Since we can’t be mind readers and inexplicably know what our potential customers are thinking and thereby doing; we can at least be mindful readers and study from afar to get farther – or closer to our end goal.
As the New Year is in full swing and we’re all waiting for the pendulum to swing some other way, which per the usual, we feel compelled to bestow a few words of our collective wisdom upon you. What’s more, we are accompanying our free advice with a recommended reading list. In an effort to keep it short and sweet, if not bittersweet, the requisite list of ten is being culled down to nine in honor of ringing in 2009. Well, maybe there will be a wildcard number ten at the end of the list.
Our list of recommended mindsets, along with the mindful readers list isn’t given in vein, yet in the same vein as fake it ‘til you make it and dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Some may say that this is what got us in this mess to begin with, but in advertising and marketing, it holds valuable truths that are timeless lessons, both personally and professionally.
As we hunker down and maximize our time by minimizing the excessive, why don’t we do it with a book in hand. Even if it’s read on an iPhone or listened to on an iPod, it’s a good old fashioned way to make things closer to “right” by reading.
1. Mind: Emulate the greats and learn from the masters. – Read: Advertising Best Practices 2008-2009: Industry Leaders on Creating Attention-Getting Platforms, Generating Profitable Campaigns, and Preparing for New Media Trends by Aspatore Books Staff.
Advertising Best Practices 2008-2009 is an authoritative, insider’s perspective on the newest trends and best campaign strategies of the past year, as well as the next big thing to prepare for in the year to come. Featuring Presidents and CEOs representing some of the nation s leading advertising agencies, this book provides a broad yet comprehensive overview of how leaders in the industry approach the challenge of developing creative and attention-grabbing campaigns that stand out in today’s barrage of media.
2. Mind: Focus and narrow your message and products and services offered. Determine what your main thing is and pinpoint what really matters. Once you know, others, like your potential customers, will know better what to do. – Read: The Pardox of Choice, why less is more by Barry Schwartz.
As Americans, we assume that more choice means better options and greater satisfaction. But beware of excessive choice: choice overload can make you question the decisions you make before you even make them, it can set you up for unrealistically high expectations, and it can make you blame yourself for any and all failures. In the long run, this can lead to decision-making paralysis. And in a culture that tells us that there is no excuse for falling short of perfection when your options are limitless, too much choice can lead to clinical depression.
3. Mind: Leverage Partnerships to maximize ad spend as budgets decrease. – Read: Guerrilla Marketing: Breakthrough Strategies: Triple Your Sales and Quadruple Your Business In 90 Days With Joint Venture Partnerships by Jay Conrad Levinson and Terry Telford.
How are you going to double, triple, or quadruple your sales in the next 90 days and expand your business exponentially? The secret is with joint venture partnerships. Whether it sounds daunting or oversimplified, the plain truth is, it works. You can take your business to the next level with the power of joint ventures.
4. Mind: Practice fiscal and social accountability and responsibility for a better global marketplace in which you can sustain. – Read: Strategies for the Green Economy: Opportunities and Challenges in the New World of Business by Joel Makower.
Business leaders searching for a green strategy encounter few roadmaps and established rules and plenty of hidden twists and turns. Strategies for the New Green Economy describes how companies can succeed in the green marketplace, keeping pace with customer and societal demands to reduce their environmental impact.
5. Mind: Be contagious and go viral. Decrease wasted impressions by increasing the use of technology via social networking and actual networking. Type, text, twit and talk your way into the minds and manners of your target. – Read: Secrets of Social Media Marketing: How to Use Online Conversations and Customer Communities to Turbo-Charge Your Business! by Paul Gillin.
Secrets of Social Media Marketing is a handbook for marketers and business owners to use in deciding how to employ the new social media for online marketing. Social media has quickly moved from the periphery of marketing into the forefront, but this is a new and quickly-evolving field and there are few established formulas for success.
6. Mind: Experiment with experiential marketing and wash your hands of the type soap box people stand upon and box they claim to be thinking outside of. – Read: Experiential Marketing: A Practical Guide to Interactive Brand Experiences by Shaz Smilansky.
Experiential Marketing looks at the experiential marketing era, which focuses on giving target audiences a brand-relevant customer experience that adds value to their lives. Experiential marketing is made up of live brand experiences – two way communications between consumers and brands, communications which are designed to bring brand personalities to life.
This book demonstrates how experiential marketing fits in with the current marketing climate and how to go about planning, activating and evaluating it for best results. This is essential reading for both advertising and marketing practitioners and marketing students.
7. Mind: Know when to hold ‘em back and know when to fold ‘em in half. It’s imperative to discern the difference between cutting, or folding, budgets and cutting your losses because you’re just not making the cut. – Read: Guerrilla Publicity: Hundreds of Sure-Fire Tactics to Get Maximum Sales for Minimum Dollar: Includes Podcasts, Blogs and Media Training for the Digital Age by Jay Conrad Levinson, Rick Frishman and Jill Lublin.
The Internet has not only changed the sheer vastness of services and products available to consumers, but it’s significantly changed the way businesses communicate with their buyers. The good news is that new technology makes it easier for businesses to get the right product to the right customer at the right time–and at a fraction of the cost. Completely updated and revised, this book uses the expertise of today’s top media gurus to show you how to get the word out about your product or business and reach even more buyers–without the cost of a traditional big budget campaign!
8. Mind: Know how to sell. Not just on paper, but to the people who will grant you access to their public. There are certain gatekeepers that must believe you have the right combination to get out there and stay out there. – Read: Perfect Pitch: The Art of Selling Ideas and Winning New Business by Jon Steel.
A professional “pitching coach” for one of the world’s largest marketing conglomerates, Jon Steel shares his secrets and explains how you can create presentations and pitches that win hearts, minds, and new business. He identifies the dos and don’ts and uses real-world examples to prove his points. If you make pitches for new business, this is the perfect book for you.
9. Mind: Swim with agility like a little fish in a big pond that is yours to explore and expand, effectively and efficiently. And deliberately. – Read: Eating the Big Fish: How Challenger Brands Can Compete Against Brand Leaders by Adam Morgan.
A revised and updated version of the classic book on what it takes for small brands to eat the big tuna. Since Wiley first published Eating the Big Fish in 1999, the concept of the challenger brand has become a mainstream idea among marketers and advertisers. But Adam Morgan’s classic is still the best and most definitive study of the way challenger brands take on and defeat bigger competitors, and this 50,000-copy bestseller has been tremendously influential in the marketing and advertising arenas. For this new edition the author has interviewed 30 fresh challengers, and explores today’s radically different marketing environment.
10. Mind: Get back to the basics with some tried and true triumphs by one of advertising’s greats. Climb your career ladder by leaning on a tree with some of the best advertising roots to ever grow an industry by sharing advice. – Read: Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy.
A candid and indispensable primer on all aspects of advertising from the man Time has called “the most sought after wizard in the business”.
There are so many more thoughts and things to thumb through we’re like to dispense, but that’s what Mindful Readers Part II is for Readers.