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Your Marketing Sucks Hardcover – July 8, 2003

105 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Most companies don't have a clue about good marketing, argues entrepreneur Stevens (Extreme Management) in his slender but vociferous book. What they need are the principles of "extreme marketing," in which every dollar "is set in a strategic context," is part of an integrated plan and brings in more than a dollar in return-strategies Stevens lays out in his readable, thought-provoking and sometimes outrageous book. He bashes marketers' "conventional wisdom" with an almost immoderate glee, and proposes big changes too: stop all marketing if you can't prove it works; don't use your competitors' marketing as a benchmark; don't depend on the results of focus groups; fire sellers that don't sell; cross-sell to consumers; and try direct mailings are just a few of his ideas. With charges like "Be persistent, relentless, inventive, counterintuitive, challenging, combative, strategic and tactical," readers may be tempted to think: easy for you to say. But this gem of a book is brimming with anecdotal evidence of advertising strategies gone awry, and full of examples of better plans. Diversification of programs is key, as are market testing and tracking. And if Stevens's examples aren't enough to convince (though they should be), his passion for his subject may carry the day. At the book's conclusion, Stevens instructs readers to not return to the office until they have figured out how to implement his advice. This is as different from more traditional and staid marketing how-tos as its title suggests.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Stevens, a marketing consultant, promotes his theories by teaching readers how to get a positive return on their marketing investment. He offers strategies that include aligning marketing with a company's objectives, developing a clear statement of purpose, determining how to reach the broadest audience, and qualifying prospects. The author's tactics help readers describe their offerings, differentiate themselves from competitors, determine the best products to sell efficiently, capture leads and follow up on them, and structure steady growth plans. The author concludes with a step-by-step approach to analyzing a company's marketing efforts and then designing an action plan to make necessary improvements for reaching stated objectives. By following the author's instructions, the reader will engage in Extreme Marketing, in which every marketing dollar spent will bring in more than one dollar in return. Although this book is clearly an infomercial for Stevens' business, in our competitive marketplace it is critically important to reflect upon marketing initiatives and make every possible adjustment to improve them. Mary Whaley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; 1 edition (July 8, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609609831
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609609835
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,385,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mark Stevens is a best selling author, CEO of MSCO, a results-driven management and marketing firm, and a popular media commentator on a host of business matters including marketing, branding, management and sales. Mr. Stevens is known for delivering business insights with blunt truths and unconventional wisdom.

Stevens shook the marketing establishment with his Business Week best seller, "Your Marketing Sucks" (Random House/Crown Business), and redefined the rules of management with "Your Management Sucks" (Random House/Crown Business, 2006).

Stevens' latest book, Your Company Sucks: It's Time To Declare War On Yourself (to be published Aug 2, 2011)idetifies the four reasons companies fail or simply get stuck in neutral and how to identify and address them so the business can break through the ice to new levels of success. Stevens also demonstrates that "customer satisfaction" is no longer acceptable: winning companies must Thrill their customers/clients.

Stevens is the author of 24 business-related books including the best sellers: "The Big Eight"; "King Icahn"; "Sudden Death: The Rise and Fall of EF Hutton" (a Wall Street Journal bestseller and Library Journal "Business Book of the Year"); and the enormously popular "Your Marketing Sucks."

Stevens' firm, MSCO--founded in 1995-- has representsed a stellar roster of clients including Nike, Starwood, GE, Guardian Life, Intrawest, Estee Lauder, The MONY group, Environmental Systems Products, Saturday Evening Post , Virgin Atlantic, and many others.. Through integrated marketing campaigns, MSCO focuses on achieving results for its clients instead of awards that serve egos. Mark Stevens possesses an innovative and iconoclastic view of the business world, having served as a journalist and nationally syndicated columnist and having held management positions at several global corporations. His incisive understanding of critical business issues is geared toward achieving extraordinary growth and success for his clients.

Stevens is an in-demand speaker and a frequent guest commentator on Fox Business Channel and a wide range of media from Entrepreneur to Dow Jones.

Stevens writes the wildly successful blog, "Unconventional Thinking."

Books by Mark Stevens have been published in USA, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, China, Germany, Spain, Japan, Russia and Brazil.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 55 people found the following review helpful By T. George on January 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Wow. I have never seen such bitterness about an Amazon product. There are some truly horrible products out there, I admit, but it looks like anyone who gives a positive review will get shot down 0 to 5 in the voting. It makes one think...
As for my review, I'll play it safe with 3 stars. I rated Mosquito Coast 3 stars too. What does it mean? It means I wouldn't go out of my way for it & I didn't get a ton from it, but there was something about it to justify it's existence.
For those of you who haven't read and who haven't been prejudiced to a negative review, the author's basic concept is that marketing should fall under the business domain and not the "artsy, creative domain" that it usually does. He makes a good point that your marketing should not be out there to win awards, and that more expensive (a la Super Bowl spots) doesn't mean better. Instead, everything you do to promote a product or service - and it can be at a grass roots level - should reinforce each other. I.e., your ads should tie to your website should tie to your publicity, etc. And all this should increase sales. If you don't increase your sales, your marketing sucks.
Now, it is true that the book is not an academic or even an intellectual book. Do not come here to learn about marketing. It's not even marketing 101. It's basically written to people in marketing who are doing it wrong. And, even if you think that this book is really simple, the reality that I've found is that most people in marketing really ARE doing it wrong. So, if you are in marketing - especially if you haven't had much business exposure - then this may be a helpful read.
Now, I will say that this book is INCREDIBLY poorly written. I think he spent 3 chapters winding you up to tell you what was inside.
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49 of 57 people found the following review helpful By mruseless on September 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
No original ideas, except of course the title. I guess this is worth something, after all, it persuaded me to buy the book!
The book starts off with the annoying phrase, "Extreme Marketing". Let's get one thing straight: Nothing in this book is extreme. The ideas are basic, focusing on sales and advertising. If that's what you need, then perhaps this is a good book for you.
Second, this book suffers from the ever-popular confusion between marketing and sales. This book doesn't really touch marketing as a discipline, but instead reads like a commercial for his advertising firm. He spends an entire chapter (one of the longer chapters in the book) describing how a company transformed itself using "his" principles. Guess what? The company is fictional! He made up the company, and made up the results! How is that helpful?
Overall, if you are a beginner in sales, this book may be of some help. But if you are looking for marketing tactics, strategy, or new insights, this this isn't the one.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is more hype than substance. Great title and admittedly well marketed. But a good marketer knows you have to deliver on your marketing promise to truly be effective. Mark Stevens does not do that. I would not buy another book from this author (fortuneately I got my copy from the library) I also would not reccomend it to others. His themes and concepts are not original. Sergio Zyman's book (End of Marketing...) is much better and insightful. Like most others who write on the subject of Marketing effectiveness, he talks a big game on Marketing ROI, but falls way short when it comes down to how to really measure it. He takes the easy road by speaking at a high, theoretical level. His most egregious mistake is confusing marketing communications (advertising, direct mail, PR) with Marketing. Even the Marketing undergrad knows Marketing communications alone doesn't motivate someone to buy, it is an integration of the product, the price you charge for it, how and where it is distributed and sold as well as the Marketing communications. Reading this book, you'd think just adjusting your advertising or direct marketing or PR will drive results. Shame on you, Mark.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
A lot of the reviews for this book seem very polarized (either 1 or 5 stars) and quite honestly, it kept me from opening the copy I had bought a couple of months ago. Many of the negative reviews seem very vituperative and contain a lot of personal attacks on the author. I don't know him to judge him except by his book, which, staying focused purely on that, is pretty much a blah rendition of themes and ideas that we've all seen before. There are some very good generalities that someone with the know-how and initiative might be able to turn into something valuable, but quite honestly, anyone with a modest amount of common sense could draw the same conclusions about marketing that this book does. I found myself saying "Duh!" out loud. A lot. This is not to say that it's any worse than a number of other books that seem to be glutting the market right now, but at least those books provide some value in the form of case studies or other applications that could be interpolated into a marketing strategy. Maybe a selling point of this book is that it helps point out the obvious, but I would think that could hardly have been the point, especially when given such a provocative title.
Maybe that alone was the lesson - most marketing sucks and let me illustrate that for you by throwing a catchy title on a bunch of well-worn platitudes and watch it climb the best-seller list. Stevens obviously anticipates this thought because he poses the question himself - "How the hell does HE know?" Unfortunately, the book doesn't answer that. If anything, it just reinforces it.
I don't pretend to be the smartest business owner or marketer - that's why I continue to read books like this in the search for "the answer".
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