The Power of All
Combined arms is a methodology used within the military to integrate different, multiple units/operations to synergistically work together to create a greater force to overwhelm an opponent. This same strategy can be very effective within a sales and marketing organization. The ability to link, leverage, and compliment multiple groups can have a positive effect on campaigns.
In previous posts the idea of an integrated launch process was discussed to ensure all groups were on the same page and moving in the same direction for new product launches. The use of combined arms is a logical extension of this integrated launch process. The ability to have multiple departments working together to increase the overall effectiveness of a campaign can increase overall strength. This can be extremely beneficial for smaller organizations competing against larger, more resource-heavy firms.
For example, your organization has developed a new product that has several key feature advantages over the market leader. You cannot compete head-on since the leader has more marketing resources and optimal retail floor space. What you can do is focus on smaller markets where the leader might not be as focused as on larger markets. Using the combined efforts of the sales, marketing, technical, and finance teams, you can attack the smaller markets focusing on:
Retail stores – provide higher margins, extensive product training, top sales sweepstakes, etc.
Consumers – mailer promotions, social media, strong financing programs, public relations, etc.
Using multiple programs within the campaign to “pulse” back-and-forth between the retail store employees and consumers will ensure the optimal use of resources for a sustained campaign, and overall focus on a single market. As sales strengthen in the targeted market(s), the lessons learned can then be adapted to the next market.
Utilizing the combined efforts of multiple internal teams can ensure a single, focused effort from all departments working together to create a much stronger force. In addition, the ability to pulse back-and-forth between promotions and tactics develops the appearance of a much larger effort and the ability to offset the market leader’s strength. The ability to work together and move as a singular effort can provide multiple benefits for employee and team morale and market perception. In addition, the focused effort on retail partners can gain valuable commitments and trust over a larger, possibly more disconnected opponent.