Marketing and chess may appear to have nothing in common at first glance. However, if you look closely, you’ll notice that they’re nearly identical. The goal of chess is to win; to do so; you must checkmate your opponent’s king. A marketer is no exception. The goal is to establish your brand as the market leader.

You’re missing out if you’re not thinking about your growth marketing and strategy in this way. You have options in chess, just as you do in marketing. The best chess players make the best decisions because they understand the game theory and which options are best for them. Business owners operate in a similar manner, formulating marketing strategies that play to their capabilities and abilities and lead to the desired results. Excellent chess players are always planning their moves. They never fail to prioritize. Business owners frequently fail in this area. Business owners either don’t know how or forget how to establish a task scheduling strategy. Good planning will help business owners execute better strategies and achieve better results.

Chess opening moves

Every chess game starts with an opening move. This also holds true for a marketing journey or strategy. When you play chess, you choose your opening moves because you are confident and comfortable with the types of situations and scenarios that your initial choices will produce.

You’ll make opening moves that may put you in dangerous situations when you’re an aggressive player. But you do it because you’re willing to proceed with caution and tact. You’ll start with completely different moves if you’re a conservative player who prefers counter-attacks. Like a counter puncher, you’ll most likely wait for your openings and strike when your opponent makes a mistake.

Whatever type of player you are, your first moves are crucial because they commit you to the future. You cannot undo a chess move once your hand has been removed from the piece. You must move forward and deal with the situations you have created for yourself, whether in the middle or end game.

Why use opening moves in marketing?

The channels you choose in marketing strategy will naturally lend themselves to certain scenarios or the expertise and resources you’ll need to see things through. Too often, people choose channels or strategies, and then when they reach the middle game, they freak out because they are unprepared for what comes next. They panic and go into defensive mode. That is the absolute worst thing you can do. Even the best chess players must adapt and refine their game based on how their opponent plays. They will lose if they do not.

No one goes about things they aren’t good at. business owners, like chess players, do not want to be in a position where they are unsure of their next move. That is why you must ensure that your opening move strategy provides you with the best chance of avoiding this type of scenario. If you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, you must be willing to adapt and persevere. If you don’t choose your opening moves wisely, you’ll most likely be disappointed and unsettled when things go in a direction you weren’t expecting. Once you become reactive, you are unable to devote to your approach and see an unveiling in the middle or end game.

Ways of choosing your opening moves in marketing

Consider your strategy. You might need to invest in both SEO and earned media. Perhaps you should focus entirely on content and partnerships. Your strategy may even be a hybrid of these approaches. But you don’t want to bet everything on one or the other. That is never a good idea in chess.

Always be intentional

You must make deliberate decisions about your marketing strategy from the start. It is what will prepare you for the long run. If you don’t think about your marketing strategy in this way, you’ll always be unprepared at some point in the game, just like the chess player who doesn’t plan out their opening moves.

Focus on your company’s style

Styles determine fights in boxing. Each boxer aligns up differently with each opponent. You may excel at one style while struggling with another. The same is true for digital marketing. Styles define what your marketing is. Just as you choose your opening move in chess based on your playing style, you choose your opening marketing moves based on your marketing style.

Another example is poker. There are many different ways to play poker. Some players are aggressive and will take risks with a marginal hand, holding onto it for a chance at bigger rewards. Others are more conservative and will fold quickly if they do not have the cards they believe are good enough to win.

Visualize your strategy

Your marketing strategy must be consistent. When you commit to a specific strategy and operating style for your business, see it through and ensure you have the right people and resources to support that style.

Always be bold and creative

You want your marketing team to be innovative. You want to be bold and stand out. You should also use data to assist you in making sound decisions. To accomplish these goals, you must ensure that your marketing resources, from the cultural level down to the individual, are empowered and consistent with your strategy. That is a necessary component of running a high-performing business. The best chess players in the world, like the best poker players and boxers, have a distinct style. They are committed to that style. The style they use, and the style you use in your marketing strategy, aren’t as important as long as you choose one that you like, that you’re comfortable with, and that you’re happy with.


Marketing, like chess, is a game. But it’s not a game you play without planning. To be successful, they both necessitate risks, strategy, and practice. We’ve worked hard at Ladder to hone our skills, plan out strategies, and create amazing campaigns that stand out. If you’re ready to take the next step in your marketing career, contact us to find out how we can help.