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A Quick Guide to the Boston Matrix

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

The Boston matrix is a model that helps businesses analyse their product portfolio and can be used as a marketing tool or a general business strategy. It categorises each product within the portfolio into four separate categories based on their market growth and market share. In this blog post, we will provide a brief overview of the Boston matrix and its categories.

Learn more by watching the video and reading the blog post below:

Introduction to the Boston Matrix

The Boston matrix is a strategic planning tool that was developed by the Boston Consulting Group in the 1970s. It provides a visual representation of a company's product portfolio and helps in identifying the most profitable products and those with growth potential. The matrix is based on the premise that a company's products can be classified into four categories based on their market growth and market share.

The Four Categories of the Boston Matrix

Stars: Products that fall into this category are in high-growth markets with a high market share. These products have the potential to generate significant revenue and profits. Companies should invest in developing and promoting these products to gain a larger market share and strengthen their position in the market.

Cash Cows: Cash cows are products that have a high market share but are in low-growth markets. Although these products may not have much growth potential, they generate a steady cash flow for the company. Companies should continue to support and maintain these products to maximise their profitability.

Question Marks: Question marks, also known as problem children or wildcats, are products in high-growth markets but with a low market share. These products require careful consideration and analysis. Companies need to decide whether to invest in their development to increase market share or to divest them if they do not show promising potential.

Dogs: Dogs are products that have a low market share and are in low-growth markets. These products do not offer much potential for growth or profitability. Companies should consider either divesting or discontinuing these products unless they have a strategic reason to keep them.

Benefits of the Boston Matrix

The Boston matrix provides several benefits to businesses:

  1. Product Portfolio Analysis: It helps businesses gain a better understanding of their product portfolio and the position of each product within the market.

  2. Resource Allocation: The matrix enables businesses to allocate their resources effectively by identifying products that require further investment and those that should be discontinued.

  3. Strategic Decision Making: The Boston matrix assists in making strategic decisions regarding product development, marketing strategies, and resource allocation.

  4. Performance Tracking: By regularly assessing the position of products within the matrix, businesses can track their performance over time and make necessary adjustments.


The Boston matrix is a valuable tool for businesses to analyse and manage their product portfolios. By categorising products based on their market growth and market share, companies can make informed decisions about resource allocation and strategic direction. Understanding the four categories of the Boston matrix and their implications can help businesses develop effective marketing strategies and maximise their overall profitability.

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