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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
If you or your spouse is going into their own business, then this is the book to read. It breaks down a lot of the self-deception and wishful thinking that most people engage in before they step into the harsh reality of owning their own business. I would have been skeptical about their "20-20 vision of hindsight" but for the fact that their assertions so closely matched the experiences I had in my own start-up. It was like as if they did a thesis on all the mistakes I personally had made.
If you're thinking about (1)your own business or (2 driving a great idea up through your place of work, then you need to read this. If you don't get all of in on the first sweep, read it a second time. If your spouse is going into business and if they refuse to read it, then YOU read it, and grill them with questions. For your sake. For their sake. I'm eating my way through Al Ries' books right now. I only wish I had done it 5 years ago. Yes, we all have to make our own mistakes, but how come he knew all mine before I made them?
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be an excellent resource. These two authors have written two other incredible titles which I also recommend: 'Positioning: The Battle for your Mind' and 'The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing'. This book ties in with these two and builds on them. The information in this book is quite useful, and the authors give great examples that illustrate their point. I found this to be an easily understandable text that was immediately useful. This book covers important tools such as monitoring trends, focusing your product line to claim a niche of the market and exploit it ahead of your competition, as well as how to build a successful marketing program with a sound foundation and carry out its successful execution. A lot of great basics are included here.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
Traditional approach is for executives to define the strategy and for the middle management to follow through with execution and tactics. The authors describe that the more effective approach is for an executive to be on the front line working with the customers. This is because a strategy developed in relative isolation from customers is unlikely to leverage off of the company's positioning in the customer's mind. The executive's objective would be to identify the competitive mental angle or the position / niche his company holds in the customers mind. This leads to identifying a simple differentiating tactic. Examples include pizza delivery time (Domino's) or "we're #2; we try harder" (Avis). This approach becomes highly effective when the executive uses the simple winning tactic as a lightning rod to gather and focus the entire company's energy. This involves continuous improvements in processes, products, positioning towards the singular goal of penetrating deep into customer's mind via the beachhead that was initially identified. Contrary to most models, a strategy is developed from a winning tactic by seeking broad input from customers and a variety of stakeholders; however, execution, planning, and marketing are carefully controlled and coordinated in a precise military fashion to surgically deepen the penetration in a customer's mind. The emphasis is on fixing things within the organization to match the meaning already present in a customer's mind rather than spend a lot of resources ineffectively to change a customer's mind.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is a great asset to any VP of Marketing or CEO trying to increase sales by expanding into several markets that have the one, two and three positions already held by competitors. This clear and simple approach, if followed can allow a company to make a successful and lasting impact on the one market or segment.
The message is clear. Keep focused and attacck with the ONE tactic and strategy that supports it; do not try to be everything to everyone. To many companies and people in those companies beleive they can do it better with more, well this book gives them the framework to do it better with less!
I have some questions. Did the authors tactic of writing these books work in attracting the specifically targeted accounts? What was their strategy?
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
I can learn a lot of insights from this book. It teaches us how to make a plan at another angle. Unlike the traditional top down approach that decide what to do (strategy) and then how to do it (tactics), Trout and Ries suggest that tactics dictate strategies, which is "Bottom up marketing".
As bottom up managers first find a tactic that will work in the mind and then build it into a strategy (they work from the specific to the general), it is easier for them to exploit new opportunities, which is different from the top down managers that they are limited in the existing market. But remember to focus on only one tactic! Do better with less!
Bottom up marketing also emphasizes on change in the organization so as to find new opportunities in the market. Unless there is change in name, product, service, price but not mind or market, any strategy is unlikely to be successful.
Throughout the book, examples are widely used to show us the success of organizations that conduct bottom up marketing and the failure of those who conduct top down marketing, making it easier to understand.
Read it and try to plan at another angle!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
I always refer this book to my marketing colleagues. It applies very well to high tech, which changes very quickly. Paraphrasing:

Traditional management theory says:"Define your long term goals, then design tactical programs to reach those objectives."

The problem with this top-down, long-term market thinking, especially in the mercurial high tech market, is that too often we guess wrong.

We have little reliable market data, because we are inventing the market. We can't always anticipate what competitors will arise, or what they will do. And, too often, we miss opportunities to correct our course and take advantage of a competitive angle.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
It's like drinking a glass of chilled water while crossing a marketing desert land. Crisp, clear and to-the-point.

Kishore Dharmarajan
Author of Eightstorm: 8-Step Brainstorming for Innovative Managers
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on October 15, 2001
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Unlike "The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing", Bottom Up Marketing is not merely a re-hash of "Focus" and "Positioning".
The core focus of this book is the distinction made between strategy and tactics in marketing. A grand strategy is often created that is perfect and executed flawlessly - in the minds of those who create it - The details (tactics) will of course fall into place. This, contend the authors, is how many a marketing campaign is carried out, often without the smashing success expected.
Bottom-Up Marketing is just that, developing a marketing strategy from the bottom up. A successful strategy can be crafted only after the needs, wants, and minds of the consumers are understood. Once the opportunity is identified, tactics are developed to satisfy the need, focus and refine the actions of the company. Once a realistic picture emerges, a strategy can be created such that the entire organization can take the correct actions and take advantage of opportunities that actually exist.
Intelligence about the marketplace and opportunities presented within must come directly from the source, those on the front lines in touch with consumers. Strategy and resource allocation comes from the top.
It's a good book with a clear simple message, combined with a dash of Trout and Ries' humor.
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on September 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
Tactics should dictate marketing strategy. While this may sound backward, the authors explain why it makes sense.

The tactical battle takes place in the consumer's mind. Ries and Trout define a marketing tactic as "a competitive mental angle."

Strategy is internally focused: how to organize the company to take advantage of the tactical opportunity.

Planning is bottom-up, but execution is top-down. Once you have a coherent marketing direction -- a strategy -- don't let individual players change it.

The authors explain that the best ideas are obvious. "They're best because they quickly connect with customers and prospects. They can be implemented in the mind with minimal investment."
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on October 14, 1998
Format: Paperback
I have owned this book for several years, and it is the one book that I always tell anyone who is in business or wants to start one to read. I have been in business for 30 years and this is the only book that makes any sense.. I loaned my copy to a friend today and wanted to see if it was still available. I am also odering the other books. Keep up the good work. Elvin Price
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