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“Strategy without Tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without Strategy is the noise before defeat.” Sun Tzu, The Art of War
This week in BrainStation, the Digital Marketing students were introduced to the concept of Strategy and Tactics. We learned about the importance of defining a Mission and Objectives. To explain some of the concepts learned today, I thought it was appropriate to reference a very well known book, The Art of War.
The Art of War is a 2,000-year-old book written by a Chinese military strategist and philosopher, Sun Tzu. Over the last few years, many of the top business executives in the world have sworn by this masterpiece, encouraging others to actively practice many of the principles discussed for both personal and business success. The reason I bring this book up is because I strongly believe that without standing on the shoulders of giants, Sun Tzu, there is only so much you will be able to learn in this relatively short life.
So, keeping that book in mind, I challenge you to view marketing strategy as the backbone of business success in the same way that a successful military campaign is the backbone of military success.
“Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril” Sun Tzu
I am sure we have all been told time after time that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. I didn’t take much heed to it when I was younger but as I grew older, I began to realise the value of planning. In other words, the key to moving forward is to have a firm foundation and a strong sense of your ultimate objective. The more specific you can be about who you are as an organization and what defines your successes, the greater likelihood you have of succeeding.
An important part of knowing yourself is understanding your environment as well as competition. In order to exploit your competitor’s weakness, you must first have a thorough understanding of their strategy which includes their strengths and weaknesses as well as your own.
The best way to begin any venture personal, business or even military is to do the following…
1) Define a Mission – Overarching values and objective of your organization
2) Have Clear Objectives – Measurable goals aligned with mission and strategy
3) Create Strategy – Strategy is what you are trying to accomplish (be sure to keep SWOT in mind)
4) Outline Tactics – Specific steps to achieve the strategy
5) Set SMART Goals – Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, Time-Bound
6) Build a Plan
7) Follow that Plan
If you follow this plan, persevere and have a winning attitude, I guarantee you’ll taste victory in no time.