Yeah, we get it. That full-page ad in the yellow pages of the local phone book used to work and you’re just having a tough time wrapping your mind around the fact that it isn’t working any longer. Nor will it ever work again. Your strategy needs a little a changing to keep up with technological advances and societal norms.
Marketing is hard, especially when you need to continually change up your strategy to account for changes in technology, evolving competition, and the inevitable alterations in consumer behavior. But the worst thing you can do with your marketing strategy is cling to outdated ideas that simply eat up your budget with very little ROI.
Here’s some advice: if your strategy has been delivering diminishing results for the past 6 months or more, it’s time to ditch it like a controlling girlfriend. But don’t take it from us. Here are some books from industry professionals, marketers, and yes, even some novelists, that will help you see why you need a new strategy and what that might be.
Permission Marketing by Seth Godin
Seth knows a thing or two about marketing. In fact, he’s one of the world’s most famous online promoters. He makes a great point in this book that people are tired of being sold to and don’t want to be interrupted by pesky messages or rude walk-ins. In this new landscape, you need to find a way to get their permission to market to them. How do you do this? Well, read the book. But here’s a hint: give them some value before you try to sell them anything. That’s pretty hard to do with a yellow book ad, but quite easy with savvy online strategies.
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk
Our SEO expert Dan would not let us publish a book list about marketing without including one by his favorite marketer Gary Vee. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook may not be his newest book and some of the platforms he talks about are outdated, but it’s still well worth the read. Similar to Godin’s book, Gary talks about the amount of value you need to give a prospect before asking them for anything. Gary’s energy is unmatched and his enthusiasm for marketing will hopefully be infectious and convince you to stop making ineffectual cold calls.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck
Do you have a fixed or growth mindset? If you tend to get into ruts, have problems with perfectionism, or are afraid of trying new things, you very well might have a fixed mindset. What does that mean? Well, a whole lot of not-so-good things, but you’ll need to read the book to really get it. This book blew my mind when I read it and made me completely re-think how I approached nearly every part of my life. It’s likely if you are clinging to an old worn-out marketing strategy, it’s because you are afraid of what you may lose if you try something new. You may think that jumping into the digital world will result in a lot of money invested and—even worse—it might make you look silly if you fail. This book will turn everything you think you know on its head.
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Okay, so it’s not about marketing (or business for that matter), but this Pulitzer-prize winning novel about a man who pines for a woman who rejected him for over 50 years is the epitome of not giving up on something that just ain’t workin’. Will it make you re-think your marketing plan of advertising on the radio when your target market is listening to Pandora? Maybe not. But it’s a lush and amazing work of literature and you’ll be better off for having read it.
Are you stubbornly holding onto outdated marketing strategies even though all the evidence points to the need for a change? Read these books to provide that little extra nudge you need to step into the digital world and re-ignite your ROI.
Angela Woltman is a lifelong lover of books and the co-owner of Omaha-based online marketing company eSpark Media. If you’d like help with your online marketing strategy or just want to chat about books, she can be reached at angela@eSparkMedia.com.