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4.3 out of 5 stars
21
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 12 September 2017
It's easy to follow and I personally certainly took a lot from it. I have no hesitation to recommend it!
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was interested in the book as I am starting up my own new business. The business is completely unrelated to my previous professional career but in that earlier life I did have to undertake a fair amount of business development activities. It would be fair to say therefore that I am coming at this book with some knowledge of how to develop marketing strategies, etc. albeit in a very different environment and on a different scale to the new venture.

By its nature, a book like this cannot hope to address the marketing needs of all types of businesses and the ideas it contains will not suit all businesses. For example, there are repeated references to repeat customers but for some types of business this is not a strong feature - you aren't likely to want to have your garden designed on an annual basis nor are you likely to buy a wedding cake on a regular basis. The (sensible) advice to analyse your client base and see why they return is therefore of limited value in some circumstances: it isn't of much benefit to a local electrician or plumber who is mainly called in to deal with an emergency or to effect repairs that the customer needs rather than wants.

Overall, I thought much of the advice better aimed at the larger end of the small business market, most likely selling physical product of some description or selling a wide range of services. This is borne out by repeated references to employees & staff and a comment on bringing in marketing experts when your annual budget for marketing communications is a mid-five figure number. There is also advice on working with marketing & ad agencies, placing ads in mainstream media including TV & radio - all well and good but of limited use to the typical start-up business. The part I found most useful was in relation to developing a website (something I've not had to think about before as there was someone on hand to deal with this aspect). The part that irritated me most was on the subject of social media marketing. The author is convinced of its value but I know a number of large businesses who have found the effort involved in using Twitter, blogs, etc was not rewarded by any increase in business. I suspect this is something that works brilliantly for some businesses and is a complete irrelevance to others, particularly locally-based service businesses that can fill their order books entirely from plain vanilla 'word of mouth' communication without any need for electronic involvement.

Inevitably, there is a certain amount of 'teaching grandma to suck eggs': telling businesses to answer calls quickly and to have a professional answering machine message, or, for businesses with a physical presence, that the entrance should clean and clear from clutter. It strikes me as unlikely that someone who would go out of his or her way to buy this book wouldn't have enough 'nouse' to figure these things out.

Overall the book is OK - readers will need to take from it what is relevant to their own business and its stage of development.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
To be honest this book isn't a great deal of help to me. I am in the early stages of setting up my own business which is more of an engineering consultancy than a retail system which this book is geared to. However, like all the other Dummies books I've read or owned, it's accessible, easily digested and a good intro to the subject.

I note that other reviewers state that this really is more aimed at the larger multi-employee small business and I'd agree with that. It's also mostly aimed at those who are selling to repeat customers not the kind of thing I do. Having said that some of the strategy does apply and the most important one is getting your message across to as many potential clients as possible using all the media available. It's not rocket science but it has reinforced the reality of making a success. You have to devote as much time to the market as you do the product you are selling. I guess the classic example being breakfast cereal, a product that is pennies to make and is dwarfed by the advertising.

Probably the people who would most benefit from this book would be someone setting up a business such as a nursery garden center or retail shop. Maybe an engineering firm that direct markets to the public perhaps. A sole trader who does garden maintenance probably won't learn anything from this that would help him or her.

Overall, a good solid (if sometimes obvious) book aimed at multi-employee business.
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VINE VOICEon 31 March 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The fact that you have a brilliant business idea, and even that you can get the business off the ground, doesn't mean that you know how to market it. In fact, it's quite likely that if you are good at the entrepreneur side of things, you won't be so hot at marketing. So where do you start?

This book is a comprehensive introduction to marketing. It won't take you to degree level, but it will give you a grounding in it that is orientated towards starting up or developing a small business. To borrow from the books 'foolish assumptions' section, the book assumes you market a small business with a tight budget and no staff; you're baffled by the new options available; and you're looking for greater success and don't know what path to follow.

In addition to traditional marketing and branding, the book of course looks at online marketing, and the use of social media as marketing tools and interactivity. Also, very significantly, it looks at how you convert customers to loyal customers - marketing isn't just about the stuff you do, but about what you are like as a business. The book won't make your business into a surefire winner - but it is a very helpful reference to stop you from making silly mistakes and becoming an unnecessary business loser.
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VINE VOICEon 24 April 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
If you are starting your own business one of the most important factors is the need to market your product. This book is a straightforward guide which takes you through the steps involved in preparing and targeting your marketing campaigns. There is a wealth of useful information which will be of benefit to a wide range of businesses.
This is one of the books where you will probably not read it cover to cover. Instead you will read the introductory chapters, then use the later parts where the detail is contained. There is much useful besides the obvious, such as brand marketing, pricing strategies and the use of social media.
As a guide to the practices of marketing this is a very useful introduction. It will not make you a marketing genius, but it will allow you to talk in the same language as any marketing people you might employ if your business really takes off.
I have a few Dummies guides, and this is one of the best. As the owner of a small business you have to be a jack of all trades, and too much information in any area outside of your core business is an unwelcome distraction. This is a fine compromise and is informative without ever being condescending.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I found this to be a very useful read. For small businesses this book is pitched at just about the right level. I found it (like all Dummies guides) to be highly accessible and full of handy tips and ideas, which should provide enough inspiration to form a good marketing plan.

There are useful chapters on Forging your Brand; Setting Strategies and Budgets; Advertising; Online Marketing (building a website); Social Media and blogs; and Customer Relations. Throughout--though easily explained--the book deals with real world business problems and doesn't try to gloss over anything, which I appreciated.

It's certainly worth serious consideration and seems to present a fairly comprehensive grounding in most aspects of modern day marketing. It may not serve all your marketing needs, though if your business is fairly simple then it may well be enough; and as an introduction to the subject it is certainly highly recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 22 April 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
We are well familiar now with the "For Dummies" series. This 3rd edition of Marketing For Dummies illustrates the strength of the series. It covers a lot of ground, and does so in clear understandable English which rigorously avoids any kind of technical-speak "jargonese". Where technical terms are introduced, as they have to be, they are properly explained.

It really does cover the ground outlined in the four bullet-point topics listed on the front cover and is very much up-to-date, in considering online presence and social media.

The typographical layout is excellent and easy on the eye. In addition to a detailed Contents listing, the "Contents at a Glance" page is a very useful abbreviated version.

It's difficult to imagine that there would be anyone involved in marketing any kind or size of business, who couldn't get something helpful of of this book.
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VINE VOICEon 14 May 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am starting a holistic business and hoped this would give me a down to earth approach to setting up my own business. This book has given me a great basis to work on, but chunks of it aren't relevant to me. I will use it for the chapters on advertising, customers and the psychology of buying and selling. But due to the nature of my business, I will use it less for the branding and more colder parts of selling. I am aware the book is about marketing, and a lot of it will be useful to someone like me who hasn't studied business professionally at all. But for a holistic business I will need to read around a bit more into more specialised areas.
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VINE VOICEon 7 April 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'm not a huge consumer of Dummies books, but whichever ones I have read have proved to be excellent introductions to whatever the subject matter at hand has been. And the same is true with this Small Business Marketing book. For someone, like me, who has had very limited experience of the (small) business world, it feels pretty comprehensive and stuffed full of interesting ideas and tips.

I was particularly impressed with the online/social media/blog chapters which helped navigate what is an endlessly confusing (newish) world - especially for those of us who are not graceful or fluent swimmers in the new media world.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I like the Dummies books and have their other book about Marketing and this wasn't that different.

This is best if you're new to your small business and want some real advice and guidance on getting yourself 'known' for what you do or offer.
I wasn't entirely enthusiastic about it for myself as I think I've been in my job for so long now, and have used nearly all the suggestions....that there wasn't anything I didn't know already...

Having said that, if you're stuck in your marketing, than at least this book will guide you back to a good plan of action.
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