Monday, July 23, 2007

Meet "Marketing Warfare" Strategy Authors Al Ries & Jack Trout

Dr. W. Edwards Deming, Tony Robbins and "Ries & Trout" are the three most influential consultants (the team of "Ries & Trout" counting as one) in the legislative mind of Big ZD.

Al Ries and Jack Trout were the first authors/consultants to jump off the bookshelf, when I was just getting started in radio, and they have done more to shape my strategic thinking than anything else. They are international legends in the radio industry, and industry in general -- consulting the "who's who" of Fortune 500 companies and their brands including Proctor & Gamble and just about every top of mind brand that you can think of (or their competitor).

Their other books include, "Positioning: The Battle for the Mind", "Bottom Up Marketing", "Focus", "22 Immutable Laws of Marketing", Origin of Brands among other marketing staples.

Again, if you are reading this, ZD feels you will have a major strategy and creativity breakthrough after reading this material based on their concepts.

And not to name drop, but yes...ZD has spent numerous hours over the years interview Mr. Ries and Mr. Trout, on-air and in industry trade publications, and you can rest assured, both authors are very pleased with this representation of their material, and what is about to be presented actually sent a HUGE wave throughout the radio and record industry to the point where it is now a given that these strategies are being implemented. Again, as you read this, I'm sure you will be able to apply it to your career, as well.

Ries website
Trout website

THE "22 IMMUTABLE LAWS OF MARKETING" (Based on the book of the same name):
by Al Ries & Jack Trout

1. THE LAW OF LEADERSHIP: It is better to be first than it is to be better.

2. THE LAW OF CATEGORY: If you cannot be first in a category, set up a new category you can be first in.

3. THE LAW OF THE MIND: It's better to be first in the mind than to be first in the marketplace.

4. THE LAW OF PERCEPTION: Marketing is not a battle of products, it's a battle of perceptions.

5. THE LAW OF FOCUS: The most powerful concept in marketing is owning a word in the prospect's mind.

6. THE LAW OF EXCLUSIVITEY: Two companies cannot own the same word in the prospect's mind.

7. THE LAW OF THE LADDER: The stratefy to use depends on which rung you occupy on the ladder.

8. THE LAW OF DUALITY: In the long run, every market becomes a two horse race.

9. THE LAW OF THE OPPOSITE: If you're shooting for second place, your strategy is determined by the leader.

10. THE LAW OF DIVISION: Over time, a category will divide and become two or more categories.

11. THE LAW OF PERSPECTIVE: Marketing effects take place over an extended period of time.

12. THE LAW OF LINE EXTENTION: There's an irresistible pressure to extend the equity of the brand.

13. THE LAW OF SCARIFICE: You have to give up something in order to get something.

14. THE LAW OF ATTRIBUTES: For every attribute, there is an opposite, effective attribute.

15. THE LAW OF CANDOR: When you admit a negative, the prospect will give you a positive. [This is an effective one, but council misuses it.]

16. THE LAW OF SINGULARITY: In each situation, only one move will produce substantial results.

17. THE LAW OF UNPREDICTABILITY: Unless you write your comeptitors' plans, you cannot predict the future. [See Deming on how to adapt.]

18. THE LAW OF SUCCESS: Success often leads to arrogance to failure.

19. THE LAW OF FAILURE: Failure is to be expected and accepted.

20. THE LAW OF HYPE: The situation is often the opposite of the way it appears in the press.

21. THE LAW OF ACCELERATION: Succesful programs are not built on fads, they are built on trends!

22. THE LAW OF RESOURCES: Without adequate funding and idea won't get off the ground.

ARE THESE GUYS GREAT, OR WHAT!!! And they are so bitter and cantakerous, just like ZD from being so aware of all the mistakes and we just can't believe these big corporations keep making them, and to me, these guys are a comedy duo!!!

Here are notes from Al Ries' "22 Immutable Laws of Marketing" seminar in NYC at the Doral Hotel (10/26/93):

America's largest almost always means America's first. (Advil was first in ibuprophen market.)

If you can't be first in your catagory, set up a new catagory. Ameliah Weheart was the 3rd person to fly around the world, but was the 1st female to do so. (Lindburgh was the 1st; can anyone remember the second? Probably not, and that's the point)

K-MART was only in markets with populations over 50,000. So what was Wal-Mart's strategy? Open stores in markets with under 50,000. [Was that an effective strategy? Would most people have thought to be the first one to go for the smaller market, or would most people have tried to go after K-MART's larger 50,000+ population base?]

The only thing that matters about your product is what your customers think about your product. Honda vs. Toyota: In Japan, Toyota beats Honda because in Japan if you say "Honda" people think motorcycles. [How do you think Harley-Davidson automobiles would do?]

NEW COKE: Out of a survey of 200,000 people, NEW COKE was chosen "best tasting" compared to Classic Coke and Pepsi. What happened? [People don't make decisions based on logic, they make decisions based on emotions and marketing shapes that.]

Owning a word in the prospect's mind is the number one most important thing!!! You will benefit from the "halo effect". (You will get credit for all the product's catagory benefits.)

THE LAW OF SEVEN: In any given product catagory, people seem to be able to hold seven positions in their mind. Seven toothpastes add up to 90% of the market.

MATCH THE PRODUCT TO THE ADVERTISING: The marketing strategists told Prego Sauce to, "add starch, we're going with the word 'thick'." New Jersey bank was told to, "add more tellers, you're going to be known as the 'fastest bank'."

Things don't converge, they diverge. [See "Origin of Brands" link on Ries site or call ZD.]

Line extention suffers from the hockey stick effect: Short term up, then long term down.


1) Can focus on one product, one benefit, one message.
2) Can become the expert and the best. (halo effect, too.)
3. Can become the "generic term". [Xerox it and hand me a Kleenex and don't foget to get some Ziplock bags.]

Specialists: Banana Republic, Victoria's Secret
Generalists: Macy's

Toys R Us formula:

1) Narrow the focus.
2) Buy in depth.
3) Buy cheap.
4) Dominate the catagory.
5) Own the positon.

BLOCKBUSTER VIDEO and STAPLES copied this formula and strategy.

You can't have both sides of the teeter-totter: You can't own the high quality AND low price position in the prospect's mind. They will give you one or the other. (Hello ELEGANT DENSITY!)

MARKET RESEARCH CANNOT BE USED TO PREDICT NEW OPPORTUNITIES TO CREATE A NEW CATAGORY TO BECOME FIRST (See also: Deming): Market research said there was no demand for "Thera-flu". [When AT&T did market research as to how to better improve telephone service, no one said, "I want to be able to send pages of letters over the phone. However, someone predicted the demand for a fax machine.]

FADS: Fast take off, fast decline.
TRENDS: Slow take off, accelerated growth and maturity.


Marketing Strategy: In the marketplace, the only thing that matters about your product is what people think about your product. Ultimately, the identity your customers attach to your product will determine your level of success. For any product to become a success, it must create a unique position and become a specialist. Focus on one narrow message and one benefit. Become the expert and dominate the catagory. Stay narrow in focus and broad in appeal.

Toys R Us and Blockbuster Video used this strategy to "own the position" as did Staples and a host of niche outlets that were first in the market and first in the consumer's minds.

When creating an identity, remember, people don't react to intellect, they react to emotions. McDonalds and Hallmark know this, so do Hollywood movie makers and radio/tv talk show hosts. Entertainers are among the highest paid and highest valued members of society. (However shallow, or not.) Entertainers are really good sales people. They do what any good salesperson/politician must do -- make the prospective client feel good about their product. (And again, you do this through emotion, not logic.)

Think about the reason people turn on the radio anyway. [This article was created for radio industry.] Chances are they are stuck in traffic or stuck at work. Either way, users want to change the way they are feeling (mood). That is what advertisers, salespeople and the highest paid entertainers do, and that is what all marketers/politicians/whatever occupation must do -- create a unique, instantly recognizable identity that affects the listener (voter) at an emotional level and makes them feel good.

In today's croweded marketplace it is becoming much tougher to define and maintiain your position. The key to remember is to fit the product to the position (strategy). In other words, develop a strategy and work backward to make the product/issue/politican fit the campaign.

For example, Prego's advertising agency told them, "Add starch to the recipe, we're going with the word, 'thick'." Another agency told their client (a bank) to, "add more teller windows, we're going with a five minute guarantee."

You must articulate a compelling, believable message and deliver it consistently. Nobody taps you on the shoulder and tells you when it's time to adjust (innovate). You must take it upon yourself to create new demands. You do this by educating your audience about your product and services.

Remember, the more you specialize (narrow the focus) the bigger you become. This is a tough concept for a lot of people to believe in. [Back then it was tougher, now it seems obvious...I HOPE!] You have to jump in with a leap of faith and realize time and time again this immutable concept proves to be true.

MORE RIES AND TROUT TO COME ON THIS BLOG. Check out their websites. (Al's has more content, Jack's is more of a corporate site.) UP NEXT: ZD SPEAKS WITH RIES & TROUT ABOUT (Sun Tzu-based) "Marketing Warfare".

And if you need to discuss any of this, to help apply it to your specific product market or campaign email or call (310) 928-7544.

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