What can we learn from The Art of War?

Is there really an art to postcard marketing? Of course! There’s an art to practically everything, and as a general of the ancient Chinese army of Wu, Sun Tzu proved to be one of history’s greatest chroniclers of these universal truths. In his translated verses we can still draw upon the crystallized advice of great historical leaders and here today we’ll use this wisdom to help you maneuver your postcard marketing campaigns to victory!

How might we compare marketing to war? Well first off, there are undeniable parallels, and in business across the globe we still eulogize our more warrior-like past with phrases like “uphill battle, cut-throat, long-shot, and crushing the competition.” It’s all about winning against an opponent. And while our society is much more peaceful than any before it, business can still be viewed like a tactical game of chess.

It is in this light that we can view our marketing as a struggle to win more customers than the other guys! At ProspectsPLUS! we’re strongly against calling your competitors (or heaven forbid, your customers) “the enemy” but if you treat them with respect like a sportsman who is trying to win customers away from you, you can use these strategies to be the more cunning player!

So it’s time to put on our general’s caps, roll out the maps, and learn from ancient Chinese Art of War: 
  1. Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting. 

Translation: The best marketing tactics will be met with no resistance. That is to say, you should be effectively using psychology in your postcard marketing. Instead of beating people over the head with discount offers and practically begging them to walk through your doors, you can accomplish the same thing with less effort by applying tactics like the contrast principle or social proof. Together these strategies imply to your prospects that they’re getting a great deal and hundreds of other people feel the same way, allowing you to sidestep their initial skepticism and jump straight into a sale.

  1. When you surround the enemy’s army, leave an outlet free. 

Translation: The idea here is that if you corner your opponent and give them absolutely no escape, they’ll fight like a cornered tiger, which is bad news for you. If you instead leave them one obvious route for their escape, they’ll go exactly where you want them to. The marketing implications are obvious, aren’t they? Lead your prospects to the sale by giving them an out! Avoid outright criticizing their current practices because if they think you’re simply calling them dumb for not buying your insurance policy, let’s say, they’ll get offended and disagree. Instead, give them the benefit of the doubt with softening statements like “You probably already knew that you could risk loosing everything if you don’t have insurance.” It will still corner them with the right information, but will leave them with only path to escape: agreement!

  1. There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard.

Translation: Repurpose your old content! While you music buffs may point out that modern music theory recognizes twelve notes, the advice is the same: through combination and recombination, there’s no limit to what you can create from what you already have today. Oftentimes in postcard marketing business owners will get stuck feeling like they’re all out of new ideas but the truth is that with whatever they have at hand, there are limitless combinations! They can break down white papers into blogs, social media posts, flyers, slogans, testimonials, and more! There are endless melodies you can compose to design the perfect postcard.

  1. Do not repeat tactics which have gained you one victory, but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances.

Translation: Switch up what you’re doing for marketing! If people see the same postcard arriving month after month, they’ll start to tune out its message. You can get creative and with very little effort by simply customizing those campaigns based on seasons or holidays, supplement them with door hangers, or even trigger them based on major life events like moving to a new area or opening a new office. This allows your tactics to mimic the mighty streams that Sun Tzu so admired, flowing around obstacles and adapting to the unique circumstances of the people you’re marketing to.


And there you have it! These go much deeper than just being practical advice on maneuvering armies and rallying troops: they’re universal lessons in how to allocate your time and resources to achieve victory, no matter the arena. If you follow even a few of the four timeless principles you’ll see a sharp uptick in the effectiveness of your postcard marketing campaigns.

So, general, what’s stopping your troops from marching?

Call ProspectsPLUS! at 877-222-6010 to get your next postcard marketing campaign out today!

And if you need help, the best campaign advisor you can have in your camp is Opportunity Knocks Marketing, a full service agency who can get it all done in a flash for you!