Being a PR person, my professional bedtime reading has tended to be – as you might guess – PR books. Yes, really.
But when an urge pushed me to branch out into new topics – ahem, marketing – I really didn’t know where to start when it came to outstanding reading matter.
Three weeks ago, I asked fellow members of the Chartered Institute of Marketing LinkedIn group what they would recommend; bookworms and their favourites positively fell out of the digital woodwork!
Now, this book I like!
First, Young – whose career has brought him up close with marketing on many occasions – says the results of using various marketing concepts over the years “shocked” him.
Which has led to this book addressing a whole host of marketing approaches and asking, succinctly, “Does the damn thing have any credibility and does it work?”
Arranged into easy-to-follow, alphabetical chapters, it’s a handbook in the purest sense; perfect for dipping in and out of, depending on what area of marketing communications you’re interested in.
Then, each chapter follows a useful structure, describing the marketing concept, its history, further reading and – finally – the bit that will, I imagine, start the most fights at the water cooler – Young’s rating of the concept. This goes from “Practical and Powerful” for those concepts “founded on good, analytical and experiential evidence” to the “Toxic” which can “do real damage to your shareholders’ business and your career”.
Some of the time-honoured marketing concepts that come in for a beating from Young include Ansoff’s matrix, AIDA, Boston matrices, Branding as packaging and product life cycles not resembling s-curves.
Young also lists what’s not in the book and why, such as “Value-based marketing”, which he dismisses as “dubious” and “unsubstantiated”.
Maybe as important as what the novice marketer should know is what he or she should be circumspect about – and this book serves both purposes.
And forgive me for being partial, but Public Relations gets a “practical and powerful” rating. For that alone, I suggest this is a must for the bedside table!