Marketing is a Warfare – The Times are Hard

marketing is a warfare

The present economic quagmire in the country is really keeping marketing professionals on their toes. The difficulty is in the menace and tragedy that has befallen our economy lately ranging from, lower oil price, severe dollar shortage, inflation at 18 percent and the rise in unemployment rate from 12.1 percent to 13.3 percent. The combined factors have affected consumer behavior, resulting in weakening purchasing power and critical purchasing decisions.

Amidst all these challenges and low purchasing volume, marketers who already face cuts in marketing budget still desire to scale up sales to keep business concerns going. This has therefore led to different marketing strategies making marketing a warfare among competitors.

“Marketing warfare is a mental exercise with the battleground being the human mind; and the artillery is nothing but words, pictures, sounds” (Marketing Warfare – Al Ries & Jack Trout). To win the battle of the mind of your prospects or audience, you need to take the position of the leader, but in scenarios where there is a clear industry leader, you need to take away the position of the leader and substitute it with your own.

A case study here is “Morning Fresh & Fairy” they are both liquid dishwasher, Fairy came much later into the market already dominated by Morning fresh, they understood who the market leader is and what they try to do is substitute  Morning Fresh with Fairy, we can clearly see that in their advert below.

Marketing warfare strategies are a type of strategies, used in business and marketing, that try to draw parallels between business and warfare, and then apply the principles of military strategy to business situations, with competing firms considered as analogous to sides in a military conflict, and market share considered as analogous to the territory which is being fought over. It is argued that, in mature, low-growth markets, and when real GDP growth is negative or low, the business operates as a zero-sum game. One person’s gain is possible only at another person’s expense. Success depends on battling competitors for market share –  Wikipedia

It is essential that brand increases market share and depletes the share of competition during poor economic conditions like this. A standard goal of any brand is to grow market share. It is not strange that during times like this we see companies advertise more than they would literally do, this is in a bid to gain more market share.

I remembered at my previous working place, our Boss was complaining about spending hugely on traditional media with little or no return on investment, during a strategy session it was agreed that money spent on traditional marketing should be invested in online marketing for good ROI and measurement, I was surprised recently this month to see that same company advertise heavily on traditional media, not so surprise though, times are hard and companies need to remain relevant and gain more top of the mind awareness (TOMA).

As a brand, for you to engage in this warfare you need to be everywhere, your traditional and online media has to be integrated and very effective, depending on where your target audience are, you need to understand what medium is best in reaching them that is only when you can be guaranteed great impression share.

I have discovered that in times like this brand or brand names might not really matter to consumers, what people are looking for this period is best price and efficient service delivery, for some industry brand might still play a significant impact in influencing buying decision but not without the consideration of affordability, price has enormous impact on the patronage irrespective of how loud you are in terms of your advertisement.

My focal point of discussion here is that brands need to understand their position and adopt appropriate strategies that fit their market. There may not be a good or bad strategy, what is important is to know what strategy is right for your brand. And in knowing what is right for you, you need to test, test and test until you finally find out what works.

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