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B2B Marketer: How are You Going to Win the War?

by Jennifer Beever on November 11, 2011

Since it’s Veteran’s Day I thought this blog entry might be timely. Did you know that one of the definitions of strategy is about planning operations and movements in a war or battle?

strat·e·gy   strate \-jē\
the science and art of military command
exercised to meet the enemy in combat
under advantageous conditions
Merriam-Webster.com

For years marketers have been using warfare terminology to describe marketing strategies. The three most common are to go on the offensive and attack, stand and defend, or retreat and withdraw. Of the three options, it seems to me an attack strategy could net the most results, although it depends on the strength of your company, the strength of you competitors, and the lifecycle stage of your industry.

Frontal Attack!

There are reasons to go on the offensive in marketing. If your competitors are weak, and you are strong, you could win by attacking them directly with the same products and pricing.

Flanking Attack!

If you have a new way of doing things or a new way to cut costs and offer your product or service at a lower price, you could flank your competitors and establish marketshare before they can make similar changes. An example is how Budget Rent-a-Car followed Hertz and Avis with lower prices.

Encirclement Attack!

You’ve surrounded the marketplace with your products, brand and services. One example might be “Intel Inside,” where Intel’s processor came pre-installed on most computers.

Bypass Attack!

This is what Southwest did to the airline industry. It completely bypassed the traditional way of doing business by opening regional low-cost routes. Southwest found a Blue Ocean Strategy, while the traditional airlines did not fare as well.

Guerrilla Warfare

This type of marketing warfare consists of many small attacks in different locations while keeping mobile or agile so you don’t get attacked. The guerilla marketer makes their competition less stable with its multiple attacks. This strategy is a good one for a smaller competitor who doesn’t have the resources for a full frontal attack, but who can move fast.

How are you going to win the war?

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