Art of Marketing
Chapter 12. Choosing the battlefield
You’ve got to keep reinventing.
You’ll have new competitors.
You’ll have new customers all around you. ― Ginni Rometty
A business and marketing strategy means choosing your own competition
If you decide to change your existing product,
you will change your competitors as well.
Just like you are a country in the middle of other countries
and decide to go to war,
the direction of attack will govern all your plans.
Change customers, change competitors
Steve Jobs decided to use the iPhone to compete
in an area of technology
and innovation radically different from what Apple had done before
that is a perfect example of this.
Apple sees a unique opportunity
in making mobile phones radically different from
what’s being offered in the market,
and introducing new technologies
that can potentially improve quality,
and the ease of use of this phone line,
far ahead of products from Nokia,
or Sony Ericsson.
When choosing a battlefield,
start with the customer.
What are your customers asking
for or expecting in the next few years?
How can you develop and apply new technologies
to delight future customers?
Any marketing plan starts with thinking
about the customer
and what you need to make the customer happy.
You may decide to change customers,
enter an untapped market,
or aren’t being satisfactorily taken care of by your competitors.
By selecting customer segments
or new product and service categories,
you will completely change the nature of your marketing battleground.
You change the future of your business.
I looked at my competitors and I thought that,
If they could do it,
I could do it.
And if they are popular and doing well,
I could compete with them. ― Tommy Hilfiger
Strength vs Weakness
“What are the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors
in the current and upcoming markets?”
BlackBerry’s strength is its resounding success
in providing business phones.
Its major weakness is
that it always overestimates its superiority
that ignores technological innovation
and becomes a vulnerable target of iPhone (Apple)
and Galaxy (Samsung).
From being the market leader,
BlackBerry was pushed to the brink of bankruptcy in just 5 short years.
That would only be a rival’s dream come true
if BlackBerry’s leaders put in the time,
and research to improve their products
as they did with the distribution of rewards and dividends.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors?
How can you limit their strengths and increase their weaknesses?
What are their strengths and weaknesses
that present you with market opportunities
that no one else is seeing right now?
At the same time,
you must also identify your own strengths
and find ways to offset your weaknesses in relation to your competitors.
Think about the competitive response or actions
that competitors might use to protest
and protect their sales,
If you decide to enter a market with a new product or service,
or market with existing products or services,
or increase your advertising budget
to obtain a larger market share,
What will yours do?
They won’t sit idly by
and let you invade their market like BlackBerry did.
Don’t knock your competitors.
By boosting others you will boost yourself.
A little competition is a good thing and severe competition is a blessing.
Thank God for the competition. ― Jacob Kindle
Protect your resources
One of the most famous battles of antiquity took place
between the Roman and Greek armies,
during the reign of King Pyrrhus.
In the end,
the warriors of Pyrrhus defeated the Romans
but at a great cost
– half of the soldiers fell.
When someone congratulated him on his resounding victory
over the Roman army,
he made the famous remark,
invoked throughout history:
“Another such victory, my duty still unfinished.”
The following year,
the Romans returned.
Another battle broke out.
But Pyrrhus’ forces had been so worn out in the previous battle
that they were completely overwhelmed by the Roman army
– he lost both his country and his life.
don’t win like a Pyrrhus.
It is important not to spend too much money in exchange
for a certain superiority in the market
or you will not be able to get the final win.
“Customer service represents the heart of a brand
in the hearts of its customers.” – Kate Nasser
Change products and competitors carefully
Changing your business means changing your competitors,
and vice versa.
Remember that your competitors’ actions
and reactions will determine your growth,
market share and profits.
As a great strategist,
you need to thoroughly research your competitors
and determine exactly what they can do in response
to what you bring into new markets
or introduce new products or services.
You should also determine
if you can gain the next market share against a new competitor
that you think is likely to enter your market.
“One of the major differences
between successful and unsuccessful people is
that the former look for problems to resolve,
whereas the latter make every attempt to avoid them.” – Grant Cardone