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Book Review - Marketing Warfare, by Al Ries and Jack Trout


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  It is always interesting to read about how the concepts of war fighting are used in other areas of industry, not related to war.  This book was a quick read, and certainly worthy of your time.  These guys break down Clausewitz and Sun Tzu, and apply them to marketing.  This book is an excellent primer on basic military strategy, as well as opening up the fascinating and war-like world of marketing.

   I really liked reading about the burger wars, in which McDonalds competes with Burger King and others on the battlefield of the cut throat fast food industry.  Every move of these companies were compared to basic military strategy, and it is a blow by blow account of where they did well and where they screwed up in these battles.  The book is an After Action Review of these marketing battles. Other companies mentioned were IBM, Fedex, and Coke to name a few.  And because this book was written 20 years ago, this current edition has been updated with mentions of the current war and recent marketing battles.

   But the real reason I liked this book, is that I read it from a Counter-insurgency point of view, and how these marketing principles could help win over the local populations in places like Afghanistan and Iraq.  This is nothing new, and I know the war machine out there has been calling up some of these marketing gurus for ideas, but it is still fascinating to learn about the concepts.  And for the ground level commander, they could easily use these concepts of marketing to sell their ideas to the local population.  Hell, most of us already have the mindset of what good marketing strategy is, based off of our military backgrounds.

   Which brings up the concept of the ‘Anbar Awakening’ or ‘Awakening Councils’.  To look at this from a marketing point of view is very interesting.  Once this tactic was identified as successful in Iraq, it was rolled up into a overall marketing strategy of the war effort. Tactics drive Strategy.   And I say marketing strategy, because we had to sell this tactic to the Iraqi, to the American public, to congress and to the world as the new thing that will work.  Interesting stuff and I recommend the book.

My name is Matt and I am a security industry blogger. I own a blog called Feral Jundi, which deals with security contracting in such places like Iraq or Afghanistan. Jundi in arabic means soldier by the way.

In the blog, you will find job postings, interesting articles about the industry, gear reviews, weapon reviews, book reviews, and anything else that might be interesting or funny to my readers. I also offer a free subscription to the Feral Jundi newsletter, which is sent out daily. (just look in the upper right hand corner of the blog and you will see where to sign up)


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