Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Book Recommendation: Marketing Outrageously by Jon Spoelstra

I've recently read three excellent marketing books that not only inspired me, but gave me specific steps and advice to improving my marketing.  While the books are independent of each other and not a series, I recommend reading them in the order that I present them as they each seemed to build on each other.  This post and the following two will be reviews of these three books.

The first book is Marketing Outrageously by Jon Spoelstra (Eric Spoelstra’s father, but I don’t hold that against him).  Written in 2001, this seemed like the right book to start with. The second book is Attention! This Book Will Make You Money by Jim Kukral. Finally, C.C. Chapman and Ann Handley’s Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) that Engage Customer and Ignite Your Business (whew, long title...) completes the trilogy.

To start with, I cannot recommend Marketing Outrageously enough to anyone that works in marketing.  Spoelstra worked with many sports teams and successfully jumpstarted their revenues.  When you go to an NBA game these days, there is always something going on to entertain you.  From the moment you walk into the arena, through every timeout and halftime and through the end of the game (oh yeah...there’s a basketball game going on too), there are contests, videos, mascots, performers, etc.  Jon Spoelstra for all intents and purposes was the first to implement these attractions. He understood that fans are coming for an entertainment event, not just a basketball game.  By adding these attractions and implementing new marketing messages and tactics, he was able to increase ticket sales and revenues for some really bad teams.  While he was a sports marketer, his advice can be applied to any industry.  

Through his 17 ground rules, he explains how he applied them in his career and gives the results. Included are the steps he had to take to get buy in from team owners and his other bosses.  Needless to say, a lot of his ideas were out there. But through it, he explains his thought process and the justification for what it was he wanted to do.  These aren’t just crazy ideas for the sake of being crazy, there is rhyme and reason (and success!) to the tactics he employed. One of the most memorable was sending rubber chickens to season ticket holders and prospects.

He teaches marketers how to think differently and how to take a step back from your goals and think bigger about what you are marketing. It was next to impossible to not be inspired by his advice. Almost every one of his rules led me to think how I could implement them in my job and energized my approach to our marketing.  The best part was that, unlike many books where you read page upon page of vague explanations waiting for a payoff of specific advice that never comes, Spoelstra relates it to his career and gives you tips of how to apply it to any business.  

Again, if you’re in marketing, do yourself a favor and RUN (quickly) to your library or Amazon.com or wherever you get your books and pick this one up.

As always, thanks for reading. Please feel free to leave and comments or questions on this book or any experiences you’ve had with marketing outrageously in your own career.  I’d love to hear some examples and the results.  Stay tuned for my next post that will review Jim Kukral’s Attention! This Book Will Make You Money.

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