Running a business is like going to war.
Think about how many business analogies come from the military: price wars, guerrilla marketing, strategic alliances, subordinates, chain of command, and more.
I started studying military strategy for fun in college. I wish I could give you a terrific reason for that, but the truth is I wanted to play StarCraft better.
And throughout the course of my studies, I've had a strategy over the years. And it is one that I have used in business over and over the past ten years.
It's called beachhead strategy.
This is where it comes from.
France was occupied by Nazi Germany in the 1940s.
On June 6, 1944, more than 176,000 American, British and Canadian soldiers stormed the beaches of Normandy in France.
You may recognize this process as D-Day.
You have not carried out a multi-pronged attack on different areas of France. No, the Allied forces concentrated all their strength on winning a small area.
After winning the Normandy beaches, they built it as a stronghold. They defended the beaches and allowed more troops to land safely in what was once a dangerous area.
From there they slowly took over the rest of Europe.
We tend to forget that most billion (or even trillion) dollar companies started out small. We hear about all of the strategies they use today, but it is far more useful to examine how companies were founded.
Amazon.com started with a bridgehead strategy. Jeff Bezos saw the growth of the Internet in the early 90s and wanted a piece of it.
His goal was to build an online shop that could sell almost all types of products in the world. But that was not his goal at first – It was too big a goal and too unrealistic.
Instead, he rated over twenty categories to sell.
The winner? Books.
- He didn't have to invest any money in product development.
- All books are the same, so customers know what they're getting.
- He had an advantage over the bookstores in the shop. It could offer more titles than any physical location.
- The inventory was easy because there were only two major booksellers in the 1990s. He didn't have to waste time negotiating hundreds of deals.
In the beginning, Amazon only sold books in the first few years. They dominated.
In these few years, they were able to generate sales, build their brand and perfect their processes.
Books were their stronghold and they expanded into more and more categories.
If you're starting affiliate marketing or starting a new business, you don't have the experience or resources to compete against the established players.
If this is the case, you should use different bridgehead strategies. Let's talk about some ways you can use it.
The Benefits of Beachhead Strategies in Affiliate Marketing
Whenever I take part in a Brazilian Jiujitsu tournament, I will have equal rights.
I can measure myself against someone under 30 kg who is between 30 and 35 years old and who is wearing a blue belt. I won't let Hulk be smashed by a 19 year old Black Belt.
There is no amateur league when it comes to doing business or campaigning.
You compete against everyone the second you start a campaign. You are not competing against another freshman who has just signed up for STM and has a daily budget of $ 10.
No, you could bid against a team with a daily budget of over $ 10,000 and more than 5 media buyers.
There is no "safe room" where you can practice your skills.
That is why it is important that you use bridgehead strategies. This way you can maximize your resources.
How to use beachhead strategies in your marketing campaigns
Okay, enough theory. Let's give some practical examples of how you can apply these concepts to your campaigns.
1. Which countries are people not targeting?
This is one of the easiest and most reliable strategies in affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketers like to launch campaigns in English speaking Tier 1 countries like the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.
There is a lot of traffic in these countries and less work is required because they do not have to translate languages.
Your laziness is your gain.
You can use a spy tool to see which ads, perspectives and landing pages work in English-speaking countries. You can use the same creatives, translate them with One Hour Translation, and run them in countries they don't target.
At one point I had a policy where I was would not Target English speaking countries. Why step into a red ocean of rivals in the United States when there were so many blue oceans?
People have underestimated how much money you can make with locations like the Nordic countries, Turkey, South Africa and Latin America.
Don't make the mistake of believing that you could simply translate someone else's creatives and profits. It may work sometimes, but you can dominate if you try harder.
Do they have the same menu in every McDonald’s in the world? No, they don't.
They research the local cuisine and put together a menu that is suitable for the local taste.
- In India there is a McAloo Tikki with a vegetarian patty made from potatoes.
- In Japan there is a shrimp patty whipped with panko
- Americans have apple pie. There is a taro cake in China.
I call this strategy hyperlocalization.
Instead of just translating your motifs, create new marketing angles and a landing page copy that integrates the country's culture.
2. Niche in the product
Lemonade is an insurance company that was founded in 2015. It is supported by Softbank and is valued at $ 2 billion.
Imagine you want to enter the insurance industry. How can you stand up to giants like Prudential and Berkshire Hathaway?
The founders knew that if they looked after the largest segments like home and car insurance, they would bleed money.
The acquisition costs are damn high.
Instead, they used a bridgehead strategy by just focusing on Rental insurance. Insanity has a method. By focusing on rental insurance, millennials are their main demography.
Soon, their main customers get older and start to look at other insurance needs like home and life insurance. By focusing on rental insurance, Lemonade was given time to establish its brand, processes and technology.
Another example is ConvertKit. When choosing an email service provider, there are unlimited choices. They established themselves by focusing on the needs of bloggers.
Brainstorm how you can segment.
- Adult dating. I am overwhelmed by how many niches there are in this room. Instead of opting for the generic "hot mother next door", you can target different niches like hentai with a laser.
- Dog products. Most dog products have a machine gun attachment and are aimed at all dog owners. Niche it with certain breeds. There is dynamite if you target German Shepherd owners and include German Shepherd dogs in your ads.
- Nootropics. So many people are trying to do the next one Onnit. It's a great brand, but it mainly focuses on brothers. Niche down. Spiritual supplements for older women. Mental supplements for chess players. Mental supplements for entrepreneurs.
3. Niche in the target group / demography
Certain companies benefit from the "network effect". The more people use the service, the more useful it becomes.
Ironically, Facebook has started deliberately limiting the audience.
When Facebook first started, it was only available to Harvard students.
- Then Ivy Leagues
- Then university students in the USA
- Then university students outside the United States
- Then employees of companies like Apple and Microsoft
- Then finally everyone over 13 with a valid email address.
By limiting the audience, they were able to build their own “sandbox” to improve the product.
Another example is life insurance. Demographics have different weak points.
Someone who is a new parent wants life insurance to protect their children.
I don't have children yet. I took out life insurance in my 20s to ensure that my parents were cared for if I died young.
4. Do the opposite of the market leaders
Whenever a company has a strength, it also has one weakness.
Facebook's strength was how all your memories are stored. What is the opposite of it? Save nothing.
This is how Snapchat has established itself.
The other weakness of Facebook is that it has become "older" demographically. No young girl wants to visit Twerk in a place where her parents and friends will see it. So TikTok has an audience.
There is a growing tendency to use 100% organic ingredients only for skin care.
What's the opposite? Use of synthetic ingredients. Drunk Elephant is a skin care line that uses synthetic ingredients and includes them.
Their message is that they don't care whether an ingredient is organic or synthetic, they just care whether it works or not. They say that organic products have restrictions.
It can be intimidating to see an established company. but realize that their strength is also a weakness.
Don't be afraid of the competition
When someone hits you in the face, your instinct is to close your eyes and wince.
Floyd Mayweather is considered one of the best boxers in history. One of his secrets is that he trained himself NOT wince. When someone hits him, his eyes are always open.
As a result, he can block and avoid at any time, even if someone swings into him.
How many times have you thought of a business idea, but you're stopping yourself because you've found a "competitor"?
This feeling is as natural as closing your eyes when someone wants to hit you.
But I want you to re-train your attitude towards the competition.
Competition means that there is Market validation. But you cannot compete directly against them.
Instead, use the bridgehead strategy to effectively enter the market.
All other photos courtesy of Pixabay via Pexels.