Whether it be price point, page rank or brand recognition we all battle for something!  To get ahead in the business game one has to occupy either a low point in your products price range or a place in a potential customer’s experience. The latter is where a marketing company comes in – helping the customers find you and more importantly remember you.  Winning the battle means conquering five basic business hurdles:

– Visibility: they need to find you…

– Impact: they need to be impressed by you…

– Retention: they need to like you enough to come back!

While critical to success in marketing these factors often cloud the more important factors that dictate success and failure in business. To help capture this critical factors that wage so heavily into the success of a company I have rewritten the first chapter of “The Art of War” in marketing terms.

The aim of this is to help you develop an overarching marketing strategy, recognize your organizations capabilities and connect your broader initiatives with your bottom line.

Part One. Planning

  1. Marketing is of vital importance to any company.

  2. It is a matter of success or failure, a path to either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject which should be of central importance to any company.

3. Marketing is governed by five constant factors that should be accounted for when making any decisions that pertain to business decisions.

  1. These are: (1) brand identity; (2) product list; (3) market trends and competition; (4) the audience; (5) delivery constrains and availability.

5,6. A clear brand identity ensures that every design decision made will be done so in complete accord with a companies goals. This will ensure that the overall aims and goals of the company will be upheld regardless of the design decision being made – big or small.

  1. A company’s product list dictates the nature of its marketing activities, the relationship to the client, and fixed limitations such as the availability of a products component parts.

  2. Market trends and competition include factors such as average product price; competition on keywords; availability and awareness; and the chances of success or failure.

  3. The audience is expects to be adorned with wisdom, treated sincerely and benevolently, supported fully in their convictions and given a sense of control.

  4. Delivery constraints and availability are to be understood as the factors that limit a customers access to your product and the overall cost involved in getting your product and message to potential customers.

  5. These five heads should be familiar to every marketer: he who knows them will succeed; he who knows them not will fail.

  6. Therefore, in your deliberations, when seeking to determine the marketing conditions, let your basis of comparison be this:–

  7. (1) Who of the competition has the strongest brand identity? (2) Which of the competition has better product list? (3) Who has the advantages price point and low overheads? (4) Who’s customers are more loyal? (5) Which company is more scalable? (6) Who has the better equipment and personal? (7) Who is more consistent in their product, delivery and satisfaction?

  8. By means of these seven considerations one can generally forecast a company’s success or failure.

  9. If these considerations are kept in mind and market advantage retained- over time you will succeed! When these factors are not kept in proper consideration at all times failure will undoubtedly ensure.

  10. While retaining market advantage one should avoid taking any steps that unfairly advantage yourself over your competition. Success is a product which is ensured only by offering advantage over the status quo.

  11. If upon consideration you realize your circumstances do not favor your likely hood of success you must modify your plans.

18. All marketing is based on deception.

  1. Hence, when able to sell, we must seem like we are not selling; when able to market, we must seem as though we are educating; when customers listen, we must make them feel like they are making the decision; when customers don’t listen, we must make them see the difference.

  2. Hold out sales and limited time offers to entice customers. Claim to need to clear inventory because of tight times and overstock items.

  3. If the customer is open to invitation be prepared for him. If he is clearly not avoid him.

  4. If your customer act’s disinterested respond by acting disinterested. If your customer acts excited respond as though you too are excited.

  5. If you customer seems overwhelmed with information demand opinion. If he seems underwhelmed focus on your differences and signify their importance.

  6. Sell him on the idea that he cannot achieve his aims without you and appear when you are not expected.

  7. Do not divulge your closing arguments and critical differences at first sight. The unexpected is always taken to be of more importance and can be critical to closing.

  8. Marketing successfully means planning ahead. You need to know if advance what happens where your customer will be coming from, what kind of questions he or she will ask and how you will ask for the sale. You need to know your customers expectations and more importantly how to manage and limit them tactfully. If you are not prepared to close a sale there is no point in trying to make one.