Art of War? - Irina Khomutova, Khomutova & Partners

Art of War?

I have noticed that when strategy consultants cite passages from Sun Tzu's ancient text, The Art of War, as advice for business, they forget that this is not a war manual at all. This is a guide to the world. It advises powerful men at court to avoid war by all means, for two compelling reasons: it is too costly to replace diplomacy and long-term strategies, and its outcome is never guaranteed.

Of course, competition is important, but it is much more valuable for a successful strategy not to “defeat” competitors, but to form sustainable customer loyalty by examining their consumer states and transforming motives, building a customer-centric ecosystem that includes product, service, marketing and sales.

The role of business is changing. In the face of uncertainty, which the market once again faced, rethinking and deep understanding of new consumer behavior scenarios becomes the main reference point in making many strategic decisions and understanding the new role.

The traditional buyer-seller relationship is no longer sufficient for the audience. Society expects support, complex communications and interaction appropriate to the situation. Now is the time to reboot and prepare for the inevitable transformation of society. Those companies that will be able to break out of psychological traps and the expectation of the return of previous conditions will find solutions and provide customers of the new formation with exactly the product and services that will fit into the changed consumer scenarios.

For this, it is important to take into account the factors that contribute to the formation of a competitive offer in the face of uncertainty and the evolving mentality of the digital consumer:

  • Developing behavioral scenarios at each point of contact and empathically mapping changes in archetypal patterns will help to see the transformation of buying behavior and build a customer-centric ecosystem, including product, service, marketing and sales, eliminating the risks of losing loyalty to a changed audience.
  • An agile approach to product design and the adaptability of companies to changing customer scenarios in the face of uncertainty will help keep the proposed solutions relevant.
  • The introduction of digital technologies into the design of interaction with customers will provide omnichannel communications with the audience. As we design the buyer-seller relationship of the future, artificial intelligence will become a key success factor and empower businesses to communicate effectively with the digital consumer.

Business faces new challenges and questions to which we have yet to find answers. Nevertheless, in order to avoid the inconsistency of the strategic decisions made and the communications used with the new audience value system, it is necessary to include critical thinking and learn to look at the world through the eyes of your clients, revealing often unobvious mental barriers that directly influence decision-making.

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