4i Newsletter Masthead 411

The 4 marketing strategies.

fouri 411 Marketing strategies

The book “On War” by Prussian General, Carl von Clausewitz, published in 1832, suggested there are four main strategies when it comes to warfare.

In 1986, Al Ries and Jack Trout, took these and applied them to marketing in their book, “Marketing Warfare”.

Recently, I’ve observed a number of businesses deploying excellent tactics but not getting the results they seek as they’ve adopted the wrong strategy.

Do you know which of the four marketing strategies is right for you?

1. Defensive Warfare

This is for the market leader only. You might like to think you’re the leader, many business people do, but the only opinion that counts in this respect is the customer. Do they see you as being head and shoulders above the rest?

If you are truly the leader, then the defensive tactic is to attack yourself. Identify the areas you’re weak in and sort them out.

You should also block any movement from the number two. Throw all your might to derail their attempt to take some of your territory, “send them home to think again.”

2. Offensive Warfare

This is for those in second position, and clear of the pack.

You’re going to go toe-to-toe with the leader, it’s your key focus, so the key tactic is to find a weakness in the leader’s strength… note a weakness in their strength. For example, could the dominant leader have become complacent in the way they treat customers? Could their ubiquitous position mean that their customers are seen by their own, as the same as everyone else? The attack should be on as narrow a front as possible with full and disproportionate force. Think “Achilles heel”.

3. Flanking Warfare

This is about identifying an uncontested area. The key is surprise. Identify a product line, or service that the leader doesn’t offer – probably because they’ve assessed it as having too low a margin, or requiring too much effort. If the customer would value it though, this could be the key battlefield to launch an attack. Having gained the new ground, and become the leader of it, then it must be defended. The overall leader may well turn their attention to it – make sure they experience early losses to force them to retreat and hopefully give up the territory altogether.

4. Guerilla Warfare

This is about going niche. It could be a small, very specific demographic, or a product or service that will only ever have a small demand. The key is to make it small enough to not only conquer but to be able to then defend. That said, the guerilla must stay true to self, and not behave like the leader. There’s also the necessity to have the ability to run away if the leader decides to use it’s considerable force.

Withdraw, regroup, and find another battlefield.

Often, the first battle is internal. It’s vital that you have alignment as to your true position and then to adopt the right strategy before deploying numerous tactics.

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