John Boyd's O-O-D-A Loop provides a good model for increasing marketing effectiveness. The essence of Boyd’s contribution was research into the decision cycles of fighter pilots reacting in “dogfight” engagement environments. Boyd, using his experience as a fighter pilot created a model that applied to unpredictable competitive behavior. In a dogfight environment the range of variables, the speed by which decisions must be made, and the critical impact of alternative choices makes it an ideal model for competitive environments.
This model is called a Boyd Cycle, a mental process known variously as the Decision Cycle, or OODA Loop. Boyd pioneered the concept in his lecture “The Patterns of Conflict.” The book Warfighting, from The United States Marine Corps, contains the following description of Boyd Cycles:
“Boyd identified a four-step mental process: observation, orientation, decision, and action. Boyd theorized that each party to a conflict first observes the situation. On the basis of the orientation, he makes a decision. And, finally, he implements the decision - he acts. Because the action has created a new situation, the process begins anew. Boyd argued that the party that consistently completes the cycle faster gains an advantage that increases with each cycle. His enemy’s reactions become increasingly slower by comparison and therefore less effective until, finally, he is overcome by events.”
At face value, Boyd seems to be repeating long held notions of time as a competitive weapon. But Boyd dug much deeper into what it really meant to cycle not just faster but better than your adversary. After all, if you're dealing with inaccurate information or the wrong frame of reference then all speed does is hasten your demise. Boyd went much further in order to articulate how the OODA loop can rapidly synthesize the right information. vSente's Campaign Manual inside vSente's Armory provides a detailed explanation of how O-O-D-A Loops can increase marketing effectiveness.
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