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What curve or curves would you use to evaluate Alcoa’s profit position?

Marketing Strategies

Case 2: Porter Strategy

The Alcoa Interview

Doug is a UNA senior studying marketing. He just attended a job fair where he made a very positive impression on the Human Resource Officer at Alcoa Aluminum. He has been invited to his first interview for a job as a Sales Service Trainee. He arrives at the interview on time with his new Dillard’s suit. He feels a little uncomfortable about not really preparing for the interview. He had spent his time studying for Dr. Armstrong’s product test.

Mr. Wilson, the Sales Manager for the consumer products division, will interview Doug. Mr. Wilson asks Doug to explain what he perceives marketing to be in an organization like Alcoa. Doug tries to link the marketing concept and philosophy to a Business-to-Business seller like Alcoa. Mr. Wilson then tells Doug that they have three primary competitors who compete mainly on price. Mr. Wilson tells Doug that Alcoa has a cost advantage on the other competitors and what strategy should they use in the market. Doug uses Dr. Armstrong’s graphs to explain his answer that impresses Mr. Wilson.

Mr. Wilson goes on to explain a new smelting process for Aluminum that has been developed by Alcoa. He asks Doug how Alcoa should proceed marketing of their current products in light of this new discovery?

Mr. Wilson really likes Doug’s response. He then asked Doug whether Alcoa should divest the consumer products division or continue with their current market approach. He also asks Doug to guess what Alcoa’s profit position is compared to their competitors. Doug uses the __________ curve to explain his logic.

Mr. Wilson states that  Doug must be familiar with the Anson-Akoff Strategic planning process. Doug has never heard of the process. What should Doug say?


1. How would you use the Porter Curve and Experience curve to answer Mr. Wilson’s questions?(reference needed)

2. What analysis would you use to determine whether Alcoa should divest the consumer products division? (reference needed)

3. What curve or curves would you use to evaluate Alcoa’s profit position? (reference needed)


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