Join vSente's Campaigner list and get a free download of vSente's Campaign Planner.

This is the generic version of the planner we use for our workshops and campaigns. The planner is in Excel format and includes the campaign worksheet and one-page plan of campaign. Enter your name and email address to join and receive your planner.
If you're responsible for sales or marketing in a small or medium-sized enterprise, then I'd like to invite you to join vSente's Campaigner list. This list is composed of marketers interested in learning more about accountable and effective marketing campaigning techniques.

Weekly we send via plain text email a short description of a competitive marketing tool or technique along with a link to a resource you can download and use. These resources come from vSente's Armory and consist of wizards, manuals, white papers, planners all focused on helping marketing managers battle larger competitors.

The content and resources are free to members of the campaigner list. But should you find yourself engaged in a tough battle for market share against a larger competitor then you will likely gain value from paying for a monthly subscription to vSente's Armory, booking our two-day workshop or engaging us to help with your campaign.

This community is not for all marketers. If you're looking for basic marketing techniques, like trade show tips, writing press releases, designing a flyer, optimizing landing pages, etc. this is not the list for you. On the other hand if you're interested in exploring the underlying dynamics of competitive advantage, then the topics discussed on this list will be of help.

Submit your name and email address above and the link for the planner will be sent immediately to the email address you used to sign up. Then look for a plain text email from vSente weekly.


This is the case study for one of the first campaigns we did applying maneuver theory to marketing campaigning. The results were quite interesting. Click here to download. It is a large file (7MB) so please be patient.

Engage vSente to increase your share of market. We wage and win battles for market share. A vSente campaign is ideally suited for the small or medium-sized privately-held enterprise intent on increasing their share of market (quite often against larger better provisioned competitors).

vSente has created a significant body of work and experience relative to competitive marketing and specifically the art of attack and how the smaller enterprise can attack and dislodge the large competitor (see sidebar resources). We have innovated a proprietary campaign methodology based upon maneuver theory that articulates how a competitor can shape a conflict - whether it is the battlefield or the marketplace - to his advantage, and to the disadvantage of his opponent. Applying maneuver theory to contemporary advertising, marketing and branding initiatives can generate remarkable results.

Any enterprise considering engaging a traditional advertising agency to increase revenues is a potential candidate for a vSente campaign. Further, any enterprise considering adopting a branding, open source marketing, word of mouth marketing, customer delight, or other "new" marketing initiative to increase revenues should consider a vSente campaign. Small and medium-size privately-held enterprises competing against a larger publicly-traded competitor are the best candidates for a vSente campaign. Enterprises with the following attributes are excellent candidates:

1. Entrepreneurial CEO - preferably the founder.
2. Mid-market or smaller enterprises.
3. Privately-held capital structure.
4. Business to business markets.
5. Competing against large publicly-traded industry leader.
6. Desire to gain significant market share.

Additionally the large publicly-traded enterprise looking to defend and counter attack the smaller privately-held challenger may also be a potential prospect for a vSente campaign. Not all situations are responsive to a vSente campaign. Enterprise culture and competitive positioning have a significant influence on the potential success of a campaign. Because a large portion of our fees are driven by the success of the campaign we are careful about the situations we take on.


A vSente campaign is a turnkey effort and orchestrates the total marketing mix including all aspects of traditional advertising and public relations programs. A typical campaign delivers strategy, positioning, concepting, production and campaign execution. We do not participate in agency reviews and we never do speculative work. Campaign deployments last 6 - 18 months. A significant portion of vSente’s compensation is in the form of a contingency fee determined by the success of the campaign. vSente is a virtual organization with more than 30 associates worldwide. We form a campaign team based upon the industry and the specific requirements of the campaign. Analysts, strategists, producers, writers, directors are selected from a worldwide pool of talent most of whom are veterans of at least one vSente campaign. All campaigns are led by Mike Smock. We never have more than three campaigns in play at one time.

The first step towards engaging a campaign is a phone call to discuss your current situation (call Mike Smock at 415.457.8449). During this exploratory call we'll determine if your current situation is a candidate for a vSente campaign. After the phone call the next step is for us to do a one-hour briefing via teleconference with you and your key managers. During the briefing we walk through the basic concepts of maneuver theory and the campaign process. After the teleconference, assuming both parties want to continue we then do some basic backgrounding in order to prepare a campaign proposal. The last step is to negotiate and finalize a campaign agreement.

Since we quite often deal with urgent situations this process can be completed in as little as two weeks. We work quickly and efficiently. To the right is the campaign deal sheet, for Moss software, scrawled on a cocktail napkin over lunch. Moss was later purchased by E.piphany for $40 million. Generally most agreements take 30 days to finalize and are written on real paper.

Confidentiality in the execution of a campaign is critical. We never announce new clients and rarely do we publicize the results of a campaign. The reason for this is to maintain the advantage of surprise and to not tip client competitors to successful approaches. While at some point during the execution of a campaign some competitors may discover the involvement of vSente, the longer we can prolong this the better. Also, there are situations where we engage incognito in order to assure confidentiality or in situations where we may be brought in by an agency to augment their staff or competency set.

The pricing of VSENTE fees for a campaign is based upon the product of the number of hours required to plan, produce and execute a campaign, and the average cost per hour of the competencies necessary to execute the campaign. This value is then discounted (25 - 50%) based upon potential contingency payments driven by the success of the campaign. The larger the potential contingency in concert with the amount of control we have over the campaign execution determines the size of the fee discount. Budgets for a vSente campaign typically begin around $100,000 for a six month engagement. The budget for the Moss campaign was approximately $1.8 million over 12 months and the SyQuest campaign cost $17 million over a six month period. It is impossible to project a budget with any accuracy without first completing the plan.