The Art of War in Marketing

This article first ran in the May/June Issue of C47Houston News and Entertainment Magazine

Strategy, tactics, and ground-pounding to defeat and inspire forces By Andy Valadez, Marketing Strategist of Marketing Dynamics

The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” – Sun Tzu

Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle . . .” – Psalm 144:1

Sometimes, you have to fight a war. I remember reading a story on the “cola wars” in the book “The End of Marketing as We Know It” by Sergio Zyman, former Chief Marketing Officer for Coke Cola. Coke had strategically outmaneuvered Pepsi by buying up all of the soda beverage manufacturing facilities in South America, which made it very difficult for Pepsi to get product into the country. Pepsi had ship their liquid in from America, adding to the cost of distribution and handling. In theory, whoever holds the number one position, will hold that position for generations and so the war rages on.

Marketing is like warfare in the battle for the mind and resources; fight to win with the right strategies and tactics.

So, you have got a wonderful project or venture. How do you use marketing as a critical weapon to position your project or venture over others or in spite of the odds against you and your team?

Strategy First, Tactics Second – adaptations taken from historic warrior Sun Tzu:

  • You must win the war before ever fighting it. How do you define success for your venture? Is it a real winner, really?
  • Appear close when far and far when near. Are you strategic in how you approach the market?
  • Care for your troops (like your own children), they will fight to the death for you. Enough said.
  • Appear weak when you are strong and strong when you are weak. What are you communicating or not communicating?
  • Avoid what is strong and strike what is weak. Don’t do what everyone else is doing, find your niche.
  • Win with ease or make it look that way.
  • Those who wish to fight must count the cost. What is it going to take to win?
  • If you do not know the plans of your competitors, you cannot make informed alliances. Market research and feedback is critical.
  • Frustrate your enemy. Always be positioning your brand and by default positioning the competing brands (make them respond to your efforts).
  • Use banners, cymbals, gongs, horns and/or and fire. Communicate clearly in the marketplace day or night. Campaigns allow your team to be in unity and strike fear in your competitors.
  • The enemy may surrender without a fight. It happens.
  • Don’t destroy the town. Take care of the market or you won’t have one to do business in.
  • And lots more!

Send me an e-mail about your brand battle strategies by e-mail at or tweet me @StealthMarketer.

About Marketing Dynamics

Marketing Dynamics was founded by Andy Valadez, graduate of Texas A&M University with a BBA degree in Marketing and Tulane University (Applied Business Certificate). He is a former United States Marine (serving during Desert Storm/Shield).  Andy is an entrepreneur who enjoys advising his clients on how to capitalize on their opportunities by adopting best practices and principles in marketing, with a focus on strategy and tactical implementation. He is also trending producer on and community volunteer.  Marketing Dynamics serves these key sectors:  technology, broadcast, entertainment, publishing, sports, and start-ups. To learn more visit:

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