“It's a great blessing if one can lose all sense of time, all worries, if only for a short time, in a book.” – Nella Last We asked our proven part-time Marketing Directors for their favourite business books. Here’s what they told us.
Warren Buffett, as one of the richest men in the USA, knows a thing or twenty-nine about making money. His core rules include “Never lose money”, “Keep doing the same things and you keep getting the same results”, and, most importantly for us, “Never invest in something you cannot understand”. That last point absolutely applies to marketing. Many business leaders don’t entirely understand marketing. They know it has to be done, but not how - or how much it should cost. To pick one example, related to one marketing medium: a survey by MDG reveals that 44% of Chief Marketing Officers are unable to measure the impact of social media on their business at all, while only 20% say they can quantify that impact. And yet 73% of businesses are tracking their social media efforts - so what’s going wrong between the monitoring and the understanding?
It’s difficult to overstate the importance of a great website. It’s the digital representation of your brand, and the customer’s experience with it reflects on your business as a whole. Your site needs to be quick, it needs to be easy to navigate, the copy needs to be great, it needs to look fantastic, it needs to be optimised for SEO and mobile and more besides. For these reasons and more, getting it right is a bigger job than you might initially think.
“How do I know your solution is what my business needs?” “I’ve already got a reliable supplier in your sector. Why should I switch to you?” “How are you going to solve my business problem?” Questions like these can make even practised business owners break a sweat. If you start hearing yourself waffling on about the ’synergistic benefits’ of your ‘integrated solution’ it’s not because you don’t know your stuff, it’s generally because you haven’t developed your value proposition.
If someone came to The Marketing Centre and asked us what marketing they should do with £100, we’d tell them they were asking a trick question. Effective marketing is strategic, not tactical, we’d say, and we’d have to have a good idea about their business’ goals, situation and marketplace before we could even contemplate our recommended tactic. And we’d still be reluctant to answer the question, even then, because a marketing budget should follow a business’ marketing strategy, not come before it.