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Strategic thinking is essential to marketing.

Strategic thinking is essential to marketing.

Mike Doane

7 quotes on strategic thinking that will take your marketing to the next level.

Advice on changing your perspective to gain an advantage in the marketplace.

I’ve lived by the idea that without a map you won’t know where you’re going (and will probably end up somewhere else). Sure, enjoy the ride, but aimless wandering is dangerous.

It’s true for life as it is in business. That’s why I always start with strategy whenever I begin a new marketing project.

These quotes, and the books they’re stolen from, are valuable resources that set me down the right path every time.

Play the infinite game

“An infinite mindset embraces abundance whereas a finite mindset operates with a scarcity mentality. In the Infinite Game we accept that ‘being the best’ is a fool’s errand and that multiple players can do well at the same time.”Simon SinekThe Infinite Game

Simon says businesses shouldn’t worry about their competition. Competition is there to make you better. But being the best isn’t the endgame. We can leverage competition just like we leverage partners to create advantages for ourselves.

Athletes know this. That’s why they train to outperform their own abilities, not their competitors’.

Swim in the blue ocean

“Create, don’t compete… Blue oceans are right next to you in every industry.” Renée Mauborgne Blue Ocean Strategy

Renée Mauborgne, co-founder and author of the Blue Ocean Strategy agrees. She says products and services that do the following last the longest:

  1. Create an uncontested market space.
  2. Make the competition irrelevant.
  3. Create and capture new demand.

So keep an eye out for new opportunities and keep swimming.

History repeats

“Everything that occurs in the world, in every epoch, has something that corresponds to it in ancient times.”Niccolò Machiavelli Discourses on Livy

Machievelli, best known for The Prince, says that in every problem we face, we can look to history for the solution.

Consider all possibilities

“If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.”Sun TzuThe Art of War

What is the outcome you want? Consider all the ways you can get there, and try to anticipate what will go wrong along the way.

Learn from your mistakes

“Your past successes are your biggest obstacle: every battle, every war, is different, and you cannot assume that what worked before will work today.”Robert Greene33 Strategies

You are your own greatest enemy. Consider your weaknesses and lean into your strengths. Don’t assume doing the same thing over and over again will always work as expected.

Don’t rely on one tool

“You should not have any special fondness for a particular weapon, or anything else, for that matter.”Miyamoto MusashiThe Book of Five Rings

I’m a copywriter, but that doesn’t mean it’s the end-all, be-all of my abilities. I try to pair this skill with a knowledge of content marketing, product marketing, automation, technology, and storytelling.

If we don’t expand our knowledge and supplement our skills, Musashi suggests, we’ll reach dead ends and lose effectiveness.

Take your time

“Moving first is a tactic, not a goal.” Peter ThielZero to One

In chess, players often make predictable moves until an opponent blunders. At that point, they begin to move quickly with unexpected moves that take advantage of the weaknesses the blunder exposed.

Thiel, the man who took down an empire media empire, says to be patient and wait for the most opportune moment. Apple, for example, often waits for competition to release products to learn their weaknesses and perfect the inherent flaws.

Want more advice from modern-day experts and ancient thinkers?

Get the guide on marketing for myth-makers and tellers of tall tales.

In it you’ll find tips on strategic marketing, copywriting, and using the power of psychology and storytelling to make your products and services into the stuff of legend.