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War in the Boardroom: Why Left-Brain Management and Right-Brain Marketing Don't See Eye-to-Eye--and What to Do About It Hardcover – Bargain Price


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness; 1 edition (February 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061669199
  • ASIN: B002QGSWF6
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,163,677 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Father and daughter marketing experts and bestselling authors of The Fall of Advertising, the Rieses explore the gulf between management and marketing and show why this gulf is bad for business, customers and the economy. They demonstrate how the two groups think differently: management deals in reality (left brain), while marketing deals in perception (right brain). This dichotomy extends to every facet of operation, including product versus brand, better versus different products and communicating versus positioning. The authors use a multitude of company examples from Booz Allen Hamilton, McDonald's, Pepsi and MasterCard to elucidate their points, showing how the two groups approach vital issues such as growth, competition and branding, underscoring the need for both marketing and management to understand the other side's perspective and priorities. The Rieses are persuasive in their argument, examining tried-and-true brands as well as those that have faded. Entertaining and enlightening, this book has much for executives and managers at all levels to ponder. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“[M]arketing folks should learn to speak in left-brain terminology. The book is a good place to start lessons. Examples are well-explained and down-to-earth. As for managers, even the most logical and analytical types should be able to see the reasoning behind ‘marketing sense.’” (USA Today )

“The Rieses are persuasive in their argument.... Entertaining and enlightening, this book has much for executives and managers at all levels to ponder.” (Publishers Weekly )

“[The Rieses’] engaging arguments are presented in a simple-to-read format, and the examples are persuasive.” (Harvard Business Review )

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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It's an interesting, fun read.
Sam Harrison
This book identifies the "bridge" that's available when right-brainers and left-brainers look at branding and advertising.
Art K
All entrepreneurs should read this book.
Erik B. Johnson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sam Harrison on April 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Al Ries won the hearts and minds of marketers back in 1981 with his seminal text on positioning, and, to his credit, he's still preaching the same message. And for good reason: his positioning theories and insights have been proven time and again over two-plus decades. This book -- written with his daughter Laura -- clearly shows how marketers and management sit on opposite sides of the table when it comes to outlook and actions. Management deals in reality; marketing deals in perception.

These two authors know how to write. There's not a dull page to be found. Instead, the book overflows with dozens of lively, real-world examples clearly demonstrating the difference between management and marketing -- and where right-brainers or left-brainers have taken their brands for better or worse. And the authors aren't shy about assessing and making predictions about some of today's marquee brands such as Google and Amazon. It's an interesting, fun read.

More literal-minded readers -- left-brainers -- might be disappointed that final chapters aren't devoted to by-the-numbers directions on what to do about the problems of divided brains in the boardroom. But right-brainers -- in fact anybody who pays attention -- will instantly understand that every chapter in the book and the myriad examples provide the case studies on what works and what doesn't work.

If you're on the management side, read and heed. And if you're on the marketing side do as the authors suggest and use the well-written case histories as analogies to help educate top management and sell your concepts.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robb on April 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Making marketing a continual science of the mind and pointing out the obvious -no one else can quite see with such clarity, the Ries Family does it again with yet another resource for the MBA marketing student catalog and again so user-friendly for the average marketing everyman who wants to understand why there's still a war in American corporate boardooms - and what to do about it. While their marketing classic "Positioning" book gave insight into how to 'plan your brand' into the minds of your targeted American consumer, "War in the Boardroom" (still leveraging those catchy head icons) addresses the the roadblocks marketers face from management in advancing their brands. One of the most concise quotes in this typical Ries fun-to-read book sums it all up definitively: "Management believes the key to success is developing a better PRODUCT. Marketing believes the key to success is developing a better PERCEPTION." Given the obvious conflict, if you want to take control of your marketing not just focused on your consumer, but on your own boardroom, pick up this book now - it could give you the power to understand what really has been holding your brand back.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Frans on July 22, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Yes, every CMO should read this book and get all the members on their team to read it too. Al & Laura Ries have done the research and have managed to put into a readable and impactful form that spells out, without much doubt, what the future of marketing looks like and how marketers need to be thinking in order to stay relevant in business today. The tussle between management and marketing isn't new, this book however shows in a useable and do-able manner, how the two can begin to speak the same language.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark Ellins on March 25, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Review for Amazon for War in the Boardroom -
I give this book a strong 3 stars. The message was good and it should be read by Marketers and Sales. The message stating the companies should stay focused and not stray away from their direction is absolutely correct. BUT there were several inherent flaws in this message and the way this book was written:

1. I thought it was presumptuous the way they made the Management look like idiots and the markets always being right. As someone working in the international hi-tech market for 20 years, this couldn't be further from the truth. Without going into details, Marketers do not always see the big picture and get caught up in the message and not the reality. Products are sold based on reality and events on the ground. Marketers are usually disconnected from end customers, specific regions and distribution channels. This book did not touch about any of those specifics.
2. The book only focused on Fortune 500 companies. What about us who work in smaller companies? The book totally ignored us.
3. Darwin theory - Darwin's theory is so true with species as it is with businesses. A company that is too focused can make itself extinct when the environment changes or shifts. They brought the example of Blackberry but the book was unable to see its future failure. They were so focused on business handsets that they totally over looked the smart phone and now with the environment changing they are about to become extinct. Here Management can play a great role of having the ability to steer a company when the market shifts or changes. The book totally ignores this fact.
4. Really did not focus on hi tech. There were too many car company examples.

Besides that, the book is written clear and easy to comprehend and there are many good lessons to be learned.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jim Estill on August 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I loved the book just like I like most of Ries stuff - I have been a follower almost from the start when Al Ries and Jack Trout wrote the great classic "The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing"

Since then Al Ries has teamed up with his daughter Laura and written a number of other books - mostly on the same topic. They write about branding and positioning.

I do not like the title as I think most of the battles they talk about - management vs marketing actually take place outside the boardroom.

The branding rules they talk about are simple and logical. Focus on one thing. Do not try to be everything to everybody. Be dominant in a category. One brand - one category (so don't try to sell Crest soap). I love the logic in it but I still find it hard to focus.

The thesis of the book is left brained people (logic based - who they say are management) conflict with right brained people (intuition based - who they say are marketing). Management wants to extend the brand, marketing knows better.

It is all about perception. It may not even be current sales that determine how strong a brand is, it is what the customers think of the brand that will create future strength. It is not so much about the product which is often the sole focus of management.

I am a strong believer in much of what the Ries have to say and suggest everyone should read a few of their books. I would suggest starting with one of their earlier books. Their views on branding and positioning are right on.
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