Why Lanchester Strategy for Sales and Marketing…?

Very simple, take a look at the index of your marketing text books, any mention of Lanchester Strategy?

So what do the experts say…

Dr. P Kotler in Marketing  Management (ISBN 0-13-557927-9),  “there is an urgent need for new  and improved theory of market  share.”

Dr. M Porter in Volume 1 of  Competitive Strategy (ISBN 0-02- 925360-8), “there is no single  relationship between profitability  and market share.”

Consultant G. More  in Crossing the  Chasm (ISBN 0-88730-717-5), “Our  current model of the high-tech  markets is not quite right; it drifts  off course in puzzling ways.”

How about looking inside a few books on doing business with the Japanese:

Clyde Prestowitz, in his book Trading Places: How we are giving our future to Japan and how to reclaim it didn’t discover it.

Applied Materials CEO James Morgan and his son Jeffrey Morgan (who also worked for a Japanese company) writing in their best seller Cracking the Japanese Market also were unable to discover Lanchester Strategy.

Finally some good news, Dr Nigel Campbell of the Manchester School of Business explains all in his 1986
article published in the Financial Times, read it here……enjoy.

So, the final question is why nobody found out that the Japanese have adapted Lanchester’s equations of warfare, published in 1916 to the case of sales and marketing.

There are 2 reasons:

Firstly, The Lanchester Strategy for sales and marketing is a Paradigm Shift for the marketing community. And like any Paradigm Shift the new knowledge goes against the conventional wisdom and is ignored.

Secondly, the Japanese are very polite and very perceptive. So a diligent researcher will read up on the existing literature prior to visiting Japan. From his questions, the Japanese can understand what he is looking for and just reflect back what he wants to hear.

Perhaps the answer lies in the observation by Ruth Benedict, who, writing in her 1946 book The Chrysanthemum and the Sword, states: “A Japanese who writes about Japan passes over really crucial things which are as familiar to him and as invisible as the air he breathes.”

How the Lanchester Strategy for business came to Japan.

After the Second World War, Lanchester theory of warfare was introduced to Japan in 1952. In the year before, Methods of Operations Research, a compilation of the work of Operations Research (OR) in the United States and England during WWII was published by Morse and Kimball. Three copies of this book were sent to the Japan Science and Technology League by Dr. W. E. Deming, who is well known for his evangelism of quality control in postwar Japan.

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