Defensive Vs Aggressive Marketing: Which One is Better?!

Defensive vs aggressive marketing
Invincibility lies in the defense; the possibility of victory in the attackSun Tzu

The problem with quotes is they make sense to every mind, in every situation and perhaps that’s what makes them “Quotes”. That is indeed true that invincibility lies in the defense but have you ever wondered for whom exactly?!

Similarly the latter part of the quote, but again one has to ask for whom…! Well I believe the later part of the quote is true for new businesses, firms etc. I believe aggressive marketing is what new businesses/firms should focus on, I mean what would you defend or protect being a new business anyway ?!! I mean in order to defend something you need to have "something" to defend it, right?!!

My logic is simple, defense is to protect where you lead as a business. For instance go for defensive marketing strategy when you

  •  Lead in market share or customer base

  • Lead in profitability

  • Lead in product/service positioning

  • Lead in Brand or product/service awareness

  • Lead in product/service or group of products/services

  • Don’t want to be big, grow big (though yet you have to be aggressive in defense)

Just think about it, defending when you have nothing, the very act of starting new business/firm is an act of aggression (from your competitors point of view) so how can you then go for defensive stance ?!

Also I would like to mention that according to a conservative estimate over one million business starts in the United States each year (1) (2) that exclude online/internet businesses and you are thinking about defensive marketing strategy being a new business ???!! You have to be aggressive, bold & creative to make it to the top, to survive, to grow.

Okay How?

There are various ways to devise an aggressive marketing strategy but let me give you some clues.

  • Re-bundling your products/service attractively, for instance making super products.

  • Being small means taking one offensive at a time not an all out war against your competitors but against a specific product/service or group of products/services, competitive advantage, market segment. 
         Think strategically, hit your competitors Achilles heel constantly and
         at the same time improve where you are doing great. Take the approach
         of Analyzer Aggressive Strategy that is an in between approach between
         being Aggressive & Defender.
         Read "Small Business Competitive Strategy Focus" for more.

·        Be creative, don’t just advertise, promote for the sake of it. But always try new ways, approaches, think out of the box.
Lastly think like a Marketer, think like your business is not about certain products/services but about marketing certain product/services successfully as it is said, marketing future is not function of business but is the function of business. (3)

End quote “Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some moreGeorge S. Patton. 


(1)     Heidi M. Neck, Andrew L. Zacharakis, William D. Bygrave, and Paul D. Reynolds, Global Entreprenurship Monitor: National Entrepreneurship Assessment-United States of America, 2002 Executive Report.
(2)     Small Business by the Numbers (Washington DC: Small Business Administration, 2004)
(3)     Moorman, C. and Rust, R.T. (1999), “The role of marketing”, Journal of Marketing, Vol. 63, pp. 180-97 (special Issue).

About Publisher Arshad Amin

Certified SEO Professional, Small Business, Start-up, Marketing Expert with ton's of practical, actionable ideas, insights to share, Proud Founder and Owner of and

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