Customer Reviews: Duct Tape Marketing: The World's Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide
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on January 6, 2007
I read a lot of business books, and in my opinion there are two things that make this book unique. The first is the focus on the needs of small business. Many marketing books have lessons that small business owners can apply to their business, but this book focuses squarely on the needs of the small business owner. As a result, you will find a lot of practical advice that you won't have to spend a fortune on to implement.

The second thing that I think is unique is the focus on marketing as a system. Many books address a particular aspect of marketing - defining your target market, lead generation, marketing metrics, product development, etc. This book focuses on creating a complete marketing system - from defining your marketing strategy to implementing that strategy in your day to day operations.

The first part of the book walks you through the steps of building a solid foundation. Beginning with the user friendly definition of marketing as "getting people to know, like, trust, buy from and refer you to others", the author shows you how to identify your target market, develop your core marketing message and then communicate that message with marketing materials that educate.

The second part of the book shows you how leverage the foundational work you did in part one by applying different marketing tactics (advertising, PR, direct mail, etc.) in order to attract more of your ideal customers.

The third part of the book discusses how to put your marketing on auto-pilot by systemizing your marketing tasks and creating a marketing plan, budget and calendar.

The appendixes are filled with additional resources to help you get started on your marketing plan. Appendix C is actually a bunch of discount offers for products and services that will help you implement the ideas in the book. A free marketing coaching session, web hosting on Yahoo!, logo design and a discount on the popular ACT! contact management software are some of the offers you will find in this section. Taking advantage of any one of these offers should cover the cost of the book.
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on June 30, 2008
Novice business owners, like me, will love this book. It lays out the foundation for marketing your business with no expectation of prior marketing experience. Great job, John.

My one gripe, and the reason I gave it 4 of 5, is that the author assumes that you, the business owner, have an established clientele. Start-up owners, like me, who want to kick off the marketing effort to establish a clientele, will have to "act as if" we do and fill in the blank spots with educated guesses.

John, if there's a sequel, please point out where start-ups differ from established small businesses and if we need to do something different to reach the same goal in that particular phase of marketing.

All in all, though, a great read.
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on March 12, 2007
There are a series of books that I keep on a special - quite small - bookshelf. I try to reread each of them every year or so. While I've gotten to the point that I know what they say, but each time I go through one of them I get an idea or two to try in promoting my business.

This book has made it to that shelf.

It got a decision to be put there while I was reading it at the book store. On page 24 there's a story of a lady wanting to sell helmets in a state with no helmet law. So she started stocking children's helmets. When riders told her they didn't want a helmet she asked, 'What about one for the child, they aren't old enough to make that decision for themselves.' What daddy could resist? Then a month later they were back for a helmet for themselves after the kid was asking, 'Daddy, where's your helmet." So a sale for Daddy, little Jimmy and little Suzie. Three sales for one question.

Then on page 83 there's the advice:

Shoot your web designer if they:

Suggest flash intro pages

Suggest frame pages

Suggest templates.

Yes, Yes, Yes!

One point about the web I do not agree. Learn to do your web site yourself. You may hire a designer to do it at first, but then maintain it yourself. It isn't hard and you won't be nickled and dimed to death over every small change you want.

I could go on, but I'm sure you get the idea. All of his ideas won't be applicable, but if you get a good idea or two each time you read through it, the book is worth it's cost many times over.
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HALL OF FAMEon August 3, 2007
To say "Duct Tape Marketing" is a great book is an understatement. As an entrepreneur who has founded two small companies, I found John Jantsch's approach to help customers to know, like and trust you more to be intuitive, yet very powerful.

He got my undivided attention from the point he proposed having you first identify your ideal clients (as early as in page 5) and asking you to fire about 20 percent of your past customers, if they no longer fit into the picture of your current business. Now THAT makes sense and it is SO powerful: I could recall the occasions when I was spending time pursuing projects that were not a good fit for the goals of our company, but we still pursued them ("Hey! It's business!"). Since I read that section, I've felt more comfortable not pursuing distracting projects.

He then proceeds to walk you through the discovery and delivery of your marketing message in a way that speaks to the heart of those ideal customers you identified early on. The rest of the book is packed with tactics to get that message in front of your target audience and help them contact you and refer you.

These easily are the best 300 pages I have read since I became a small business.
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on February 5, 2007
John Jantsch knows what it takes to create marketing that sticks and ultimately leads to quantifiable results. His up-to-date advice shows small business owners numerous strategies they can implement to create a systematic approach to marketing. For companies selling into the business-to-business (B2B) marketplace, pay particular attention to these chapters:

(5) Produce Marketing Materials that Educate: Corporate decision makers today are turned off by self-serving promotional materials. This books points out numerous ways you can create high value, educational marketing collateral that will really make an impact.

(6) A Website that Works Day & Night & (12) Automate Your Marketing with Technology Tools: Most small business owners have no idea how valuable their website can be. Why not? Because they're not doing the right stuff. In this book, you'll learn the basics you need to know in order to maximize technology for business growth.

(10) Earned Media Attention and Expert Status: To crack into corporate accounts today, it's imperative to become a thought leader in your field - even if you're a one-person firm.

If you're just setting up a company, this book provides an excellent overview of how to get your marketing machine in gear. If you've been in business awhile, but you're working too darn hard for the amount of money coming in, this book will be a good refresher.

Finally, I'd like to add that John Jantsch practices what he preaches. Several years ago John invited me to be a part of his Duct Tape Marketing Blog which has numerous experts sharing their knowledge on small business marketing. When the blog received recognition from Forbes & Marketing Sherpa, he leveraged that to get even more media attention, which ultimately led to more opportunities for him to grow his business. I'd suggest you study his website and personal marketing initiatives to really learn how to implement these ideas.

Well-planned marketing can take your company to a whole new level with a lot less effort. If you haven't pulled together your strategic plan or started implementing, it's time!
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on December 6, 2011
There's a chapter where the author advises you to do doorknob hangers (of your marketing materials) and he states that if a customer asks why you put the doorknob hanger on, to say that a neighbor was satisfied with the service, even though this isn't true. I've seen this with the Harvey Mackay books, too. Where there's at least a touch of dishonesty in what they advise you to do.
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VINE VOICEon August 4, 2008
"When I talk to groups of small business owners at workshops," writes John Jantsch, "I will often make the statement that when you properly target your clients, you will discover that you no longer have to work with jerks." It's all about identifying, defining and focusing on your ideal client. Peter Drucker preached the big picture: focus on your primary customer. Now Jantsch helps you zero in with detailed intentionality.

Buy this book and bring it to your next staff meeting and explain why "marketing is an all-encompassing outlook that must inform every activity of your business."

If you agree that 50 percent of advertising and marketing doesn't work (but no one knows which 50 percent), this book will not only help you--it will change the way you've been thinking about your mission and your customers. Jantsch is no huckster--he's all about marketing integrity. "Copycat Marketing is chock full of problems, but primarily it is a problem because it is dishonest," he warns.

Simply put, this book will help you create marketing that sticks. The goal: "Marketing is getting people who have a specific need or problem to know, like and trust you."

On the journey to find and serve your niche, the author suggests "you'll turn your sales calls into more of an audition." Ideas abound: 1) Offer an astonishing guarantee; 2) Perfect your "Talking Logo," a bit like your elevator speech, only better; 3) Create a Client Profile Tracker (simple idea--but you're probably not doing it); and 4) Call 10 clients and ask them six time-tested questions, including, "What could we do that would thrill you." Written for businesses; it also delivers great value to nonprofit organizations and even churches. It's the perfect next step after reading the Customer Bucket, one of 20 chapters in my book, Mastering The Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Non-profit.

With a foreword by Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth Revisited, and afterword by Guy Kawasaki, author of The Art of the Start, this is a must-buy for your team's resource library. For me, the tipping point was the enthusiastic recommendation from another CEO. Jantsch sold my CEO friend and he sold me. That's Duct Tape Marketing.
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on February 20, 2011
Need to write a basic marketing plan in hurry? Never wrote a marketing plan? Just need ideas?

This book is a real world starting point. There are a lot of good tips and tidbits getting your business started with practical means available. While maybe not the most complete guide on the subject, probably one of the more down to earth texts on the subject. The companion software will give you a step-by-step guide to put together your first marketing plan.

This book and software package was actually used in an ambitious effort for six executives to create a marketing plan from scratch within a two week period. We succeeded in producing a document that made our CEO and shareholders satisfied. The book translated well in the boardroom.

It'll cover the basics without a lot of big dollar ideas.
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on February 19, 2007
The Duct Tape Marketing book covers pretty much everything you need to know about marketing for small businesses. And make no mistake, while the concepts might be the same, the practicalities of marketing in a small business vs a large one are very different. Small businesses have limited budgets and staffs so their marketing has to be practical and this book shows how.

The book covers creating a marketing foundation (which so many small businesses forget to do), packaging up the business, tools for generating leads and then converting them to sales. It also talks about the use of the internet including websites, autoresponders and blogs.

It really is that good.
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on January 11, 2008
I positioned my own company around the entire process. A small business owner that has owned manufacturing, retail and several service companies, I found myself reading the book and thinking it was all common sense. Or did John Jantsch just write it sensibly? Hard to say, but in my mind, he is right on target, simple and concise the way marketing should be with just the right blend of old and new technologies. I put "my money" on it.
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