Marketing Your Business Is Like Playing Chess

Marketing Your Business Is Like Playing Chess

When I was a kid, there were no home computers and therefore we didn’t have computer chess games.  I remember my dad teaching me about chess in the family room of our basement.  When I was a teenager, he bought me a computerized chess board that you could play against which was a real chess board, not on a computer screen.  It was always amazing to me how much strategy is required to actually play chess.  It is the same with business and marketing regarding strategy to win.  You always need to think several steps ahead.

Let’s think about this for just a second.  If you only know what you are planning to do today, how can you ever except to reach your goals and be successful?  The answer is you cannot.  You must have a future plan, a “road map” if you will.  That is necessary so you have a good direction of where you are going.  So in relation to chess and business marketing, you will need to be able to adapt, improvise and overcome when your competition does something unexpected.  To be successful, you must think and plan ahead and always use those 3 words mentioned above… Adapt… Improvise… Overcome…

Of course there are many paths to potentially take and there are no hard and fast rules to follow many times.

You can tell that I personally love how chess strategy is related to business and marketing strategy.  You can see it in the design of our website and blog.  You can see it in the name of our company e4 BPO.  e4 (King’s Pawn Opening) is the usual first move in the game of chess and should be any businesses move when looking for a call center or outsourcing services.  It is white’s aggressive opening move and opens lines for the queen and king’s bishop and fights for control of the squares.  Openings with e4 tend to emphasize violent tactics over slow maneuvering.  Shouldn’t that be the same for your business strategy?  Hence the name of our company is e4 BPO.

Of course there are formal rules in the game of chess regarding what moves you can make.  But professional chess players don’t really consider those things when coming up with a strategy because the rules are already 2nd nature to them.  The rules are almost invisible to them, because in order for them to win, it’s only about the strategy, not about the rules of the game.  In business and marketing it should be same as well.

Business Marketing, just like chess, takes a lifetime to really master.

The actual skill levels between an entrepreneur and chess players is so diverse because of the time commitment required in both to truly grasp, not just the concepts and fundamentals, but real application in diverse situations.  In both business marketing and chess, if you ever stopped learning, you would quickly find yourself at a loss compared to competitors.

I also love to play tennis, which also requires strategy and thinking a move or two ahead.  I found that the only way I could get better was playing someone who was better than me.  It’s the same with chess.  If you play with someone you can always beat, you will never get better yourself.  The same goes for business marketing.  You need to play with people who are better or know more than you in order to learn more and get an advantage over your competition.

You will never elevate your skill set if you decide to consistently play those less skilled than you.  Likewise, in business marketing, you need to be surrounded with a creative, forward-thinking team that motivates each other to the next level.  Learning on your own is necessary, but working with people at the next level is how you seriously advance your skills and make your business more profitable.  That is where e4 BPO comes into play offering services such as SEO – Search Engine Optimization, Website Design and Development, Marketing Services, article writing, press releases, blog writing, white papers, email campaigns, drip email campaigns, Sales Services, telemarketing, lead generation, appointment setting, up selling, upsell, up-sell, cross-sell, telesales, sales leads, Outbound Telemarketing, Customer Service, Customer Retention, Customer Care, Customer Acquisition, Customer Relationship Management, Contact Management, Inbound Calls, Technical Support, Software Support, Hardware Support, Administration, Virtual Assistant, Virtual Secretary, Virtual Bookkeeping, Virtual Accounting, and Customer Billing.

Having a proactive strategy is smart and what every business needs.

In chess, if you are simply reacting to your opponents, they will be the ones controlling the game, not you, and they will force you to go right where they want you to.  Not good for you or for your business.  For your marketing and business goals to be successful, you can’t always be playing catch up, being behind the curve, and in a reactive mode or you’ll never get anywhere.  You need to be proactive and be the one confident enough to make your moves first and have the bandwidth to experiment to see what produces big results.

One way you can do this is by playing into people’s emotions for success.

In the key to effective viral marketing, Maki writes, it is emotional engagement:

“Human beings are far more likely to communicate ideas and information with others when they are emotionally engaged.  Find the key issues that concern your audience and then inculcate them within your marketing plan to get an emotional response.”

There is something similar in chess.  Instead of inspiring others to communicate information and ideas, you want them to think with their emotions instead of logic.  Only then will they lose sight of your long-term strategy and act on impulse.  Bad for them, but good for you.  You can do this through any number of ways, like consciously making an irrational move that would confuse a good player who anticipates you are following a certain pattern.  See how that works to your advantage sometimes?

In this way, both are similar strategies in that they are designed to get emotions involved, but in different ways toward different ends.

The best players in chess, as well as business marketing, are equally technical as they are creative.

Although the business marketing industry is fairly technical in nature, creativity is crucial and matters more than the technical skills required to carry out the various activities.  Great chess players must be both technically and creatively skilled in the game.  They must mix both in their game to win depending on the opponent.  Sometimes a game played with an opponent who is prone to make mistakes only requires being very technical with the methods in order to win.  But if you are playing against an opponent who is very technically minded, then it will require a creative approach in order to win.  These things must also be considered regarding business marketing.

You must always use continuous adaptation to win.

You will notice that the best chess players and marketers understand the importance of seeing everything they do as a fluid, natural motion, adapting/refining as they move forward.  Using the adapt, improvise and overcome approach.  In both the game of chess and business, opportunities will present themselves you need to adapt to take advantage of them when they occur.  Experience is how you learn best regarding the art of adaptation in mid-stream.

The chess analogy has application to business in general, and it applies especially well to business marketing as well.

e4 BPO is here to help your business apply these types of strategies to help your business prosper and grow.  So contact us today to see how we can apply these principles for your business.

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