The Books That Can Make a Difference in Your 2014

These were not all published in 2013, but they were the ones I turned to again and again.

They helped me think about things differently and more importantly, do things differently.

Can a book change your life?   I think these books can.

Each has important material of value that can improve the way you market, communicate and position yourself and/or your business in the coming year–but only if you check them out.

Check them out!

Image                                                                                                                     Craftingg

“This is a handbook that every business owner and corporate marketer (for the cultural training insights) should read due to its breadth, brevity, solid advice, and great stories.  I particularly liked the chapter on immigrants, the acculturation process and segmentation thereof.”   Mario Vellandi, melodiesinmarketing.com

Want to make more money in 2014?  Sure!  We all do!    I can’t think of a better way to start than these two books by Kelly McDonald.   Reaching out to new (and often under-served) market segments can pay off–if you know the right tactics.  Using real-world examples, many from her own experience, Kelly shows how successful businesses of all sizes have become more profitable by marketing beyond their core customer base.  Both these books are indispensable for anyone communicating in the second decade of the 21st century.  And that’s everyone.

Money quote:

“By tapping into new markets and cultivating new customers, you gain sales immediately.  Your sales growth won’t be dependent on trying to change the behavior of existing customers, which is very hard to do.  You’ll still have your existing customers, but you’ll also have new customers, and those new customers represent huge potential for ongoing sales and profits.” (from MARKETING TO PEOPLE NOT LIKE YOU by Kelly McDonald)

Image “Like discovering your favorite professor in a box…packed with information, reasons to care about his message, how and why to execute his suggestions, and it’s all accentuated with meaningful examples… this book deserves a good, long look.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Even if you’re not in marketer, you ARE in marketing–or more specifically, sales.   That means persuading others.  It can be a simple as trying to get a child to go to bed or do her homework–or to get the boss to see the merits of a new idea (as well as enlisting co-workers to help you make your case to said boss).

Dan Pink–the author of DRIVE–makes the persuasive case that we’re all in sales now.  It’s not a function limited to the marketing department.  TO SELL IS HUMAN  is now in paperback, and however you read it–audiobook, ebook, or old school–just read it.

Money quote:

“In the United States alone, some 1 in 9 workers still earns a living trying to get others to make a purchase. They may have traded sample cases for smartphones and encyclopedias for experiences,  but they still work in traditional sales.

“More startling, though, is what has happened to the other 8 in 9.  They’re in sales, too.  They’re not stalking customers in a furniture showroom, but they–make that we–are engaged in what I call ‘non-sales selling.’  We’re persuading, convincing, and influencing others to give up something they’ve got for what we’ve got.   As you’ll see in the findings in  first-of-its kind analysis of people’s activities at work, we’re devoting upward of 40 percent of our time on the job to moving others.” (from TO SELL IS HUMAN: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel Pink)

Cant Buy Me Like   “Funny, a bit profane and utterly profound.”  Casey Sheehan, CEO, Patagonia

This may be the most entertaining (as well as one of the most informative) books you’ll read on the Relationship Era.  Garfield and Levy punch their points home with sharp insights and sarcasm.  As podcaster/author/actress Aisha Tyler has observed, on sites such as Yelp, there are only two opinion spikes:  1) Businesses people love; 2) Businesses people loathe.  Nobody ever posts about something merely mediocre.

Good enough is no longer enough.   And, as the book’s title implies, a million dollar budget won’t even buy grudging awareness, let alone a long-term relationship.  Much-loved brands such as Apple, Nordstrom, Chick-fil-A, Starbucks and Patagonia advertise infrequently or not at all,  and never at mind-numbing saturation levels.

So how does a business go about making the truly human connections that can drive success?   Start by defining your business and your true purpose:  What are you in business to do? Why does your business exist?  This tough and time-consuming exercise, if done right, can yield a purpose statement (which is NOT a slogan).  And this core statement can drive your consumer connections

Money Quotes:

“Trust is an asset, not a commodity.  It cannot be purchased.  It must be earned.”

“Simply put:  People who patronize you do not wish to be patronized themselves.”

“Useful advice in business and in life:  Don’t be a dick.”

“In the Relationship Era, your every action, and inaction, is advertising.”

(from Can’t Buy Me Like:  How Authentic Customer Connections Drive Superior Advice by Bob Garfield and Doug Levy)

 

 

 

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