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Tell the Truth: Honesty is Your Most Powerful Marketing Tool Hardcover – 19 Apr 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: BenBella Books; 1 edition (19 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936661462
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936661466
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 582,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Truth is the only defensible competitive advantage. I'm not sure why this is controversial, but it's true." --Seth Godin, Author, We Are All Weird

"The true future of marketing will be about brands and their ability to have a direct relationship with their consumers. The trick, as so well explained in Tell The Truth, is that brands have to be honest ... brutally honest. Truth in advertising? Truth in marketing? It hasn't really happened, but now it can. Sue Unerman and Jonathan Salem Baskin offer this wonderful book as a first step in the right direction. It belongs on everyone's desk who touches a brand." --Mitch Joel, President of Twist Image and Author, Blogger, and Podcaster, Six Pixels of Separation

"Truth in advertising is no longer an oxymoron; it's an absolute necessity if a brand wishes to compete in today's increasingly transparent marketplace. Brands will be judged not based on what they say, but what they do; not the promises they make, but the ones they keep. This book is the first step toward your enlightenment." --Joseph Jaffe, Author, Flip the Funnel

"The authors re-examine the abiding value of authenticity; convince us that, in the Internet age, brand truth has become a marketing necessity; and offer practical guidance on how to achieve it." --Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP

"Tell the Truth is an essential guide to advertising in the modern world."
--Jonathan Dean, Online Culture Editor, The Sunday Times

About the Author

Sue Unerman is Chief Strategy Officer of MediaCom. Amid the changing media landscape, she delivers a strategic edge in communications and strategic planning for clients, thereby ensuring MediaCom UK is a step ahead of the competition. Equipped with a history degree from Oxford University, Unerman has experience in planning and buying media at Benton and Bowles, DMB+B, and Geers Gross. The UK-based Campaign magazine says that Unerman is "widely considered to be one of media's finest strategic brains, helping to turn MediaCom into a $1billion agency." Jonathan Baskin, President of Baskin Associates, Inc., has worked for the last 28 years to translate branding strategy into something more than images and words for global brand names including Apple, Blockbuster, Limited, and Nissan. He has led agency and corporate teams responsible for all aspects of marketing communications and public affairs. Since 2008, Baskin has written a bi-weekly column on marketing leadership for Advertising Age, and posted twice-weekly on his award-winning blog, BaskinBrand. He is also a frequent public speaker and an often-quoted expert in news stories from sources such as USA TODAY and Reuters.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark Rupert Webster on 17 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover
`Tell the Truth' proposes that in this age where consumers can directly access and influence information and opinions about a product or service, the `truth', or certainly the public perception of it, will out. However, rather than be fearful of exposure, the book provides a number of practical strategies that enable the modern business to exploit this as an opportunity to forge a `truthful' relationship with the consumer or client. Numerous examples are cited to support the authors' research and ideas, such as the John Lewis store chain whose respectful attitude towards their workers as partners rather than just employees so successfully underpins their straightforward attitude to their customers. This clarity (or truth) is sometimes overshadowed by superficially more sophisticated, amusing or `clever' branding, but ultimately superficial branding proves less sustainable than honesty.
There is enough substance in the book for the professional intent on establishing the best way forward for their business; `Tell the Truth' issues checklists and instructions for engaging with customers or clients. However, it is also an enjoyable read in its own right for the interested non-specialist, like me. There are enough anecdotes and everyday examples to keep the pages turning, and most important of all, it makes you think.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By yersh on 5 May 2012
Format: Hardcover
Many years ago a member of Parliament was on the board of a company I worked for.
I asked him a question about whether something was true or not.
His response was "it depends on what you mean by truth".
This answer floored me and I was lost for a response so the conversation moved on with someone else.
Now in the same situation I would immediately say " read this book".
It provides not only a clear definition, through example, but tells us why truth is good and profitable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tim Ferris on 1 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover
An inspirational back to basics guide on how to create or change a brand to one people will trust

Worth a read
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Tell the Truth gets you thinking ... and doing. 26 Mar. 2012
By Sean Duffy - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Marketing has changed in recent years. Global interconnectivity via the Internet has redefined the way that brands are built and managed. For many marketers adapting has meant frantic experimentation with the latest social media platforms, viral tactics or online metrics. My advice: Stop and read this book first. Because if you want your brand to benefit from all these nifty new tools and tactics then you'll also need to adopt a new mindset. That's what Tell the Truth is about: Providing marketers with a new conceptual framework for building brands that can compete in today's wired world.

I found Tell the Truth a lucid and enjoyable read. Underman and Baskin provide original thinking, clear writing and lots of examples to help the reader unlearn prevailing marketing dogma that was shaped during the media monopoly of the last century. Chief among these beliefs is the notion that truth is optional.

While Tell the Truth makes a compelling case for why truth is the most powerful marketing tool we have, it's not an esoteric ethical treatise. It's a hands-on field guide, full of practical advice for implementing truth in your day-to-day marketing efforts.

If you are trying to get your head around the changes taking place in marketing today, start here. Tell the Truth will help you put the new rules of marketing to work for your brand. I've made it required reading in my company. I hope Tell the Truth will be for today's generation of marketers what Ogilvy on Advertising was for previous generations.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A truly stimulating read. Thought provoking, yet practical. 8 April 2012
By Danny Donovan - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Unerman and Baskin are clearly marketing practitioners with many years of experience between them helping real brands get real results, with Truth clearly at the heart of their ethos. That is what shines through in this book. Thought provoking, yet practical. Marketers and business leaders looking to build brands in the 21st century media ecology will do well to read this book and listen carefully to the mantra. Truth is no longer optional.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Social Media And The Internet: The New Truth Check... 5 Feb. 2013
By JP - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Brands like Progressive Insurance - "My Sister Paid Progressive Insurance to Defend Her Killer in Court", United Airlines - "United Breaks Guitars, But Not Their Silence" could take a note. If you aren't marketing the truth, you will get called out and pay a heavy penalty for it.

In "Tell The Truth", you will find the 8 ways for brands to better deliver truth. This isn't a ploy to cover up what is the truth, but a way to be direct and specific about what it takes to help shape your brand. The example brands above are a couple of the hundreds of brands that failed to address the customers' situation promptly and as such lost both customers and brand reputation. This book is an excellent guide presenting the criteria that when applied, can give your business the competitive advantage truth provides.

The book splits the 8 ways up into what you can and should say to your customers, and how you ultimately tell the truth. In today's world, we live in the shadows of WorldCom, Enron, Tyco and the other companies that betrayed the people's trust of corporate governance. In the 90's and early 2000's, these companies did not have to deal with the existence of social media like Twitter and Facebook. It's easier today for a simple Tweet or Facebook post of a ticked customer to create a PR nightmare for a company.

The authors make a great point that because of the heavy internet age we live in today, the truth is out there and it will soon be found out. It's far better to admit and confront the truth than to treat your customers like they are too stupid to find it on their own.

This book gives 50 great case examples of companies in the US and UK like Chick-fil-A, 24 Hour Fitness, Churchill Insurance and Domino's that understood the truth they stood in and marketed it to their customers by way of every median at their disposal. Domino's for example, stepped up and said, `yes, our pizza has been a terrible product, but we are going to work to make our product the best.' This has given them new ground to become a better market competitor but more so, it has helped them to regain their customers trust.

In sum, this book is an excellent resource for helping your company to differentiate itself in a positive way. "Tell The Truth" is more than just a simple idea customer's expect; it's a way to dominate your market.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher. A review in exchange for the review copy was not promised. The views and opinions expressed in this review are my own, and in no way represent the views or opinions of the publisher, distributor or author(s).
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
history, sociology, common sense, A++++++ 4 Jun. 2012
By Neal Karlen - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With talk of branding, establishing a proper advertising platform, and the demands of our ever shortening attention plans, nothing seems more likely to have undergone a revolution in the last 15 years than the sometimes not so gentle art of persuasion in the marketplace. Unerman and Baskin make a notable case that what worked thousands of years ago--honesty--is what will work now in the increasingly freewheeling world of advertising, where truth seems like the first thing to go in the need to sell a product. Unerman, an advertising executive, and Baskin, a well known consultant and author of an influential column in Advertising Age bring hope, pleasure, and a damn good read to a topic that could have been depressing. Thanks folks!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
And the Truth Shall Set You Free... 10 July 2012
By Peter Johnson - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The most successful brands work hard to understand and articulate the simple, human truth behind how they serve their customers. In his book Jonathan Salem Baskin provides businesses of all sizes and markets how to harness the truth about who they are as a company. This is a great read and a must for every brand manager out there. You have to tell the truth!
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