July 9, 2004
Q: Is there a terrific book on marketing, hopefully including
lots of examples for small businesses, that your experts can recommend?
-- G.G., New York City
A: We couldn't get our experts to agree on one title, but we did get several recommendations for good marketing books. Pick up one or all of them at the bookstore, or purchase the one that seems the most promising and then check the rest out of your local library.
Dan Sondhelm, a partner at SunStar, an Alexandria, Va.-based marketing consultancy, recommends, Guerrilla Marketing Weapons: 100 Affordable Marketing Methods for Maximizing Profits from Your Small Business by Jay Conrad Levinson. "I really like this book," Sondhelm says. "It's a good read that offers a hundred 'weapons' to help grow your business. Many weapons or tactics don't cost anything, and others are not really marketing, but ways to add value or strengthen service," Sondhelm says.
If you're looking for guidance on direct marketing, try Successful Direct Marketing Methods by Bob Stone and Ron Jacobs. Meg Goodman, a marketing veteran based in Chicago, also likes How To Write a Successful Marketing Plan, by Roman Hiebing. It includes worksheets, budgeting advice, and a step-by-step guideline for setting up a formal marketing plan, something many small businesses never get around to doing, she says.
HERE, THERE, EVERYWHERE. Several experts recommended Street Fighter Marketing for retailers, and How To Get Clients for all sizes and kinds of business enterprises. Both titles are the work of marketing-guru brothers Jeff and Marc Slutsky, and include discussions of various kinds of marketing efforts, including direct-mail, events, outdoor promotions, and media advertising. There are also examinations of the pros and cons of various approaches featuring real-life examples.
If you're interested in the arena of naming and branding for business, there's a free resource you might find helpful. It's called The Igor Naming Guide and the 51-page .pdf file is available without registration or obligation. Put together by the folks at Igor, a San Francisco-based naming-and-branding agency, the guide includes examples and case studies from a variety of different industries.