UnMarketing__36517_zoomOne of the most interesting concepts worth highlighting in Stratten’s book is his “hierarchy of buying”; in other words, the likelihood of consumers buying your product based on varying marketing approaches. Stratten’s hierarchy from most to least likely to buy:

1)      A currently satisfied customer – The key is that they are satisfied

2)      Referred by a trusted source

3)      Existing  relationship with your company but has yet to purchase

4)      Recognizes you as an expert in the field

5)      Found you through ad or web searches, etc.

6)      Receive a cold call – People who are cold-called are highly unlikely candidates for new business, as it would require those potential customers to both a) be in need of your service and b) be passively waiting around for someone to call them with an offer.

The author argues that it is never too early to become an expert in your field.  If you are not an expert, why is your product worth buying? There is no need to try to label yourself as an expert; if you demonstrate you knowledge, others will do it for you. I completely agree with this concept, self labeling will not be as effective as the recognition from a third party.

Mr. Stratten also points out that many entrepreneurs fail to address one of the largest barriers to generating new clients, which he calls the “trust gap.” Many businesses focus on advertising their low prices when they should be working on bridging the trust gap.  This applies especially for the service industry.

Another mistake many organizations make that UnMarketing addresses is the lack of attention many businesses give to their existing customer base.  Many companies unwisely focus all of their efforts on attracting new customers, though it costs five to ten times more to attract a new customer than it does to gain repeat business from an existing one.  Due to this, he argues you should put at least an equal amount of effort into keeping an existing client happy as you do on trying to attract a new one.

This is an unfortunate reality, but I must agree. I have come across many digital marketing managers who ask, “I need to improve my sales, how can I find new customers to increase my sales?” But the true question that needs to be asked is, “How can I improve my sales without spending more money to find new customers?”

The author also gives great advice on a variety of specific marketing strategies.  He does this by making his point and providing examples of companies who have executed these strategies correctly and incorrectly, and the impact it had on their business.

The examples and mini case studies he presents provide insights that leave you nodding your head in agreement while thinking how you could adopt the same approaches.

For Canadian marketers, this book would is especially easy to relate to since it gives many Canadian examples and strategies that apply to our own market and industry.

I thought Stratten’s comparison of Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Google+ in chapter 10 was informative and very well done; his later discussion of social media planning offers some helpful advice, as well.

Stratten advises against using any kind of automated software to grow and engage your Twitter audience. He states that Twitter users want authenticity, which will be affected if you are not ‘in the moment’ with your followers and truly engaging.

Another interesting part of the book is when the author uses his own personal experiences to make a point about the importance of the customer experience. His tale of his switch of coffee loyalty from Tim Horton’s to McDonald’s is a documentary-style account of how real people perceive and are impacted by business details we too take for granted all too often. Based on consistency of product, suitability of packaging, and convenience of location, Stratten changed  his daily coffee habit – to the tune of perhaps $30,000 in lifetime value, underscoring the ultimate importance of every customer acquisition or defection.

This book is a must-read. It is not a book that simply covers social media theory. This book will make you think differently about many aspects of the social media marketing.