Becoming Competitor-Oriented

Jun 2nd, 2003 by Tony in Marketing Warfare

Marketing people traditionally have been customer oriented. Over and over again they have warned management to be customer rather than production oriented. Ever since World War II, King Customer has reigned supreme in the world of marketing.

But today every company is customer oriented. Knowing what the customer wants isn’t too helpful if a dozen other companies are already serving the same customer’s wants.

To be successful today, a company must become competitor oriented. It must look for weak points in the positions of its competitors and then launch marketing attacks against these weak points.

In the marketing plan of the future, many more pages will be dedicated to the competition. This plan will carefully dissect each participant in the marketplace. It will develop a list of competitive weaknesses and strengths as well as a plan of action to either exploit or defend against them.

There might even one come a day when this plan will contain a dossier on each of the competitor’s key marketing people which will include their favourite tactics and style of operation (not unlike the documents the Germans kept on Allied commanders in World War II).

— Al Ries and Jack Trout, Marketing Warfare, Introduction

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