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What Sticks: Why Most Advertising Fails and How to Guarantee Yours Succeeds Hardcover – September 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Kaplan Business (September 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419584332
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419584336
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,003,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A rarity among advertising and marketing books."
—from the Foreword by Steven D. Levitt, author of Freakonomics


"Nothing gets the attention of our CMO clients today like the issue of marketing accountability.  What Sticks has a clear and innovative solution for marketers of all levels and budgets to get more Bang! for the buck."
—Linda Kaplan Thaler, CEO and Chief Creative Officer, The Kaplan Thaler Group, author of Bang! Getting Your Message Heard in a Noisy World


"If there is one book you want to have read about advertising, it’s What Sticks. It is the most comprehensive review of how to succeed at developing Advertising campaigns that I’ve ever seen."
—Bob Liodice, President and Chief Executive Officer, Association of National Advertisers, Inc.
 
"This book will be to marketers what Six Sigma was to GE’s Jack Welch. Everyone knows that marketing is broken. Briggs and Stuart have the data-proven fix. A must read."
—Michelle Conlin, Associate Editor, BusinessWeek
 
The book… may well be the most important advertising research since the "How Advertising Works" study of the early 1990s.”
—Advertising Age

About the Author

Rex Briggs is the founder of Marketing Evolution, the leading marketing effectiveness research and consulting firm with clients in more than 20 countries.  Briggs began his career at the market research firm Yankelovich Partners, and also served in senior positions at some of the nation's top-flight organizations, including the WPP Group.  He has been named as one of the "Best and Brightest" in media and technology by AdWeek, and has won a range of awards in CRM, Branding, Direct Marketing, Internet Marketing, and advertising measurement research.
 
Greg Stuart is the CEO and President of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the leading global advertising association representing Google, MSN, NYTimes.com, Yahoo!, and over 300 other companies.  He has led the U.S. Internet Advertising industry from $6 billion to $16 billion in the past four years.  A 20-year veteran of the advertising industry, Stuart has worked with leading marketers, advertising agencies, and new media businesses around the world. 
 

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Customer Reviews

Another biz book that has no more content that a magazine article.
Camille deford Cox
Whether you are a seasoned marketing veteran or a young person aspiring to a marketing career, you must buy this book.
James D. Nail
What Sticks will help you turn your advertising from necessary evil to one of the most important business functions.
Dave Lakhani

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By GrillGirl on November 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I had high expectations from this book. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to my expectations. The first few chapters were devoted to stating the obvious--over and over again, and reminding the reader that the authors' company had developed a methodology to measure ad spending. It felt a bit like a heavy-handed case study or a product brochure. I came very close to tossing it in the trash, but waded through it. There were several helpful insights, but in general very top-level and somewhat obvious. The main point I got out of the book was "Hire my company and we will solve all this for you." That wasn't quite what I hoped to get for my $25 investment.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By D. Ogawa on September 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
"Businesses spend nearly $300 billion per year on advertising in the United States alone," state Rex Briggs and Greg Stuart, "and our research analyzing more than $1 billion in worldwide ad spending proves that as much as $112 billion is wasted." Based on five years of research, this book examines the problems that limit the effectiveness of current advertising and provides very clear and specific solutions for people in marketing and advertising.

Advertising is far from dead, and Briggs and Stuart use a combination of research data and real examples of advertising successes and failures from companies like P&G, Johnson & Johnson, and Ford Motor Company, to name a few, to support their argument. Based on their research, the authors have put together a clear strategy for success. Their '4M' (Motivations, Message, Media, Maximization) framework and 'COP' (Communication Optimization Process) approach to advertising do not contain groundbreaking ideas, but Briggs and Stuart deserve credit for putting the components together in an comprehensive and easy-to-remember package.

While I found this book insightful, it was hard to ignore the five small, but blatant reminders to join "the new marketing revolution" on the "What Sticks" promotional website. Sorry, I don't need a "What Sticks" T-shirt, thank you very much. In any case, if you work in marketing, particularly on advertising strategy, this book can provide you with some practical ideas for getting the most out of your campaigns.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mark Pilipczuk on June 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I actually rolled out the COP process, with a few localized tweaks, in my last Fortune 500 role. It absolutely works. As some of the other reviewers have mentioned, you will get pushback from those who feel more comfortable marketing by feel and intuition. Applying rigorous process and discipline to marketing processes does work.

If the book seems repetitive at times (and it does) it's because of the need to give examples in different businesses to give credence the concept that process-oriented marketing works across industries and is not just a one-off that only works in a few industries.

Highly recommended and a quick read.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David P. Brown on May 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Although helpful, this book broke its promise. It preached of advertising accountability and offered fancy formulas to measure failure and success. But as far as offering realistic ways to initially track such numbers, it skirted the issue almost entirely. Nevertheless, it's witty, provocative and educational. Of anyone, this book is best for readers who actively hire ad agencies.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By CPNY on October 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If you're looking for a book that offers secrets to better marketing, look elsewhere. This book is primarily an argument for conducting market research and for careful planning (the author's contend that marketers don't do enough of either). Their system of doing so isn't terribly revolutionary but there are some good ideas. Mostly, I found it to be a good reminder of what marketers should be doing. Worth a quick read, but don't expect too many golden nuggets.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By DRoberts on October 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
What Sticks is supposedly the definitive book on making advertising work. I did not come away with that impression. Briggs and Stuart are smart men and I am not questioning their knowledge; however after thoroughly studying advertising the past two semesters I did not see two many new items. The item that I will remember forever will be COP or Communication Optimization Process. This relates to the message, media mix, motivation, and maximization of the advertising campaign.

The different categories could each be argued to be the most important, yet without each one no marketing campaign will succeed. That is the thesis of the book. The authors continue on in each chapter going a little further in detail on the subject. The book is split into three parts: Marketing is Broken, The Advertising Fix, and Guaranteeing your advertising works. The authors do a good job showing their sources in the back of the book. Most of their information comes from their personal study and work with companies. This does not take away from their credibility. I would love to have the experience the authors have with marketing; however I do feel this is better than Innovation Killer because it touches more areas. Briggs and Stuart touch on innovation and how that helps a company; they discuss way more issues than that.

A new rule that came from the authors is the 70/20/10 rule. The 70 percent go toward proven marketing strategies. The 20 percent should go to innovative marketing strategies or in simpler terms strategies that have worked but are changed just enough to say they are new. The last 10 percent should be spent on new strategies that have no proven record. This will keep the department on their heels and always looking for new ways to improve sales.
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