BusinessDay

Information warfare for market dominance among corporate businesses

I have been opportune to be in meetings that involved a lot of Industry players all trying to achieve a specific goal. It is not surprising how these players try to conceal and code information about their organization while trying to lend an opinion concerning that goal.

Information warfare has been widely known to be used by the Military and nations states. But as of today, it is widely adopted in the corporate environment across various industries with or without them being aware. One very key component of information warfare is deception which also applies to corporate organizations. How far can corporate organizations go using deception to attain market dominance and is this even ethical? Well yes, as long as it stays within the rules of the game and operations it is ethical.

Using a company brand for malicious activity or establishing fake news on a blog can start a negative campaign and the rest is history if not properly managed

A basic angle to the definition of deception is to control sources and the dissemination of information. In the business and commercial environment deception is the creation of information to favor the dominant party. For example, deception can be incorporated in the design of a product to favour the targeted range of users using that product.

Some major methods of deception in information warfare include:

· Presentation of information representing the truth as the presenter would want the adversary
to perceive the data.

· Setting a circumstance in which the adversary elucidates the data.

· Use of information to your advantage.

The very effective utilization of web platforms and social media has increased the arsenals of both small and large organizations. These companies use these interactive tools or weapons such as blogs, Facebook, and our favorite of them all Twitter. Creating and seeing through a successful campaign is no longer a matter of budgets but innovative methods and creative minds with a sprinkle of silent warfare.

Going further, organizations these days purchase dedicated platforms to fight the war on reputation and brand abuse. A proactive team of analysts (soldiers) is dedicated to ensuring that no harm comes to the organization on the internet. Using a company brand for malicious activity or establishing fake news on a blog can start a negative campaign and the rest is history if not properly managed.

Read also: Social Media censorship drops 35 percent in 2021, still high in Africa

Who is vulnerable to this Warfare?

Every organization with advanced Technology is vulnerable to Information Warfare. A competitive organization is vulnerable to Information warfare. On the other hand, customers are also vulnerable to information warfare. The communication process of today in society is extremely vulnerable to disruption. Information warfare in its wider sense is daily used between corporations and individuals. Even the government is a major player in this space but that is a discussion for another day. Conclusively, in an establishment where information is needed for its growth, there is likely to be a trace of information warfare.

Traces of information warfare in the organizations today The most crucial part of information warfare the society should embrace for the best practice is creating deception and perception to gain information. Some major traces of information warfare in society today include;

An organization trying to discredit others through memes and social media posts.

Subtle Social media War, where organizations throw jabs at each other online. This was done a few years ago by
Sterling Bank that went Viral. According to reports in 2018, Sterling Bank decided to show their level of creativity online using social media to vividly portray dominance in a picture alongside Other Banks like Zenith Bank PLC, GTBank, Firstbank amongst others. The content created by the Bank went viral on Twitter creating a perception for the bank which shifts toward millennials and Gen Z, also undermining the capabilities of other banks.

In 2008 Verizon also attacked AT & T on its poor 3G coverage. AT & T countered with an open debate on its  facebook site to turn the argument in their favour.

Let’s not forget to mention the war between Apple and Facebook recently over the future of the internet and privacy
concerns.

Organizations protecting their reputation online, to maintain a certain perception on their customers (War on reputation).

Organizations conceal negative publicity to maintain market dominance

Organizations not sharing new technology initiatives for market dominance.

Organizations conceal product outlooks to maintain market dominance.

Organizations copy marketing, social media, and event strategies to trend and stay relevant

To curtail these and their effect it is important that organizations are aware of these tactics. Also, be proactive
with trained people ready to anticipate, respond, and also control the situation when the need arises just like in the Military. Other than trained personnel, organizations can adopt the use of proactive Saas platforms for war
on reputation.

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