This post will analyze what a Digital Go to Market strategy has in common with the D-Day of June 6, 1944, known as the D-Day. Let’s understand together where this curious association comes from.


“The Marketing War” – Ries and Trout

Many words are used in the marketing world to recall concepts related to war or a battle (e.g., the launch of a campaign/product). In particular, Ries and Trout analyzed and made explicit this association in 1986 with the publication of the book “La Guerra del Marketing”. The authors highlight how marketing strategies are very similar and aligned with the strategic principles underlying wars and military battles. In fact, they began with, “Marketing is a war where the enemy is the competitors, and the customer is the goal to be conquered”. This famous work inspired us: we then developed an original idea, which we hope will interest you and, with this, we decided to try to explain to you how a victorious Digital Go to Market strategy works—using the dramatic event of the 1944 Normandy Landing as a means of comparison.


What is the invasion of Normandy, and why is it known as D-Day?

The landing in Normandy is one of the most significant maritime invasions in history carried out by the allied forces during the Second World War to free continental Europe from Nazi control. It represents one of the most important dates in history because it led to the French territories’ liberation and the massacre of numerous soldiers to invade the Norman coasts. This event is also known as D-Day, a term commonly used in English military jargon to indicate the starting day of a particular mission. Given the grandeur of the Normandy Landing, this expression has since been often used in a specific way to identify this war mission.


Why can we compare D-Day and a Digital Go to Market?

The elements that unite D-Day and a Digital Go to Market are many. First, both have a strategic objective, accompanied by the definition of an action plan and the preliminary identification of the “weapons” to be deployed. Therefore, we can make the strategic goal of D-Day (conquest of the Norman coast) coincide with the conquest of a new customer by a company. It is then necessary to define an action plan, considering the characteristics of the context in which you will have to operate and the possible obstacles you might encounter.



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Settle on the client’s coast

We visualize the D-Day of June 6, 1994: we have a coast with physical defences, machine gun nests, points where guns were located, and an enemy line intelligence system that coordinated all the security and monitoring activities of the coast. Now imagine a seller who has to try to get to the “coast” of a potential customer company. Most of the time, in the B2B world, the seller has to stimulate the buyer to close a deal, but convincing a new potential buyer is not an easy task. The customer may have defences in place, and therefore, there are a whole series of difficulties that a seller must face and overcome in order to convince a potential buyer and win their trust and interest (for example, systems that block incoming emails, difficulties in getting in touch with the right interlocutor, etc.).


Preliminary Phase 1: Paratrooper Spies as Business Intelligence

As for the mission in Normandy, in which the landing of the allied forces on the coasts of France was preceded by a work of espionage and the landing of paratroopers to support the subsequent invasion by soldiers by sea, also in a Digital Go to Market a preliminary phase of “espionage and study of the enemy” is necessary: which can be carried out through the numerous digital tools available today. In our case, paratroopers play the role of Business Intelligence and allow us to go “behind enemy lines” through some data tracking software, market analysis tools, prospecting activities, and the collection of some economic-financial information (e.g., budget analysis). That allows you to start mapping the landing beach, that is, to get a first idea of the potential market and, therefore, of the potential customer.


Preliminary phase 2: if you do not bomb, you do not pass the defences.

The second preliminary phase of the real attack consists of a double bombardment to break down the first defences. First, a somewhat broader and less precise attack is made from the ships, aimed at hitting the entire coast a little. In terms of marketing, this means trying to work on the potential buyer’s interests, for example, through Google ADS campaigns that allow you to identify possible search keywords, interests, and potential needs of the interlocutors on which to leverage. However, this must be accompanied by a more precise bombing which in the case of D-Day took place by flying over the beach with planes to try to centre the nerve centres of the defence. In our case, instead, LinkedIn ADS comes out with targeted campaigns on contacts of interest. These activities together allow us to go slowly to prepare the ground for the landing of our soldiers (emails).


Attack phase: the landing of emails

In fact, the last phase is that of the establishment, the actual landing, which, in digital marketing, can materialize through the launch of marketing automation. Emails are therefore comparable to soldiers, the heroes of the front line of D-day, many of whom unfortunately fell even before touching the sand of Normandy. In fact, marketing automation consists of the massive sending of emails, in which only a few will be able to gain space: to be opened, read, forwarded, or clicked. The right email arrives to conquer a piece of beach, triggering interest, and so you start talking and establishing a dialogue with the potential customer. With the defences weakened, the soldier is able to advance, and he begins to gain more beach ground until once the interlocutor’s trust is obtained, the beach will be conquered, and then there will take place a landing.



Therefore, with this post, we do not intend to praise the war but rather take a cue from adverse events to draw positive elements instead. So plan your Digital Go to Market strategy and deploy the best weapons available. Before the real attack, remember that it is essential to analyze and study the enemy and prepare the ground to build trust and settle in enemy lines.


Do you also think there is a substantial similarity between the D-Day of June 6, 1944, and a Digital Go to Market? Leave us a comment using the form below!




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