Asymmetric Marketing applies concepts of asymmetric warfare to the world of modern business. It looks at the battle that is taking place between two brands in the marketplace and applies unique principles designed to help the smaller participant to win.
Why the allusion to warfare when talking about business? Most students of business strategy know that the similarities are striking and that many of the best business leaders have learned the concepts of warfare to understanding how to compete. The dominant ideology in business today is that of conflict between competitors in a rapidly evolving marketplace. One of the most widely read “business” books of all time is Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.
Asymmetric warfare is defined as “Warfare between forces unequal in size, composition, or means; specifically, warfare in which a smaller or ostensibly inferior force uses unexpected, unconventional tactics to its advantage in combating a larger or apparently superior adversary.”
Asymmetric Marketing consists of: principles, systems, processes, and a set of tools. The application of Asymmetric Marketing will assist organizations in effective competition against larger, better capitalized, or more firmly entrenched adversaries.
Think of David vs. Goliath. In the biblical version of the story, Goliath was a 6-foot-9 Philistine warrior (absolutely colossal for the time) with shining armor and a variety of sophisticated weapons. None of the Israelites wanted anything to do with a fight with him. So, as the story goes, David hears of King Saul’s offer of a reward to anyone who defeats Goliath in battle. So the skinny shepherd boy takes on the warrior with a stone and a sling. David strikes him dead with a single shot – the ultimate example of asymmetric warfare.
Principles of Asymmetric Marketing (and military strategy):
- Economy of Force
- Unity of Command
How will Asymmetric Marketing help you?
- We will work with your team to create a new paradigm for how you look at the marketplace and your competition.
- We will gain deep insight into your key competitors.
- We will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your business and that of your competition.
- We will work with you to select a set of strategic objectives.
- We will select the best tactics, assets, systems, processes, and tools to achieve the objectives.
- We will work with you to select a set of metrics that will allow us to measure progress.
- We will help you implement your new Asymmetric Marketing Plan.
There are many parallels between the concepts of Guerrilla Marketing, as presented by Lay Conrad Levinson in his seminal book of the same name. But, Guerrilla Marketing is too narrow in scope and it is overly focused on finding cheap solutions to marketing challenges. Asymmetric Marketing looks at the leverage that is possible through the use of highly effective tools that are applied properly.