Enlisting Madison Avenue

Enlisting Madison Avenue: The Marketing Approach to Earning Popular Support in Theaters of Operation

Copyright Date: 2007
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 240
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  • Book Info
    Enlisting Madison Avenue
    Book Description:

    Virtually every action, message, and decision of a military force shapes the opinions of an indigenous population: strategic communication, treatment of civilians at vehicle checkpoints, and the accuracy or inaccuracy of aerial bombardment. Themes of U.S. goodwill mean little if its actions convey otherwise. Consequently, a unified message in both word and deed is fundamental to success. Business marketing practices provide a useful framework for improving U.S. military efforts to shape the attitudes and behaviors of local populations in a theater of operations as well as those of a broader, international audience. Enlisting Madison Avenue extracts lessons from these business practices and adapts them to U.S. military efforts, developing a unique approach to shaping that has the potential to improve military-civilian relations, the accuracy of media coverage of operations, communication of U.S. and coalition objectives, and the reputation of U.S. forces in theater and internationally. Foremost among these lessons are the concepts of branding, customer satisfaction, and segmentation of the target audience, all of which serve to maximize the impact and improve the outcome of U.S. shaping efforts.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4275-0
    Subjects: Political Science, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xiii-xxii)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxiii-xxiv)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxv-xxviii)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-8)

    Since the dawn of warfare, militaries have used fires, maneuver, and even information to shape adversaries’ behavior and will to fight. Consider the predicament faced by U.S. and South Korean forces in the summer of 1950. After a surprise invasion, the North Korean military overwhelmed South Korean forces to compel a precipitous retreat. U.S. and South Korean troops were quickly pushed back into the southeast of the peninsula, around the port of Pusan. Prospects for an allied breakout other than via costly frontal assaults looked dim. General Douglas MacArthur therefore conducted an invasion through the port of Inch’on, west of...

  10. CHAPTER TWO What Makes Shaping So Difficult?
    (pp. 9-56)

    Having identified in the previous chapter the broad goals that shaping campaigns need to address, the discussion now turns to the challenges of shaping. What makes shaping so difficult? The problems faced by U.S. shapers and shaping efforts are extensive. This monograph does not offer solutions to all of these problems. By outlining the extent of these challenges, we place the suggestions offered in the subsequent chapters in a broader context. This careful elucidation of shaping challenges will help others find solutions beyond those presented here. This chapter discusses the shaping difficulties that policymakers and the U.S. military encounter in...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Applying Marketing Principles to Shaping
    (pp. 57-130)

    It is an oft-cited lament that a nation with the vast skills and resources of the U.S. commercial marketing sector should not have such difficulty in effectively influencing the populations that reside in U.S. operational theaters. Despite considerable differences between military operational venues and the commercial marketplace, a common thread exists, one that allows the weaving of insights from one into new shaping approaches and opportunities in the other.

    It is true that the realm of U.S. military stability operations is worlds apart from the comparatively safe and genial environment of U.S. business promotion activities.² However, there are key similarities...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Shaping Solutions Based on Recent Operational Experiences
    (pp. 131-170)

    The commercial marketing industry cannot provide all the relevant lessons for today’s complex operational environment. Many facets of U.S. operations fall outside those anticipated or experienced by the U.S. business community. Managing use of force, exigencies of troop rotations, and shaping in preparation for future conflicts are but a few examples. In addition, there are unique requirements for specific entitties involved in U.S. shaping operations, such as maneuver units, CA, IO, and PA. This chapter addresses those topical areas otherwise unattended by commercial marketing. These lessons for shaping the perceptions and behaviors of indigenous audiences are based on recent operational...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Summary of Conclusions and Recommendations
    (pp. 171-184)

    COIN and other stability operations are central to the current operational environment and are likely to remain so in the future. These operations demand a unique focus on shaping indigenous audiences. Virtually every action, message, and decision of a force shapes the opinions of an indigenous population. Creating a unified message is key in this regard, as the words and deeds of coalition forces must be synchronized to the greatest extent possible. U.S. force actions help set conditions for establishing credibility and fostering positive attitudes among the indigenous population, which, in turn, enable effective and persuasive communication. We have identified...

  14. APPENDIX Linking Shaping Challenges with Recommendations
    (pp. 185-188)
  15. Bibliography
    (pp. 189-212)