Top critical review
7 of 8 people found this helpful
How to make money through marketing that includes social media
on January 3, 2011
First and foremost, I could barely read this book. Perhaps the printer skimped on ink; I was reading a pre-release copy. However, I suspect the fault lies with the designer. The font was so light, perhaps even gray not black, that I had to really work to focus on the text. Lose a star right there. Books like this are a form of communication, not a work of art. The text did not communicate.
Second, this is a marketing book that has a lot to say, in a disorganized fashion, about social media. OK enough, I suppose, because plenty of the basic marketing texts on the market today were written before social media became strong enough to warrant attention. But at least half the pages are about basic marketing. Furthermore, if you don't already know your basic corporate marketing, you're not going to get it here.
Third, perhaps it's my own prejudice coming through, but when I read "how to make money with SM, an insider's guide to using new media to grow your business," I expect that the book will be targeted toward people who own their own business. If I were writing a book for people who worked in businesses large enough to have marketing departments and C-suite executives, a more appropriate title would have been, "How to increase sales and profits with SM: ... to grow corporate revenue..." Or something. Of course, that wouldn't sell. But it would be more accurate. (To tell the truth, the occasional paragraph was written for the DIY entrepreneur, but that's not the person testing a social media campaign with a $250,000 budget--FOR THE CAMPAIGN alone.) There are only a very few marketing lessons I can take from the companies with global brands like Nike, Dell, and Geico. Down here in the small business weeds, marketing looks a little different.
The publisher pointed out that my edition had not been proof-read, so please to overlook the typos. OK. That said, and a number overlooked, authors don't get to make grammar jokes and then repeatedly use the word "hopefully." Just one crabby grammarian's opinion, and an editorial point, not a proofreader's catch. In a similarly nit-pickish fashion, using "This surprisingly successful (NOT, by the way; they're still not making money) tool has been widely adopted and is used for everything form business to fun and games" as a DEFINITION of Twitter is sloppy, at best. That is not a definition.
In defense of the book, I might misquote what Churchill had to say about Democracy: It is the worst of all the books about social media, except for all the others. The real gem comes on page 249, "A lead doesn't count for anything until you do the hard work to covert it to a sale. That's the final mile, and it's probably* the hardest mile. But executing that last mile differentiates the social media wannabes from the social media superstars." In truth, all of marketing is organized around that sentence, online and off, web 1.0 and 2.0 and 3.0. How to Make Money is, obscurely, organized around that central idea, but oh, it so could have been made more clear. And that point--taking the clear point of where profit happens and making it more obscure than it had to be--is my problem with this book.
Most social media books simply stop at "the conversation," as if conversations led to sales increases magically. How to Make Money does step you through the map of moving people through a lead generation process, but you may not know that, if you don't already understand how lead gen connects to sales. It could have been a lot more straightforward.
As of today, about half of the five-star reviews have been written by people with extensive review experience, which means their positive reviews are NOT the result of a campaign to get good press. It could be, perhaps, that my struggle to read the text (my eyes are good enough for other books, BTW; got through two other books the same weekend) chewed up any goodwill I might have otherwise had for the content. How to Make Money did not sit well with me.
*That sound in the background is sales departments all over the country, ROTFLTAO.