A smart defensive marketing strategy can stave off rivals or even eliminate them. Four tactics to consider:
Leverage your strengths
Pinpoint your company's relative strengths--a hometown advantage, say--and use them to get a leg up on rivals.
Keep rivals guessing
A moving target is harder to attack, so innovate constantly. Then, throw up barriers to entry by obtaining patents and trademarks.
Know when to retreat
Some customers may not be worth defending. If an unprofitable market segment is under attack, consider focusing marketing resources elsewhere.
Make customer satisfaction a priority
Happy customers, of course, are less likely to jump ship. Solicit and analyze customer feedback regularly, and make any necessary changes.