THEORY - Attacking a Business
01.08.00 Marketers misunderstand attack.

Most advertising agencies and marketers profoundly underestimate the concept of attack, both from the standpoint of how to attack and how to respond to an attack. In Competitive Advantage(5), Michael Porter dedicated a chapter to attacking an industry leader. In this chapter, he outlines the conditions for attacking a leader along with avenues for attacking leaders. Channeling classic maneuver theory Porter states that the:

“cardinal rule in offensive strategy is not to attack head-on with an imitative strategy”.

The primary reason why so many agencies and marketers underestimate the concept of attack is their continued emphasis on creativity over strategy and intelligence. Both agencies and marketers continue to value and promote the wrong competencies as evidenced by their focus on awards rather than effectiveness.

Philip Kotler the godfather of contemporary marketing was quoted in the UK publication Marketing Week(6):

“Many marketing professionals are clueless about how effective their strategies are.”

The Art of Attack addresses this ineffectiveness and is targeted at those marketing managers interested in developing proactive, assertive campaigning competencies.

(5) Porter, Michael E. Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance. 1985.
(6) Marketing Week. September 25, 2003

Cardinal rule in
offensive strategy is
not to attack
head-on with an
imitative strategy.