vSente is a marketing consultancy. We help challenger enterprises wage and win battles for market shares.

Disciplines - Advertising | Marketing | Sales
Competency - Challenge | Defend
Deliverable - Profitable Market Share
Audience - CEO's | Marketing | Sales
Scale - Small | Medium-sized Enterprise
Services - Campaigns | Workshops
Location - San Francisco | London


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.

Applying John Boyd's Interaction and Isolation Forces To Marketing Campaigning

A competitive marketing campaigner will shape the terrain to his advantage and the disadvantage of his competition. There are two primary shaping forces described by John Boyd - interaction and isolation. The skilled marketer orchestrates these forces in order to generate competitive advantage.


Interaction within the business environment are tactics we willingly, offensively or pro actively execute designed to open up opportunities of our choosing consistent with our core competencies and supportive of the campaign mission and strategy. The higher the degree of interaction we have the greater we control our own destiny - or the less control our adversaries are able to exert over our destiny.


a. Robust intelligence competencies.
b. Disciplined multiple channels of communication.
c. Strong visualization and calibration disciplines.
d. Fluid organizational formations.
e. Rapid development cycles.
f. Rapid execution teams.


a. Pricing Power
b. Employee Loyalty
c. Product Differentiation
e. Market Leader
f. Customer Satisfaction
g. Proactive


Isolation within the business environment are tactics we undertake in order to pro actively deny our competitive adversaries access to our customers, markets, products, technologies, employees, practices, partnerships and other proprietary or critical business functions. Additionally, isolation means undertaking activities designed to shape and influence the perception of our adversaries within all relevant constituencies and frames of reference.


a. Operating at a faster O-O-D-A cycle.
b. Attacking competitor Center of Gravity.
c. Shaping customer, industry perceptions.
d. Recruiting key employees/managers.
e. Comprehensive competitive monitoring.
f. Utilization of exclusive relationships.
g. Utilization of proprietary defensive mechanisms.
h. Control of industry influencers.
i. Pricing, feature, service raids.


a. Commodity positioning.
b. High employee turnover.
c. Executive defections.
d. Reactive internally focused.
e. Declining margins

An effective marketing campaign must have a robust isolation component in order to increase the chances for success. Interaction without isolation is like cheng without ch’i. The smart marketer works with a palette of interaction and isolation tactics designed to maximize competitive advantage. See this case study for more details.

Enterprises have varying appetites for engaging in isolation tactics. For some there is a reluctance to talk about the competition or to aggressively engage the competition with negative tactics. There is continuum of isolation tactics from simple comparisons and legitimate debates to outright smear campaigns and dirty tricks. I do not endorse illegal activities or dirty tricks. I do endorse aggressive pursuits especially when an enterprise is confronted with bankruptcy or extinction.

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