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Laying the Plans Digital Marketing Strategy

The Art of Digital Marketing – Laying The Plans Digital Marketing Strategy

In our introductory Post The Art of Digital Marketing we explained how Sun Tsu’s The Art of War is studied to this day by business leaders. We also discussed how we are guiding you through a more specific analysis of this novel Digital Marketing in business. Today, we dig into the Chapter 1 Laying the Plans which is critical to war and relevant to Digital Marketing Strategy alike.

The Art of War is of vital importance to the State.

The Art of War then is governed by five constant factors...

The Moral Law



The Commander

Method and Discipline

Digital Marketing Strategy

The points made by Sun Tzu in this article have implications reaching beyond war. Prior to the onset of war, leaders must meticulously plan their strategies and lay the proper foundation for the battles to come.

In business, you must lay a proper foundation and fully understand where your money is going prior to undertaking any investment. Sun Tzu lays out the framework for understanding the importance of planning and being methodical about movements in war.

Let’s analyze the Five Constants referred to by Sun Tzu, these elements will help to frame our journey through Digital Marketing Strategy and the war that is modern Business.

  1. “Moral Law” is defined as the force which unifies an army under its ruler. When it comes to your Digital Marketing Strategy you must keep in mind that in order to have a good brand reputation, your team must be unified in how they follow you and present your company to the public.
  2. “Heaven” represents the times of day, the seasons, as well as, the weather. When operating your company you will find these factors will have an impact on your company. For example, if you sell swim trunks, but it is winter, then you will find that fewer people are purchasing your product during the winter. When it comes to your Digital Marketing  Strategy these factors are amplified because people are bombarded with marketing on a regular basis; therefore, it is your responsibility as a marketer to fully understand the personas of your customers and audience so you can deliver your messages at the perfect time for them to be received by your ideal customer. If you do not take heed of these factors, then you are wasting your time and money spreading messages to people not prepared to receive them.
  3. “Earth” relates to the conditions of the battlefield in war, such as the distances, levels of danger, and chances of success. This applies to your Digital Marketing Strategy because you must fully understand the nuances of your market. Who is your competition? Who is your ideal customer? How competitive is your market and what factors will affect the success or failure of your Digital Marketing Strategy? It is vital to your success keep all of these factors in mind before you begin investing in any Digital Marketing Campaign.
  4. “The Commander” represents the virtues wisdom, sincerity, benevolence, courage and strictness.  When you are fighting in the battle for market share presenting your organization to the public with these virtues will improve your brand reputation and improve your brand visibility. Your brand’s visibility depends on how you present yourself to the public and their perception of you. A company with a tarnished reputation has an uphill battle to being successful with their Digital Marketing Strategy.
  5. “Method and Discipline” are explained as the way in which an army is lead, organized, promoted, and the way in which the army’s budget is maintained. These factors can make or break an organization when Marketing because, as we all know, Marketing can be a “Black Hole”. You can spend your budget and get no results if you do not closely monitor your Marketing Budget. By not properly motivating and promoting your employees you will lose their loyalty and passion for their job. A well organized Digital Marketing Strategy will ultimately have a higher return for your organization while an unorganized one will reflect poorly on your organization’s professional appearance.

Digital Marketing Strategy

Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. Thus, do many calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat.

- Sun Tsu, The Art of War

The quote above is one of the most profound quotes of this chapter because it emphasizes the importance of meticulous planning when approaching war or in our case Digital Marketing.


You will notice based on your current market position and your competitors that the organization with the most calculated Digital Marketing Strategy is the one yielding the best results. Leveraging technology, people, and creativity you can dominate your market, but not without proper calculations.


Our Post today emphasizes the need to take a holistic view of your industry in order to properly develop a Comprehensive Digital Marketing Strategy to succeed in your Digital Marketing Campaigns. As mentioned by Sun Tzu you must know your competition, the landscape, the probability of success, and spend in order to succeed in any endeavor.


In fact, Dave Chaffey from Smart Insights performed a poll asking what marketing techniques excite marketers in 2018. This poll revealed that Data-Driven Marketing Techniques ranked as the second most exciting newer technique. Data-Driven Digital Marketing Strategies involve extensive calculations to properly target and deliver quality content. Dave Chaffey said, “The common features of the responses to the two questions are the value of data-driven marketing.” His Post, “The top digital marketing trends for 2018” from March 5, 2018, explains how companies and Digital Marketing Agencies responded to his poll.


To succeed in the ever-evolving Digital Marketing Landscape you must develop an In-Depth Digital Marketing Strategy which will force you to analyze your industry, market, competition, and own organization. Your company has to be prepared to pivot with the trends of the market so that you do not become irrelevant.


We would like to leave you with some insightful quotes from Sun Tzu, “Battles are won or lost before they begin.”, “In planning knowledge of the other side is critical.”, and “When the enemy acts you must respond.”

Lay the Plans to Dominate Your Industry.

1 Comment
  • Grace
    Posted at 9:42 am, May 23, 2018

    Hey Laris

    I like the way of your writing. You described in a very disciplined manner. I have never thought in that way. You gave me such a great idea, to motivate my people to use your “new vocabulary”

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