A thorough and useful guide to modern marketing.

LIES, DAMNED LIES, AND MARKETING

SEPARATE FACT FROM FICTION AND DRIVE GROWTH

A manual argues for a more holistically strategic approach to marketing that distinguishes success from sophistry.

Minocha observes that marketing often arouses suspicion, at least in part due to a tendency on the part of its professionals to chronically overpromise and underdeliver. But the real problem, the author avers, is usually the absence of a “big and comprehensive picture,” a “holistic” interpretation of strategy that serves as a framework for more minute tactical decisions. Minocha therefore distinguishes between “Big-M marketing” and “small-m marketing.” The latter refers to the tactical or “visible” aspect of marketing like advertising and logos, while the former covers the “foundational elements that help define your business strategy,” a company’s chief goals, target consumer base, and “competitive landscape.” The author strongly counsels readers to sharply formulate one’s marketing mission statement first or risk a lot of wasted time, effort, and money. Minocha expands at length on both features of marketing, furnishing plenty of helpful strategies illustrated with concrete examples, including from his own considerable experience. He covers a wide range of topics, from why a head of marketing should be in charge of setting prices to the proper role of sales. He writes lucidly, in an easily accessible style, and is unafraid to challenge orthodoxy—he cautions against the abandonment of traditional advertising for digital, warns against a rush to automation, denounces an excessive emphasis on speed in general, and discusses the limitations of social media. But he is prone to indulge in the banal conventions of the publishing genre; for example, he insists the customer isn’t merely a rational, calculating machine, but has emotions, too. Minocha even marshals some vapid pop neuroscience to substantiate this ersatz insight. But overall, this book should be a helpful reference to marketing executives and to those responsible for judging their work.

A thorough and useful guide to modern marketing.

Pub Date: Aug. 31, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5445-2123-7

Page Count: 212

Publisher: Lioncrest Publishing

Review Posted Online: Oct. 18, 2021

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

GOOD ECONOMICS FOR HARD TIMES

“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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