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Brian Tracy! Art of Marketing! Choosing the battlefield

Art of Marketing

Chapter 12. Choosing the battlefield

You’ve got to keep reinventing.

You’ll have new competitors.

You’ll have new customers all around you. ― Ginni Rometty

A business and marketing strategy means choosing your own competition

and battlefield.

If you decide to change your existing product,


or customer,

you will change your competitors as well.

Just like you are a country in the middle of other countries

and decide to go to war,

the direction of attack will govern all your plans.


Change customers, change competitors

Steve Jobs decided to use the iPhone to compete

in an area of technology

and innovation radically different from what Apple had done before

that is a perfect example of this.

Apple sees a unique opportunity

in making mobile phones radically different from

what’s being offered in the market,

and introducing new technologies

that can potentially improve quality,

and the ease of use of this phone line,

far ahead of products from Nokia,


or Sony Ericsson.

When choosing a battlefield,

start with the customer.

What are your customers asking

for or expecting in the next few years?

How can you develop and apply new technologies

to delight future customers?

Any marketing plan starts with thinking

about the customer

and what you need to make the customer happy.

You may decide to change customers,

enter an untapped market,

or aren’t being satisfactorily taken care of by your competitors.

By selecting customer segments

or new product and service categories,

you will completely change the nature of your marketing battleground.

You change the future of your business.

I looked at my competitors and I thought that,

If they could do it,

I could do it.

And if they are popular and doing well,

I could compete with them. ― Tommy Hilfiger


Strength vs Weakness

Ask yourself:

“What are the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors

in the current and upcoming markets?”

BlackBerry’s strength is its resounding success

in providing business phones.

Its major weakness is

that it always overestimates its superiority

that ignores technological innovation

and becomes a vulnerable target of iPhone (Apple)

and Galaxy (Samsung).

From being the market leader,

BlackBerry was pushed to the brink of bankruptcy in just 5 short years.

That would only be a rival’s dream come true

if BlackBerry’s leaders put in the time,


and research to improve their products

as they did with the distribution of rewards and dividends.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors?

How can you limit their strengths and increase their weaknesses?

What are their strengths and weaknesses

that present you with market opportunities

that no one else is seeing right now?

At the same time,

you must also identify your own strengths

and find ways to offset your weaknesses in relation to your competitors.

Think about the competitive response or actions

that competitors might use to protest

and protect their sales,


and customers.

If you decide to enter a market with a new product or service,

or market with existing products or services,

or increase your advertising budget

to obtain a larger market share,


What will yours do?

They won’t sit idly by

and let you invade their market like BlackBerry did.

Don’t knock your competitors.

By boosting others you will boost yourself.

A little competition is a good thing and severe competition is a blessing.

Thank God for the competition. ― Jacob Kindle


Protect your resources

One of the most famous battles of antiquity took place

between the Roman and Greek armies,

during the reign of King Pyrrhus.

In the end,

the warriors of Pyrrhus defeated the Romans

but at a great cost

– half of the soldiers fell.

When someone congratulated him on his resounding victory

over the Roman army,

he made the famous remark,

invoked throughout history:

“Another such victory, my duty still unfinished.”

The following year,

the Romans returned.

Another battle broke out.

But Pyrrhus’ forces had been so worn out in the previous battle

that they were completely overwhelmed by the Roman army

– he lost both his country and his life.

In business,

don’t win like a Pyrrhus.

It is important not to spend too much money in exchange

for a certain superiority in the market

or you will not be able to get the final win.

“Customer service represents the heart of a brand

in the hearts of its customers.” – Kate Nasser


Change products and competitors carefully

Changing your business means changing your competitors,

and vice versa.

Remember that your competitors’ actions

and reactions will determine your growth,

market share and profits.

As a great strategist,

you need to thoroughly research your competitors

and determine exactly what they can do in response

to what you bring into new markets

or introduce new products or services.

You should also determine

if you can gain the next market share against a new competitor

that you think is likely to enter your market.

“One of the major differences

between successful and unsuccessful people is

that the former look for problems to resolve,

whereas the latter make every attempt to avoid them.” – Grant Cardone

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