Celebrating The 2×2 Matrix

We take a look at the most popular and well known tool… ❤️

4 min read

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Ahh the 2x2 matrix… where would we without it? Is there nothing it can’t be used for?

This article is about the concept of a matrix. It’s most often used in strategic planning as a simple way to capture and classify data, prompt thinking and help planning.

What is a 2x2 Matrix?

A 2x2 Matrix is a graph divided into 4 quadrants, with two values each of the axis usually representing a high and a low value.

The components of a 2x2 matrix include:

  • The vertical axis subject
  • The horizontal axis subject
  • The 4 segments being either a single item (such as Pricing Strategy Matrix) or lists of items (such as SWOT Analysis)

What are the advantages of a 2x2 Matrix?

This is a really common framework because:

  • It’s easy to use
  • It’s simple to understand
  • It’s quick to develop
  • It’s useful to communicate
  • There are many specific 2x2s pre-created for people
  • It can be used in any industry or business

What are the limitations of a 2x2 Matrix?

The only limitation is around the simplicity of the tool. Certain ones approach this by making their matrix a 3x3 or 4x4, but ultimately a matrix is always going to be a higher level representation of an analysis.

Which 2x2 Matrix should I use?

There are hundreds of potential 2x2s used out there. Which one you use is best depends on what you wish to achieve, but we've put together a top 9 for review...

9. Pricing Strategy Matrix

This is an example of a matrix that demonstrates when certain options are appropriate. It describes 4 potential pricing strategies for your product or service and uses the axis of Quality and Price in order to illustrate them.

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8. Four Corner Analysis

Although this one doesn't call itself a matrix, it's allowed in this list due to it being pretty much a matrix visually. The Four Corners Analysis is an interesting framework as it's one of the only ones that focuses entirely on someone else's company, allowing you to estimate their strategic thinking and decisions.

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7. Grand Strategy Matrix

The Grand Strategy Matrix is a newer strategic tool comparatively to the others on this list. It’s used to look through alternative strategies for companies and is gaining popularity since the launch in 2017.

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6. BCG Matrix

The BCG Growth-Share Matrix is a framework used to classify products or services in order to aid decision making. The model is presented as a 2x2 matrix and can be applied to any product or service.

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5: TOWS Analysis

TOWS is an extension of SWOT that provides a way to create clear actions – it’s not as widely known, but if you’re using SWOT you should definitely check out TOWS. It looks at the relationships between your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

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4: Ansoff Matrix

You can’t argue with a matrix that’s over 50 years old and is still used commonly today. Developed by Igor Ansoff, the Ansoff Matrix effectively provides four strategic options and the risk levels associated to them. You may have heard of it under another name – the Product/Market Expansion Grid.

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3: ADL

ADL is one of the more complicated matrix on this list and is generally used within the product marketing world. The ADL Matrix allows you to map your product or service portfolio by looking at the overall market lifecycle and your own placement in the market.

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2: SOAR Analysis

A slightly different matrix comes in at number 2 – SOAR. What makes this different? Unlike many of the frameworks on this list, a SOAR Analysis looks at fact finding around the company and the desires of the company stakeholders. SOAR stands for Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations and Results.

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1: SWOT Analysis

The most famous of all the strategy matrix frameworks is the SWOT, used both in and outside of business. It’s simplicity and popularity means it’s been used frequently by all industries since the 1960s, when it was first created by Albert Humphrey.

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