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The End of Advertising as We Know It Hardcover – September 6, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Zyman began his career in an advertising agency, worked his way up to become the chief marketing officer of Coca-Cola and now runs his own marketing consulting firm. Readers might expect him to be a friend of the advertising industry, having played on both sides. But he doesn't hold his punches, particularly when it comes to the industry's recent emphasis on shock value, a trend that is also mocked by another new book, The Fall of Advertising & the Rise of PR, reviewed below. The nearly simultaneous publication of both books should concern ad execs who've based their campaigns on irony and nonsense. Their work might win ad industry awards, but it does little to sell products, both of these books argue. Zyman also advises marketing managers on such esoteric decisions as whether to tap a dead celebrity for a TV spot or to trust in fads like "viral marketing." Frequent references to last year's terrorist attacks make the book feel up to date, but sometimes result in jarring passages, such as, "Right after the September 11 attacks, Pepsi started having a little trouble keeping consumers interested in the message." No kidding. Zyman addresses chief executives and marketing managers directly, counseling them to get tough on their ad agencies and base their evaluation of the agency's work on whether it sells products or services, not on whether it generates buzz. Seems like obvious advice, but judging by recent commercials, Zyman's thorough, thoughtful words might be the kick-in-the-pants the industry needs. Illus.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
As chief marketing officer at the Coca-Cola Company, Zyman (The End of Marketing As We Know It) speaks from practical experience, but he also holds an MBA from Harvard. At Coca-Cola, Zyman both increased sales dramatically and oversaw the introduction of New Coke one of the most visible missteps in the annals of marketing. Advertising now is not effective, claims Zyman, because it is dominated by overly creative television ads that entertain and win awards but don't generate sales. Expanding the definition of advertising to include everything from packaging to employee behavior, he argues that advertising must show a clear measurable return. One of his best arguments is that sponsorships should be reconsidered to make sure that every dollar spent drives increased sales. Zyman does not introduce many new ideas, but he does advocate that CEOs and marketing managers take a more active role to reinforce the brand and value proposition. While walking readers through a series of real-world examples of what worked and what didn't, he downplays his own mistakes and shows little sympathy for the mistakes of others. Ultimately, though, the book reaffirms the classic notion that a company must think through its strategies up front while also welcoming change. The writing style is refreshingly simple and easy to understand. Appropriate for any library that has a business section. Stephen Turner, Turner & Assoc., Inc., San Francisco
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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From there the book launches into a description of different forms of advertising. Zyman packs the book full of examples of advertising that (at least in his opinion) work and don't work. He continues on about the necessity of managers to ensure that advertising is positively impacting revenue and profit while lambasting those company's that seem to engage in advertising for advertising's sake.
I really expected Zyman to go beyond the complaints and accolades and help me learn how to develop metrics and programmatic evaluations of marketing initiatives so that I can make the right decisions before spending the company's money. No such luck, I suppose that knowledge like that is the "secret sauce" reserved for those who plunk down money at his agency.
If you know nothing about advertising, this is a good history book of do's and don'ts. If you need to make decisions about spending money on advertising you'll be better served finding a more technical book on marketing campaigns and programs...... or giving Zyman's firm a call I suppose..... which may be the real reason the book was written.... it is after all good advertising.
The book starts off promisingly enough with chapter and verse on the largely lamentable state of most established ad agencies, which in his mind have lost focus on their primary reasons for existence: to help their clients sell more stuff and to grow and nurture their clients' brands. But after that, he meanders through various areas-the importance of differentiation, that everything about a brand communicates, the proper use of sponsorships-none of which is particularly new news. Until finally, in Chapter 8, he arrives at a very key observation: How a company communicates with its employees is every bit as important to the success of its brands as anything else the company does.
For this chapter alone, the book is worth reading, but it may be one you're better off borrowing than buying.
I like the message, but my question is: how do you measure that the advertising was the cause for the sales? As much as he repeated that message, he never got to how the measurements were made. I was truly interested in this because of the studies by Don Kirkpatrick (Evaluating Training Programs: The Four Levels), which made excellent points for evaluation as a whole; specifically that behavior and results cannot be measured because it is nearly impossible to isolate the dynamics. For instance, let's say that XYZ Inc. puts out a new commercial for a new T-shirt, and sales jump through the roof. According to Zyman, this advertising is good. But the reality could be that it was not the advertising, but that a heat wave along with a new teenie-bopper singer cause hundreds of kids with not that much cash to seek out this style because it matches their idol and wallets. Lets also say that maybe all the competition had coincidental disasters that either stopped production or distribution. So in the end, correlation does not equal causation.
Zyman does point to these scenarios, but does not explain "how" to measure - just the need "to" measure. If he could show more, this book would be worth it's weight in gold and every Six Sigma guru out there would hail the work as the missing link from production measurement to sales measurements. But alas, the work is left to what the measurement gurus call IBU. Interesting, but useless.