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3 Big Ideas from 250 Marketing & Sales Books Every Modern Marketer Needs To Know

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Presentation by Marketing Book Podcast host Douglas Burdett to the American Marketing Association – Birmingham, Alabama chapter on October 18, 2019.

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3 Big Ideas from 250 Marketing & Sales Books Every Modern Marketer Needs To Know

  1. 1. Marketers, would you like to be the kind of marketer that every CEO wants to hire and can’t afford to lose? You can do it. In the next few minutes I want to share with you 3 big ideas that I have gleaned from over 250 marketing and sales books I’ve read for my Marketing Book Podcast that can help point toward that goal of becoming the kind of marketer every CEO wants to hire and can’t afford to lose. You can do it. I’m not going to talk about the latest tips, tricks, tactics that I’ve learned from reading every book. Instead I want to provide you with 3 big ideas that will be helpful today and in 5 or 25 years regardless of all the change that is going to happen in marketing The first idea is very specific to marketers and the other two apply to anyone in business (management, sales, customer service, etc.) 1
  2. 2. But first, you may ask yourself, well How did I get here? Quick backstory about the 2 books that had the biggest impact on my career: After I got out of the Army and was getting my MBA I was considering several different lines of work for after I finished that degree. One of the things I’d do is read a book about a different field and then determine if I wanted to learn more about it. One day one of my army buddies working on Wall Street in New York City asked me if I’d ever thought about working in advertising. I didn’t know anything about it so I asked one of my business school professors to recommend a book about advertising so that I could determine if that might be of interest. 2
  3. 3. She gave me a copy of Ogilvy on Advertising. I devoured it! I loved it! I set the book down and said “that’s what I want to do!” I found it! Looking back, that one book had an enormous impact on my career and life’s trajectory. The right book at the right time can do that. 3
  4. 4. So in 1988 I went to work in New York City on Madison Avenue at ad industry giants J. Walter Thompson and Grey Advertising. Most of my career was in advertising. When I started my own firm, it was an advertising agency. I loved it. When I was an ad man (and long before) there was a captive audience and when clients bought advertising, your target audience would see it. It was hard to escape the power of advertising. It was the 800 pound gorilla in the room. And then a few years ago I started to notice some tectonic changes occurring in that world. Media commissions were starting to go away. With technology, people could increasingly avoid unwanted marketing and sales messages. I was having to go to meetings with website designers. And I had no idea what they were talking about. Who were these Google guys and why am I getting all these questions about this ”fad” called… social media? The ad industry carnage from the growth of the internet had begun. 4
  5. 5. I was becoming a dinosaur. I was beginning to feel increasingly irrelevant. I began to worry that dinosaur scales would start to show. I hated that. Extinction was near! My gig was up. It was terrifying. So I started to cast about figuring out what the next chapter was going to be. My company still had advertising clients but I could see the writing on the wall and was searching for where things were going. So just like when I was in grad school, I turned to books to get started figuring out what to do next. 5
  6. 6. One of the books I read was David Meerman Scott’s first edition of The New Rules of Marketing and PR which lead to a eureka moment. That’s where things were going. I learned about digital marketing and social media - I started a blog and my company and I were off in a new direction. But I didn’t stop there. I kept reading marketing and sales books because the more I read, the more the dinosaur scales could be avoideed. 6
  7. 7. Then, when I went to a marketing conference, if I knew an author whose book I had read on a Kindle, was going to be there I would purchase the hard copy of the book, put it in my suitcase, fly to the conference, meet the authors and get them to sign their book. Hey, some people collect autographed sports memorabilia. I collect autographed marketing and sales book. 7
  8. 8. So almost five years ago I launched The Marketing Book Podcast where each week I publish an interview with the author of a new marketing or sales book. As of the time of this presentation, I’ve recorded over 250 interviews. The podcast has listeners in 150 countries, has over 1 million downloads and has been named by LinkedIn and Forbes as one of the top marketing and sales podcasts. 8
  9. 9. But before we get to the “3 big ideas from 250 Marketing and Sales Books Every Modern Marketer Needs To Know,” let me answer a question I often get from listeners which is which book has been your favorite? Has it been perhaps a book by bestsellers like Seth Godin or David Meerman Scott, or perhaps Philip Kotler, the father of modern marketing? I’ll tell you which book it is. It’s by Sarah Cooper. 9
  10. 10. The book is 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings: How To Get By Without Even Trying. Let’s look at a couple of the tricks, so you can appreciate the power of this book. 10
  11. 11. One is to translate percentages into fractions. So, if someone says, “about 25% of all users click on this button,” quickly chime in with, “So about one in four,” and make a note of it. Your math skills will be the envy of everyone in the room. 11
  12. 12. Another is ask the presenter to go back a slide. It doesn’t matter where in the presentation you shout this out, it’ll immediately make you look like you’re paying closer attention than everyone else is. Then you can go back to what you were doing – checking Instagram. 12
  13. 13. Now, to become the kind of marketer every CEO wants to hire and can’t afford to lose, there’s an an obstacle to your success as a marketer that will never be completely vanquished. Beware – some of you might be upset at what I’m about to say 13
  14. 14. 1 - Marketers have an image problem Not too long ago there was a study by the Fournaise Group about perceptions of marketers by CEOs. 14
  15. 15. Who can guess what percent of CEOs in that study trust marketers. (20%) And why do you think they don’t trust marketers? 15
  16. 16. Because CEOs believe marketers are too disconnected from the financial realities of companies. 16
  17. 17. There’s a perception BY SOME that marketers are arts-and-crafts party planners who work in the make it pretty department. 17
  18. 18. In “The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader: How To Succeed by Building Customer and Company Value,” by Thomas Barta and Patrick Barwise, the authors fielded one of the largest studies of marketers and the people who work with them which revealed insights like this… 18
  19. 19. Early in our study, we spoke with international CMOS about their work, asking “what do you do?” It was interesting how different people answered. Some said things like, “I manage the brand” or “I run our marketing.” Words like these don't go down well with company leaders. In the words of marketing professor and columnist Mark Ritson, “Too many marketers go into a room full of executives from their company and warble on about the need to build brand awareness and brand equity. No one gives a f***, except you – and presumably you are already on board. Good marketers work out how to link what they do with what other stakeholders within the organization want – employee retention, improved profits, clearer leadership.” 19
  20. 20. In the 4A’s of Marketing by Jagdish Sheth and Rajendra Sisodia, they also talk about this negative perception of marketers. … CEOs and corporate boards are growing increasingly skeptical of the marketing function’s ability to deliver reasonable returns on resources invested. Scholars have suggested that marketing has lost its seat at the table when it comes to making strategic decisions at many companies, because of its failure to perform. 20
  21. 21. In his hilariously brutal book “Marketers Are From Mars, Consumers Are From New Jersey” Bob Hoffman proclaims “there’s no bullshit like brand bullshit.” 21
  22. 22. So what’s a marketer to do? Barta and Barwise offer this simple recommendation: 22
  23. 23. Get in the revenue camp. That’s what the most successful marketing leaders do – in the minds of company leaders and also in reality. 23
  24. 24. In my Marketing Book Podcast interview with Debbie Qaqish, author of “Rise of the Revenue Marketer” she said several times... 24
  25. 25. Get in the revenue camp. That’s what the most successful marketing leaders do – in the minds of company leaders and also in reality. 25
  26. 26. As a marketer, one of the most helpful things to do to align what you do with revenue is to ask questions like… What are our company financial goals? What are our company sales goals? Who is our most profitable customer? What is the average lifetime value of a customer? As a marketer seeking admission to the revenue camp, answers to these types of questions can help tremendously. 26
  27. 27. In the ”Customer Centricity Playbook: Implement A Winning Strategy Driven by Customer Lifetime Value” the authors recommend that marketers calculate each customers lifetime value in order to prioritize marketing efforts and budgets. 27
  28. 28. In Eddie Yoon’s “Super Consumers: A Simple, Speedy and Sustainable Path to Superior Growth” he lays out a framework to find those super consumers representing 10% of total consumers, but who can drive between 30% to 70% of sales, and they’re usually willing to spend considerably more than the average consumer. Who are your super consumers? 28
  29. 29. In Engelina Jaspers’ “Marketing Flexology: How To Outsmart Change and Future-proof Your Career” she describes a trait that the most successful marketers have – she writes, “I call it a business first mindset, and cultivating this trait is by far the most important thing a dynamic marketing leader can do. It goes like this: when faced with any business decision, place your company and customers first–before your team and before yourself. It may feel counterintuitive, but it works.” Additionally, when talking about developing an executive dashboard she says, “it needs to focus on business outcomes and include metrics that use the standard language of business… accounting. The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania asserts “The story of any company, no matter the size, the industry, or the country of origin, is told through its financial records and reports. Income, debt, revenue versus expenses, compensation, and cost of retaining customers can all be found on financial statements.” Financial data is understood by any individual in the business world–from investors to employees. Using existing financial data as the basis for your marketing metrics will ensure it is widely understood across the organization and respected for its accuracy.” 29
  30. 30. So back to the first book I talked about, “The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader.” I talked about the disconnect many marketers have with their companies. But here is what the successful marketers are doing… Our interviews with the most successful marketers have one thing in common: a top management viewpoint. Rather than talking about marketing, they spoke of the business as a whole. They didn't talk a lot about advertising, branding, or customer insights. They spoke about revenue, costs, and profit – and how they could serve the customer better. The real marketing leaders were concerned with one thing: how marketing helps the company achieve its biggest priorities. Additionally, that same book talks, as do so many about the skills gaps when the authors said... 21st century marketing is suffering from a skills crisis. It’s for this reason that the marketing salaries of marketers with the right skills are predicted to double in the next five years. 30
  31. 31. Let’s talk about how to change the perception of marketing plan presentations as dog and pony shows, where marketers dazzle everyone with a list of hot new digital tactics, golf sponsorships and promotional tactics and can sometimes be a bit lean on the business strategy. Again, I’m talking about the perception, not necessarily the reality. 31
  32. 32. According to Malcolm McDonald in his 2nd edition of “Malcolm McDonald on Marketing Planning,” (his 46th book) there are only two questions that need to be answered in a marketing plan. And if you as a marketer start with the answers to these two questions in a marketing plan, you will more likely find yourself in that 20% of marketers trusted by your CEO. Here are the two questions that a marketing plan need answer. 32
  33. 33. Professor McDonald emphatically recommends that anyone on a company’s board of directors that cannot answer those 2 question be sacked immediately. He’s been the chairman of 6 companies. When a marketer asks for this information, their stature tends to rise. Don’t have this information from your company? His book will show you how to derive the answers to those 2 questions. 33
  34. 34. As a first step toward connecting marketing activity with revenue, Tracy Eiler and Andrea Austin the authors of “Aligned to Achieve: How to Unite Your Sales and Marketing Teams into a Single Force for Growth” recommend focusing on pipeline. Pipeline refers to the opportunities the sales team believes could convert into revenue. This is different from leads, people who have expressed very early interest, because pipeline holds actual opportunities that are qualified through both the marketing and sales process. 34
  35. 35. 35
  36. 36. In Seth Godin’s latest book “This Is Marketing: You Can't Be Seen Until You Learn to See,” he writes… … marketing, the effective kind, is about understanding our customers’ worldview and desires so we can connect with them. It’s focused on being missed when you’re gone, on bringing more than people expect to those who trust us. It seeks volunteers, not victims. 36
  37. 37. There are three types of companies. Think about which type of company you’re in. Companies that are focused primarily on themselves, their own products and operations. Companies that are focused primarily on their competitors. Companies that are focused primarily on their customers. Which kind of company do you think Amazon is? 37
  38. 38. Legend has it that when Jeff Bezos attends an internal meeting he insists on there being at least one empty chair in the room. That empty chair represents the customer. Invariably during meetings he’ll point at the chair to remind people what their primary focus needs to be. Bezos has said ”Our number one conviction and idea and philosophy and principle… is customer obsession, as opposed to competitor obsession.” And the last time I checked, Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world In this era of the customer, companies who are focused on and have a deep understanding of their customers are the most successful. So how can you help your company to develop a deeper understanding of your customers in order to give you a competitive edge? 38
  39. 39. Has anyone here introduced the concept of buyer personas at your company? As defined in Adele Revella’s bestselling book Buyer Personas: How to Gain Insight into Your Customer’s Expectations, Align Your Marketing Strategies, and Win More Business: In the simplest terms, buyer personas are examples or archetypes of real buyers that allow marketers to craft strategies to promote products and services to the people who might buy them. The backbone of her book is the 5 insights that about your customers that will give you a big competitive understanding of your customers and an unfair advantage. The most important aspect of developing your buyer persona is that you must actually speak with customers. I encourage you to visit buyerpersona.com and learn about the 5 insights of buying that are outlined in her book. She has some e-books about the buying insights and there’s no registration required. 39
  40. 40. In “The Transformational Consumer: Fuel a Lifelong Love Affair with Your Customers by Helping Them Get Healthier, Wealthier, and Wiser” Tara-Nicholle Nelson explains how every purchase a customer makes is associated with SOME kind of transformation in their lives that they are seeking. Some are more obvious transformations that others but if you can infer what the larger transformation is that a customer is seeking in which your product plays a role, your customers are much more likely to buy from you. 40
  41. 41. In Kristin Zhivago’s book Roadmap to Revenue: How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy, she outlines what successful companies do to increase revenue and do you know what the linchpin of her entire book and process is? INTERVIEW YOUR CUSTOMERS! Of course, you need to do it the way she prescribes in the book because many companies don’t know how to properly glean the right insights from their customers. 41
  42. 42. Similarly in Martin Lindstrom’s book Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends, he writes about a very successful company that now requires all employees to have an annual visit in a customer home to help them to gain meaningful insights into their customers. 42
  43. 43. As David Cancel and Dave Gerhardt underscore in their book “Conversational Marketing: How The World’s Fastest Growign Companies Use Chatbots to Generate Leads 24/7/365 (And How You Can Too)… “Remember: whoever gets closest to the customer wins.” 43
  44. 44. In The Invisible Brand: Marketing in the Age Of Automation, Big Data, and Machine Learning, the author William Ammerman explains… “The power goes to those who know the customer best.” 44
  45. 45. Let’s talk about content, which as Rebecca Lieb calls it in her content marketing strategy book “Content – - The Atomic Particle of Marketing” A few years ago SiriusDecisions stated that 60 percent to 70 percent of content produced by b-to-b marketing organizations goes unused, sitting on sales portals and Web site shelves. What do they attribute that to? 45
  46. 46. A lack of buyer insights! 46
  47. 47. What’s one of the best ways to get customer insights? Answer their questions! Marcus Sheridan started a fiberglass pool company in Virginia with two friends in 2001. They did pretty well and before long they were spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising in their primary markets of Richmond Virginia and Washington DC. When the real estate crash of 2008 happened the number of people interested in investing in a fiberglass pool plummeted. Business almost completely stopped. They were out of money. Their financial advisors advised them to declare bankruptcy. At the end of his rope, Marcus began posting answers to every question they regularly got from customers like “how much does a pool cost?” What are the pros and cons of a fiberglass pool? Hundreds of questions like this. Within one year it was the highest trafficked pool website in the world. The fear that his prospective customers had in doing business plummeted and their trust soared. 47
  48. 48. In Tiffani Bova’s book “Growth IQ: Get Smarter About the Choices that Will Make or Break Your Business” she outlines the 10 ways that companies grow. And the success of any of the approaches is most correlated with how well a company understands their customers. And the first of the 10 approaches to growth is improving the experience your customers have with your company, which leads us to the final big idea. 48
  49. 49. 49
  50. 50. A powerful quote from Maya Angelou comes to mind as it relates to customer experience I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. -Maya Angelou Why is this more important now than in the past? The internet. Social media. Ratings and review sites. Everyone has a megaphone with which they can tell the world about being treated badly by a company (even if they weren’t). 50
  51. 51. In X: The Experience When Business Meets Design, Brian Solis cites a Bain & Company study of 362 companies. 80% of those companies thought that they were delivering a “superior experience.” In truth, according to their customers, only 8% were. And how did that 8% do it? They purposefully designed their customers’ experience. 51
  52. 52. This is why there is are a growing number of excellent books about engineering a better customer experience that I have interviewed for The Marketing Book Podcast. So why do companies really want to engineer a better customer experience? Is it because they don’t like being yelled at? The reason for this interest in customer experience is that’s also where the money is. 52
  53. 53. And this is also why we’re seeing a resurgence of word of mouth marketing via books like “Fizz” by Ted Wright and “Talk Triggers” by Jay Baer and Daniel Lemin. One of the most important things to remember about WOMM is that for it to work effectively it has to be engineered into the experience your customer has with your company. It’s not something you can easily stroke a check for to a vendor and get word of mouth marketing. 53
  54. 54. In Nicholas Webb’s book What Customers Crave he explains that... 70% of Americans are willing to spend more with companies they believe provide an excellent customer experience. Plus, keeping your customers is where the really big money is: The probability of selling to a new prospect is less than 20%, while the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 to 70 percent. On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase. The experience you engineer for your customers is your most powerful marketing. 54
  55. 55. Need more proof for your CEO and CFO that customer experience is where the money is? In “Marketing To The Entitled Consumer: How to Turn Unreasonable Expectations into Lasting Relationships by Nick Worth, Dave Frankland and Josh Bernoff, they write about the The Forrester Research Customer Experience Index correlates strongly with customers willingness to consider additional purchases from a company and their likelihood to recommend a company to friends and colleagues. When Watermark Consulting analyzed the 8-year stock performance of companies evaluated by Forrester in 2015, customer experience leader showed a cumulative return of 108%, compared to a return of 28% for customer experience laggards (and 72% for the S&P 500). 55
  56. 56. In Roger Dooley’s book “Friction: The Untapped Force That Can Be Your Most Powerful Advantage” he explains that the number one way to create or grow a business by providing the best experience is to don “friction googles” and endlessly look for the friction in your customer’s lives. Doing so will make you rich. 56
  57. 57. Besides differentiating your product or service, and in this age of product parity that’s less and less of an option, do you know the best way to differentiate your company, sell more and provide a great customer experience? It’s in the way that you sell. The way you sell plays an enormous role in your customer’s experience? What is your customer’s buying experience like? Hint: it’s not the same as your sales process. 57
  58. 58. 58
  59. 59. Who can guess what percent of CEOs in that study trust marketers. (20%) And why do you think they don’t trust marketers? 59
  60. 60. I hope you found this presentation helpful. If you’re interested in keeping up with the latest ideas to help you succeed in the quickly-changing world of modern marketing and sales, go to your favorite podcast app on your smartphone like Apple Podcasts and subscribe for free to The Marketing Book Podcast. And if I can recommend any marketing or sales books or other resources for whatever situation you find yourself in, just connect with me on LinkedIn where we can chat and I’ll try to get you pointed in the right direction. 60

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