October 26, 2016

Marketing Warfare - Confronting The Competition in the Market Place


Marketing Warfare - Based on the Art of War by Tsuntzu

Paul Hoyt
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Defensive Warfare


Principles

Principles given by Al Ries and Jack Trout, Marketing Warfare, McGraw Hill, 1986
https://books.google.co.in/books/about/Marketing_Warfare.html?id=5hKvXzoEvIYC

1.  Only the market leader should consider playing defense.

2. The best defensive strategy in marketing is to attack yourself.

3. Strong competitive moves should always be blocked.


Don't spend all your resources in defense. Spend only what is necessary to defend and keep the rest for reserve. Only add more as the intensity of the attack increases.

The goal of defensive warfare is marketing peace.


Offensive Marketing Warfare


Principles

Principles given by Al Ries and Jack Trout, Marketing Warfare, McGraw Hill, 1986
https://books.google.co.in/books/about/Marketing_Warfare.html?id=5hKvXzoEvIYC

1. The main consideration is the strength of the leader's position (it is actually an understanding of the market strength, resources, competencies and capabilities of the leader).

A company want to launch an offensive attack on a leader has to assess the strength of the leader's position in the market.

2. Find a weakness in the leader's strength and attack that point (It means, a weakness which can be attacked successfully by the offensive company).

3. Launch the attack on as narrow front as possible.

Narrow front means attack an individual product.

Remember that odds favor the defender.
Find weakness in leader's largest selling products.
Good offensive ideas are extremely difficult to find. Be prepared to do a lot research to the weakness you can exploit.
You can afford to spend more on an offensive attack because you know the market is there for you to get a share.

Flanking Marketing Warfare


Principles

Principles given by Al Ries and Jack Trout, Marketing Warfare, McGraw Hill, 1986
https://books.google.co.in/books/about/Marketing_Warfare.html?id=5hKvXzoEvIYC

1. A good flanking move must be made into an uncontested area (in the same generic product).

2. Tactical surprise ought to be an important element of the plan.

3. The pursuit is just as critical as the attack itself.

In a flanking move, after you taste success, you have to reinforce it. The best time to build a strong position is in the beginning period of a new product. Flanking is always done with a new product category which is the company is introducing. Hence, if it is successful, more resources must be spent on it to build a strong position. A flanking attack is to earn market share.

Flanking Alternatives

Product category
Low price - no frills product
High price niche product
Small size product - small screen, pocket size
Large size product - Big screen
New distribution channel
New product from - ex: liquid in place of solid, new colors symbolising different things,
Diet products in food items

Guerilla Marketing Warfare

Al Ries and Jack Trout, Marketing Warfare, McGraw Hill, 1986
https://books.google.co.in/books/about/Marketing_Warfare.html?id=5hKvXzoEvIYC


The enemy advances, we retreat. The enemy camps, we harass. The enemy tires, we attack. The enemy retreats, we pursue.  Mao Tse-Tsung.


Trouble a leader, survive, injure a leader, survive, defeat a leader, win.

Guerillas need to have a survival plan. If they survive they can fight the battle once again on a different day. The cost incurred in defeating a guerilla is very high for the opponent.

Al Ries and Jack Trout give the following as principles of guerilla warfare in marketing.

1. Find a segment of the market small enough to defend.

There has to be market from which you can earn revenues. Guerilla marketers may have a diffuse market which the leaders cannot even identify.

2. No matter how successful you become, never act like the leader.

Don't declare victory early. Guerilla strategy and tactics are essentially opposite of what's right for Fortune 500 companies.

3. Be prepared to bug out at a moment's notice.

Whenever you venture into the main visible markets, get out at the first instance of trouble. Conserve your resources.

References

Al Ries and Jack Trout, Marketing Warfare, McGraw Hill, 1986


Al Ries, Jack Trout, "MARKETING WARFARE", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 3 Iss: 4, 1986, pp.77 - 82


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