For those who’ve never experienced a drive-by review, they’re short, sweet and to the point, answering 3 basic questions: what’s it about, what makes it different, who should read it. Also, I only feature books I can recommend, my life’s too short to finish ones that suck the life outta me and yours is too short to have to read about how bad they are.
What’s it all about: Two words that don’t go down easy with Scott are old school. Two others are direct marketing. UnMarketing is about the changes that are happening in marketing and communications for businesses of all sizes. Ones driven in large part by the push for more interaction, engagement and transparency via social media.
Scott argues that traditional interrupt and sell tactics, like cold-calling and shotgun direct-response advertising not only don’t work, but are the equivalent to aggressive, off-putting behavior that alienates the very people you’re trying to befriend, then move to become customers and evangelists. Then, he offers up a cornucopia of strategies and tools to evolve your marketing into something that’s not only more effective, but more enjoyable and likely more impactful and lasting.
What makes it different: One, Scott’s voice. Scott’s got personality. In real life and in print. He’s a lot of fun to be around and to read and is incredibly smart and insanely passionate about his message. And, that means, like every good writer and marketer, his voice will either resonate strongly or repel strongly. There isn’t much middle ground. And, that’s a good thing, because nobody has time for wishy-washy these days.
Two, the message. We are in the very early stages of a potentially seismic shift in the opportunities available to market. There are now tools available to reach directly out to potential customers, engage them in conversation and offer them a ton a value before ever asking for a sale, in a way that’s not only potentially more effective, but more fun.
So, if you’re tired of running sales scripts designed purely as a numbers play with the goal of landing 1 out of every 100 calls to barely qualified leads, UnMarketing will arm you with a lot of alternatives. Social media is part of that equation, but the bigger principles about engagement resonate across all approaches to marketing.
And, here, too, is where Scott and I diverge a bit. For two reasons.
First, while while the trend is definitely away from interrupt and sell, that old-school mode of marketing/selling, done well, still works. It may be ugly, it may be disliked by many, but for a business that’s been built upon it over years or decades, I’m hesitant to remove any tool that’s generating substantial ROI in tough times until the new strategies and tactics have demonstrated their ability to not only replace that revenue, but exceed it. That’s going to take time and, for certain businesses, it may never happen.
And, second, really good “old-school” direct response list-marketing does engage and respect (granted, “really good” is rarely done). Without social tools, there was a lot less room for conversation, but great direct list marketers have always provided a ton of value to their tribes over time, then occasionally asked for the sale.
In fact, guys like Brian Clark of Copyblogger will gleefully tell you they’ve generated huge revenues online by transferring traditional direct-response list-marketing strategy into the digital engagement economy, essentially turning social media marketing into direct response 2.0.
So, when Scott says it’s not about the list anymore, it’s about engagement, my thought is it’s about having an “engaged list” and that comes from not only conversation, but value over time.
The big difference is that we now have tools to take that engagement and the ability to offer value to entirely new levels.
And, UnMarketing: Stop marketing, Start Engaging, does a great job of showing you how.
Who should read it: Anyone looking to understand how to market to, better understand, offer value to and truly engage both existing customers and potential customers in the name of turning them into long-term, loyal clients and evangelists for both your brand and your solutions.
[Disclaimer – Scott gave me a review copy of UnMarketing. I didn’t pay for it, even though he also said I was sexy, while simultaneously emailing me the PDF and I would’ve paid him the price of the book just to have him call me sexy. But that really doesn’t matter because it’s over now, the moment has passed. And, he has a lot more hair than me, too, which I’m kind of jealous about, but that’d make me more likely to give his book a bad review, unless of course I was still under the influence of the sexy comment, which may have influenced my review, though I don’t think it did. And, btw, the links are all affiliate links, which means if you buy through them, I’ll be rich, rich, rich! Oh look, a squirrel…]
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