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.
There are quite a few case studies in the book, and especially the O2 example provides you with some good hints and insides. What I also liked is that the authors have given a European touch to the book. This is an aspect I always consider when I make my personal evaluation of a reading. Not because I'm Euro centric, but simply because here (some) things are different and when we read a business book written by an American we always have to try to "translate" it and adjust the learning and the observations to our context. Sometimes everything matches, sometimes things are different. But we have to have a critical approach, we can't help it.
This said, I would recommend the book not only to those who in brand communications, but also to accounts and account planners working on the agency side, because it's always important to get the full picture. The more you understand, the better you can help.