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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: #231,881 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

You'll notice that people either love this book or they hate it.
Sean Ellis
Whether you are a seasoned marketing veteran or a young person aspiring to a marketing career, you must buy this book.
James D. Nail
Another biz book that has no more content that a magazine article.
Camille deford Cox

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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T Abraham on November 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Too much of marketing is smoke and mirrors with little attention to, or evidence of, impact or ROI. This book is a great reminder that it doesn't have to be that way and shows methods for quantifing results that make the most of marketing dollars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By marketingandmediareviews on April 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Rex Briggs and Greg Stuart performed an amazing amount of research on media mix management with Fortune 500 advertisers and over a billion in media spending.

The authors are hell-bent on convincing advertisers that advertising works and that they can improve performance with the "same budget, better results." It would have been better if they acknowledged, from the outset, that in some situations, it's better to reduce the marketing budget.

I agree that marketers need to better measure the effectiveness of their marketing. The tools are out there but it requires real commitment and investment to do it right.

This book is most relevant for those working in marketing at Fortune 500 firms or for their agencies.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Donald R. Turner on November 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book delivers on it's promise of defining "what sticks". Written for bigger businesses with marketing departments/ad agencies/multi-media marketing I found it useful to "translate" down for use with smaller businesses on limited budgets. I think they will find it most useful since many don't accurately plan or "track" marketing/advertising. As a "marketing" speaker I already knew the facts (about what doesn't work) but the book does have useful insights to implement procedures to catch those mistakes quickly and remedy them before they exhaust the budget of firms with limited advertising budgets.
It is somewhat repetitive, using the COP acronym repetitively gets old, and I agree there are no "magic bullets" or "revolutionary ideas" but it's definitely worthwhile reading.
As a side note I have been using the ideas in this book to "research" some current "major" commercials I felt probably missed delivering their message, especially after reading this. So far I have been 100% right (asking people simply "have you seen these commercials?" then "Who is the company?" and in every case so far nobody has identified the company or "message" even though they are very familiar with the ads!) Those companies need to read this book, their ad is "sticking" but their message isn't.
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