By Sun Tzu & Gary Gagliardi
According to the author, Sun Tzu’s philosophy of warfare applies to the problems of sales and marketing. This is because competition arises from the same factors.
1) Market Analysis
There are 5 factors deciding your success in the markets : marketing philosophy, visibility, segment, capabilities and marketing process. Marketing philosophy starts with a long term mission and gives reason for you to exist. With a mission, you can overcome obstacles and confusion. Market visibility may change over time. The target segment is important – diverse or specialized as it determines your success or failure.
Market analysis forces you to listen to your customers.
When you are strong, you must pretend weakness. When you focus, you must pretend indifference. When similar to the competition, emphasize the differences. When you are different, you must appear similar.
2) Selecting a market
Everything depends on your market philosophy. Go after markets that quickly generate money for your company. Go after markets where sales are already being made. Use existing customers to bring in more customers. Base your promotion on past success in a market.
3) Plan a campaign
Focus works because it enables you to win every segment you target. A focused campaign works. A single product line is easy to sell. A concentrated effort is successful. A small market is simple. A single message works. Small companies cannot sell broad markets. Large companies cannot satisfy niche markets.
4) Product position
You must find a market; you do not create it.Keep yourself in business until you’ve found a great target. If you cannot find new markets, you must expand your existing markets. Stay in your market when you cannot win new ones. Attack new markets when you are certain to succeed. Learn from your successful efforts. Markets go to those who make buying easy.
5) Market Momentum
You must use creativity to be successful in any campaign. You must make use of your time correctly. Yesterday’s failure becomes tomorrow’s great success. The market’s confusion demands your clarity. The market’s uncertainty demands your confidence. The market’s weakness requires your strength. You must give customers confidence.
6) Need and Satisfaction
See where the competition is before you move. Focus on the gaps in the competition’s efforts. WHen you focus, you concentrate your energies. When competition divides their attention, they create needs.
If the competition focuses on price, they sacrifice quality.
If they focus quality, they are vulnerable on price.
If they focus on quickness, they will lack accuracy.
If they focus on accuracy, they lose on quickness.
Without knowing your focus, they cannot fight you directly. If they claim every advantage, they are weak everywhere. Do not attack new markets with a me-too image. Be mysterious.