Marketing Like a Jihadist

I was listening a report by Christoph Reuter in Der Spiegel. In the report he mentioned that in the backpack of Haji Bakr, killed last year in Syria, the blueprints for how to strategically convert a town or village to mostly Islamic State control prior to sending in ground troops.

From a marketing perspective convincing people to do the right thing, when that right thing is doing what you want them to do, is sometimes hit and miss.

Now that you've gotten past the shock and awe title, what can we learn from the Islamic State’s strategic plans?

What was outlined in the report by Mr. Reuter was that once the highest people in the local villages were turned (from their own intentions or coercion), the IS revealed themselves to the top level letting them know they were surrounded.

Selling into a “Me Too!” market

In a “me too” market, all the players are constantly looking at each other to see what everyone else is using. As a new player in the market, which Message Blocks is, we cannot simply take down all the top players in the event planning market, we need to take a page from the guerrilla tactics playbook and start converting from the bottom and move up. Concomitantly, with each win, we’d look up to the next level and let them know they are surrounded, and turn them.

Eventually we’ll reach the top and all those elephants whom we couldn’t close earlier, will fall into line.

Selling into an “Exclusion” Market

Exclusion markets are those where when one competitor picks a product, no one else in the market will choose it. There are a variety of reasons for choosing this tactic, however we can use that knowledge to circle those companies and make them make the obvious choice.

For these types of markets, every time someone in the market buys something that is not yours, make them aware of it. Even if they don’t buy from your direct competitor, let them know anyway, cut off their choices in every direction.

You might even choose to not make it obvious who is letting them know. Subterfuge can be your friend; have non-industry friends tweet the deal, have those friend send some emails, heck even send snail mail with the information to the relevant players. Eventually the top players will only have one choice, yours.

...and when they come calling don’t tell them you are working with their competitors ;)

This article has been reposted in it's entirety with permission from it's author.

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