Most helpful positive review
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
A great book with limitations.
on September 18, 2006
This book basically brings forth two strong notions. The first one is, Become your own customer and go through your own company's buy process. Pretend that you're a prospect just at the beginning of a purchase, searching for information and solutions. You don't enough know enough to fully articulate the problem; you know only that you have a need. What search terms would you use? What stores would you visit? What questions would you ask the salesperson? Then, how does your business line up to this?
Next, the most innovative portion of the book, the authors demonstrate how to attract the customers you want by creating personas. Essentially, this breaks down customer types into classes, such as the ever popular soccer moms. Then, it asks, what do you need to do to attract this persona? What questions are they asking? Why are they interested in making this purchase at all? How would they use your companies website?
So, all-in-all, it's solid and actionable advice on how to really focus on your customers and figure out what needs to be done to make your business inviting to them.
Why I take off one star: While this is a great book, its strength doesn't translate into other categories. The sweat spot for this book are businesses engaged in mass consumer marketing, with both a strong online and physical presence. Also, the target purchase has some emotional component, such as a BMW making the driver feel successful and powerful. However, if you're in the business-to-business space, then the book's lessons are harder to apply. For instance, if an engineer is searching to purchase a resistor, and is only concerned about performance characteristics, then the book's philosophy starts to become a stretch.
Also, it's not as clear how the lessons of the book are applied to smaller and service oriented firms. Say, if you're a Certified Public Accountant trying to recruit three new customers over the next three months in your town, again, the book doesn't offer as much of a lesson.
So, I would still recommend this book. You just need to read it aware of how its appropriate to your particular marketing challenges.