Meet EaaS, or Espionage as a Service


One of the most common boundaries I encounter when consulting with clients is the idea that they are in a fixed industry and that this creates a sales and marketing barrier of some kind.

By Richard Stone

Blue ocean strategy in PR, public relations and media relations

However, there is a strong argument that market boundaries and industry structures are not finite entities and can be reconstructed by the actions and beliefs of industry players.

For instance, when Industry 4.0 became a commonly used phrase, with it came, in effect, an entirely new market.

But none of the technology was new. None of the customers were new. None of the suppliers were new. So how is that a new market?

(If you are curious to know what this has to do with EaaS or Espionage as a Service, hold on. I’ll tell you at the end of the blog post.)

It’s a new market because the demand created was new or increased. Instead of competing for limited custom in the heavily crowded market spaces that existed pre-2011, the businesses that shifted quickly to adopt Industry 4.0 positioning, and especially the ones involved in creating it, were able to create new demand, break the value-cost trade off and create uncontested market space.

This idea is described in the classic marketing book Blue Ocean Strategy by Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. In it, they argue that the creation of a blue ocean, a phrase which serves as an analogy for an uncontested marketplace, and breaking out of the red ocean, which is to say the heavily polluted market space, maximises opportunity and minimises risk.

My own experience tells me that applying blue ocean strategy in an engineering PR or marketing campaign can be a magic key that unlocks huge potential for media coverage, social traction and EAT (Entertaining, Authoritative and Trustworthy) content, which in turn can lead to significant search engine real estate.

But it takes a little bit of bravery, or even insanity to do it. When Stone Junction has put blue ocean theory into practice, such as in this case study for Israeli start-up Inspekto, the results have been incredible.

Which is why, when one of my colleagues snuck into the office and sat down at her desk unobserved by anyone this morning, she and I created the concept of Espionage as a Service.

Our idea was that, inspired by my colleague’s ability to move around silently, we could launch a service where we connect available spies with Government or businesses, delivering espionage not as a utility but as an Uber-ised service. The customer pays using a value driven model, rather than contract by contract, and we create revenue by connecting the end user with the service provider.  

Far from being a new service, because spying already exists, what we’ve created is a new category, which, if it were serious rather than a nonsense joke, would now be something we could apply as a campaign.

Uber-ising anything or adding ‘as a Service’ to the end of a phrase might be two of the cheesiest ways of applying Kim and Mauborgne’s theories, but EaaS is a clear illustration of why positioning is the key to market space.

Doing this for real and positioning a product or service in such a way that its new category delivers all the marketing benefits I described earlier, is a great way of removing the sales and marketing barrier a red ocean represents and that my consulting clients often fear.

If you are launching a new business, product or service that you would like to position effectively and generate media coverage, social traction and search engine real estate for, get in touch with Stone Junction on sayhello@stonejunction.co.uk. If you want someone spying on, we probably aren’t the experts.

About the author

Richard Stone
Richard Stone - CHART.PR, MCIPR
MANAGING DIRECTOR

Stone Junction is managed by Richard Stone, a chartered member of the CIPR whose previous experience includes campaigns for Arup, AIT Plc, CIENA, Parker Hannifin, Schneider Electric, SIG, SKF, Roche and WorldCom.

Our Clients
  • Technical PR for industrial computing - Beckhoff
  • Renishaw
  • Sandvik Coromant