The Next Evolution of Marketing: Connect with Your Customers by Marketing with Meaning Hardcover – 1 Oct 2009
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"With solid credentials supporting him (as chief marketing strategist at Bridge Worldwide, a large advertising agency), Gilbreath lays out his ideas about a marketing strategy he calls 'meaningful marketing.' He defines meaningful marketing as the 'marketing itself add[ing] value to peoples’ lives.' Insisting that traditional marketing is now out-of-date because the consuming public has grown sophisticated in avoiding regular marketing strategies ('Most traditional advertising is meaningless,' he says), he is a great proponent of marketing that offers consumers actual things to put to practical use, which then, in turn, makes the best advertising for the company that is supplying those services. He cites the 'best historical example' of marketing with meaning as the Michelin tire company, which, way back when, produced the first-ever car-travel guide to France. From there Gilbreath presents, essentially, a how to: outlining a model for developing meaningful marketing and then explaining, with many useful case examples, how it can be tailored to any company, large or small. An essential addition to comprehensive business collections." --Brad Hooper, Booklist (Booklist 2009-09-14)
About the Author
Bob Gilbreath is chief marketing strategistat Bridge Worldwide, one of the largest globaldigital ad agencies. He has worked withsome of the world’s largest marketers,including Procter & Gamble, Johnson &Johnson, Anheuser-Busch, and Ford. Hecurrently leads digital strategy work for clientssuch as Kroger, Abbott, Luxottica, andConAgra Foods. Bob was recognized by AdvertisingAge as one of the Top 50 Marketersof 2004. Bridge Worldwide headquarters arelocated in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Fortunately, Bob's book is neither. For a start, he isn't gnarly, he isn't even retired. He's still working at a large global digital ad agency, which he does rather obviously promote the crap out of at every opportunity. Remember Bob, push is passé. However, to his credit, when he does do this, he ties it in to a specific, provable benefit his company has brought to both client and consumer.
Described by other reviewers as the next step beyond "Permission Marketing," Bob's central thesis is that because customers are increasingly being bombarded with advertising messages which they are choosing to ignore, we now have to create "Marketing with Meaning." I wholeheartedly agree, but with one caveat... There is nothing new about this situation, customers have always been bombarded with marketing messages, it's just that now, the volume has exponentially increased and potential customers have many more ways to tune you out. Therefore, Bob's words acquire even more relevancy.
In the first half of the book, Bob gives many, many (way too many), examples and case studies of companies who have taken a different tack in marketing their products and services to existing and potential customers. All good worthwhile stuff, particularly as he shows the concrete results of their efforts rather than the usual BDA (Big Dumb Agency) soporific... "We increased brand awareness." Personally, I think the number of examples is overkill, but I am sure all the MBA's out there will lap it up and create hundreds and hundreds of Power Point slides from the information.
The second half is a guide to implementing Bob's "Marketing with Meaning" premise into a company's marketing program. As with all good ideas, this is in reality, simple and logical. Something most large organizations seem to have a problem grasping. Think Cisco with its 47 "Action Committees" each with dozens of middle managers. Then compare it Rockefeller's Standard Oil at the height of its power. He had eleven managers. Bob does an excellent job of boiling everything you need to know down into four succinct and meaningful steps. Bravo Bob, but you'll never get a job at Cisco.
If you are pressed for time, take Bob's advice in Chapter six... "Start at the end."
The final five chapters are solid gold. The whole book reminds me of famous dead ad man Howard Gossage, who said forty years ago... "People don't read advertising, they read what interests them. Sometimes, that's advertising."
The Next Evolution of Marketing, Has lots of good stuff, I highly recommend it.
Now go buy my last book. Cheers/George
The Ubiquitous Persuaders
Bob's examples are mainly from big companies with big budgets. I run a small SEO/internet marketing business, mainly for mom and pop size shops. This information is as useful for them as it is for the big boys.
It is an excellent read, well thought out, easy to follow and has lots of examples to trigger ideas.
The concepts of this book are based on the truth that our attention has become our most precious asset. Everyone I know suffers from excess demands on their attention. Therefore we have become very guarded about who and where we give our attention. "Consumers trade attention for value." We are no longer willing to listen/watch advertisement unless we believe we are gaining some value in return.
The best example of meaningful marketing is Google. "Because it is revolutionizing the advertising and marketing business by providing a service that people find valuable, Google is considered the most valuable brand in the world today, even though it spends almost nothing on advertising."
The book is divided into two parts. Part one answers the questions: What is marketing with meaning? It goes into great detail why traditional marketing is meaningless and therefore rapidly becoming ineffective. "Meaningful marketers never push, they invite prospective customers in by creating marketing that appeals to the higher unmet needs in their overall lives."
Then there is a discussion of what marketing with meaning can do for a business. Bob Gilbreath says that marketing with meaning follows a hierarchy of consumer needs. The first level of marketing with meaning is providing meaningful solutions, the second level is providing meaningful connections and the highest level is providing meaningful achievements.
There are numerous examples of highly successful marketing campaigns in each section. The examples covers a wide variety of products/services and sizes of businesses.
Part two of the book is a detailed outline for anyone to implement the concepts of this book in their own business. Again, there plenty of examples of successful implementations.
Does it work? According to Gilbreath, "Not only have we never seen a major meaningful marketing effort fail to pay off, but with the rising cost and failing results of traditional mass media, you may have no other choice."
The book is well written and easy to read. The concepts and insights are remarkable. You will totally understand that to compete in our rapidly changing world, you must adapt to meet the prospect. There are dozens of examples of companies that have used the internet to build meaningful marketing campaigns much faster and less expensively than traditional marketing.
As a final note Gilbreath discusses the way society views marketers - on the lower end of the scale. He says, "By creating marketing that people choose to engage with, and that itself improves people's lives, we are reaching the highest level of personal success."
So not only will the marketing work better, the marketers will find higher meaning in life.
This is a very important work. I believe it brings very high value to anyone involved in marketing their business.
It is the next evolution of marketing.
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