The one-sentence summary
Marketing is a mess, so stop overcomplicating everything and do some simple thinking based on your brand’s obvious differentiating characteristics.
WHAT THE BOOK SAYS
- Sub-titled The Antidote for Today’s Marketing Mess, this is a pointed polemic about the state that marketing has got itself into. He gives a thorough pasting to marketing, advertising, research, Wall Street, the internet, and several named client companies.
- Instead of concentrating on segmentation, customer retention or search engine optimisation, marketers should be looking for that simple, obvious differentiating idea.
- Particular culprits are people and organisations that deliberately put complication in the way of the obvious – and shoot themselves in the foot.
- Many people fear the activity of thinking so they follow suggestions made by others to avoid it.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT
- We seem to have no time to think any more. Many meetings are little more than gadget envy sessions.
- “The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.” William James
- Mission statements are denounced as bunk. A survey of 300 revealed that the words used in them are all the same: service (230), customers (211), quality (194), value, employees, growth, environment, profit, leader, best.
- Sales, technology and performance leadership are all valid concepts. Thought leadership is not – it doesn’t mean anything.
- If you want to solve a problem, try: substitute, combine, adapt, magnify, minimise, eliminate, and a range of other angular thinking techniques
- The biggest blunders these days are: Me-too product or idea, unclear what you are selling, untruthful claims, arrogance brought on by success
WHAT YOU HAVE TO WATCH
- All the examples are American, so you have to work with them.
- He has quite a rant. There are moments when the vitriol appears to outweigh rational analysis, but some may find that fun.