An aggressive marketing plan based on principles or metaphors taken from military strategy. The 1980s saw a vogue for such analogies, in which lessons were drawn from the thinking of Napoleon, Clausewitz, Sun Tzu, and others. Marketing strategies were identified as either defensive or offensive; direct confrontation could be avoided through flanking movements (e.g. concentrating on an overlooked market segment) or a ‘guerrilla’-style campaign. The assumption behind all such strategies is that business is a zero-sum game, in which success depends on overpowering or outwitting the ‘enemy’. Contemporary theorists tend to be more cautious, arguing that a competitor-oriented (as opposed to customer-oriented) approach of this kind is suitable only to established markets with little scope for growth.
Subjects: Business and Management.