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Book Review/Summary: How to become a marketing superstar -I



One of the few drawbacks of the SDM program at MIT, that I was lucky enough to graduate from, is that we do not have a course in Marketing. So here is one of the books I recommend to
to fill this void.

Jeffrey Fox's book, How to become a marketing superstar has a concise and clear marketing message.
Here are my notes from th book:

The old notion that 50% of advertising is wasted and that no one knows which 50% is a myth.The effectiveness of advertising and marketing is measurable.

  • Getting and keeping customers is everyone' job, regardless of title or job description.
  • 'The definition of marketing is simple, the doing or marketing is hard.'
  • Successful companies do what the top guys do. They sell,sell, sell.
  • All money in an organization is 'customer money'.
  • Customers fire employees everyday.
  • Each employee and department must generate more than they consume. Otherwise, they will be eliminated.
  • Divide your customers into OK and not OK. Infact there are four groups: Sophisticated OK, sophisticated not OK, unsophisticated OK and unsophisticated not OK. This is subjective division from the marketer's
    • Sophisticated OK: Big companies, low margins
    • Sophisticated not OK: A big risk, can cause employee burnout
    • Unsophisticated OK: Low Margins, They may bear the price for training, extras
    • Unsophisticated not OK: Avoid this entirely
  • Then decide on selling, service,billing plans
  • Love the OK customers.
  • The customer is not always right. The right customer is always right. She is profitable, pays her bills and pays for what she buys. They can be fair, tough, needy, insistent or give good referrals if they satisfy the OK rule
  • The bad customer is not OK. They may not be profitable.
  • The seven growth levers:
    • Innovate
    • Add new end customers in new markets, new geographies
    • Sell new applications of existing products to existing customers
    • Identify and reduce customer attrition
    • Raise prizes.
    • Pray for market demand
    • Acquire companies
  • Delegate people or resources to these levers.
  • Have a growth notebook. Test and execute ideas
  • Love you brand. Believe and understand your brand. Protect your brand from misuse.
  • Live the brand.
  • Managing the brand is different. This is minding, managing and administrating and can take your brand downhill.
  • Hating your brand can spell its doom.
  • Dollarization: The calculation of the value of a product. It is not abstract. It is a number. Value proposition, value chain are meaningless without dollarization.
  • Dollarization must be based on:
    • Go/no go on products.
    • Market segmentation
    • Product positioning
    • Setting price to value
    • Let customers understand the payback and the ROI on the product.
  • Superstars sell within to suppliers, distributes, colleagues, advertisers
  • They are polite, persistent, honest.
  • They work long and hard.
  • Price to value
    • Customers do not buy products. They buy value based on need,
    • Price based on the value received from the customer, not your production costs.
    • Do not mirror your competitor pricing.
    • Target gross market pricing, a common approach is not the right strategy though competition can force it sometime.
    • Pricing requires customer knowledge, dollarization value and courage.
  • Price cutting causes price wars. They kill or maim you and the competition.
  • Improving price increases operating income.
  • Compete on product quality, store location and employee attitude, not on price.
  • Always tell you customer the consequences to not buying your product. It is a great motivator to buy. This is more effective than telling the customer what he will save.
  • Derived Demand: Unlike direct demand, the product is a component of another product that is used for resale.
  • Direct demand can be enhanced by advertising. The number of consumers determine the effectiveness of direct demand.
  • When a derived demand customer cuts price, they do not influence the customer and have thus made a bad decision.
  • Supermarketer must-knows:
    • Having a customer
    • Customers buy to gain pleasure and avoid pain
    • People buy value, not products
    • Dollarize value and benefits
    • Who, what and why
    • Group the customers as aware users, aware non users and unawares,
    • Quality, directing R&N and sales are marketing responsibilities
    • Train sales force to pre-plan, ask questions and to respond to questions.
    • On all sales calls, ask for an order.
    • Execution, execution and execution.
    • Brandnames are intellectual assets
    • Every product is branded. Use customer tested brandnames.
    • Technology does not sell itself. Marketing does.
  • Brandnames:
    • Must be developed. Do not use company jargons or internal numbers.
    • Do not use the product category or initials as brandnames.
    • Brandnaming is not a popularity contest.
    • Brandnames on product characteristics is good.
    • They do not have to have meaning
    • Brandnames must be memorable, easy to pronounce.
    • Wrong words can use trigger negative feelings or distaste or confusing.
    • A good brandname cannot sell a product.
    • Always put a brandname in the headline. It is the hero.
  • Turn brandnames into stars.
  • Never use I,me, we, us, our. Customers care only about themselves, not you.
  • Build brand awareness. Not 'we' awareness.
  • Articulate the difference. For this, you must research the product. Use numbers and facts.
  • Never use bad words in advertising and selling:
    • We,me, I, us, Our,- Use the company name
    • Solutions- State the solution
    • Quality - This is defined by the customer
    • It- State what 'it' is.
    • Technology- There is no high tech, only old and new.
    • Lifetime
    • Source- State the source.
    • Difference

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