When the publisher asked me if I wanted to review “Profitable Marketing Communications: A Guide to Marketing Return on Investment” at first I declined the offer, fearing it could have been a book all about numbers and calculations. The publisher of course insisted and explained me the idea I was getting from the title was wrong. So in the end I accepted, and now I’m glad I did it. Working in brand communications ROI is a word I almost don’t know or better, I try to avoid as much as possible. It’s a silly thing, as I always preach that it’s important to have a 360 marketing approach, but when I see numbers and calculations I just can’t help it, I don’t know if you feel the same… it’s a sort of allergy, an allergy I would have to cure if I want to improve in my job. Ok, but now let’s talk about the book… First of all, I confirm that the idea I got from the title was wrong. I have no problem admitting it, but maybe I have the doubt the publisher didn’t make the right choice in choosing it. Reading Profitable Marketing Communications it’s like doing your homework. It’s not a ground-breaking book, but it sums up all the things you should keep in mind when you work in brand comm. Probably it’s an obvious thing, but marketing it’s not only about branding and awareness, and even if this is what we’re asked to do in our daily jobs, it’s important to stay open minded and remember that there are other tools to make our message stronger, more integrated or simply consistent.
I never studied advertising at university, and even if I did, I think nobody would have told me the history of the agencies who made the history of advertising. I’m not even sure there is a school book telling the history of this fascinating world. So I was very interested when Kogan Page sent me a copy of “Adland – a global history of advertising” written by Mark Tungate, a journalist and a copywriter I indirectly know through my friends in Diesel. It’s a great reading, a book to sip a chapter a day, with no hurry. It tells the story of the men (and a few women) who created the great agencies we all know about, from J. Walter Thompson to BBDO, Publicis, Ogilvy and BBH (just to name a few). And the story is told after an impressive research and with a real passion that involves us in the reading that pictures the human side of a business worth US$400 billion a year worldwide.
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