- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Hilltop Publishing Ltd; First edition (1 Jun. 2012)
- ISBN-10: 0953685063
- ISBN-13: 978-0953685066
- Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.2 x 23.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 384,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Unprincipled: The Unvarnished Truth About Running a Marketing Agency - from Start-up to Sell-out Paperback – 1 Jun 2012
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More About the Author
My marketing experience is overlaid with general management experience, having founded and grown a small consultancy business from scratch to a £6million turnover with 40 employees.
I now work as a Non-Executive Director with business owners, to help them with growth strategies that will help them achieve their personal and business goals, but often in one of four distinct areas: general growth strategies and plans; franchising as a specific means of achieving rapid business growth; mergers and acquisitions; and exit strategies.
I also work as a marketing specialist - de facto marketing manager - for some clients, developing marketing plans and strategies, and more importantly implementing them. As a marketing services business owner, I know how to get things done as well as what needs to be done.
For more detailed background, visit www.hilltopconsultancy.co.uk
My strong belief is that the principles of marketing and business management remain the same, no matter what the product or market sector (my business was called Marketing Principles), though obviously my experience of the service sector gives me a particular edge there.
I have written a book of my experiences co-founding, growing and eventually selling a business - part memoir, part comic novel, part business handbook, called "The Unprincipled".
Published by Hilltop Publishing - my own publishing vehicle, which has already published half a dozen other works over the years - it is on sale through its own web-site (www.theunprincipled.com) as well as traditional sites like Amazon and through bookshops.
I was intending to read this on my iPad in Oz, but I just couldn't put it down - read it in the bath, on the settee, in bed. First chapter is especially interesting for me, as I was there; and remember that New Year's Eve very well. A cracking read, flows well and made me laugh out loud so many times. It also made me glad I got out of Sales Promotion or, rather, that Sales Promotion left me. --Yvonne MacQueen
Part memoir, part business handbook, part comic novel: it's hard to categorise, and hard to put down, once you start. --Paul Goddard
Amusing, bile inducing and memory jogging in equal measures! --Mark Catterson (aka The Cat)
In 1985 David Croydon and a couple of his colleagues were in employment but they were spending some of the working hours setting up their own company which would be in competition with their current employers. All's fair in love and the world of sales promotion and Marketing Principles was born the following year. The title of the book is taken from the in-house newsletter published twice a year by their creative department to debunk anyone who worked for the agency and judging by what David Croydon has to say they must have had a lot of material to choose from. If I had to pick one word to describe this book it's scurrilous, so if the title of the book suggests that the content might be rather dry, then think again. Before I started reading it struck me that what had happened had happened some time ago. Times have changed. Governments have come and gone and some laws have changed. I was expecting something mildly interesting and informative to anyone running a small business and if, like me, you had a background dealing with companies large and small then so much the better. Pencil and notebook at the ready I settled down prepared to be educated. Er, yes. Well, I was educated. I probably have met the word vomitorium before but never in the context of a book about business. I'm sure that it was entirely coincidental that much of the business which Marketing Principles took on was in the sector which might be characterised as booze and fags. It's not so much that you would describe alcohol as close to their hearts - it was more a danger to their liver. Croydon, Stid and the Cat were joined by Gaylord as the Creative Director and whilst there can be no doubt that they worked hard they played hard too. Very hard. It's not a straight-line narrative about what happened, with themes being covered and jumps back and forth in time accommodated in the story. It works well with only the odd repetition and I've read comic novels which engaged my interest to a lesser extent. It's politically incorrect, scurrilous and quite probably actionable in places - but it's a damned good read. How useful is it as a business book? Pretty good I'd say. Croydon is forthcoming about what went wrong (but perhaps not as fulsome about what went right as I would have liked) and brutally honest about what could have been done differently. You'll probably be able to add in a few things which you think they ought to have done differently too. There are plenty of pointers which you can direct at your own business (before, during or after...) and it would be an unusual businessman who didn't find the book thought-provoking. Writing the book was cathartic for Croydon and you might think that he was unfortunate in that a LOT of things went wrong for him - fraud by a director, another director who defected, a sale of the business which proved less than satisfactory gives you a flavour of what went on - or you might argue that there should have been better planning. I doubt that Croydon would disagree - this isn't by any stretch of the imagination a misery memoir and he's made the mistakes so you don't have to. I'd like to thank the author for dropping a copy into the Bookbag. --Bookbag website
Refreshingly original and authentic voice in a world drowning in corporate doubletalk. Bookshelves today overflow with gung-ho motivational books by entrepreneurial authors who claim the sky is the limit. Just get creative! Think positive! If you re tired of unending cheerleading that seems to skirt the harsh realities of running a business, you ll be glad to know that The Unprincipled is not another one of those books. Instead, it s a cautionary, candid, and frequently funny tale of a business that saw a lot of ups and downs in its 12-year run. Author David Croydon uses the pages of The Unprincipled to chronicle the rise and fall of the Oxford sales promotion company he and colleagues founded in 1985, called Marketing Principles. The irony of the company s name is not lost on Croydon, who openly discusses even celebrates the bad behavior of nearly everyone in the company, himself included. These guys spend a lot of time in bars, take some questionable markups on their invoices, and make hiring decisions about women based more on their looks than their abilities. They do very little by the book. Sometimes, the seat-of-your-pants method works very well for this little company that snags clients like Smirnoff; at other times it leads to bungled deals with promising accounts like Coca-Cola. Croydon attempts to tell the story as if it were unfolding now, but the sense of immediacy he reaches for with the present tense flags as he frequently moves forward in time to evaluate the situation in hindsight. It s fascinating to picture a low-tech creative team working with nothing but paper and Magic Markers, for instance, without a computer in sight. It really sets the time period. But when Croydon jumps in to mention how technology will improve in the coming years, he takes the reader out of the moment. The Unprincipled isn t a short book, clocking in at over 300 pages, but it reads quickly, thanks to Croydon s easygoing style and frank observations about the true dynamics behind the staged meetings, lopsided deals, and doomed reorganization efforts he suffers through on behalf of the business. He tells all, but with a nod and a wink that makes the medicine of his real-life experience go down a bit easier. --Review Worm website
About the Author
For 15 years David worked in marketing departments of various corporations and international companies, in support of direct sales forces. For the next 5 years, he moved to the agency side of the fence and worked in sales promotion/direct marketing/ advertising; then set up his own through-the-line consultancy in Oxford, which he ran for 13 years, before selling out to an American multi-national. As an agency head, he necessarily has in-depth experience of most business sectors, both FMCG and B2B. His marketing experience is overlaid with general management experience, having founded and grown a small consultancy business from scratch to a £6million turnover with 40 employees. He is currently working as an independent coach/mentor/advisor in the small/medium-size business sector, specialising in helping the MD/Owners of a wide variety of businesses in very different market sectors to grow and improve their businesses performance and profitability, and to achieve both personal and business goals, generally in one of three distinct areas: general growth strategies and plans; franchising as a specific means of achieving rapid business growth; and exit strategies. He also works as a marketing specialist de facto marketing manager for some clients, developing marketing plans and strategies, and more importantly implementing them. As a marketing services business owner, he knows how to get things done as well as what needs to be done. His strong belief is that the principles of marketing and business management remain the same, no matter what the product or market sector (his business was called Marketing Principles), though obviously his experience of the service sector gives him a particular edge there. He is a strong team player (a zillion years ago, he played rugby football for Saracens for 10 years, and believe he still holds their all-time points-scoring record.)
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Top Customer Reviews
He is disdainful of business advisers (although he is one!) and rubbishes alot of the Total Quality Management of the '90s. He is particularly interesting when talking of the personalities (particularly of those defrauding his company) and how to motivate his staff (mostly food and a great deal of drink!). There is some useful insight that he has found valuable - such as personality profiling which gave him and his fellow directors powerful information in creating the profile of his ideal customers. I haven't finished it yet and am looking forward to this evening's read!
The book covers the trials & tribulations of a small company through the 80s & 90s. Since I was also in a similar company it is, in my opinion, an honest description of the difficulties of keeping such a company afloat.
It is also is a cracking good story with the usual twists and turns that one would expect from a novel.
I can vouch for the authenticity of this book since many of the stories echo my own experiences. Whether this will be read by entrepreneur wannabes is another matter but it is certainly better value than any management book I've ever read.
Although I obviously know the author, I don't personally know any of the other characters but was immediately drawn in to the web of intrigue that running a business involves.
Overall, my wife and I both found it to be a compulsive page turner - difficult to put down once started.
I can happily recommend this as an easy and enjoyable read - well writtem and comical (we do have a similar sense of humour, to be fair) there's something here for everyone.
Well done Big Bro'
Buy it and enjoy.....
I read this book in a matter of a few days and it is dropping with his infectious personality.
As a business owner myself it i so refreshing to read about a fellow owners stories. He tells it as it is and it is rare to find that in a business 'type' book. I would STRONGLY reccomend this book to anyone who has built a business or who is thinking about it.
My only regret is that I wasnt old enough to have a business in the heady days of liquid lunches and boozy meetings!
I started my own small marketing agency a few years ago, and was fascinated to get this insight into how the author built his agency from 3 people to a multi-million pound business. Funny stories, great anecdotes, and a decent amount of sound business advice sneaked in. A great read, even laugh out loud, and a brilliant insight into running a marketing agency.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Highly entertaining account of how to set up a sales promotion-marketing agency, and how not to sell it!Published 18 months ago by Yasmine
As one of the protagonists in the story, I found this book to be a brilliant, hilarious and riveting read. Congratulations to David - who always was a thoroughly decent chap.Published on 14 Nov. 2012 by Liza
This is a "must read" book for anyone that has either worked in sales promotion, or who is launching their own business. Read morePublished on 31 Aug. 2012 by EvieRose
Excellent book by Dave Croydon, and downloaded it to my android phone.
Tongue in cheek some may say, but isn't that what it's all about in after business life. Read more