In modern marketing, there are several types of marketing strategies, depending on what a business wishes to achieve or maintain. Each of these strategies has distinctive benefits.
These strategies require meticulous planning and resource allotment so they could have a wider consumer reach. An offensive strategy is an example of a modern marketing strategy. Offensive marketing is when a business develops a means to hit a market strong and launch a robust market presence. When a company launches an offensive marketing strategy, it targets competitor’s weaknesses at the same time emphasizes its strengths in comparison (Davidson 7-10). Offensive strategies are used by companies to get a market niche by gaining market share, as a way to compete against business adversaries, and as a way to turn a company into a business leader.
The point of an offensive strategy is to introduce a company’s product to the consumers in a way that makes consumers doubt the current leading product in the market. It is why this kind of marketing approach should be laser-focused as well as not too broad to avoid the risk of the consumers losing focus in the message (Karakaya and Yannopoulos 2011).
Below is a list of several offensive marketing techniques that a company can employ to lead it to success and growth.
- A frontal attack is where the company directly fights its competitors by launching its product under the same product category, quality, and pricing as its competitors. Customers, in this case, respond to the product depending on how aggressively it is marketed (Yannopoulos 2011).
- In a flanking attack, a company focuses on the competitor’s weakness. In this case, the competitors marketing strategy is analyzed in detail, and from its weaknesses emerges the competing company’s strengths (Yannopoulos 2011).
- Guerrilla attacks target competitors with fewer resources. Mainly focused on struggling competitors, a company with more resources can use guerrilla marketing to weaken a competitor until the rival moves on to other markets (Yannopoulos 2011).
- Strategic encirclement works by limiting a competitor’s room to grow. It works when a company creates conditions that force the rival to either sell or shut down.
- The predatory strategy works by eliminating rivals. For example, a larger company can lower their product prices so much so, that their smaller competitor’s higher-priced products cause the rivals to scale back or eventually move into a new market. (Yannopoulos 2011).
- A company can move into undefended areas where they have never previously marketed their products and proceed to employ defensive strategies to defend their new market niche against competitors who may arise (Yannopoulos 2011).
- Underdog or judo strategies work to the advantage of rival companies in situations where larger companies have monopolized the market. The rival company studies areas larger companies have been ignoring, for example, customer support. The rival company proceeds to create a product that will offer significantly better services at better speeds and prices. An example of such a company is Uber (Yannopoulos, 2011).
Competitiveness in business should always receive first priority. For that reason, it is vital to warily develop and implement certain strategies that will aid a business in achieving the set objectives. Businesses need to determine what kind of tactics will propel their position in the industry, depending on their performance. If a business feels its product is not in competition within the market, it can employ the use of defensive strategies to maintain its position.
If instead, it feels there has been a crop up of similar products on the market, it can employ the use of offensive strategies to raise and maintain its position as well as eliminate the competition. Baisya states that some of the world’s very well known companies have used offensive strategy to market their products (58). These companies include Pepsi, Honda, and Xerox. Harley Davidson is another example of a company that completely revived due to aggressive offensive marketing strategies (Davidson 2011).
Uber is an example of a modern company that implemented the use of offensive strategy techniques to grow to its current size. Started in 2009 in a single location, Uber has grown and spread its services to several countries to date. Uber started out as a small enterprise. Strategies such as frontal attack, flanking attack, strategic encirclement and underdog strategy worked to its advantage and helped it achieve massive and quick growth in the taxi market (Downes 2013).
Uber saw a weakness in the taxi industry in the sense that in this technological age, technology was not being used by the industry to widen the market profit. They took advantage of the niche, and it led to their immense success.
The use of defensive and offensive strategies in business should by no means be underestimated. Businesses should in no way be inhibited from using these strategies due to their ethical standpoint because at the day’s end, being aggressive at marketing is part of what leads to a higher profit margin. Although it is easier to defend a business and it costs less, a business should not underestimate the advantages of offensive strategies especially considering how dynamic a market can be. In the end, the ability of businesses to take risks determines its lifespan in an industry.
Baisya, Raja. Winning Strategies for Business. New Delhi, India: Response, 2010. Print.
Davidson, Hugh. Even More Offensive Marketing. St. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2000. Print.
Davidson, Hugh. Offensive Marketing. New York, NY: Routledge, 2011. Print.
Downes, Larry. “Lessons From Uber: Why Innovation and Regulation Don’t Mix.” Forbes. 2013. Web.
Karakaya, Fahri and Peter Yannopoulos. “Impact of Market Entrant Characteristics on Incumbent Reaction to Market Entry.” Journal of Strategic Marketing 2. 19 (2011): 171-185.
Yannopoulos, Peter. “Defensive and Offensive Strategies for Market Success.” International Journal of Business and Social Science 2.13 (2011): 5-10.