In marketing and strategic management, marketing warfare strategies are a type of marketing strategy that uses military metaphor to craft a businesses strategy. See marketing warfare strategies for background and an overview. Offensive marketing warfare strategies are a type of marketing warfare strategy designed to obtain an objective, usually market share, from a target competitor. In addition to market share, an offensive strategy could be designed to obtain key customers, high margin market segments, or high loyalty market segments.
 Fundamental Principles
There are four fundamental principles involved:
1. Assess the strength of the target competitor. Consider the amount
of support that the target might muster from allies. Choose only one
target at a time.
2. Find a weakness in the target’s position. Attack at this point.
Consider how long it will take for the target to realign their resources
so as to reinforce this weak spot.
3. Launch the attack on as narrow a front as possible. Whereas a
defender must defend all their borders, an attacker has the advantage of
being able to concentrate their forces at one place.
4. Launch the attack quickly. The element of surprise is worth more than a thousand tanks.
 Types of offensive strategies
The main types of offensive marketing warfare strategies are:
* Frontal Attack - This is a direct head-on assault. It usually
involves marshaling all your resources including a substantial financial
commitment. All parts of your company must be geared up for the assault
from marketing to production. It usually involves intensive advertising
assaults and often entails developing a new product that is able to
attack the target competitors’ line where it is strong. It often
involves an attempt to “liberate” a sizable portion of the target’s
customer base. In actuality, frontal attacks are rare. There are two
reasons for this. Firstly, they are expensive. Many valuable resources
will be used and lost in the assault. Secondly, frontal attacks are
often unsuccessful. If defenders are able to re-deploy their resources
in time, the attacker’s strategic advantage is lost. You will be
confronting strength rather than weakness. Also, there are many examples
(in both business and warfare) of a dedicated defender being able to
hold-off a larger attacker. The strategy is suitable when
o the market is relatively homogeneous
o brand equity is low
o customer loyalty is low
o products are poorly differentiated
o the target competitor has relatively limited resources
o the attacker has relatively strong resources
* Envelopment Strategy (also called encirclement strategy) - This is
a much broader but subtle offensive strategy. It involves encircling
the target competitor. This can be done in two ways. You could introduce
a range of products that are similar to the target product. Each
product will liberate some market share from the target competitor’s
product, leaving it weakened, demoralized, and in a state of siege. If
it is done stealthily, a full scale confrontation can be avoided.
Alternatively, the encirclement can be based on market niches rather
than products. The attacker expands the market niches that surround and
encroach on the target competitor’s market. This encroachment liberates
market share from the target. The envelopment strategy is suitable when:
o the market is loosely segmented
o some segments are relatively free of well endowed competitors
o the attacker has strong product development resources
o the attacker has enough resources to operate in multiple segments simultaneously
o the attacker has a decentralized organizational structure
* Leapfrog strategy -This strategy involves bypassing the enemy’s
forces altogether. In the business arena, this involves either
developing new technologies, or creating new business models. This is a
revolutionary strategy that re-writes the rules of the game. The
introduction of compact disc technology bypassed the established
magnetic tape based defenders. The attackers won the war without a
single costly battle. This strategy is very effective when it can be
* Flanking attack - This strategy is designed to pressure the flank
of the enemy line so the flank turns inward. You make gains while the
enemy line is in chaos. In doing so, you avoid a head-on confrontation
with the main force.