To be truly unorthodox in the way that you conduct your marketing requires the lessons and strategies adopted by the guerrilla fighter. The right mindset will always produce the results…
A guerrilla fighter knows that the enemy is stronger in numbers and resources, and must adapt his strategies to overcome this challenge. Much like within the business world, the chances of you and your business operating within a monopoly, or being a market leader in any niche, is probably slim. Your marketing budget, sales force size and experience won’t match those of your bigger competitors. So like the guerrilla fighter, you must also think differently and adopt unorthodox strategies to take down your rivals.
Business is war. And to win the war, sometimes you have to push the boundaries of conventional business and marketing principles.
Here are 4 basic strategies that guerrilla military strategists such as Sun Tzu, Che Guevara, Mao Zedong and Lawrence of Arabia pioneered when either going into attack against a bigger force, or defending against that same force. All of which can be added to YOUR marketing mix.
1. Intelligence A few weeks back I wrote a post on Digital Competitor Reconnaissance that’s as relevant as ever when it comes to researching and knowing your competitors and customers. The Guerrilla fighter will have detailed reports of enemy positions, supplies, numbers and resources amongst many other things that can be used against them. Know your enemy, then you know how to best attack/defend against that enemy in that industry. To be able to fully take advantage you’ll also need to know your terrain (or your market) and to be flexible within this terrain to capture more customers.
2. Surprise Attacks & Ambush One of the best positions you could ever hold within battle is the position where you can choose when to attack on your own terms – which is best done via surprise if you’re the lesser force. Attacking transportation routes, food supplies and other structures through ambush can really catch an enemy off guard – which is exactly why the guerrilla fighter will most probably always emerge victorious with the least casualties. Knowing When To Attack The Enemy can really push things in your favour in business, as marketing is all about timing.
3. Relationship With The Population This is something I very strongly believe in, because if you surround yourself with the people that want you to succeed, then that battle becomes ten times easier. The guerrilla fighter will know that a friendly population can provide shelter, food, allied fighters and a whole lot of other resources to fight the same enemy. If the population – or in our case any given industry or niche – are against us being in there then we won’t last very long above water. This is why networking is so important no matter what your business is doing.
4. Propaganda & Terror Moral is a huge factor in hostile environments and we won’t really know the true meaning of it in war situations unless we actually go into war ourselves. Luckily, the chances of it happening now are slim, though we all know how the use of propaganda can severely hurt the enemy’s morale and have done for years. Advertising through Propaganda is something that you should always consider within your marketing plan because a business that is unsettled will always make more mistakes than others. This is then your chance to attack, because a demoralized enemy is an already defeated enemy. Think about the options you have with this in your marketplace…
If your business is a smaller and less experienced force than your rivals chances are that you’re more committed, mobile, and better equipped to take advantage of guerrilla tactics to battle these competitors. More importantly though, you’d battle in a way that they would least expect and would need more time to react to you, your marketing and your sales strategies. You’d also be marketing in a way that your potential customers haven’t seen before and won’t be ready to shut the door in your face like traditional marketing that the larger businesses tend to adopt.
Your intelligence will tell you what your competitors are already doing so that you can market differently; you’ll be able to do so using the element of surprise in your marketing; your relationship building skills will make you much more desirable to do business with; and your unorthodox and propaganda style marketing will set you out from everyone else. You are deadly serious about succeeding, and will do so at all costs.
Whilst your competitors will be marketing in events and conferences, you’ll be marketing in the streets. They’ll be continuously hurling mass marketing out of the door, whilst you’ll be getting close and personal with each of your potential customers. Whilst your competitors will take things for granted, you won’t sit still and will always look to innovate and evolve.
To be truly unorthodox, you must consider the way of the guerrilla.