"Fools say that they learn by experience. I prefer to profit by others experience"
- Otto Von Bismarck
The military have always known the importance of spies and intelligence.
The quotation " Time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted" is attributed to many military leaders, Clausewitz, Wellington and Montgomery to name just three.
We marketers may not have to fight wars in the military sense but competing in markets requires similar approaches when in comes to developing marketing insight.
I guess this the reason why many of the classic book lists on MBA courses are likely to include the classics of military strategy Sun Tsu, Clausewitz et al.
"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."
- Sun Tzu, the Art of War
Maurice, count of Saxe "It is not big armies that win battles, it is the good ones!"