BOOK REVIEW: Smart Marketing

Smart Marketing

by Wayne Attwell

Smart Books, New Zealand

RRP: NZ$34.95 softcover, E-Book US$14.99

This is not a book for big brands or marketing managers.

It is a book for the small to medium business owner, for those kinds of managers who are not only the marketing manager, but also wear the operations, distribution and human resources hats.

The book is easy to read and a good marketing 101. It is written by "international brand strategist" Wayne Attwell, who specialises in advising start-ups and founded, which runs marketing workshops for smaller businesses. 

You won’t find buzzwords like “big data”, “customisable search engines” or (my personal favourite) “tradigital” in this book.

It isn’t overloaded with fancy jargon or theories – although for the uninitiated it has a glossary covering basic terms.

It provides planning and models for business owners to create their own brands, asking owners which segments they want to focus on and warning of the ultimate marketing fail – trying to be all things to all people.

There is a worksheet in the book on how to use “Need Satisfaction Marketing” but its hard to say how many business owners would really sit down and fill it out. 

What is useful in the book are the local examples Mr Attwell uses from Fonterra – Mr Attwell rips into their glass cow campaign - to Ribena; to the local Christchurch roofing company which capitalised on smart topical ads after the earthquakes.

There are also many handy tips scattered throughout the book on how to test if your customer research is working, or to make sure your Google search campaign is actually functioning.

The best parts of the book are the final chapters, which provide handy tables outlining the key channels available to businesses and detailing pros and cons of each.

These days there are more channels vying for marketing spend than ever before. Mr Attwell clearly outlines the benefits and differences of these channels, such as social media, search optimisation and direct marketing campaigns.

Mr Attwell is very matter of fact and I like that he is upfront about not seeing value in mission or vision statements and is deadset on avoiding clichés.

This book is a must for business owners who know they need to think about their brand but don’t know where to start.