Marketing is dead; long live business

A must-read review of the top 3 marketing books of 2011 provides a quick way to get up to date on the real challenges every business faces in the mission-critical game of staying connected to customers.  It goes way beyond marketing.

Simon Mainwaring
We First: How Brands and Consumers Use Social Media to Build a Better World
(Palgrave Macmillan, 2011)

David A. Aaker
Brand Relevance: Making Competitors Irrelevant
(Jossey-Bass, 2011)

Gary Vaynerchuk
The Thank You Economy
(Harper Business, 2011)

“At first glance, the three best business books of 2011 on marketing seem to go in very different directions. However, they do share one trait: They pay only lip service to marketing. A couple of decades ago that might have disqualified them from consideration, but these days, a surprising number of marketing books aren’t all that high on marketing…

“The real action is in the much tougher arena of rethinking the companies that sell the brands. So, in We First: How Brands and Consumers Use Social Media to Build a Better World, brand consultant Simon Mainwaring ponders the role of the corporation in addressing the world’s ills, tackling such topics as charitable giving, environmentalism, and sustainability. In Brand Relevance: Making Competitors Irrelevant, David A. Aaker, professor emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, looks at how companies can build brands that aren’t just new and improved, but unequaled. And in The Thank You Economy, wine-selling social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk advocates that marketers build a culture in which “good intent” is paramount. In each case, the authors emphasize that making these things happen requires fundamental shifts in corporate culture, not just marketing window dressing.

“Yes, marketing is no longer about simple brand repositioning, but about corporate reinvention”

The clarion call may appear idealistic, but it’s eminently practical: specifically, what it takes to survive.  This review cuts to the chase. Take a deep breath, sharpen your red pencil, bring in your best thinkers, and be ready to rethink your strategy and culture.  The three best marketing books of 2011 demand no less than being a responsible citizen, an inventor of new games, and operating with impeccable manners.

“Only the companies that can figure out how to mind their manners in a very old-fashioned way — and do it authentically — are going to have a prayer of competing.”   -  The Thank You Economy

I couldn’t agree more.

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