Create Your Own Marketing Path – The Art of Marketing Warfare pt 6

This post is about capitalising on your strengths and minimising your weaknesses to create your own marketing path.

Marketing path

War is a chess game in which the value of the pieces and the nature of their possible moves vary both with the training of the pieces and the skill of the individual player – it is a matter of skills and training and a commitment to continuous learning.  My focus here is on practical wisdom that comes from practical experience, and learning from your market and the movements in your industry to create your own, unique marketing path.

Sun Tzu said: Whoever is first in the field is fresh for the battle there is such a thing as first mover advantage, but even if you’re not first in the market (a rarity these days) you can be first in terms of creating  your own marketing path. An example of this that I mentioned ‘in attack by strategy’ is Amazon they were way behind the curve in terms of entering the book retailing market, in fact when they emerged in the late1990’s many thought they didn’t stand a chance but because of their focus on adaptive innovation and consequently being the first to employ the strategy they did in terms of online marketing and retailing, they proved all the naysayers wrong and squashed the competition in the process.

As Sun Tzu said the clever combatant, imposes his will on the enemy but doesn’t allow his will to be imposed on him. A lot of people follow the leader the one that is first in the field, be free from this and clear your own marketing path, learn from the best but don’t necessary follow them.  your business has its own identity; one mark of a great general  is that he fights on his own terms or he doesn’t fight at all.

So here’s five tips:

1. Go for places that are undefended – look for keywords with low competition  but are very relevant to your business, optimise your website content for these keywords.

 

2. Create customer personas that largely dictate your marketing path. Let your customers lead you. It is true that customers sometimes don’t know what they want until they see it, after all few people thought they needed a tablet until Apple presented the iPad. But more often than not your customers are best placed to tell you what they want and set you on the right path.

 

3. Think creatively about new ways to reach your target market don’t be limited by what has or hasn’t been done, take notes from other industries. What might by an old idea in one industry can often be new in another. Take stock of your own strengths and weaknesses and use your strengths to your advantage. Think about what advantage can be gained from your location, your unique skills, experiences and relationships.

 

4. Check out the new generic top-level domains (gTLD’s) you may or may not know but in early 2014  the next stage in the Internet’s revolution will begin: new top-level domains (the part after the dot in a web address) such as .app, .blog, .hotel, .london and many, many more will be released. If you’ve ever tried to secure a domain name (web address) you’ll know that it’s almost impossible to secure the exact .com and increasingly .co.uk domain you want. The right web address can give you a huge competitive advantage when it comes to being found on Google. These new domains will give you a new opportunity to help your business make its mark, so my advice is to check them out and pre-order the new domains that will work for you, before someone else does.

 

5. Never stop learning. My pastor recently said in a sermon that a degree is just that, a degree of knowledge, and it’s so true. Don’t be content with a degree of knowledge.  In order to know how to create your own marketing path, you will have to study your market and your customers, it will also help to stay on top of what’s new in the field of marketing as the industry is changing constantly.

If you need further assistance creating your own marketing path, feel free to contact me and as always feel free to comment below, it’s always great to hear from you.

PS: Why not read The Art of War for yourself, definitely a worthy addition to any bookshelf.

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