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Five For Friday – Readings Review

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Not gonna lie, a little bit of a lazy Five For Friday over here at Marcello Entertainment.  However, that doesn’t mean less value for our faithful readers!  This overheated week (seriously, triple digits in the Northeast?!) brings us a Five For Friday full of reviews.  I find myself recently reading a lot more articles, blog posts and white papers than books.  And because our library is overflowing with some extremely useful content, I thought it only right to share.

I’d also like to note (thanks to our dear friend, Carleen), we plan to add more analysis to our Five For Friday features and a new rating system, when applicable.  The ratings will be delivered via pine cone (or la pigna – go here for more on that), with five pine cones representing the best of the best.

And PS, later today we’ll be posting a new video called “Guerrilla Marketing For Under $100” for your weekend enjoyment……

1) Guerrilla Marketing – Over 90 field-tested tactics to get your business into the frontlines (Jay Conrad Levinson)

– Quick and easy read, includes a bunch of examples of real-life GM tactics.  Useful mostly for small businesses with limited budgets.  Includes quite a bit of word of mouth generating ideas.  Falls short on illustrations (there are none, even when the concept discussed is a purely visual one) and idea expansion.  I’d also submit that many tactics are relatively rudimentary, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  I highlighted about 15 of the ideas as unique/new/enhanced.  Good basic resource guide to keep around for quick inspiration during brainstorming sessions.  3/5 pine cones

2) The Influencer: A Consumer Voice With Legs (ICOM / Epsilon Targeting)

– ICOM’s research-heavy white paper setting out to redefine the Influencer segment via research data.  Appreciated the amount of data and statistics the document provides.  They do the reader a great service by taking those numbers and clearly calling out the ramifications, namely three main Influencer learnings that can assist marketers in building WOM campaigns. Would have loved to see ICOM partner with an execution agency on this paper and take it to the next level (e.g. “here are some practical applications of these new Influencer profiles”).  4/5 pine cones

3) The Word Of Mouth Manual, Volume II (Dave Balter, BzzAgent)

– Lengthy read, about 120 pages.  Much like the Guerrilla Marketing piece we reviewed above, I found this manual pretty basic.  For anyone already in the WOM industry, even newbies, this won’t present many new concepts or findings that make it worth a 120-page read.  I also found that a lot of the real-life brand examples fell short of amplifying any of the WOM points the author was attempting to convey.  He uses the Tickle Me Elmo doll craze as an example and argues that Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and esteem/belonging had nothing to do with the phenomenon (he believes parents just wanted to shut their kids up by purchasing them a popular toy).  Felt this was pretty short-sighted and minimized the psychological and sociological elements of WOM / influence that, I believe, power the entire industry.  Decent primer for those just getting into WOM, but nothing to talk much about.  2.5/5 pine cones

4) Sixteen Sure-Thing, Must-Do, Awfully Easy Word of Mouth Marketing Techniques (Andy Sernovitz)

– Taken, in part, from Andy’s 2006 book, Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking, here’s a super brief and to-the-point list of, well, 16 awfully easy WOM tactics.  I have this printed out and posted right above my computer at my desk.  Sometimes we all need a short and sweet reminder to do the simple things (which just so happen to offer the best ROI more often than not!).  4/5 pine cones

5) As A Man Thinketh (James Allen)

– The definitive writing on the connection between thoughts / intentions and reality.  As you may have noticed, our favorite quote from this piece inspired the name of this blog.  Wait a minute, this isn’t a marketing white paper, is it?  Not directly, no.  But, we strongly believe in the power of people – whether they are brand advocates, field staff, Vice Presidents of Marketing, clients or consumers.  We suspect you’ll find a thing or two in here that will yield positive benefits to your current endeavors.   5/5 pine cones

Enjoy the weekend, stay cool!



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Growth obsessed startup co-founder (MusicBox) and strategist-for-hire.

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