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A Battleship Analogy of Reactive Vs Proactive Marketing

Amber Snow

General Manager

15th March, 2019

3 min. read

Strategic marketing is like a big game of battleships, the difference being is that the vessels in the game are your profits, your customers, your people and ultimately your business whilst the board is your market. How you prepare for the game will dramatically change your odds of winning whilst minimising damage to your vessels.

Warning: This example contains realistic reasons of why you should be strategically marketing.
Now, let’s play a game:

The market has forced you into a game of battleships against your opposition; one who has similar products, people and customers. You both face the same risks the same opportunities and you both have access to the same resources… but what if ahead of time you knew that the market was going to bring you into battle?

As business owner you have two methods of competing:

  1. Proactively positioning your ships and tactics to survive OR
  2. Reacting to your oppositions hit
Tactic 1. Proactive.

Let’s say you knew ahead of time that this battle was going to take place (and trust us, it always takes place). You’ve taken the time to study the game, study your opponent and research tactics that protect your battleships. Your proactive efforts have enabled you to increase your chances of winning by targeting higher probability locations and deploying checker-boarding tactics.

You know that you’re going to take hits, but you’re strategically prepared for this and you’re not panicked by the opposition.

Advancing on opportunities with certainty whilst mitigating your threats you eventually claim more and more market share from your opponent and your vessels maintain their strength.

Tactic 2. Reactive

Now imagine you knew that the battle could happen, but you were too busy fixing leaks in your ships to worry about the attack. What if 5 minutes out of battle you found out you’re going to war and winner takes all. Panic sets in, you quickly google how to play battleships.

But it’s too late, you’re in a leaky ship that’s just taken a hit… now it’s starting to sink… in reacting all you can think about is that the leak in the ship is now a hole in the ship and you need to fix it. Meanwhile your opposition is lining up the next hit… one that plans to sink the ship… what do you do next?

You react, you continue to react until your ship sinks… or by chance it floats for a little longer than expected.

You’re the captain.

A distracted captain fixing leaking holes will never win a game of battleships… one that proactively prepares it’s business for battle increases the odds of survival and opens the ability to see further into the future.

Now it’s important to remember there’s no guarantee who will win – at the end of the day the game is still based on odds; however proactively planning will increase your odds as long as you proactively researched ahead of time, and don’t reactively google how to win 5 minutes before battle.

We play to win.

If you’re not sure how to play battleships without sinking, or you’ve got a few leaky holes that need strategic attention chat to the strategic team at Pixel Palace.

We make playing the game fun and exciting and we play to win! Get in touch if you want to join the game.