Ask Mr. Marketing: Marketing as a military operation
Today’s conversation with a Navy SEAL taught me two things:
- Not all seals like fish; and
- Smart marketing’s like a military engagement.
After all, military operations start with an objective, gather a team of specialists, invest resources, push until their goal’s met, and analyze afterward to improve next time.
Which is EXACTLY how you should be structuring your marketing campaigns.
As you begin strategizing your next communications effort, envision it as if you were planning an invasion and consider the following:
- The objective: Increase sales by X percent, make new friends, etc.
- The geography: Are you talking to the next town, or the whole country?
- Resources: What money, people, and materiel are you willing to invest?
- Your allies: Do you have organizations you can persuade to work with you? Will they share the cost?
- SPIN: How do you guide public opinion?
- Alternatives: If you only achieve half your objective, are you a failure?
- Leveraging success: What’s your next step after this assignment?
Like an army, you have a country (called a brand), a flag (your logo), tribal members (co-workers) and enemies (competitors).
And as with military adventures, the keys to success are your strategy and ability to adapt as conditions change on the ground.
Naturally, you’ll have weapons which may be evenly matched with the enemy, depending both on the available budget and guided by the ambition and aggressiveness of the commander-in-chief.
Regarding soldiers, you may be able to hire mercenaries (independent contractors) – or you might prefer the loyalty provided by your own recruits.
Furthermore, while the military calls it propaganda, for you it’ll be public relations.
To be truly successful, your marketing and sales team needs to be disciplined. As the general, you’re tasked with providing marching orders, training them to know their craft, and guiding them to their objective.
Target realistic goals with adequate strategy and resources and your army will grow with new recruits. Over-reach and squander opportunities and you’ll find yourself in the midst of a mutiny, or even a possible coup.
So ignore friends drinking in the officer’s club: You’ve got a campaign to map out.
With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.
Follow Mr. Marketing on Twitter @MarketBuilding.