waterhole strategy. Create Marketing Strategy 3.0

Most of tires producers at the turn of XIX and XX century focused on creation of new products: tires, which will accomplish increase and variable customers need. André Michelin found Michelin`s guide, that is waterhole, which not only his customers need, but also all target group of people, who use products of tiers branch.

When you want to understand, what André Michelin found over the years, through Michelin`s guide, imagine waterhole which is described above.

André Michelin could go out from his desert and he found waterhole. He created new segment of market: people who travel by car on big distances. It is appropriate, pronounced group. Michelin `involved` many places to his idea, because he promoted selected car repair services, restaurants, hotels. Customers who used the guide got to these places. So in these places customers met and communicated. In this way they created community.

Most of companies reside on their deserts, on their own services www. They developed it, create new sections, categories. They write next articles about superiority of their products in comparison with competitive products. Most of companies have remained in stagnant places, in the same activities for years. The deserts are also blogs or activities of SEO and SEM. Activities are and always will be base for entrepreneur, but today they are not sufficient. Each company – though offers only websites full in `sand` - would like to gain thirsty customers. In this way the deserts of these kinds of entrepreneurs become to be higher. They need more time to leave these websites.

If you want to create waterhole, you have to forget about desert. You have to forget about competition. When you look at and observe competition, you look and observe other deserts, where there are not waterholes. To create a waterhole, it is the place in the Internet, which through offering unique value will attract, encourage, and create community of customers.

What idea can the company have to distinguish itself or its product? A price competition does not have future. A benefit competition is better, but how many benefits can conceive for one branch.

Absorption of companies’ activities on develops of desert is synonymous with acceptation fixed rules of game which exist on the market:

  • acceptation of existing ways of competing products features and benefits, without creation of value for customers
  • Acceptation of traditional way defeating rivals through gaining higher place in result of explorer. In fact, it often works in stable increase of budgets on SEM and SEO activities.
  • Rejection of advanced, modern marketing conceptions and abandonment from strategy of creation values for customers.

A problem relies on that waterholes are not on deserts. Waterholes are not in area of key competency of companies. Waterholes do not exist in the companies. Waterholes exist in customers` environment. The companies have to not only understand, but really realize strategies set on creation of value for customers. There are waterholes. There are many waterholes. It is enough if you want to note them.

Marketing divide into two main areas: B2C and B2B. In the beginning of second decade of XXI century began the sentence, that there are not market segments B2C and B2B, there are not marketing activities directed in one case to customers and in second case to companies. There is only one marketing H2H, human2human marketing. The strategy of waterhole is directed to people, so selected segment of people, who are important for company.

What is the waterhole strategy?

Clayton M. Christensen in his book `Disruptive Innovation` divided innovations into two groups:

  • Continuation innovations – innovations rely on continuation possesses technology and solutions, which can lead to develop new branches, with using available technology solutions all the time.
  • Innovations accelerate development process – destructive innovations, which replace use of appropriate and accepted solutions so far.

Most of innovations on the market have continuation character. The innovation will recognize as breakthrough, it has to be connected with creation of new definition of the market.

The strategy of waterhole is continuation of innovation according to innovation`s methodology proposed by Clayton M. Christensen. The strategy of waterhole is not connected with implementation of new technology, but only with new approach to realization of customers` need.  

The term ‘strategy of waterhole’ in new on the market. Neither in Polish, nor in English language of the internet does not exist the description of marketing strategy about this name. In your explorers I checked Polish and English literature. I checked definitions in polish, English and French Wikipedia website. Any of these sources do not show results on phrase `waterhole strategy`.

However, I am sure that under other name similar marketing conceptions exist somewhere.

If you know other description of this strategy, please write to me.


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