Book Look: Your Marketing Sucks, by Mark Stevens

I consider myself to be a Geek (when a capital G – according to this test, I am a “supergeek” whatever that is). As such, I have what I consider to be a healthy disrespect for those I consider “marketing types”. That is not to say that they are useless, but I feel that they are, as a breed, a little too full of themselves. I am pretty sure that the antipathy is mutual, and I am ok with that.

Perhaps the biggest reason that geeks dislike marketing types is because geeks stand for truth – the facts, the data, the provable – while marketing types tend to deal in sentiment, desire and psychology.From my standpoint, geeks make the products that the guys and girls in marketing have to sell… and yet a VP of Marketing invariably has a bigger salary and more clout than, for instance, a VP of engineering. It seems almost upside-down, but people who make things are often looked down upon by those who sell them.So what exactly is marketing? My best definition is the creation and identification of sales opportunities and trends.

In this book, the author openly accuses prominent marketers of not doing their jobs – of doing marketing that sucks. He suggests that most marketing campaigns do not result in increased sales, and are therefore a pointless waste of money that is more concerned with keeping marketing budgets well funded than with generating new sales.

The book is not perfect, and has several shortcomings; for instance, some have described the book as a blatant pitch for the author’s marketing consultancy business. While there is certainly an element of self-promotion, most of it is more of a challenge – a dare to try his services and see if he cannot do better.Others have said that the book is long on criticism and short on encouragement. This is true, but given the title of the book, one cannot reasonably expect much else. Bear in mind also that there are many marketing “how-to” books out there.

Even if you are not into marketing – or even, for that matter, a geek – this is a very entertaining read and well worth checking out of the library – or even buying. Marketing types, however, may want to give it a miss, though, as they take themselves way too seriously (another diffeence between Geeks and Marketing types), and will not appreciate a book that pokes fun at most of that which they hold so dear…

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