The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott jumps right in with an unpalatable fact: if you’re not already famous, traditional ads and PR probably won’t work for you. In fact, one of the first headings in the book says, “Advertising: A Money Pit of Wasted Resources.”
If Oprah has some thoughts about weight loss, the media will pick them up. If Pepsi makes a clever ad, people will talk about it. Otherwise, attempts to capture attention by interrupting large numbers of people with stuff about your products is a waste of money and effort.
Instead, good digital marketing is about providing useful content to the people who need it… and your products and services. “It’s about interaction, education, information, and choice,” says Scott. Instead of thinking like an advertiser, you have to think like a publisher. “Companies,” he goes on, “must drive people in the purchasing process with great online content.”
He points out that marketing directors often make the mistake of “viewing investment in content as a short-term advertising expense rather than the creation of a long-term asset.” Then he discusses how the new marketing can work within a company’s sales process — with some big changes in the salespeople’s mindsets.
Now, this book is obviously preaching to the choir when I read it. If you read this blog and have total recall, you’ll know that this is exactly what we’ve been saying here. If you have trouble with these concepts, though, or you have trouble convincing the powers that be at your company to invest in strong content, this book can be a big help. Scott gives multiple examples, from personal consumer experience that you’ll recognize as similar to your own, to specific companies’ successes.
Once the reader is convinced, the book goes on to explain how to put together an effective content marketing plan, with simple and specific advice for things like building a landing page, developing content for Pinterest, or reaching C-level readers.
The assumption is that you have people to do these things for you. Scott tells you why to use SlideShare and what factors make a great SlideShare upload, not how to create and upload your SlideShare deck. There is no technical language to slow you down, and the 5th edition is current and practical. It’s also an enjoyable read, though a long one — 458 pages, counting a preview of a forthcoming book on sales and service. A place by the fire, a good cup of coffee or tea, and you’ve got a worthwhile project for a long weekend.
If you know that digital marketing is where you need to be going, but you need help getting from your current old-school marketing mindset to an understanding of how digital marketing works, this is a great book to read. You’ll end up with an understanding sufficient to make plans and decisions with confidence.
I received a copy of this book for review. I was not paid for this review, and you know I always tell you the truth.