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The Accidental Marketer: Power Tools for People Who Find Themselves in Marketing Roles Hardcover – March 24, 2014
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The Amazon Book Review
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From the Inside Flap
As technology becomes more prevalent in everyday products and as more people become small business owners, nonmarketing professionals are increasingly finding themselves in traditional marketing roles. The Accidental Marketer: Power Tools for People Who Find Themselves in Marketing Roles is a practical guide for any professional looking to develop effective marketing strategy when they haven’t done it before. Written by two widely respected marketing professionals who provide over 120 marketing workshops a year to corporate audiences, the book is based on the authors’ 20+ year quest to understand the specifics of what drives marketing success.
The Accidental Marketer follows the approach of the in-person strategy sessions that have been conducted for private clients over the past 35 years by the successful marketing consulting firm, Impact Planning Group. It gives readers a recipe they can use to obtain customer insights, create strategies based on those insights, and execute their initiatives through proper planning and positioning. These tools are straightforward and can be applied immediately to duplicate the successes of the companies spotlighted.
The book’s companion website offers bonus material as well as an assessment to help professionals determine where to focus their reading. Though all of the tools are inter connected, most of the chapters can largely stand on their own to provide immediate help for different marketing strategy needs.
From the Back Cover
Praise for The Accidental Marketer
“An essential read for scientists and engineers who want to bring their inventions to market. The Accidental Marketer presents a valuable toolkit that should lead to better partnerships with marketing colleagues and drive results with customers.”
—Beth Comstock, CMO, GE
“Spitale and Abbazia have written a very useful book, chock-full of interesting case studies. Easy to read, insightful and thought-provoking. These first-time authors are obviously very experienced marketers.”
— Don Peppers and Martha Rogers Ph.D., coauthors of Extreme Trust: Honesty as a Competitive Advantage
“As we look for ways to differentiate and grow the business, I believe it is critical that our marketing and commercial organization have strong strategic marketing skills. These tools provide them with the right level of structure and discipline, and help them have an ‘outside in’ mind-set. Additionally, this sound process, if adopted as an organization, can enable marketers from different backgrounds and geographies to have a common approach and language to exchange ideas.”
— Alejandro Bernal, Executive Vice President and Area President, Europe, Africa, and Middle East Region, Zoetis
“For the past 10 years, my work with the authors has centered on aligning leaders around common goals and developing winning strategies. I found the model to be highly successful. The Accidental Marketer contains a clear and concise agenda for businesses that want to thrive in a world experiencing constant change.”
—Bryan C. Hanson, Group President, Medical Devices and U.S., Covidien
“Marketers can’t rely on intuition to compete in today’s dynamic markets. They need proven tools to lead their cross-functional teams in testing their assumptions, uncovering insights, and determining how to satisfy target customer needs better than anyone else. This book is an ideal resource for doing all of this and more. If you are an Accidental Marketer, this book is a must-read.”
—Robert Baker, Marketing Excellence Team, Pfizer Inc.
“Tom Spitale and Mary Abbazia are marketing consulting veterans with a unique way of conveying sage marketing advice in a compelling and convincing manner. The Accidental Marketer provides an excellent and very applicable step-by-step framework for designing robust marketing strategies for any industry, whether B2B or B2C. To the point and easy to read, the book is filled with simple but powerful planning tools to help answer key strategic marketing questions. In addition, the authors discuss many memorable case studies from a variety of industries to drive their point home. A must-read for anyone with new marketing responsibilities.”
—Michel Tuan Pham, Kravis Professor of Business, Columbia University
Top customer reviews
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One day I switched careers from technology to marketing … I became an “accidental marketer”
Because of that switch, I learned by experience some powerful marketing tools for converting product ideas into commercial successes. But as the saying goes, Experience is a hard teacher, first she gives you the test, then she gives you the lesson.
The ten power tools presented by Tom Spitale and Mary Abbazia for people who find themselves in marketing roles are genuine and good. Reading the book, reflecting on the many case studies it contains, and using their power tool frameworks will give you lessons in developing differential advantage with ability to win.
If you are a new accidental marketer, I strongly recommend this book. You will find a rigorous set of lessons needed before taking the unavoidable tests.
If you like to learn for the sake of learning, you’ll like this book. It moves along with informative and instructive awareness.
If you are a seasoned marketer and you want to stay that way, click on the cover above and look inside at the Table of Contents. You’ll see some new tools you need to come up to speed on.
(One of these tools is Spitale and Abbazia’s Ability to Win tool. I’m in agreement, because of frustrating experiences with SWOT supporters, with these quotes from the book. “The Ability to Win tool trumps the overused and misguided SWOT analysis that many of our companies use in their brand plans.” “We are very anti-SWOT because the analysis ignores customer needs and perceptions. After all, what good is a strength if it doesn’t deliver something customers desire?”)
I highly recommend this book for the “positioners” who constantly strive for the “unfair” competitive advantage and ability to win.
-- Develop a deep understanding of your customers' needs.
-- Know your own company's capabilities (what you can and cannot deliver).
-- Be aware of your how your customers perceive your company and how they perceive your competitors.
Great marketers focus on understanding the needs and perceptions of their customers. Whether you are a full-time professional marketer or an "accidental marketer" leaping into the breach, you will likely find this book a valuable resource!
"Shackleton's famous recruitment ad in the Times of London with the headline, "Men Wanted for Hazardous Journey" is how an inexperienced marketer might feel. Believe me, The Accidental Marketer is an essential survival kit for those courageous enough to venture into marketing's uncharted waters! Bryan Mattimore, Author, Idea Stormers, President of The Growth Engine Company"
Not bad since it gets at the book's unique positioning, and target market. There are three things though I wish I could have said in the blurb had I had more space.
First, The Accidental Marketer is not only for inexperienced marketers. I think it's equally as valuable for an experienced CPG marketer as an inexperienced B2B marketer. For instance, I found the tools and techniques on market segmentation -- and beng creative about how to differentiate messages and products to appeal to specific target markets -- particularly valuable.
Second, I love the writing and structure of the book. There are principles, tools and techniques that operationalize these principles, and cases studies that show how both the principles and processes have been used to solve real world marketing challenges/opportunties.
And finally, I appreciate that Mary and Tom are "real-world" practitioners. Like me, they are confronted daily with difficult client marketing challenges, and so have a pragmatic orientation to what they are sharing and recommending. And they've held nothing back. They've shared what works! Pretty wonderful.