Bobby Fischer Marketing: 21 Small Business Profit Boosters (#3)

Bobby Fischer is arguably the greatest chess player who ever lived.

According to Wikipedia, “As a teenager, Fischer became famous as a chess prodigy. In 1972, he became the first, and so far the only, American to win the official World Chess Championship“.

When I was a teenager, I became infatuated with the game of chess largely because of Bobby Fischer.

One of the first things I learned was that it’s necessary to think many moves ahead if you stand a chance of winning the game. You must anticipate the consequences of your moves, and the consequences of your opponent’s potential moves.

This requires a lot of thinking. And so it is with your business.

What I’m going to encourage you to do is not too tough, though… I’m going to ask you to think only one move ahead.

By thinking one move ahead, I believe you can win the game of business. Here’s what I mean…

Think about your most successful competitor. I mean really think about them; go look at their website, examine the e-mails they’ve been sending out to their opt-in list, and analyze their promotions over the course of the past year.

I actually want you to be very specific about this. You’ll see why.

What is the next significant holiday coming up on the calendar? As I write this, it’s Thanksgiving in the United States. The next significant holiday for us is Christmas. Of course Christmas marketing has already begun in most industries, so for this exercise we need to jump to the next significant holiday (the reason will become apparent in just a moment).

The next significant holiday (after Christmas) is New Year’s Day. So while everyone else is thinking about how they’re going to market during the Christmas holiday, thinking one move ahead leads us to consider New Year’s Day.

Now look at those marketing materials from your competitor (in fact look at the marketing materials from all your significant competitors). What did they do to use New Year’s Day as a marketing angle last year?

Put on your thinking cap. Is there a way you can use, but modify and improve upon that idea this year?

The trick is that you have now done is thinking well in advance of New Year’s Day-while your competitors are still thinking about Christmas. This gives you the opportunity to get your promotional marketing materials into the hands of your prospects and customers long before your competitors do.

Now the fact is, the New Year’s Day holiday is actually bundled up (at least in the United States) in the triumvirate of holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day come as a three pack for us here.

So most companies already know what they’re going to be doing promotionally for the New Year’s Day holiday. But our little thought experiment has at least shown you how this process of “thinking one move ahead” works.

Now Think One More Move Ahead

It should be simple for you to see that the next significant holiday after New Year’s is in fact Valentine’s Day.

My suggestion for you is: start thinking about your Valentine’s Day promotion now.

Craft it carefully and strategically.

Put together superior marketing materials, copy, audio, video and what ever else you plan to use in your campaign. And launch that sucker on January 2. Your competitors won’t know what hit them.

And while they’re scrambling to figure out how to counteract your Valentine’s Day promotion, you’ll be busy assembling your promotion for St. Patrick’s Day… and Easter… and Mother’s Day.

Not Just For Holidays

You can apply the same principle to trends within your particular market segment.

Are most of your competitors only just now beginning to use audio on their webpages?

Or, are the people you compete with only just now discovering the power of blogs?

Time for you to think one move ahead: move onto video, video blogging, and social media. Establish a footprint long before your competitors do, and you will be nearly unassailable… all because you simply thought one move ahead.

And you don’t even have to be Bobby Fischer.

Tomorrow’s profit booster: Strap On The Profit Rocket.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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4 thoughts on “Bobby Fischer Marketing: 21 Small Business Profit Boosters (#3)

  1. Good post.

    I used to love chess from about the age of 8 or 9 and still have an early book by Bobby Fischer.

    I like your strategy here of one move at a time as it's much easier to do something when it's broken down and thought through one step at a time.

    The genius in your method is thinking not just one step at a time, but one step ahead.

    So simple and yet so powerful.

  2. Your post reminded me of a cartoon I saw in the newspaper back when Bobby Fischer first won the championship. In it, a father was talking to his son, who was holding a golf club in his hand, and said,

    “Forget what I said about golf. I want you to take up chess!”

    While the cartoon was funny, your post today made me realize that just doing what other successful people are doing may not be enough. Thinking ahead — as you advocate in this post — is crucial to success.

    Or if that doesn't work, go out and create your own success so others can imitate you.

    Best regards,
    Tom