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7 Takeaways from > 200 Marketing and Sales Books Every Modern Marketer Needs To Know

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Presentation by Douglas Burdett to the Southwest Michigan American Marketing Association in Kalamazoo, MI on March 21, 2019

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7 Takeaways from > 200 Marketing and Sales Books Every Modern Marketer Needs To Know

  1. 1. How many marketers in the room? Let’s think about the future. Think about what your age will be in 5 years, the year 2024. Do any of you have kids? Think about what age they will be in 2024. Now think about what your current salary is. If you doubled that salary, do the mental math of what that amount is. What would change in your life if you were making that salary in 2024? A lot of the research and trends are predicting that the salaries of marketers could easily double in the next five year - if they have the right skills Today I’m going to share 7 takeaways from over 200 hundred marketing and sales books featured on The Marketing Book Podcast that can help make you the kind of marketer every CEO wants to hire and can’t afford to lose. 1
  2. 2. 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 social media “fad?” 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. 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 day I read David Meerman Scott’s first edition of The New Rules of Marketing and PR and had 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 started reading more marketing and sales books because the more I read, the more the dinosaur scales were shed. 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 four 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. I’ve published 218 interviews and the podcast has listeners in 150 countries has been named by LinkedIn as one of “10 Podcasts That Will Make You A Better Marketer” and by Forbes as one of “11 Podcasts That Will Keep You In The Know.” 8
  9. 9. But before we get to the “7 Takeways from 200 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. 7 takeways. I’ve got good news and bad news. Let’s start with the bad news and end with the good news. And when I say “bad news” – 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? Because CEOs believe marketers are too disconnected from the financial realities of companies. 15
  16. 16. There’s a perception BY SOME of marketers as the arts-and-crafts party planners who work in the make it pretty department. 16
  17. 17. In The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader the authors fielded one of the largest studies of marketers and the people who work with them which revealed insights like this… 17
  18. 18. 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.” 18
  19. 19. 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. 19
  20. 20. So what’s a marketer to do? Barta and Barwise offer this simple recommendation: 20
  21. 21. Get in the revenue camp. That’s what the most successful marketing leaders do – in the minds of company leaders and also in reality. 21
  22. 22. In my Marketing Book Podcast interview with Debbie Qaqish, author of Rise of the Revenue Marketer she said several times... “...the CMO who is related to revenue stays, and the CMO who is not related to revenue leaves. It’s as simple as that.” 22
  23. 23. As a marketer, one of the most helpful question to ask which can start to align what you do with revenue is to ask question like Revenue Camp Questions 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. 23
  24. 24. 24
  25. 25. 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. 25
  26. 26. 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? 26
  27. 27. 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. 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? 27
  28. 28. 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. 28
  29. 29. 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. 29
  30. 30. 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. 30
  31. 31. 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.” 31
  32. 32. To wrap up this section –the most important word in marketing and sales… is empathy. Empathy is the capacity or ability to imagine oneself in the situation of another. That’s not the same as sympathy. Sympathy is feeling compassion, sorrow, or pity for the hardships that another person encounters, while empathy is putting yourself in the shoes of another. If you are able to put yourselves in the shoes of your customers, even just a little bit, you will be amazed at the positive effect it can have on your company’s ability to become known, liked and trusted. 32
  33. 33. 3-The Most Effective Marketing Plans… Are Not Overly Complicated 33
  34. 34. 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, management and colleagues. Here are the two questions that a marketing plan need answer. 34
  35. 35. 35
  36. 36. You may think that Allan Dib’s book, The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, And Stand out From The Crowd has a gimmicky name but don’t be fooled by that. It’s a terrific book and marketing plans need not be more detailed than the 9 areas that you can summarize on one page. 36
  37. 37. I won’t go through each of the 9 sections but notice that there are three parts to the 1-page marketing plan: Before – when prospective customers have never heard of you During – when they become aware of you until they decide to buy (which could be much later), and After – what kind of experience are your customers going to have, how can you sell more to them and what can you do to get referrals Take note of that last section, “after.” Lots of companies don’t include that in their marketing plans. A lot of the marketing and sales activity seems go limp at that point. 37
  38. 38. And that’s because businesses are addicted to SEX! Maybe I should explain that. 38
  39. 39. In Noah Fleming’s book Evergreen: Cultivate the Enduring Customer Loyalty that Keeps Your Business Thriving he explains that businesses are addicted to the sexiness and excitement of the hunt – the thrill of the chase. The conquest. And then, like after a one-night stand, they never call again. Retaining existing customers on the other hand, which is proven to be where the real money and profits are is more like farming. Not quite as thrilling. Not quite as sexy. But have you ever heard that it’s less expensive to keep a customer than to get a new one? Let’s talk some more about that. 39
  40. 40. 4-Your most powerful marketing is the experience you deliver 40
  41. 41. 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). 41
  42. 42. Anthony Iannarino explains in The Lost Art of Closing, we’ve moved from the era of caveat emptor to caveat venditor. We’ve gone from the era of let the buyer beware to let the seller beware. But companies are only beginning to understand this. 42
  43. 43. 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. 43
  44. 44. 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. 44
  45. 45. 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. 45
  46. 46. I interview many authors of sales books for The Marketing Book Podcast because the best marketers have a deep understanding of the sales process That’s always been true but it’s even more important now because of the changing way people buy. 46
  47. 47. When I was a kid and my dad wanted to buy a car, where was the first place he would go to get information? 47
  48. 48. Why did he have to go to the car dealership? This is what Daniel Pink in his book To Sell is Human refers to as “information asymmetry.” The buyer wanted information and the seller had it. And the seller used that information as leverage to guide (or strong arm) the buyer toward a purchase. We are now in an era of Information Symmetry 48
  49. 49. Fast forward to a couple of years ago when my wife wanted to buy a car – where was the absolute last place she went to get information? Where do you suppose she got her information? Your buyers are no different. 49
  50. 50. Many of you may have heard of the landmark study a few years back from CEB/ Gartner about how in a B2B buying situation, the buyers are AT MINIMUM 57% through their purchase process before first reaching out to the seller. Forrester puts that number as high as 90%. It varies by industry and product, of course. 50
  51. 51. So as shown in Debbie Qaqish’s book Rise of the Revenue Marketer that I mentioned earlier, this shows the role of sales when my dad was buying a car where you see sales involved throughout the entire buying process. 51
  52. 52. And here’s a chart that shows where sales is now involved much later in the customer’s buying process like when my wife was buying her car. So who best to fill that void? 52
  53. 53. As stated repeatedly in Aligned to Achieve: How to Unite Your Sales and Marketing Teams into a Single Force for Growth, by Tracy Eiler and Andrea Austin Sales can’t do it alone and marketing exists to make sales easier. 53
  54. 54. 6. Content is the atomic particle of marketing 54
  55. 55. I didn’t discover this myself – it’s also the title of Rebecca Lieb’s excellent content strategy book “Content - The Atomic Particle of Marketing” 55
  56. 56. Marcus Sheridan started a fiberglass pool company in Virginia with two friend 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. The New York times dubbed his approach “revolutionary.” Another tactic that the New York Times has dubbed “a revolutionary marketing approach” is to answer your customer's questions. 56
  57. 57. For more, I recommend Marcus’ excellent book “They Ask, You Answer.” 57
  58. 58. I interviewed Tom Fishburne, also known as The Marketoonist about his book Your Ad Ignored Here: Cartoons from 15 Years of Marketing, Business, and Doodling in Meetings. Tom Fishburne is a graduate of Harvard Business School and worked for several blue chip companies in marketing before he became a full-time cartoonist. 58
  59. 59. Has anyone here seen his cartoons? In the interview I asked him about his sources of inspiration for so many years of hilarious cartoons. His response was interesting. He said that his best source of material is making fun of marketers and businesses who think they still have a captive audience. 59
  60. 60. Raise your hand if you’ve ever seen the movie “Monty Python and The Holy Grail.” Do you remember the scene where King Arthur and his Knights go up to a castle and demand entrance but are spurned by the French soldier on the parapet? The soldier, played by John Cleese, insults them and said things like “your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries.“ That is the metaphor for trying to reach your customers in this modern era. They are not going to lower the drawbridge and let you in their castle unless you can offer them something helpful, entertaining or educational. And that's where content comes in. 60
  61. 61. Seth Godin describes content marketing as “the only marketing left.” 61
  62. 62. In Joe Puliizzi’s book Epic Content Marketing he defines content marketing this way… Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly- defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. 62
  63. 63. Additionally, I encourage you to learn more about storytelling in marketing and sales. Granted, it’s a misunderstood word that you should avoid using outside your marketing department and it doesn’t involve making facts up, but it involves communicating information in story format. And it’s very powerful. Here’s why: The human brain is wired for stories. But you need to do it correctly and we don’t have time to go into the details, but in most cases, you want the customer to be the hero of your story, not your company. Facts tell, but stories sell. Finally, there’s a growing challenge with content marketing. 63
  64. 64. 7. Measure What Matters In a study by Adobe, a remarkable 76% percent of marketers thought marketing has changed more in the previous two years than the past 50. So while marketing has changed a lot, it has also become much more measurable. That’s why in that same study, 68% of marketing professionals feel more pressured to show return on investment on marketing spend. So what should you measure? 64
  65. 65. Any military history fans here? Are there any Vietnam vets in the room? I recently watched Ken Burns documentary “The Vietnam War” and was reminded about a strategy the Americans pursued that was deeply flawed. In an effort to find a metric that would prove that they were winning the war, body counts of enemy dead versus the lower numbers of American dead were carefully counted, so the leadership thought, could prove success. 65
  66. 66. One Vietnam vet and historian said this. The same is true of what marketers are measuring. Things like email open rates and click through rates, social shares and likes, social media reach, impressions, etc. 66
  67. 67. In a similar vein, in Paul Roetzers book The Marketing Performance Blueprint he offers an example of meaningless metrics when he reminds us Social media reach is a deceptive metric that can give a false sense of progress. 67
  68. 68. As a first step toward connecting marketing activity with revenue, the authors of Aligned to Achieve 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. 68
  69. 69. So bear in mind the paradox of measurement from two of the greatest Americans who spoke with German accents. 69
  70. 70. And now for the good news 70
  71. 71. 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 who know what the hell they’re doing are predicted to double in the next five years. 71
  72. 72. And there’s another silver lining for marketers: the role of marketer is becoming a training ground for CEOs. With successful marketers having the deepest insights into the customers, the competition and revenues, a growing number of CEOs are coming from the ranks of CMOs, and according to Gartner, that trend will continue. 72

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