Summary of Marketing Warfare

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Marketing Warfare book summary


8 Overall

6 Applicability

6 Innovation

9 Style


Al Ries and Jack Trout’s book marches to a military drumbeat, as you might guess from the dedication to Karl von Clausewitz, "one of the greatest marketing strategists the world has ever known." Advice abounds for the testosterone-impaired, including football references and quotations from Gen. Patton. It offers an incisive, if militaristic, strategic marketing perspective. At one point the authors feel the need to clarify: "We don’t mean [to advise] undermining leaders by dynamiting their plants or interdicting their rail centers. That’s a physical way of looking at marketing warfare." This book proves that the "us-against-them" mindset thrives, even in this era of joint ventures. If you believe Bill Gates succeeded because he was a nice young man, this book probably isn’t for you. Otherwise, snap to attention, soldier, for a few lessons in the art of marketing warfare. recommends this book to those who need to influence consumers’ minds. Read it quick - before your enemy does.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How you can apply military tactics to marketing;
  • What the four basic approaches to the marketing battlefield are; and
  • Why a good strategy will work even with average tactics and execution.

About the Authors

Al Ries and Jack Trout wrote the marketing classic Positioning. As students of business strategy and marketing tactics, they have earned international recognition for their speeches, books, and articles on these subjects. They cite the rise of the global economy as one reason their marketing-warfare analogy is more apropos than ever.



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