Today, warfare is an effort in counterinsurgency. Combatants may be hard to identify until it's too late, the most deadly weapons are improvised, and tactics shift constantly.
Perhaps it's time to update the CMO reading list with "Counterinsurgency," a military field manual released by the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps. "Counterinsurgency" is filled with thoughtful observations and practical advice that apply to today's marketing conflicts. Here are three to whet your appetite:
Don't rely on conventional weapons to fight insurgents.
"Capabilities required for conventional success . . . may be of limited utility or even counterproductive in [counterinsurgency] operations."
After two restaurant employees posted a damaging video online in April 2009, Domino's could have tried to shut down all employees' use of social media. Instead, during its busiest sales season in December 2009, it launched a reformulated pizza recipe and marketing campaign -- fueled primarily by social media, including feeds sharing what consumers thought of the new pizza. A video documentary, "The Pizza Turnaround," starring Domino's employees, was featured prominently on its website and in aggressive media outreach efforts. By mid-2011, the campaign proved to yield sales increases for Domino's that significantly exceeded those of its major competitors. Because Domino's countered a social-media gaffe with an organizational strategic change, it fought insurgency to the benefit of its customers and its bottom line.