Marketing Strategy According to Sun Tzu

12 Marketing Strategy According to Sun Tzu

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Marketing Strategy According to Sun Tzu

12 Important Principles for Winning the War for Customers.

The Art of War is recognized as the concentrated core of strategy for winning wars.  In Sun Tzu’s principles are found the foundation for understanding the strategic principles of modern marketing.  The Art of War is a foundation stone for military strategy in the eastern world and business strategy.  The teachings of Sun Tzu’s philosophy are that if your strategy has a solid foundation, you will win without fighting.  This teaching emphasizes winning over your opponents with strategic wisdom which is very different from western strategy, which emphasizes the act of fighting and fighting as a way to win.

There was nothing complicated about war in Sun Tzu’s time.  If war is necessary, war is won because of knowing something before it happens, calculation, deception and maneuver.  It is this simplicity of war strategy that helps in making the transition from lessons from the past to plans for the future.  The wisdom of the ancient Chinese was more about seeking to avoid war (strategy) than waging war.

Sun Tzu lists 5 conditions and 7 qualities as prerequisites for making plans.  The original four Ps of marketing have been developed into 8. By Michaelson (2004) these principles were combined into 12 marketing principles as the foundation stones of great marketing.  If you follow the principle there is no guarantee of winning.  If you ignore all these principles, you will definitely lose. The application of these principles is art.  It is in this art that judgment comes to the fore. Applications require good judgment based on an understanding of these principles.  The application of the planning function is called strategy.  The application of implementing this plan is tactics.

Marketing Strategy According to Sun Tzu

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Here are the 12 principles of marketing according to Sun Tzu:

  • First Principle: RESPECT YOUR CUSTOMERS.  If your customers don’t buy your product or service, nothing else matters.
  • Second Principle: MANAGING INTELLIGENCE.  Know your market and know yourself.
  • Third Principle: MAINTAIN GOALS.  Clear will and firm goals.
  • Fourth Principle: SAFE POSITION.  Master a position that your competitors cannot easily take.
  • Fifth Principle: OFFENSIVE ACTIONS.  Keep attacking to secure freedom of action.
  • Principle Six: SURPRISE.  Surprise is the best way to gain psychological dominance and counter your opponent’s initiative.
  • Seventh Principle: MANEUVER.  The easiest route is often the hardest to maintain;  the longest detour may be the shortest way home.
  • Eighth Principle: RESOURCE CONCENTRATION.  Possess sufficient superior mass strength in the most decisive place and time.
  • Ninth Principle: ECONOMY OF POWER.  Accurately assess where you are spreading your resources.
  • Tenth Principle: COMMAND STRUCTURE.  Good management processes untie the power of human resources.
  • Principle Eleven: PERSONAL LEADERSHIP.  It requires the leader’s trust in his subordinates and their trust in the leader’s ability to win.
  • Twelfth Principle: SIMPLICITY.  Even the simplest plans are difficult to implement.

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