I should warn you, I like reading marketing books so there are plenty to choose from here.
I received a review copy of "Roadmap To Revenue: How To Sell The Way Your Customers Want To Buy" written by revenue coach Kristin Zhivago.
I wanted to share my first impressions.
A pet subject of mine is that so much marketing and sales advice ignores the buyer or sees each and every buyer as a patsy to be manipulated to do what you want - i.e. to give you their money for whatever they are selling.
Business Book Review – 4.5 Stars
Buy this book.
“No BS Marketing To The Affluent” is that good.
You may not agree with everything Dan Kennedy writes… and you may not like the world it presents but it’s time to face up to some bitter truths.
The rich have most of the money.
And if you want to be rich too, it’s much easier getting a share of their cash by providing something special than it is to prise a few coins out of many more poor people.
Common sense right?
Book Review - 2 Stars
I was very disappointed by "Meatball Sundae: How New Marketing Is Transforming the Business World (And How To Thrive In It) by Seth Godin.
Perhaps it was a book of the moment as what is new when written can seem mundane in just a few years or perhaps the target audience is for corporate America entrenched in the old economy.
The Irresistible Offer by Mark Joyner
Book Review - 4.5 Stars
"The Irresistible Offer: How To Sell Your Product Or Service In Three Seconds Or Less" by Mark Joyner is regularly referred to in my blogs because it focuses on the very centre of business.
What you give and what you want in return.
Mark Joyner makes an irresistible offer because you can get the book for free as a PDF - see The Irresistible Offer (affiliate link)- but interestingly it's not The Irresistible Offer, in the sense intended by the book.
The offer is the basic concept that any commercial transaction is based on although Mark Joyner has lifted up his concept to focus on your identifying offer.
Triggers is a terrific book by Joe Sugarman, one of the leading direct marketers in the world who uses these very factors to make a fortune in direct response mail order advertising.
In fact I wish that I had read it years ago.
The sub-title of Triggers explains the purpose - "30 Sales Tools You Can Use To Control The Mind of your Prospect to Motivate, Influence and Persuade".
(Update - April 2011 I have just heard about a free mp3 interview of Joe Sugarman taking about Triggers - Triggers mp3 - affiliate link - over 4 hours of amazing tips)
Guerrilla Retailing by Jay Conrad Levinson, Elly Valas and Orvel Ray Wilson
Business Book Review - 4.5 Stars
This specialist book in the Guerrilla Marketing book series promises "Unconventional Ways To Make Big Profits From Your Retail Business" and I thought it delivered exactly that.
While Jay Levinson,' name goes first on the book cover as the creator and owner of the Guerrilla Marketing brand, I know from previous books that most, if not all the writing has been done by the other two authors.
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
Book Review - 3.5 Stars
It has taken me a long time to finish reading "The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference" after buying it at London Euston many years ago before I came back to Birmingham on the train.
I started the book several times but it does seem a conundrum about why a book about viral ideas didn't seem to be going viral with me when everyone else was rushing to read it and many raving about The Tipping Point.
My latest marketing book has arrived and it is "Cunningly Clever Marketing: The Inside Secrets Of A Marketing Legend" by Andrew Wood and my first impressions are very favourable.
Let's get a little whinge out of the way first before I concentrate on the good stuff in Cunningly Clever Marketing.
The Guerrilla Marketing Handbook is notable for several reasons:
Putting Customers First by Andy Bruce and Ken Langdon is a small, practical book about putting your customers at the centre of your business.
Just 71 pages long including index it is packed with concise text, tips, photos and diagrams which will suit visual learners who struggle with heavy text books.
Neuromarketing is marketing using the latest neuroscience research on how the human brain works and makes decisions.
In "Neuromarketing: Understanding the Buy Buttons in Your Customer's Brain", Patrick Renvoise and Christophe Morin have written an extremely interesting and thought-provoking book on how you can take advantage of the way the brain is structured.
You may have heard that people make decisions emotionally and buy rationally.
Mark Joyner followed up the commercial and critical success of The Irresistible Offer with a more detailed look at some of the ideas introduced - The Great Formula For Creating Maximum Profit With Minimum Effort.
This is very much about building the back end of the business i.e. encouraging your customers to buy again after their initial purchase. What Mark Joyner calls "sell them a second glass."
I am working hard to like "Guerrilla Profits: 10 Powerful Strategies To Increase Cashflow, Boost Earnings & Get More Business" but I have picked it up and put it down three times in the hope that next time I will be "more in the mood".
I should love the combination of Guerrilla Marketing and Jay Abraham / Dan Kennedy style direct marketing with its profit focus.
But I don't. This book is tough to read and the words don't connect in any meaningful way.
Mark Joyner has written an extremely interesting book, "Mind Control Marketing", or more formally "MindControlMarketing.com: How Everyday People Are Using Forbidden Mind Control Psychology and Ruthless Military Tactics To Make Millions Online".
Mind Control Marketing was his first published bestseller (Mark had previously written very popular Internet marketing ebooks) and it was an instant hit.
No BS Direct Marketing by Dan Kennedy
Review - 3 Stars
The full title of this book by Dan S. Kennedy is No B.S. Direct Marketing : The Ultimate No Holds Barred Kick Butt Take No Prisoners Direct Marketing For Non-Direct Marketing Businesses.
I really wanted to like this book based on the title and my high regard for Dan Kennedy. I had visions of adding it to my list of books I like all my clients to read.
Review - 4 Stars
I am going through an intensive Dan Kennedy phase at the moment and have just finished reading "The Ultimate Marketing Plan Third Edition" by Dan S. Kennedy.
It is a book that has given me mixed feelings so let me explain why.
Review - 4.5 Stars
I have just finished reading "Tested Advertising Methods : Fifth Edition" by John Caples and revised by Fred E. Hahn.
No wonder it is considered a direct response marketing classic.
Apart from too much repetition, I think it is a terrific book.
The Marketing Secrets Of A Multi-Millionaire Entrepreneur by Jonathan Jay
Review - 4 Stars
Jonathan Jay, entrepreneur and founder of the Coaching Academy has written "The Marketing Secrets Of A Multi-Millionaire Entrepreneur" as part of the promotional activities for his new venture SuccessTrack.
Jonathan (or JJ) is giving the book away for free and it is an informative, quick read written in easy to understand language and makes a nice primer for any very small business.
Pain Killer Marketing by Chris Stiehl and Henry Devries
Review - 3 Stars
Just had a new delivery of books from Amazon and "Pain Killer Marketing: How To Turn Customer Pain Into Market Gain" by Chris Stiehl and Henry J. Devries looks to be an exciting new find.
At this stage I have only glanced through it but I am certainly interesting in the "pain v gain" debate which is seen as a commonly applied technique for converting leads into sales (see SPIN Selling, Sandler Sales, Tony Robbins, Peter Thomson etc) but it hasn't been explored particularly well in the marketing literature.
Review - 4 Stars
The latest book for review is "Twenty Five Ways To Improve Sales Without Spending An Extra Dime On Advertising: How To Find And Leverage Your Hidden Marketing Assets" by Richard Johnson.
A very long title there for a good, practical marketing book.
It is a huge question and the answer does depend on where you are but I have just searched Amazon.com and there is an overwhelming choice of marketing books.
As at October 13th, 2008 there were 416,117 items listed.
So for a small or medium sized business, which are the best marketing books?
I have listed my thoughts below and the books include Jay Abraham, Jay Conrad Levinson, Michael Port, John Jantsch, Mark Joyner and others (links take you to articles inspired by these authors on my Business Coaching Blog).
Guerrilla Marketing In 30 Days by Jay Conrad Levinson and Al Lautenslager
Book Review - 3 Stars
Have you ever stood out from the crowd and not been able to see what they see? I was really looking forward to reading "Guerrilla Marketing In 30 Days" by Jay Conrad Levinson and Al Lautenslager.
I am a Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach so I buy into the Guerrilla Marketing ideas and I have a bias for books that lead to purposeful action.
There is a lot of praise for "Guerrilla Marketing In 30 Days" on Amazon.
I should have loved this book but I didn't.
Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port
Book Review - 4.5 Stars
"Book Yourself Solid" by Michael Port is a great book and really forced me to think hard about my book review rating policy.
When I started reviewing these business books I decided that a 5 star rating had to really mean something as a great book that had stood the test of time. It is intended to show the books that I go back to time after time.
While I loved "Booked Yourself Solid" when I read it and believe that it is a classic, I have only known about Michael Port and his ideas for a short time.