What Do You Know?

In The Art of War, Sun Tzu offers marketers some very good advice.  “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.  If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.  If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”  What makes marketing easier — what makes building a brand possible — is having an objective, clear-eyed understanding of your own company’s real strengths and weaknesses, and a deep and often-refreshed knowledge of your competition.  That knowledge alone will lead you to make better choices, to have better ideas and to become a better brand.  What steps have you taken to truly understand your own organization?  Do you follow your competitors on social media?  What else are you doing to know yourself — and your enemy — better?