The 10 principles of coyote marketing:


  1. Coyote marketing means growing continually by adapting and evolving with the environment, not fearing to cross barriers created by others.


  1. To understand the market clearly, you need to be out on the front line with customers and competitors. Curiosity about why consumers are behaving the way they do must be constant—there is always a reason. All the senses must be used, and everyone in the organization must use them.


  1. To adapt quickly enough, you must be small, agile and compact. You need a base of business, marketing and creative expertise, plus strategic alliances, both permanent and temporary, to fulfil specific customer needs on a project-by-project basis.


  1. For the small and resourceful, profit opportunities abound even in harsh environments. Look below the surface and focus on the profitable parts of bigger markets.


  1. Avoid one-on-one battles with significantly larger competitors. Cover your tracks and keep the details of your strategies and your customers confidential. Don’t advertise your victories. Competitive intelligence is best uncovered firsthand, and it should only be used to better understand the customer’s perceptions and alternatives. Active competitive sabotage is a waste of valuable resources.


  1. Adherence to principles 4 and 5 will result in customers speeding the process of natural selection in your favour. Your competitors will be forced to retreat, and you will slowly and profitably expand your range of work and influence.


  1. Target the best customer within a target group, not the lowest common denominator. This means taking calculated strategic and creative risks.


  1. Have a wide range of communication methods at your command, but focus on the best single medium for your specific objectives and specific target group.


  1. Always be prepared to shed the trap of any business relationship that restricts your ability to operate on your strategic, creative and ethical instincts, at whatever the short-term cost. If you suffer your losses early and quickly, you will adapt. Most importantly, you will be free.


  1. Trust your instincts.

The general business concepts above are based on the behaviour of the coyote—North America’s most successful wild animal. The coyote can teach us how to operate successfully in any business. The principles of coyote marketing may appear to be small business principles. In fact, the successful large business is one that believes smarter is better, rather than bigger is better.

Page title image credit: photo by Jen Hall