July 21, 2008

The Art of War

Filed under: Book Reviews, Marketing Philosophy, Philosophy — Robert John Ed @ 5:06 pm

Sun Tzu wrote the book.  It’s seen as a literary classic, probably because the information included in it has probably shaped the world more profoundly than any other book on the planet.  Frankly, it’s unimportant how intelligent you are when under siege from a stronger military mind.

The previous supposition could easily be refuted, the Bible being so important and all (other examples as well).  What I mean though, is that this book, that warfare is the means to achieve the ends that religious gospel and ideology promote (heavily ironic that what these books preach have not been used in practice, IE fighting for peace).  In short, understanding and being efficient with warfare means that you will dictate the present and future.

As such, The Art of War the book is important.  The art of war as a concept is as important as any other concept in recorded history.

It’s also been mentioned today as relevant in a business sense.  Which is why I read it.  I’m very interested in history (and how to avoid it’s repetition) which includes warfare, so this isn’t beyond my scope of reading material; yet this was more as a business recommendation.  Frankly, it fell short.

Business today isn’t necessarily a zero sum game.  Certainly there are instances where that is the case in terms of competition, but there is so much differentiation today…I found the correlation to be lacking.  Marketers and companies themselves must thrive by advocacy to the consumer, preference from those with the resources to continue our trade (money).  So when a person has a certain amount of their budget allotted to, say, laundry detergent…certain companies are attempting to garner your choice.  They want you to buy their brands over others in order to continue their business.  This is where the idea of war steps in.  Some think that applying principles of war to this situation will result in similar victories.

Things have changed too much for that to be the case.  Thinking in the same terms included in TAOW would result in too simple an outlook.  Though some things certainly still make sense, bigger companies (armies) take longer to set in motion, yet have greater amounts of resources (artillery) to use.  The element of surprise is still valuable.

We must not look at business as war.  We must look at business as farming.

Those companies that best understand the lie of the land, the resources available, the value of hard work and the processes which are bound to result in plentiful harvest, those companies will thrive.  Although the weather and other variables will alter our terrain consistently, good farmers are able to persevere through these things and year after year produce that which allows for sustainable yields.


1 Comment »

  1. […] Consumer life cycles start out small, but they grow.  It’s our job to farm and ensure plentiful harvest. […]

    Pingback by “But You Aren’t In Their Target Market!” « Redmarketer — September 9, 2008 @ 1:12 pm

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