesses, encouraging new ways of thinking and acting while investing full profit and loss responsibilities into the top management of each unit. This helps a company outperform its competitors by improving operational efficiencies, entering new markets, and changing pricing strategies – all with greater control over marketing operations, employee training, and development, as well as their human resources and resource management.

Decentralizing an organization’s structure into multiple SBUs simplifies the process of strategic management by enabling effective decision-making, budgeting, and investments – plus an increased motivation for junior employees through empowerment opportunities. It also enables quick responses to product changes in the market; tracking revenues; costs; sales; profits; flexible resource allocation; entering new markets; changing pricing strategies – all allowing a company to capitalize on market opportunities more easily than ever before.

In short: Strategic Business Units are powerful tools that provide businesses with numerous benefits, such as improved performance capabilities compared to their competitors and greater autonomy when managing various aspects of their operations, including marketing & HRM functions – ultimately helping them survive in today’s competitive marketplace.

Limitations of SBU Marketing

When it comes to Strategic Business Units (SBUs), there is a tightrope between the advantages of having an SBU structure and the costs of implementing it. While an SBU structure can provide benefits such as greater strategic focus and autonomy, creating and maintaining multiple SBUs may be daunting. Organizations must consider if they are able to meet all of the ideals when considering an SBU structure – like allocating resources to each unit while still achieving a competitive advantage.

Moreover, a strategic business unit can help avoid overspending after launch by being focused on one specific market and making its own decisions. However, there are drawbacks, too: higher costs due to needing dedicated infrastructure and personnel for each, increased complexity from potential confusion or overlap between other strategic business units, and reduced flexibility since various SBUs need to operate independently.

The organization’s operating model also has an effect on its strategic business units and line-of-business operating units too. Strategic business units make their own strategies while line-of-businesses handle outsourced activities like accounting services – but divisions cannot carry out tasks that require more specialized knowledge, such as developing products based on customer response or measuring performance.

Having too many products or services under one organization can create chaos for consumers, which leads to a lack of market share growth – companies must carefully evaluate how many offerings they have in a particular business category in order to maintain real strategic business units.

In conclusion, although a strategic business unit structure offers numerous advantages, organizations should take into account the associated costs, complexity, and reduced flexibility before setting up any new ones. Additionally, companies should assess how many products/services they offer in order to keep their customers happy with a clear understanding of what is offered by them.

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Examples of SBU Marketing

Many companies have adopted the strategic business unit (SBU) strategy to help them stay competitive and capitalize on their individual business opportunities. Examples of organizations that have adopted the SBU strategy include LG, Coca-Cola, and many other large companies. By creating separate business units, these companies are able to operate independently while still relying on the parent company for support functions such as human resource management and administrative functions. This allows each business unit to have its own vision and goals while still benefitting from the larger company.

Setting up a data center division as an SBU is a great way to diversify a telecom company’s operations. It can provide them with better diversity and coverage in line with the changing needs of their customer base. This division can provide various services such as colocation data center services, cloud storage solutions, and managed IT services. This SBU is able to operate independently from the parent company while still taking advantage of the resources and capabilities offered by the parent organization.

A snowboard manufacturer can set up two strategic business units. The first would be the fashion division, which would focus on producing high-quality snowboard apparel. The second would be the equipment division, which would focus on producing high-quality snowboards and related equipment. Both of these divisions would operate independently from each other, with each having its own goals and objectives.

The Quaker brand offers a broad selection of products. These include ready-to-eat cereals like Cap’n Crunch and Life, pancake mixes and syrups such as Aunt Jemima, granola bars made by Quaker, and side dishes including Rice-A-Roni. PepsiCo provides a wide range of drinks. These include soda brands such as Pepsi, Mountain Dew, and Mug Root Beer. It also offers juices from Tropicana, Dole, and Naked Juices, performance beverages like Gatorade and Propel, and bottled water from Aquafina. By creating strategic business units for each of these product lines, PepsiCo and Quaker are able to better target different markets and maximize sales.

The strategic business unit strategy can be a powerful tool for companies that have multiple product lines and want to maximize their potential. By creating separate business units, companies are able to focus on specific markets and better serve their customers. It also allows companies to take advantage of the parent organization’s resources while still operating independently.

Setting up a Strategic Business Unit

When setting up a Strategic Business Unit (SBU), the parent company must take strategic action to decide which market segment the SBU will target and how it will function as an independent business. The head executive officer is in charge of defining each SBU’s operational activities and making decisions for each unit, while senior executives are responsible for decision-making, and division owners handle strategy and regular operations. But what should be considered when formulating an SBU’s business strategy? Clear objectives set by the company, centralized management culture, and external environment – all these factors play a role. Plus, there’s also the internal relationship between the SBU and its parent company that needs to be taken into account, along with any team motivation necessary for setting up the SBU. It goes without saying that these considerations are essential when creating an effective business plan!

Organizational Structure

When setting up a Strategic Business Unit (SBU), there are several organizational considerations that must be taken into account. These include the size, structure, and culture of the unit – all of which will have an impact on strategic decisions made for the SBU.

The three most common types of organizational structures for SBUs are functional, divisional, and matrix. A functional structure organizes activities around specific functions such as marketing, finance, or operations – making it ideal for businesses requiring high levels of coordination between departments.

Divisional structures split the business into separate divisions with their own management teams and resources – perfect for businesses needing to focus on different markets or product lines. Lastly, a matrix structure combines both functional and divisional elements to coordinate activities between different departments in companies with multiple products or services.

In conclusion, when setting up an SBU, it is important to consider these factors carefully in order to make informed strategic decisions that will benefit your business in the long run.

Recruitment and Selection Process

The recruitment and selection process of a strategic business unit is like no other. This stand-alone entity, responsible for creating and managing its own products, services, and activities, requires an exclusive set of skills and knowledge to reach its goals.

When searching for the perfect fit for this role, employers must consider the candidate’s background in marketing, finance, or operations, as well as their ability to work effectively in a team environment and overall compatibility with the company culture.

To ensure they have found the right person for the job, employers should conduct a thorough assessment of the candidate’s understanding of both industry standards and what makes up their company’s unique offerings. This will help identify any gaps in knowledge while also providing insight into whether or not this individual has what it takes to become an invaluable member of your team.

The Remuneration System

The remuneration system used in a strategic business unit (SBU) is like the foundation of a house – it needs to be tailored to the specific needs of the unit and industry. Companies have three options: fixed salary, variable pay, and commission-based pay.

Fixed salary provides both employer and employee with security. The company sets a predetermined amount for each position within the SBU, giving employees consistent income while employers can rest assured that their team will perform at their best.

Variable pay offers an additional layer of incentive on top of base salary – rewarding employees based on performance goals they meet. It’s great for motivating staff but also gives them peace of mind knowing there’s some stability in their job.

Commission-based remuneration pays out according to sales made by employees – encouraging them to make more sales while providing an incentive to do so. However, this system can create uncertainty as workers don’t know how much money they’ll make each month.

Ultimately, employers should understand all implications before deciding which remuneration system works best for their SBU and industry!

The Corporate Culture

The corporate culture of any strategic business unit (SBU) is like the beating heart of its success, setting the tone for how employees interact with each other and customers. A strong corporate culture can give an SBU a competitive edge, increasing employee engagement and productivity while attracting new customers.

When crafting a corporate culture for an SBU, there are several elements to consider. These include the mission and vision of the organization, values, and beliefs held by it, as well as desired behaviors and attitudes from employees. The mission and vision should be clear-cut yet concise – communicated to all staff so everyone shares an understanding of where the organization is headed. Values and beliefs should also be shared among all personnel; they will shape the overall atmosphere within your SBU. Additionally, expected behaviors from employees must be articulated clearly; this will determine how they communicate with one another or customers.

To create a positive workplace culture that emphasizes collaboration, accountability, and respect – activities such as team building exercises or recognition programs may help foster these qualities amongst staff members along with open communication between them and management teams alike!

In conclusion: having a strong corporate culture is essential for any successful SBU – it sets up an environment that encourages employee engagement & productivity while helping attract new customers!


In conclusion, Strategic Business Units (SBUs) provide companies with the flexibility to quickly respond to changing market environments and capitalize on product opportunities. SBU marketing allows a company to create a competitive advantage, target specific customer segments, develop a strong brand identity, increase market share, and gain profitability in slow-growth markets.

Types of SBU marketing include product-based, service-based, location-based, customer segment-based, and innovation-based. The setup of a strategic business unit requires careful planning and consideration of the internal structure, recruitment and selection processes, remuneration system, and corporate culture.

Overall, SBU marketing can be an effective tool for achieving success, provided it is implemented in a way that best suits the needs of the organization and industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a sbu example?

A great example of SBU is Proctor and Gamble. Its structure encompasses brands like Pampers, Olay, and Oral B that operate under one corporate umbrella. The strategy works as only one company has to maintain and manage these various operations instead of having different organizations for each of the products and services.

What are the four types of SBU?

Successful companies must identify the four types of SBUs, which are cash cows, stars, question marks, and dogs. Cash cows usually have a high market share in a low-growth market, while stars characterize business units with high market growth rates and high market share.
Question marks often require significant monetary investment or higher investment to gain market share, whereas dogs struggle to break even or generate any profit.

How does sbu work?

SBUs are individual departments within a company that has a clear mission and goals. They focus on their own objectives while working towards the overall business goal.
Each SBU has its own target market, strategy, and resources and is managed autonomously with full responsibility for profits and losses. Ultimately, the success of an SBU contributes to the success of the entire organization.

What is the difference between an SBU and a division?

Divisions are created for internal purposes and are focused on the company’s operations, while SBUs are set up to address the external needs of a market. SBUs analyze markets and offer tailored solutions, as opposed to divisions that simply analyze the company.
In essence, divisions analyze internally, while SBUs focus on the external environment.

What is a sbu in marketing?

SBU stands for Strategic Business Unit, and it involves the process of segmenting a company’s operations into distinct units to focus on specific product or service offerings. This helps companies target the most profitable business opportunities within their market and allocate resources more efficiently.
It enables companies to identify potential high-growth market areas and focus on developing products that meet consumer needs more effectively.

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