June, 2017

BOOK SUMMARIES

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS

 

How to grow your business using digital tactics

Growth hacker marketing is a concept that uses a test-and-learn method along with a process of rapid experimentation. By experimenting across marketing channels and applying the results to product development and the campaign structure, companies can quickly identify the most effective channels for marketing.

“The end goal of every growth hacker is to build a self-perpetuating marketing machine that reaches millions by itself.”

 

How to be different, as a brand and as a product

Using case studies and personal observations of successful and failed marketing efforts, the book makes a good argument that traditional marketing is dead. 

“In almost every market, the boring slot is filled.”

 

Basic traditional management theories

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

The lessons in this book all revolve around the view that the manager is the foundation of every business and is essential to its success. The theories taught here will give readers an understanding of how to set clear objectives and measures that are proven to work. Readers will learn how to be the most effective in managing the business, managing other managers, and managing subordinates.

 

How to improve customer experience

By customizing each part of a customer experience, a product or service increases in value. Using key points from theater and stage, the book teaches readers how to make each step in the customer experience a bit like a mini-performance. The Experience Economy is the new state of the business marketing and readers will learn how to turn their product or service into an experience instead of just another commodity. 

 

HOW TO READ basic financial documents

Financial statements do not always tell the entire story about a company. Accounting methods and financial reporting require an executive to decipher the red tape, look beyond what is on the printed page and make decisions that will affect the bottom line.  Financial Intelligence gives non-financial managers the financial knowledge and confidence for their everyday work.

 

How to sell services that are not tangible

Service companies often struggle with marketing efforts because their “product” is not a physical thing. Services are abstract and their effectiveness and value are hard to measure from a customer point of view.  Harry Beckwith explains that marketing and selling a service requires a completely different approach than marketing and selling a physical product.

 

How to present your credibility before selling a product

People will only do business with others once they know them, like them, and trust them. They will buy the salesperson first, way before they even consider what it is that they’re selling. The Little Red Book of Selling teaches salespeople — or anyone for that matter — how to win the sale by getting their prospects to value “them” before they value the product or service.

 

How to become a rainmaker

How to Become a Rainmaker teaches anyone how to make it rain. With short, to-the-point chapters filled with practical advice and humor, Fox teaches effective selling techniques that are easy to apply immediately.

 

How to build critical mass appeal for your product or service

“That magic moment when an idea, trend or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.” Includes great examples of how trends take off using the analogy of how epidemics spread.

“...ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do.”

 

How customers behave when they shop & why they buy

Why We Buy is filled with decades of research into customer behaviors. By watching customers as they move through stores, Underhill has been able to come up with good advice backed by science.  Marketers and retailers will find information from merchandising to statistics and learn exactly how customers behave when they shop.

 

Why everything is a sale, and why selling is so important

Knowing how to sell is like possessing one of the rarest commodities on Earth.  Most of us just don’t realize how persuasive we must be on a daily basis. Secrets of Closing the Sale explains that “everybody is a salesperson and everything is selling.” We sell our employer on hiring us.  We sell our kids on doing well in school and going to college...

 

How to create a new market or service, and avoid competition

Rethink traditional incremental innovation approaches. Typically, head-to-head competition is the norm for increasing market share, but this book teaches readers that there is a better way to compete and win. Based on a study of 150 strategies in 30 industries, the authors make their case for using innovation instead of fighting for position in a competitive market. Readers will learn that strategic success depends on creating a “blue ocean,” a market space that is uncrowded and primed for growth, by investing in innovation that brings more value to customers.

“Blue ocean strategy challenges companies to break out of the red ocean of bloody competition by creating uncontested market space that makes the competition irrelevant.”
 

How to make your product more engaging and based on habits

“79 percent of smartphone owners check their device within 15 minutes of waking up every morning.”

Readers will learn why some products capture customer's imaginations and attention, while others just never get off the ground. Using proven techniques, the Hook Model is all about learning how to engage customers by creating a product that creates a habit.

 

How to successfully launch a startup, new product, or service

Readers learn the value of testing a product every step of the way to eliminate the wasted time and money that are associated with typical startups. Lessons here include the importance of getting customer feedback to create a product that appeals to customers before the product is launched. Learn what to measure, methods to measure it, and how to use valuable customer feedback to design a better product.

 

Economics for the average layman

Economics can be intimidating to the person who is not well-versed in business and mathematicsThis book caters to the “layman” by breaking down the meaning of the terminology used in the subject, along with the psychology of how the free market works.

 

How to create a differentiated brand

Zag delivers an interesting and unique approach about the authors’ view on branding and marketing. Marty Neumeier has created what should be considered required reading by anyone in business that is serious about wanting to succeed. This short, but powerful, book will teach the reader how to be “radically different” and stand out among the cluttered marketplace that exists today.

 

How to improve your supply chain and operations

“So this is the goal: To make money by increasing net profit, while simultaneously increasing return on investment, and simultaneously increasing cash flow.”

The Goal uses simple reasoning as a tool to teach the Theory of Constraints (TOC) by presenting the theories in the form of a novel. The TOC, a methodology created by the author, is the underlying foundation of the story. TOC can be described simply: finding constraints and managing them.

 

How to optimize your entire supply chain by thinking clearly

Taiichi Ohno, the inventor of the Toyota Production System and author of the book by the same name, offers readers lessons in thinking. By learning how to think and analyze, readers will be able to design more efficient processes specific to their product or service. This “lean” thinking is all about eliminating waste and streamlining procedures from the manufacturing phase to the purchasing phase.

 “All we are doing is looking at the timeline, from the moment the customer gives us an order to the point when we collect the cash. And we are reducing the time line by reducing the non-value adding wastes.”

 

How to become more efficient and work less

Change the way you look at life and work, and challenge old assumptions.

“If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is, too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.”

 

Why you should break the rules and let go of assumptions

By breaking the rules of traditional management, readers will be able to see things differently and find innovative ways to manage. Based on interviews with 80,000 managers in 400 companies, the lessons taught here show that the best managers are the ones who break from the conventional methods of management.

 

Why measuring strategy outcomes is critical

The Balanced Scorecard believes that business leaders often times fail to connect the necessary strategy with the appropriate action or tactic.  The book covers how a company’s vision and strategy can be translated into a coherent set of performance measures. The authors believe that when a company has a “balanced scorecard” it is easier to complete goals and continue on the journey to success.

 

What are the basic laws that drive a business

The laws of business this book teaches are basic, common sense rules that most readers will have heard either from a boss or maybe even a parent! The laws apply not only to business managers but to anyone that cares about running an honest and fair organization. These laws are relevant from the bottom of an organization to the top.