Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Warrior Marketer

Politics, war, and marketing share similar comparisons - a battle for the mind. The stakes are high. I am finishing "On Combat," written by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, what an amazing man of our time. He trains our military and law enforcement elite and advises martial artists and others on the preparation for the "Universal Phobia of Interpersonal Aggression." This fear stems back from our time in the wild, where man had to be on alert for an attack by animal or foe. In a civilized society, the fear is always present and globally, interpersonal conflict is rising. He says the "military now looks like the police and the police looks like the military." He cites, we are relatively safe in America despite the displays on the nightly news. Most aggression is repeated by the same group of people, they are the wolves in our society.

The book depicts what happens before, during and after combat in order to create a "bullet proof mind" for society's protector warrior class. According to Lt. Col. Grossman, for the sake of simplicity, there are three types of classes - the sheep, the sheep dog, and the wolf. The sheep dog lives to protect the sheep and will give his life protecting them. The sheep are uneasy with the sheep dog, because he looks like the wolf. Never the less, the sheep need the sheep dog. The sheep dog also lives to confront the wolf.

Psychographics plays a crital role in marketing (i.e., fear, greed, safety, etc.). Marketers recognize that human beings are attracted to brands that solve these deep seeded needs. As an avid reader on military history, politics, and martial arts, I can see the many comparisons in marketing. For example, Marlboro cigarettes were once a low-selling, female brand many decades ago. When marketers began to position this cigarette with the cowboy on the open range ("The Marlboro Man" was born), cigarette sales sky-rocketed and human behavior was changed. Now, I am not anti-tobacco, I love a great cigar. I also believe that as long as the product is not illegal, people should have their right to smoke - the price of having a free society and the right to make wrong choices. However, being a realist, one has to look at the destruction that cigarette smoking has left. Marketing is as powerful as war. I don't know the death toll caused from inhaling the 4,000 dangerous chemicals, but we all know it is high. I do believe that education plays a vital role until the law is changed or people decide they don't want to smoke.

As a marketer and warrior ( I served in the Marines from 88 to 92 and still continue to hone my warrior skills), there are many things I won't market. For the purposes of this blog, it is good enough that the reader know that marketing is a weapon, use it wisely. Get caught up in The Vortex!

Semper Fi!

Andy Valadez

p.s. The photo above was taken on the range with a group of guys from my church. We had a blast (pardon the pun). One of the young men, an Eagle Scout, got to fire-off 40 rounds from my Ruger mini-14. He later joined the Marines and joined an elite force within the Corps.

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