I will try my best to review a book that I am reading at least once a month, so consider this to be the first of many to come. I felt this book would be a great one to review first because of how applicable it is to modern marketing. I came across this book about a month ago and primarily became interested in it because of the reviews it had received (more specifically because, the people who wrote these reviews are people that inspire me).
A brief overview of the book:
Bob presents a new model of marketing that is the next step up from Seth Godin's idea of permission marketing (which he conceived 11 years ago but is still highly relevant today). Bob's new model is something he calls 'Marketing with Meaning.' He defines this type of marketing in two ways: 1. It's marketing that people choose to engage with and 2. It's marketing that in itself improves people's lives. In order to help the reader understand the basic premiss of the model, Bob presents it comparatively to Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. The underlying principle behind Bob's model is that a marketer must truly understand the needs of the customer and create marketing that appeals to those needs. He categorizes these needs in 3 successive levels: The need for meaningful solutions (akin to Maslow's survival needs), the need for meaningful connections (attachement/social needs) and finally the need for meaningful achievements (esteem needs). The book is basically broken down into two large sections. In the first section he defines the new model and in the second section he explains how to use the new model through various examples.
My thoughts on the book and 3 reasons why marketers should read it:
I have read many textbooks that contain theoretical models of marketing and present them in ways that are sometimes confusing and not very easily applicable. The similarity between this book and a textbook is that both present a marketing model, the difference.. this one does a phenomenal job. One of the biggest reasons I enjoyed this book is because the author has experienced so much of the real world that he is able to fill the book with plenty of examples that drive home the idea of meaningful marketing. Bob is a very genuine writer and I know that may be a strange adjective to describe an author but I believe that his humility shows through in his writing. This is the ideal book for someone on the agency side of marketing; however, Bob's experience at P&G helps him to convey the benefits for pure play marketing companies as well. Here are my three key takeaways from this book:
1. In an age where interruptive marketing is dying, customers are seeking meaningful marketing solutions.
2. You don't need money to create meaning, you just need to understand the customer.
3. Think about how you can satisfy a customer higher-order needs and the marketing will take care of itself.
In summary, Bob Gilbreath has truly inspired me with this fantastic book and I highly recommend it to any marketer out there.