Twitter is Not a Strategy: Rediscovering the Art of Brand Marketing Hardcover – November 11, 2014
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“Twitter Is Not a Strategy takes you back to basics... and back to ensuring you're actually creating a brand and noJanit just a lot of one-way propaganda.” ―Inc. Magazine’s list of “11 Great Business Books to Read Right Now"
“A rallying cry for the advertising industry to refocus on actual brands.” ―Women's Wear Daily
“The Asia CEO of the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency, Doctoroff uses characteristic wit and decades of experience to take on the twin hypes of digital media and the China market and to offer insightful principles for successful customer engagement and integrated brand marketing.” ―Berlin School of Creative Leadership
“[A] thoughtful…business guide [with a] spot-on premise…and nuggets of fresh wisdom sprinkled throughout.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Facebook, Twitter and other social media have changed everything about marketing, but good branding requires more than "likes," tweets and cat GIFs, according to Tom Doctoroff, author of the highly anticipated upcoming title Twitter is Not a Strategy.” ―TheStreet.com's #1 Pick for "Best Business Books Coming Out This Week
“With insight and energy, Doctoroff…takes on the daunting task of explaining the Chinese character… This in-depth, lively précis of modern-day China is an invaluable guide to anyone hoping to do business in the fast-growing Eastern market.” ―Publishers Weekly on What Chinese Want
“A primer on Chinese consumers [with] each paragraph delivering a takeaway pearl of wisdom… A no-nonsense book by an enlightened capitalist.” ―Kirkus Reviews on What Chinese Want
“Doctoroff offers his readers practical advice as well as examples of successful marketing campaigns in China…An essential read.” ―Library Journal on What Chinese Want
“Mr. Doctoroff's book sheds much-needed light on the differences between Chinese and Western cultural preferences, and should be of interest to businessmen and general readers alike. Most importantly, his observations should help multinational companies understand their target audience, and enable them to market their brands more effectively to China's hungry consumers.” ―The Wall Street Journal on Billions
From the Inside Flap
Citing the most compelling recent campaigns, including Axe and Uniqlo, as well as masterful re-inventions like Nike and Coca-Cola, Doctoroff shows how the best brands seamlessly integrate old and new--but never rely on digital flash to make up for message substance. Armed with their examples, marketers everywhere can stop fearing the flood of data and put their focus back where it belongs--on the consumer.
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His is a "simple-but-nuanced approach to grab the holy grail of marketing: harmony between the clarity of top-down positioning and the dynamism of bottom-up consumer engagement; between long-term brand equity and short-term tactical messaging; and between emotional relevance and results elicited by data-driven technology."
I have always viewed strategies as "hammers" that drive tactics ("nails)) and there is no doubt that social media such as Twitter offer all manner of possible tactics to help strengthen customer relationships. However, as Doctoroff explains, their proper benefits -- and limitations -- must be recognized and accommodated: both analog and digital channels have value if (huge IF) effectively coordinated. Moreover, marketers must not become preoccupied with the digital connectivity at the expense of nourishing what have been "long-term relationships between human beings [not machines] and the brands they love."
These are among the dozens of passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the scope of Doctoroff's coverage:
o A Brief History of Branding (Pages 12-16)
o Digital Daze (31-35)
o The Value of Strong Brands to Consumers (39-43)
o [How] Strong Brands Provide Tangible Benefits to Parent Companies (44-52)
o Unearthing Insights into Consumer Behavior: Human Truths That Unite Us (55-61)
o Cultural Truths That Set Us Apart (61-73)
o Techniques to Uncover Human and Cultural Truths (75-77)
o Insights About Emerging Markets and Business Strategy (77-86)
o Great Brand Ideas: From Conceptual Unity, Strength (94-98)
o The Unique Brand Offer: Resolving the Insight (99-107)
o Organizational Barriers to Powerful Brand Ideas (131-133)
o When to Abandon a Brand Idea (137-146)
o Engagement Ideas That Inspire "Opting In" (156-158)
o From Engagement to Advocacy (162-177)
o Defining Engagement Ideas (180-182)
o Intimacy (191-193)
o The Nine Rules of Online Content (221-238)
When concluding his book, Tom Doctoroff briefly reviews what he characterizes as two "broad points." They are centrally important to the establishment of an appropriate framework required for strong brand equity and deep loyalty. I agree with him: "First, the barriers between traditional and new media are artificial. They must be deconstructed...Second, engagement is more than a digital connection between manufacturers and consumers." Why? Because loyalty "is rooted in a long-term relationship between people and brands they love. It is born as a 'brand idea' -- a two-way commitment, long-term, and dynamic -- that provides conceptual unity across an ever-changing marketplace, expressed as engagement ideas people want to spend time with. Engaging creative ideas, today or forever, are the source of high price premiums and margins."
If your organization's objective is to establish and then sustain long-term relationships of engagement, not only with its customers but with its own people, just about all the information, insights, and counsel you need are provided in this book.
NOTE - This book was recently selected for the 2014 Influential Business Book ShortList - a curated collection of the 15 best business books from the past year. The 15 finalists each year are chosen by best selling author and founder of IdeaPress Publishing Rohit Bhargava from hundreds of marketing and business books published over the past twelve months.
"Twitter is Not a Strategy" builds on the marketing philosophy Tom has shared in his prior excellent books, "Billions: Selling to the New Chinese Consumer" and "What Chinese Want." His latest is an extremely accessible, well-written book by a seasoned master of marketing that is an important book to read whether you are in marketing or not.
Top international reviews
This is an excellent book which I recommend. It has certainly made me think about my approach to branding and the way I promote my books. The only reason I have given 4 stars, instead of 5, is because of the cover. The old adage of you can always tell a book by it's cover does not hold true in this case. However, ignore that and you will have a very helpful book.
Once past the Introduction, I quickly found that this book is sufficiently engagingly written to maintain the interest of the non-professional. However, it is not written for the casual reader but for those wishing to draw back the curtain of mystique shrouding the path to success in a fast-paced digital environment. It is clearly written and any jargon used is explained, the clarity of the narrative being maintained by the use of frequent examples and illustrations. Doctoroff explains the why and how of certain brands being able to consistently score better than their competitors.
Tom Doctoroff has several propositions with which to reassure marketing and branding practitioners, especially with reference to medium to large companies operating in a global marketplace. He says that strong branding is as important as ever in a digital world but the new technology means that not only is deeper engagement with consumers possible, it is also essential to maintaining brand loyalty. Considerable detail is given on the ways in which cultural differences affect the expression of Unique Brand Offers.
There are many good examples used to illustrate the author's points, but they relentlessly refer to leading global brands, like Dove soap, OMO laundry products, Nike, Pepsi, Coke, Samsung, BMW, Microsoft and Honda, or the giants of the Chinese domestic market. Advice for small companies competing in a very crowded marketplace, potentially against the products or services offered by huge global companies, seemed rather thin.
This book is intended for the person who has a keen interest in how to manipulate the thoughts and feelings of other human beings in order to separate them from their hard-earned cash, and to charge a premium for a product by creating a perception that it has a value greater than that of its competitors.
With Tom Doctoroff's repeated insistence that conventional wisdom should not be abandoned or replaced by digital flash and glitter, and that consumer engagement is the key to success, I found inspiration to examine my own Unique Brand Offer and to further explore brand and engagement ideas.
The concept of the 'consumer engagement system' is key to this book, and it is developed clearly and without unnecessary jargon. Where unfamiliar terms are used eg Unique Brand Offer (UBO), they are carefully and concisely explained.
I like the presentation of the book. There are plenty of subheadings, illustrations (not brilliant quality, but I had a proof copy), charts and bullet point lists. Refreshingly there are no irritating gimmicks eg cartoons or quotations from Buddhism, or 'charismatic' business leaders. The scope of the book is global, which adds to its interest. Some examples used left me feeling distinctly uncomfortable - such as the direct to consumer advertising strategies for infant formula. Others were frankly delightful eg the Gay Pride OREO.
The author concludes with two broad points:
1. The barriers between traditional marketing and new media are artificial and should be deconstructed.
2. Engagement is more than a digital connection between manufacturers and consumers. Loyalty is rooted in a long-term relationship between people and the brands they love.
This is a commendable book. It would be very suitable for students as well as those actually in business and marketing. The examples given are often of global brands with big marketing budgets, so this book is not really geared to the more modest needs and resources of the small business. Nonetheless, the principles hold good for everyone.
Everything in here is already out there — it's in Wally Olins On B®an, The 23 Immutable Laws of Branding, and many other books. Doctoroff, though, narrates the growth of branding and marketing from its earliest days to the present — the world of twitter, iPhones and viral marketing. He goes a stage beyond where most of the classic books finish. He's also kept up to date with the latest from the journals: this book will save you a trawl or two through JSTOR and the other repositories, and Tom Doctoroff organises and marshals his material well.
If you've never read a book on branding, but need to — for example if you're a marketing or PR student, or moving into that area — then this would be a really good one to start with. You could start with the classics, of course, but the fact that Doctoroff is talking about now, not then, and that he knows all about social media but doesn't think it actually changes the fundamentals, should give you more confidence and an easier way in.
Well worth reading.
The actual technical build of this online ad was done by one of my colleagues (who still sits a few tables down the office from me).
The ad was not an idea that we designed though. The ad was just one part of an overall, linked campaign that had to speak in a consistent voice. The online ad had to tie in with the TV ad, which had to tie in with the print media, and all of which had to tie in with the Cadburys chocolate marketing (i.e. `A glass and a half of milk', which was temporally changed to `A glass and a half of joy' for the eyebrows campaign).
That all takes some thinking, and that thinking goes under the names of `branding' and 'marketing strategy'. And that is what this book is all about.
Web advertising and social media in general is no different to conventional (`top down') marketing and branding: the message is still the same. Although people in the web space talk about social, interactive and other advertising where the user rather than the brand marketers has a say (`bottom up'), this book shows how both top down and bottom up marketing are actually closely related in that they must be linked to give a consistent message... otherwise your web content becomes just another good but unlinked idea in a sea of other good ideas.
This book shows you how to do that, starting from first principles. Having worked in rich media advertising for several years, I have a good idea of what does and doesn't work in rich media, and this book seems to be a good description of the process.
The only issue that some have may be that the book delves deep into standard marketing and brand techniques. By the end of the book though, you realise that is because the old ways work: the web does not break anything. The goals of marketing are unchanged.
Best suited for web entrepreneurs who need a quick primer of how to market something you want to sell. Existing TV and print marketers may be less excited because the book goes through a lot of what they already know.
Assuming you are the target audience, 5 stars. Recommended.
Doctoroff presents a concise, entertaining and digestible overview of marketing and branding strategies; geared, particularly, for international markets. As someone familiar with technologies, but with no background in marketing, this book filled an important gap in my knowledge. This book probably offers few new insights for existing marketing gurus, but it's a great introduction to marketing for the rest of us.
As an ex advertising creative who subscribes to the old way of doing things, more and more these days, I find myself with people in 'marketing' who seem to put the cart before the horse; next time it happens I'll give them this book.
The one thing about it though, which I feel is a bit of a shame, is that Doctoroff uses the same old examples as an example of how it should be done- Apple, Nike etc. etc.. But then again, maybe that's because, sadly, there aren't any other strong examples out there. A sign of the times perhaps?
My only other grumble is that the pictures in the book are slightly low quality. But I agree with every word printed in its pages.
One review said the title is misleading, I would have to disagree. It says it all. Twitter is not the be all and end all of getting your brand out there or spreading the word and this book it exactly about that 'Twitter is not a strategy - so create a strategy that works'. Social media marketing can be so easy yet so time consuming and sometimes so ineffective. It can be hard to gauge and quantify at times. Despite the amount of IT presence in our daily lives, we do not live and breath it 100% of the time. A good old fashioned, more 'offline' marketing strategy could well be the way to go to get your brand noticed these days.
This book is a breath of fresh air in today's social media obsessed corporate arena. Bravo I say!
Examining advertising roles in a digital age and how brand loyalty impinges on old styles and pre digital values, the author takes us around the often contradictory strategies used be enterprises, and forensically dissects their underlying dynamic, whether these are shown to be positively or negatively impacting on the business in question.
Of interest to those who run or are think of starting a small business but especially relevant to business students.