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on 16 June 2014
Mark Earls is an advertising and marketing man. His misgivings about how traditional marketing is done (assuming we are totally rational beings who act in our own self-interest) chimes with my own long held bias that marketing would be more successful if we know how people actually behave. The problem is that traditional marketing gives us an illusion of control. Marketing based on 'irrational' human behaviour is, on the other hand, messy. Many people who provide budgets for marketing feel more comfortable with the illusion. Earls demonstrates that marketing success will increasingly be about co-creation and conversations, about copying and believing in something that others can metaphorically buy into. It is a different (and to my mind more accurate) way of looking at the world and is full of cultural examples. An easy read for the intelligent layperson. Recommended.
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on 7 December 2017
Some interesting points but found it a hard read with a lot of unnecessary detail ...others might however find it a more enjoyable read
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on 27 September 2013
Clever people get simple things and over complicate them.

Smart people get complicated things and break them down so we can all understand and access easier. Mark does so in this book. Evidence is in your own reaction when reading. You're left asking more questions and making more connections to your relationship with the world around you. I think that shows impact and true transfer of the material held in the text.

Well done Mark, a smart book for our times. Thanks.
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on 6 July 2015
A thought provoking and wonderful read - a book you have to make notes in so you can come back to them, whether you're in marketing, advertising, politics, social science or behaviour change. I will buy this book for friends.
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on 25 February 2017
Interesting and thought provoking
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on 15 May 2013
An interesting book explaining, in easy and simple language, why and how new social phenomena catch up quickly amongst the masses.
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on 29 March 2012
This is probably the first book I have read when I was glad to stop reading it. Let me clarify that:

I read books like this during my lunch at work, as it provides a welcome break from the office and a chance to muse over some psychology and philosophy points that I invariably don't live out in my life. To that end, I like a book which stimulates and challenges my thinking, but also provides a good sense of direction. I like to pick up little tit bits to ponder in the afternoon.

The problem with this book is that it is not at all fun to read. It's the reading equivalent of that shaky-hand wire game, and you have to constantly concentrate and keep check of yourself. I do think the topic being discussed is important and highly relevant. Critical even. But I found myself constantly hoping that the next page would be a good place to stop for the day, and that meant that it took the best part of 3 months to read this book, by which time I had forgotten most of the points made at the start. It's also fairly heavy on the marketing lingo at times, so be prepared to puzzle over what "MVC" and "MIC" are?

My core criticism of the book is that it doesn't seem to really know where it is going. It builds and builds and builds like there is going to be some kind of epiphany moment brought on by all the countless examples and case studies. But you never really reach that summit, and so rather than providing answers it just poses more and more questions. You leave feeling intellectually battered and bruised, and looking forward to going back to your 'real world', even though you have now been convinced that it is a false and useless real world. The crux of this book teaches you one thing: people are relational and social; businesses have misunderstood (or refused to accept) that. But it doesn't really provide much in the way of direction for what to do about this. The examples of success given are all there, but you feel they don't really apply--can't be applied?--to your own situation.

One final point, the book is completely inaccurately subtitled. A better subtitle would be "Why you will rarely change mass behaviour because you don't understand our true nature". It doesn't tell you how to do it; it just points out that most people are not doing so. Scratch that, it does tell you how to do it. Somewhere. But I can't remember what the answer was...
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on 1 November 2009
Mark is a well known regular on the conference circuit in the world of marketing. This book gives you a great insight into peoples' decision making process when they're in groups. It tells stories of how ordinary people can turn into violent and angry mobs simply due to being in groups and how this particular context can change peoples' behaviour in unexpected ways.

Well worth a read.
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on 26 January 2008
Loved it! I bought this book a while ago and hoped that somehow osmotically its contents would seep into my brain from the table beside my desk (along with a few others). I finally started dipping into it over the Christmas break and found it a compelling, chapter at a time, take a few notes here and there, read. It has given a good fillip to my new year client conversations, lots to chat with them in a constructive and challenging way about how people behave and how they respond to the communications we set before them. I shall be going back to it.
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on 26 January 2017
This book is saying all the right things that we (at least I) want to hear: collaboration and co-creation is how you get the best things done, companies should be driven by a mission and/or a purpose, trust your partner and employees, ....
So, I definitely love the conclusions of the book.

However, a couple of negative points really make the book not more worthy than 3 stars.
- part one feels, at the beginning, like a "scientific" book. I.e. 1) it is full of references to various studies, and 2) it feels like the author is laying down the ground for bringing up his big theory. However, all this build-up fizzles out in a very general statement: we (humans) are a social species, and modern marketing acts as if we were a collection of individuals.
- most of part 2 principles are basically personal opinions of the author, somewhat backed by anecdotal evidence. As I mentioned, I do have the same opinions, and I do have anecdotal evidence as well that supports these opinions. However, I was looking for something more... scientific. Like a theory, backed by studies, that explains the whys and hows.

All in all, a decent book that mirrors my personal beliefs and views, but did not add much to my thinking.
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