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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2500 years old and still as relevent as ever, 18 July 2006
This review is from: The Art of War: Complete Texts and Commentaries (Paperback)
For some this is a book about military strategy and indeed it is studied during officer training at Sandhurst and Westpoint.

What makes this book a true classic is the fact it can be interpreted at several levels. For me it has always been about business and marketing strategies.

It is incredible that the lessons learnt by Sun Tzu over 2000 years ago have relevance to marketing and managing businesses today. All the classic manoeuvres are there but, for me, what is most relevent is Sun Tzu's philosophy when it comes to campaigns of all sorts. Sun Tzu, although able to subdue his enemy on the battlefield, actually prefers to beat them by guile and strategy. For him to win a battle but waste resources is a form of defeat.

Sun Tzu prefers to overwhelm his foes by the perception of greater numbers & stength and by creating an environment where the enemy expects defeat.. He does this by utilsing superior knowledge of the terrain; he utilses superior lines of communication and learns to think like his enemy. Read this as better understanding of the marketplace, better routes to market and a thorough understanding of competitors strategies and the transition from miltary strategy to marketing strategy has commenced.

Translating military to marketing is of course an inexact science and the weakness of Sun Tzu is that he gives us basic strategies but fails to provide advice on the tactics that need to be employed to ensure the strategies are carried out.

In essence this book provides incedible insights into the strategies that businesses need to employ to win. In doing this it achieves what it set out to do and so deserves 5 stars. To move from this point to one of establishing the tactics requires a marketing magician.
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