The Marketing concept
states that a firm's goal should be to identify and profitably satisfy customer needs. In Marketing Warfare
Al Ries and Jack Trout argue that marketing is war and that the marketing concept's customer-oriented philosophy is inadequate. Rather, firms would do better by becoming competitor-oriented.
To illustrate their point, Ries and Trout compare marketing to a football game. If a team simplClose
y identifies the goal line and moves the ball towards it without regard to the competing team, they most likely will be blocked in their effort. To win the game, the team must focus its efforts on outwitting, outflanking, and over-powering the other side. This is the case in football, war, and marketing according to Marketing Warfare
. Because of the importance of the competition faced by the firm, a good marketing plan should include an extensive section on competitors.
using the war metaphor talks about the various strategies for winning. The authors have done a great job in using studies like Von Clausewitz' On War,
to show what works and doesn't work in war or in marketing. The most memorable part of the book was the fact that historically, if you wanted to win a battle, you need to have more people on the battlefield than the enemy. The authors therefore recommend going after niche markets since the enemy doesn't have many if any people on your niche battlefield. This led to a great saying in another book of theirs, 'If you aren't number one in your category, create a new category.' I strongly recommend this book because the authors speak from experience and the information is something that can immediately be put into practice.
The book does not only focus on warfare strategies, but also discusses the characteristics of a good marketing general who leads his troops to win in a nasty battlefield that is the human brain.