AdParlor CEO Ben Legg, a veteran of McKinsey, Coca-Cola and Google and one of the sharpest, most innovative minds in digital marketing, delivers a smart, irreverent manifesto sure to put the fear of God into most Chief Marketing Officers!
Marketing for CEOs may be compact in length, but it’s long on ideas and informed opinions about what works and doesn't work in today’s digital marketing world.
What works: Directly linking marketing activities to the creation of shareholder value, customer lifetime value, an iterative creative process where lots of ultra-targeted ads are created and tested in real time, systematically ferreting out inefficiency, testing your CMO to see if he or she has the digital marketing chops to get the job done.
What doesn’t work: Most CMOs, CEOs who ignore their role as “brand stewards”, using customer data in ways that are creepy or invasive, and CMO/ Chief Information Officer turf wars, among other things. Marketing for CEOs is packed with insights from one of the leading intellects in the ever-changing world of digital marketing and branding. Whether you’re in the C-suite or just aspire to be one day, if you want to know how the digital marketing revolution will shape the future, read this book. If you want to know how to run a lean marketing operation that runs smoothly and outsources wisely, read this book. If you want to know how to hire the perfect CMO for your organization—or if the one you have is actually pretty good—start reading. And if you’re a Chief Marketing Officer, read it before your CEO does. The job you save might be your own.
A comprehensive guidebook to a massive, ongoing revolution in the world of marketing and advertising.
Marketing analyst and popular corporate speaker Legg has at last written a book, and readers who are already familiar with his speaking style will know something of what to expect: punchy delivery, cut-to-the-chase presentation of facts, and plenty of innovative thinking. He writes as if his readership consists entirely of CEOs, but his book will also appeal to general readers who are interested in how social media and “Big Data” are changing the business landscape. The author breaks his subject down by providing quick, basic looks at various business goals, such as delivering value to customers while establishing long-term relationships with them; making a profit; and dominating a market (or, as he puts it, “crush[ing] your competitors’ hopes and dreams beneath the heels of your Converse sneakers….You know, the fun stuff”). He reassures readers who’ve already attended business school that the fundamentals that they learned—product, placement, price, promotion, and so on—are all still sound. But he also notes that business leaders need to adapt to the world of constant connectivity and data sharing, and that they aren’t adapting often enough or fast enough. Legg also points out—brutally but undoubtedly accurately—that many businesses that he’s studied are suffering because they accepted mediocre performance from their marketing division. Indeed, his book has a tough but effective chapter on whether “it’s time to hand your CMO [chief marketing officer] a cardboard box and have security ready for an escort to the front doors.” The author uses shotgun blasts of straightforward, often funny prose to present a What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School for the age of Twitter. For example, at one point, he insists that a ground-up reinvention of the entire concept of marketing isn’t necessary; that is, there’s no need to “toss out the baby with the bathwater”—but one must also acknowledge that the former infant now “wears skinny jeans, has multiple lip piercings and tattoos, carries a phone that costs more than your first car, and spends half his waking hours staring at some sort of backlit screen.” (The book also includes one chapter by CEO Jon Cook of the marketing and advertising agency VML.)
A cobweb-clearing manifesto on how marketing must adapt or die.