Marketing is War. Part 2: Size Matters.

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Kyle Börner

Cofounder, Chief Creative Marketer and Strategist

Market Leadership.

You’re either there or you’re working hard to get there.

It was once believed that it was easier to get to the top than it was to stay there… then it was believed that it was easier to stay at the top than it was to get there.

The one truth that has resonated across time is what it takes to get to the top and stay there.

Size Matters.

But the size of what, exactly?

Some would think that I’m referring to the size of the company.  While having more employees (or soldiers in this analogy) than the competition has worked for some market leaders, it’s not a sustainable strategy for getting to and staying at the top, and it hasn’t always been a key to victory on the battlefield, either.

Mark Twain famously said, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

Those who live and personify the business—think Steve Jobs and Elon Musk—are a superior weapon for winning over customers, prospects, and employees en masse.

The Size of Apple’s and Tesla’s Force Matters.

What do I mean by Force?

Force is the level of strength, passion, stamina—you name it— possessed and exerted by a human resource to benefit the business.

While company size matters in Force (if you have more of it, you damn well better leverage it), the level of Force exerted per human resource, and the efficiency and strategy at which it’s exerted, is way more important.  This is why analytics is more important today than ever before. Bigger isn’t better if you don’t know what you’re doing with your larger resources.

Your business doesn’t merely need more Forces to be reckoned with… it needs more Force Multipliers, especially in the marketing department.

Force Multipliers are true leaders that increase the productivity, effectiveness, revenue, and other measures of a business.

George Washington and George Patton were Force Multipliers on the battlefield.

Cook and Musk are (Jobs was) Force Multipliers on the business battlefield.

Size Matters when you have more Force Multipliers per capita than the competition, and it really matters when THAT becomes strategically sustainable.

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If you cannot find many Force Multipliers after quickly assessing your team, you need to establish a strategy for developing Force Multipliers and ignite that movement so it eventually spans the whole company.

But don’t rush into it… because those who do rush it end up relying too heavily on temporary motivation and merely talking the talk…

Time to walk the walk!  This is where accountability comes into the picture because anyone who is worth their salt will welcome accountability, because they know they’ll meet, more likely exceed all expectations as a Force Multiplier.

While others believe that a superior strategy trumps superior talent, especially in the case of prioritization of what to do first, I would argue that you need to tackle both at the same time, because it’s more than likely you have been making strategies with the same core people for years.  “What do you guys think?”  “I like it.”  “Yup.”  “Sounds good.” “What did you say?” “Zzzzz.

Whether it’s an outside consultant or a newly hired Force Multiplier that assists in the strategy, you’re going to need a new lens.  In pre-strategy, you should be asking, “What exactly do these Force Multipliers need to look like based on the current observations of the competition (here I go again beating the competition-first drum).”

Key Point:  A well thought out Force Multiplier strategy supplies the people required to execute a successful marketing warfare campaign.

Hence, Force Multipliers are a key way to grow your business.

“Kyle, help me start!”

Start with an Enterprise-wide assessment, not only to discover who the realized and potential Force Multipliers are inside and outside your marketing department, but who are the human resources that you can build-up into future Force Multipliers, and who are the human resources that are resistant to being or becoming a Force Multiplier.

Please see the below chart:

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Your A’s are your Force Multipliers.  You also create an initiative to hire new A’s based on how you plan to attack the competition in the short-term (eg. social media, product innovation, etc.).  Your B’s are your potential Force Multipliers that may need a little more inspiration, training, or education.  Your C’s and D’s need to be even more thoroughly vetted because the ones who are not potential long-term Force Multipliers, along with the F’s, need to be shown the door.  I’m not trying to be mean here, but again, this is marketing warfare, and you can’t have possible spies, fraggers, deserters, or other negative-forces bringing down the organization from the inside.

Performing this task before attacking your enemy’s strengths and weaknesses will pay huge dividends.  C’s, D’s, and F’s make your team’s force less productive, less efficient, less inspiring. Cut ties now.

This is even truer when your actual size in human resources is much smaller than the competition (the vast majority of you reading this article).  Like the famous quote from the military film The Patriot, it’s all about “Aim Small, Miss Small.

Here are some ideas post Force Multiplier discovery:

Strategy One:  Deploy your Force Multipliers to where your Competition is the weakest.  If your competition is weak in Social Media, and your analysis has shown that there is an ample supply of low-hanging fruit there, you should deploy some of your Force Multipliers (especially a new hire specialist) to that marketing channel… yesterday.

Strategy Two:  Deploy your Force Multipliers to where your Competition is the strongest.  This is the most difficult strategy, especially if you’re going after the big kahuna. This is also where your analysis of the competitions’ personnel is leveraged due to the richness in their Force Multiplier profiles.  If they have 4 Force Multipliers at their strongest point of product innovation, send 8 or more. Why? If you want to make a BIG impact on their customers and prospects, knowing that it’s extremely difficult to change the mind of a loyal customer or hot lead, you can’t take it slowly, you have to BLAST your way into their mind.

Three Key Questions to Answer with a “Yes!”:


  1. Does your marketing and talent strategy highlight the assessing, recruiting, onboarding, developing, and retaining of grade A talent (Force Multipliers)?


  2. Do you actively study your competitors to understand their unique talent strategy and Force Multiplier personnel


  3. Does your marketing and talent strategy consistently attract the grade A talent (Force Multipliers) you need for growing the business?

Enjoying Part 2 of Marketing is War? Download the 40 Page eBook Today!

You'll learn about customer and competitive intelligence, strategies and tactics, and so much more.